Flagstar has brought back the promotion for its S.M.A.R.T Interest Checking in which you can lock in a rate of 2% on balances up to $100K for 12 months when you open a new Flagstar interest-bearing checking account. As an alternative, you can choose a $100 bonus. Here's the link to the promo page as of 11/30/09. The offer has the following requirements:
- New personal checking account customers only
- Minimum opening deposit of $50
- Direct deposit of income of at least $250 per month
- Direct deposit must be established within first 60 days of account opening
The online application requires you to enter your zip code, and if it's outside of MI, IN or GA, it states:
We're sorry - this checking product is not available in your market area.
You may still take advantage of our $100 or 2% offer. Please click Continue below to select the checking product best for you, or call (800) 642-0039 to speak to a banking expert.
I was confused about this message so I called Flagstar today. According to the CSR, this promotion is only for those who live in their market area (Michigan, Indiana and Georgia).
Flagstar's Express Money Market Account
For those who don't live in Flagstar's market area, you can open accounts at FlagstarDirect.com. Flagstar has been offering an internet money market account since July 2007 (see post). The rates have remained competitive. As of 11/30/09, the APY is 1.70%. It has no minimum balance requirements and offers free checks (see account review). You may also be able to get a $25 bonus for opening this account. Refer to my bonus review for details. Note, I haven't checked if this promo is available since November 12th.
Flagstar has been hit hard by the mortgage crisis. Flagstar's third quarter results showed another big loss. However, the bank claims to be still well-capitalized for regulatory purposes. Bankrate.com now gives the bank 1 star (lowest) for safety and soundness. However, BauerFinancial gives Flagstar Bank 3 stars (adequate). Both ratings are based on 6/30/09 financial data. The bank is a member FDIC (FDIC Certificate # 32541).
For other high-yield checking and savings accounts available nationwide, refer to my weekly rate summary.