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Unique High-Yield Reward Checking Account at Village Bank in Virginia - Local Only

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Village Bank (VA)

Village Bank is offering a high-yield reward checking account called Village eRewards Plus. It has the following rates as of 1/28/2010 which don't appear to be dependent on monthly requirements:

  • 3.04% APY up to $25,000
  • 0.50% APY on portion of balance over $25,000

However, there are still monthly requirements, and if you don't meet them, there's a $40 per month service charge. The monthly requirements include:

  • 10 ATM or debit card transactions (note ATM transactions are included)
  • one ACH debit or credit
  • Receive e-statements

Other features of the account include:

  • $50.00 minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • 1st box of wallet size checks free

It appears that a branch visit is required to open an account. Branches are located in Richmond, Virginia and in its metro area.

The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are a little weak: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 9/30/09 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1999 (FDIC Certificate # 35111).

Which is Worse: Risk of Monthly Fee or Lost Interest?

Monthly service fees on reward checking accounts are rare. Most are free checking accounts. Typically, the only results of not meeting the monthly requirements are lost interest and no refunds of ATM fees.

Village Bank's monthly fee if you don't meet the requirements may seem bad, but it could be better if you have a $25K balance than having to worry about losing the interest for the month. For example, if you were to earn 0.50% instead of 3.04% due to not meeting the monthly requirements, you would miss out on about $52 of interest for a $25K balance. However, you also have to consider the amount after taxes. Another downside is that it makes it harder for rate chasers. If you find a better deal, you can't just leave a little amount in the account and let it sit.


  Tags: reward checking account, Virginia, Village Bank (VA), checking account

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Comments
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Take another look at rewards checking at Addison Avenue Credit Union (Santa Rosa CA).  It is offering 3.01 % under the usual circumstances, without any excessive penalty.

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