Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Details of Applying For ViewPoint Bank's Reward Checking Account

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ViewPoint Bank, National Association

A reader has been emailing me his experiences opening the reward checking accounts at Danversbank and ViewPoint Bank. As of 6/18/2010, these two have the best rates for a reward checking account that's available nationwide (4% APY). Both are sizable banks that are financially healthy. At first look, ViewPoint Bank's Absolute Checking may look the most appealing with a 4% APY on balances up to $50K. One obvious downside is the 15 debit card purchases a month (most only require 10). However, there's another downside that's not obvious until you attempt the application process. Many readers have reported problems in ViewPoint's application in the ViewPoint Bank reviews. The experiences reported by this reader show the hassles and difficulties.

The obvious downside with Danversbank's reward checking as compared to ViewPoint Bank is the lower balance cap of $25K. There is one big advantage. Danversbank's application process is much easier, quicker and smoother. In this post, I'll share with you his experiences trying to open the ViewPoint Absolute Checking Account. I'll review Danversbank in a future post.

Many readers have reported that their ViewPoint Bank application was rejected due to ChexSystem. At first that appeared to happen to this reader. Here's an excerpt from the rejection email he received from ViewPoint Bank:

Thank you for considering ViewPoint Bank. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer you an account at this time. Please see the detailed notice attached. Please Note: The information reported by ChexSystems is not necessarily derogatory. The number of inquiries reported (other accounts you have recently applied for) may have exceeded the acceptable standard for this region.

After spending 45 minutes on the phone with a ViewPoint rep, he learned it wasn't ChexSystems. It was due to the employment details that he entered in the application. Since he has been retired for several years, he didn't provide a detailed description of his former employer and his former job. He resubmitted the application with these details, and his application was accepted a day after the submission. Here's an excerpt of the acceptance email:

Thank you for choosing ViewPoint Bank! Your application has been approved, pending completion of the identification and verification process. We look forward to offering you even more innovative financial solutions! Attached please find instructions, the new Consumer Account Agreement along with the necessary document(s)

There was still much work to be done to complete the application process. Below is the list of documents and items that he had to mail back to ViewPoint:

  • Consumer Account Agreement - signed/dated at the bottom to certify Taxpayer ID Number to IRS
  • Affiliate Opt-Out form
  • Notarized ID Certification (they say it's required if account is not opened in person)
  • Scanned image of my State Driver License
  • VISA Check Card Application - signed/dated
  • Proxy Authorization - signed/dated
  • $100 personal check made out to myself and endorsed (as per CSR). The amount is for the minimum required to open this account (Not option for electronic funding)

Note the ID Certification. This has to be notarized if you can't visit a branch. The reader has mailed in all of the above items and is now waiting for ViewPoint. He says he's unable to register for online banking because he's waiting on the required bank-assigned 10 digit User ID and his account number. Here is how he described the ViewPoint application process:

This whole process is clearly designed to accommodate the walk-in customer - where customer service asks for an ID then passes various documents across the desk for the applicant to sign. This is by far the poorest online adaptation of that traditional, in-person process that I have ever encountered. There is practically no 'online' to this online process.

Other Reward Checking Accounts

Even if a bank or credit union allows you to open an account online and/or by mail, it can be a lot easier if you open at a nearby branch. There are also other advantages of opening a reward checking account at your local bank or credit union. Unfortunately, they may not be easy to find. Hopefully, with our reward checking tables, you'll be able to find one near where you live.

Share Your Experiences with a Bank or Credit Union

Have you had problems with a bank's application process? Or did the bank make it easy to apply? Or did you have other problems with a bank. A reader recently described problem he had with ViewPoint in that they placed a long hold on his opening deposit (It's always best to open these accounts with the minimum). Please consider sharing your experiences in our Bank and Credit Union Reviews forum. In this forum you can share any online or brick-and-mortar experience that you had with any bank or credit union.


  Tags: ViewPoint Bank, National Association, checking account

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Comments
14 Comments.
Comment #1 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
larkin
I opened an Absolute Checking account in April.  I was surprised that I was approved given that I had opened 2 non-rewards checking accounts within the past 90 days.  I went through all the paperwork (quite clunky).  The whole thing took about 2 weeks.  I will say--very nice feeling when the interest posts at the end of the month (over my Ally money market).  Hope these accounts survive the banking reform stuff going on in DC.

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Comment #2 by rosie43 posted on
rosie43
I just applied for this checking. It was very easy. I had one question about the second ID and used live chat because I have dial-up internet and did not want to disconnect. The CSR said it was no longer needed and to leave it blank. Hope it works out. Have a CD that is due July 1. Thanks for all the information you give to us with your posts Ken and all your comments and also for giving us the opportunity to comment.

