It has been over 5 months since my first post on Incredible Bank and its high-yield online checking account. The rate did drop, but it continues to be very competitive at 1.74% APY on balances up to $250K as of 4/14/2010. As a comparison, most internet savings accounts are paying under 1.50% APY. If Incredible Bank can continue this spread for the long term, I'll consider it truly incredible.
It's important to note that this is not a reward checking account. Incredible Bank does not require any debit card usage or direct deposit to qualify for the top rate.
It's not uncommon to see new internet banks with very high rates for the first year. Few have been able to keep these going for more than a year. Two examples are 1st Constitution Direct and CNB Bank Direct. I've been reviewing these over the last year as two internet banks that have remained near the top for the highest savings account rates. Their rates continue to be respectable, but they're no longer near the top. Their rates are now just 15 to 25 basis points over the rate of the old and reliable ING Direct Orange Savings Account.
An internet bank needs more than just top rates to be a good deal. Online banking features are also important. Incredible Bank does have some nice features. I have the full details in my November review. Below are some noteworthy ones:
- No minimum balance requirements
- No paper checks
- Free online bill pay and mobile banking
- ACH Transfers: $50K/day inbound limit, $10K/day outbound limit. (Update: It used to be $200K/day) No limit if transfers initiated from external account. 3 external links allowed. Transfers take 1 day.
- ATM surcharges are automatically reimbursed
Two notable issues:
- E-statements must be enabled to avoid monthly fee
- At least one hard credit pull (TransUnion) reported by readers (One reader reported another hard pull by Equifax). Note, Incredible Bank claims it is just a soft hit.
Incredible Bank is a division of River Valley Bank which is based in Wisconsin. You can review the bank's financial details at the health tab of Incredible Bank Rates and Reviews page. The bank is just under $1 billion in assets. It appears to be financially healthy with an overall DepositAccounts score of 4 out of 5. Bankrate.com also gives the bank a 4 star rating (sound) based on 9/30/09 data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1967 (FDIC Certificate # 19772).
Do you have an account at Incredible Bank? Has it lived up to its name?