BancorpSouth Bank continues to offer a high-yield reward checking account called Performance Checking. I first reported on this account in May 2008. The rates have fallen a bit, but it remains competitive, and it has a higher-than-average balance cap of $30K. Another thing nice about this bank is that it's large with 289 offices throughout the Southeast. So if you're looking for a local reward checking account, a BancorpSouth branch may be nearby.
The rates are not easy to find at the bank's website. The only place I found the rate was at the start the online application (link to application located at this BancorpSouth page). You first have to select the state and the city of your home branch. The next page has links for each account, and you can click on the link for the Performance Checking to see the rate. It does vary based on your city. I've checked a few cities, and here are the two rates as of 3/11/2010:
- 3.25% APY up to $30K for Baton Rouge, LA & Tyler, TX
- 3.00% APY up to $30K for Destin, FL & Huntsville, AL
Please leave a comment about the rate if you check your city. The Performance Checking account has the typical reward checking features such as debit card usage (12 per month). Refer to this BancorpSouth page or my BancorpSouth checking review for more details.
Performance Savings Account
One thing that has been added since my 2008 post is a high-yield savings account. This also has the Performance name. The Performance Savings has a 1.50% APY (as of 3/11/2010) for all balances if the following two requirements are met:
- Transfer at least $50 into your Performance Savings account each interest cycle electronically via ACH or Internet Banking Transfer.
- Combine your Performance Savings statement with your BancorpSouth Checking account statement (you will no longer receive a separate statement for your Performance Savings account).
If these requirements are not met, the rate falls to the standard rate of 0.15%. This does require the Performance Checking account, but unlike other reward checking/savings combos, you don't have to meet the reward checking requirements to qualify for the bonus rate.
The Performance Checking and Savings accounts provide a nice alternative to savings accounts at internet banks, many of which now have rates of 1.25% or less.
Online Application and Branch Locations
As I mentioned above, there's an online application for both these accounts at this BancorpSouth page. The application makes it appear that you have to live near a branch to qualify. Most of BancorpSouth branches are located in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. There are also a few in East Texas, the Florida Panhandle and in the Springfield and St. Louis metro areas of Missouri.
BancorpSouth's ratings for safety and soundness are strong: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/09 data) and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/09 data). The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 11813).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this reward checking account.
Other Reward Checking Accounts
As I mentioned above, BancorpSouth is a large bank with 289 branches, $13.2 billion in assets and $10.6 billion in deposits. There are not many other large banks offering reward checking accounts. I recently reviewed a few large banks offering reward checking, but I forgot about BancorpSouth which happens to be larger than the ones I mentioned in that post.
To find nationally available reward checking accounts and reward checking accounts in your local area, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com.