The top rates for most reward checking accounts apply only to the first $25,000. Balances over that typically earn a much lower rate. However, there are a some with larger balance caps. A few that are available nationwide have a $50,000 cap. You can view these using our new rate tables for reward checking accounts (learn about the new format). Select the "Filter Account" button, and type in the investment amount $50000. If you just select "Nationally Available", you should see the top 3 with yields that range from 4.00% to 3.00%.
The top one is at ViewPoint Bank in Texas which offers 4.00% APY on balances up to $50K (as of 4/07/2010). The second tier rate is also very high at 1.75% APY (up to $100K). As you can see in the reviews of this bank, several readers have been rejected in the application process. But not all readers have reported problems. A few have been accepted, and they were not Texas residents.
As you might expect, these top reward checking accounts can attract a lot of depositors, so it has been common for banks to reduce rates or balance caps. So it can make sense to sacrifice a top rate for the chance that the bank will be able to maintain a competitive rate longer. That may be a reason to go with the next two on the list.
The second top one is The Bank of Fayetteville which is offering 3.20% APY on balances up to $50K (as of 4/07/2010). As you can see in the products & rates tab, the rate goes way down for balances over $50K so that's another downside.
The third one is close behind The Bank of Fayetteville. It's North Country Savings Bank and it's offering a 3.00% APY on balances up to $50K (as of 4/07/2010). As you can see in the health tab, the bank is fairly small with $183 million in deposits so it may not stay nationwide for long.
It's common for small banks to change the availability of their accounts. So make sure to check with the bank for the latest information, and please leave a comment in the reviews tab on what you find. Banks are constantly changing the availability of these accounts, and this cannot be determined automatically. Your help on keeping these up-to-date is much appreciated!