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Review of the Largest Banks Offering Reward Checking Accounts

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While writing the post for yesterday's bank failures, I noticed Umpqua Bank which took over the failed bank Rainier Pacific Bank has a reward checking account. The reason why I found this interesting is that Umpqua Bank is sizable, and it's getting bigger with yesterday's acquisition of Rainier Pacific. Umpqua Bank also acquired Evergreen Bank when it failed in January.

So this had me wondering how many banks with over $2 billion in deposits are offering reward checking accounts, and how do these reward checking accounts compare with the ones from the smaller banks?

I've found four sizable banks that offer reward checking accounts. Please leave a comment if you know of other ones. Compared to the reward checking accounts at smaller banks, they are not nearly as competitive. However, if you prefer to bank at a local branch, these banks have quite a few branches in their regions. So they do give you another option.

The following table's APYs are based on the banks' website as of 2/27/2010. Deposits and branch numbers based on 12/31/09 FDIC data.

Bank Reward Checking Account APY and Cap Deposits
Branch Locations
Amegy Bank Smart Yield Checking 2.00% up to $25K $8.9 billion 96 branches in TX
MB Financial Bank MB Red Checking 4.00% up to $10K $8.8 billion 96 branches in IL, 2 in PA & IN
Umpqua Bank HIP Checking 2.00% up to $25K $7.7 billion 161 branches in OR, WA, N. CA
Hanmi Bank Bonus Checking 0.75% up to $25K $2.8 billion 28 branches in S. CA


One thing that may explain Hanmi's low rate is this public enforcement action that was issued by the Federal Reserve last November. If Hanmi Bank is considered less than well capitalized, it be me required to keep the rate under the FDIC rate cap for interest checking accounts.

Other Reward Checking Accounts

If you don't mind opening accounts without a branch visit, you'll have many more options at higher yields on reward checking accounts. To find nationwide reward checking accounts and reward checking accounts in your local area, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com.


  Tags: checking account, Umpqua Bank, Hanmi Bank, Amegy Bank, MB Financial Bank

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Comments
3 Comments.
Comment #1 by 51hh posted on
51hh
Reward checking rate goes inversely proportional to the size of the bank.  Another one is Cambridge Savings (Mass) - 4% ($25K).

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Comment #2 by 51hh posted on
51hh
To add to above post: Cambridge Savings Bank with at least $2.2B Asset.

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Comment #3 by KenBDG posted on
KenBDG
@51hh, Thanks for mentioning Cambridge Savings Bank. I knew I probably had left out some sizable banks. The 4% for up to $25K is pretty good. However, it's one of the few reward checking accounts that have potential monthly fees.

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