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Comment #3 by OGRADY (anonymous) posted on
OGRADY
SURELY IT IS BECAUSE YOU RESIDE IN AN AREA THAT  DOES NOT HAVE HIGH SPEED SERVICE OTHERWISE IT MAKES NO SENSE  OR $$$ FOR THAT MATTER THAT SOMEONE WHO DEALS WITH OVER 40 BANKS WOULD STILL HAVE DIAL UP? FIVE THUMBS UP KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK KEN MOST INFORMATIVE AND ENTERTAINING

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Comment #6 by dr jason taylor (anonymous) posted on
dr jason taylor
as a retired opthamologist that is an eye doctor for those who do not know i recently discoverd your site  however i would be remiss and take humbrage at tight wad comment perchance ogrady is sight challenged a little compassion in these trying times will go along way this man ken is  providing a valuable service to the public and should be appalauded  should tight wad be suffering from VHWE syndrome there is help available thank you ken and god bless 

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
tightwad ever hear of the constitution re first amendment

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Viewpoint told me that if you have more than 4 chexsystems inquiries within the last 12 months, you will be denied an account.  And unlike with some other banks, no further review is possible after the decision.  If their policies have changed, please let us know ~

7
Comment #9 by Raja (anonymous) posted on
Raja
I opend an Absolute Checking account online and it got approved. Sent all the documents requested on 05/03. Still wating for the account deatils ?  BTW how long it took for you guys to receive account details and debit card   

0
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just got approuved and I am about to send the signed documents. However I just realized that ViewPoint Bank is not in your list of Reward CHecking Accounts anymore. Why?

3
Comment #11 by Ashley B. (anonymous) posted on
Ashley B.
I opened an Absolute Checking account earlier this year.  I followed all of the requirements...the 15 card transactions, e-statements, 1 Bill Pay ACH or direct deposit.  The first partial month the interest posted properly.  The following month they posted one dollar and change on a $50K balance.  I called, they stated it was because I hadn't signed up for e-statements.  I actually did that when I first logged in back in when I first opened it, and I confirmed it on subsequent log-ins.  They gave me a 'courtesy' interest adjustment, and assured me that I was signed up for e-statements.  On the next statement, it happened again...$1.58 interest on a $50K balance.  Smells like a scam, walks like a scam, looks like a scam....

Very Nice

4
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
On the back of the check that I used for the opening deposit, there is a 10 digit number. Is that the user ID or the account number?

2
Comment #13 by Anonymous CT (anonymous) posted on
Anonymous CT
I am in the process of opening a Viewpoint Absolute Checking - I sent my notarized ID and other pages with a check for $100.00 that Just cleared my other bank. July 13, 2010. I am a bit concerned because I don't know what happens next.( I haven't called yet)  The initial email was really weird and went into my spam folder from "unknown @ Unknown" and  included the forms and instructions to get started.

Thank you to all the other posters- I can't afford to loose the interest on a large sum of money and i am really taking all the stories and advice to heart! I would be so upset to put all my money in a Viewpoint account and have it **** up somehow.

 I have a Bank of the Sierra account, too, and I completely agree that the whole e- statement thing seems sneaky - the link is at the bottom (so you don't even see it unless you scroll down) on their home page and the whole seperate log in just for the e etatement is a pain.  

Overall I am not having a problen making small purchases - my own 'rule' is that I do not want the purchase total to be more than the interest I expect to earn.

Another thing I have noticed is that all ? the 'reward checking' banks don't seem to have/ offer electronic 'bank to bank' capabilities - such as for transfers to and from accounts at other banks. For example, I can't go to the BOTS site and 'send' money anywhere. I could write a check, but i always THINK this will be slower than an online transaction. maybe it's better to mail? In other words - I need to use an intermediary to avoid fees and try to keep my balance really close to 25k. At the moment i am using ally and sometimes chase , both of which will pull $ from BOTS and Send $ to BOTS without fees. The frustrating thing is that it seems to take forever. I guess ally is my first choice because they will pay some interest while my money is there.  Does anyone have advice on this?

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was amused in reading the problems with opening an account at ViewPoint.  I have finally done so.  I have encountered everything mentioned, and a new one. Many months ago I tried and was rejected.  I called and got no satisfaction.  I figured it really was because of ChexSystems.  A month ago, I tried again.  This time I got accepted.  However, I was in the middle of moving.  When I applied I was in one state and I used that address, figuring that if it took a bit, the post office would forward the mail.  No such luck.  ViewPoint does not allow forwarding of the mail.  No debit card, no on-line access code, nothing gets forwarded.  So I got to go through part of the process again, now with the new address.  I guess I am lucky, though.  I do not live in Texas and got the account open before July 27. 

1
Comment #15 by Mike (anonymous) posted on
Mike
FYI,

I just finished a live caht with a ViewPoint's rep and they confirmed that on 07-26-10 they included residency restrictions. You must now live in the state of Texas to open an account.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I live in Texas and am in the process of opening an Absolute Checking account. Went to a branch and things are going smoothly so far. 

They are about to halve the balance cap for the 4% rate (to $25k). 

1