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Reward Checking Gotchas - ViewPoint Bank

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ViewPoint Bank, National Association

A reader emailed me his experience at ViewPoint Bank in which ViewPoint failed to pay him the reward interest rate for June. He was very careful in meeting the June requirements and was shocked to find that his large balance had earned only 0.04% interest in June (the non-qualifying rate). After a lot of back and forth with ViewPoint reps, he finally learned why he didn't qualify for the 4% yield. He had to meet the requirements for May to qualify for the 4% on his June balance. In May he just had a small balance at ViewPoint and didn't worry about meeting the May requirements. He had assumed that failing to meet May's requirement would not affect his June interest rate. This is how most reward checking accounts operate, but this is one feature of ViewPoint that is different. Please keep this feature in mind if you have the ViewPoint Absolute Checking Account.

When you open a new reward checking account, it's a good idea to test it out with a small balance before making a large deposit. Another downside to making a large initial deposit is that your initial deposit may be subject to a hold of one to two weeks. It is common for banks to waive the reward checking requirements for the first month after you open the account. This is nice in that you don't have to be rushed into making debit card purchases, but the downside is that you may be not learn of all the details of the requirements.

For other reward checking gotchas, please refer to these previous posts:

For more details about ViewPoint Bank's reward checking account, please refer to

Other Reward Checking Accounts:

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Related Pages: ViewPoint Bank, National Association

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Comments
18 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
On the bright side, if you forget to meet the minimum requirements in, say, July, you can simply plan to move all of your money out in August to an account yielding higher than 0.04%.

 

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Comment #2 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
larkin
The on-line statement will tell you whether or not you qualify for the 4% for the coming month.  It will be based on meeting the requirments during the previous month. 

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
that's the problem with reward checking, if you don't plan to use it as your main checking account, don't abuse the bonus rates, even if you met the minuim requriment.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Please wait for a ViewPoint Bank Representative.
You are now chatting with 'Melissa'
Melissa: Hello and welcome to Live Chat.  How may I assist you?
Ted: for Absolute Reward checking, if for one month (say May) I did not meet the requirements, but next month (say June) I do, will I get the high rate for June?
Melissa: If you met the requirements in June, then you will earn the full rate which is paid at the end of July.
Ted: Thanks and bye
Melissa: You are welcome.
Melissa: Thank you for using Live Chat and have a great day.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, this was heavily discussed at FWF (on Viewpoint bank topic).  This, as some other tatics, is meant to confuse customers more so that they do not meet RCA requirements.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
RE: Anon #4.

That's a big part of the issue here.  Reps are at times explaining that the interest is paid a month behind.  The real, final answer is that it's paid the last day of the current cycle and is based upon meeting the requirements in the preceeding month.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This has not been my experience... I opened an account there in mid-April with a $100 deposit, didn't meet the requirements for April but still got the 4% interest (16 cents), made a big deposit in early May, met the requirements in May, and received the expected 4% interest at the end of May. Strange.

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Comment #10 by barrytuneup (anonymous) posted on
barrytuneup
I have 3 RCA/ Patriot Bank in FL, Farmers and Merchant in VA, and First national Community bank in Pa. All 3 have different monthly qualifying periods. Farmers pay 3.51% up to 50K !!! Patriot pays 3.00 up to 35k anf FNCB is 3% up to 25K The qualifying dates are confusing so i write them down and start using the card right at the beginning of the period!! I also use the debit pay directly thru my credit card web sites in the middle of the period. I do about 15 small debit purchases ($5.00- 50.00) each month. I have direct deposit for one of these banks. Never had a problem, but you have to be diligent about dates and charges and how many you make and when.  It"s the best thing out there.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
RE: Anon #9

You received the interest in April and May due to the fact the requirements were waived the 1st two months.  Their requirements would affect people bringing over a large deposit post 2 months from account opening.

 

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
 Now I'm a little confused.  I recently opened and account at Vierpoint. I am now in the 'free month' of July according to the statement.

 

 If I do NO debit transactions this month I will earn the 4%.   But what about August???  I hadn't even considered this an issue until reading this post.

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Comment #14 by last rose of summer (anonymous) posted on
last rose of summer
 to 13 matress looks mighty good these days  WBBC

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am not sure what the talk is all about. They mention it very clearly when you open the account. In fact I left a comment about this on one of the posts in this website when I opened my account. It is actually better in my opinion. Lets say, you fail to meet 15 transactions in this month. You can move your money to another bank which gets you 1.5% for the next month and move the money back when you complete the transactions next month. That way you won't end up making 0.05% on the balance.

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
A professional reviewer would show where this "previous month must qualify" requirement is stated in the disclosures.  If the requirement is not in the disclosures, it is not legal. 

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Comment #18 by LenIf you (anonymous) posted on
LenIf you
1. When opening new at ViewPoint, the first 2 months of interest credit are done at the bonus rate as a grace period.  So for example, if your account was opened on 6/20, the interest on 6/30 and 7/31 would be posted at the bonus rate.  The calculation would be based on the balance during June for the 6/30 posting, and during July for the 7/31 posting.

2. HOWEVER, the ability to earn the bonus rate posted on 8/31, based on the balance during August, is triggered by having met the requirements during the prior month July.  If you accidentally did not meet them, you would not find out about it until your 8/31 interest was not posted.  By that time, you might also have missed meeting the requirements during August, which would affect your 9/30 interest qualification.  This makes it tricky, and means you should watch closely and/or confirm with them that what you are doing is meeting their requirements.

3. On the blog, it says that Direct Deposit is required, and implies that ACH in doesn't suffice.  The rep told me any incoming ACH transfer, such as I normally set up from Schwab, would qualify.  I plan to call soon to check with the rep again to see if the transfer I did will qualify.  If not, a bill pay will work, but I'm hoping to avoid that.  I'm worried that the rep may say OK, and the computer may disagree. 

 

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Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bank of the Sierra pulled a "gotcha" on me.  On their website one of the requirements states, "Minimum one direct deposit or automatic payment from your account per qualifiation period (must be posted, not pending)".  I took "automatic payment" to mean an automatic payment from my Bank of Sierra account, so I set up two automatic payments on their Bill Pay, and they both were posted during the statement cycle.  At the end of the cycle I received an email from Bank of the Sierra saying I had not met the requirment of one Direct Deposit or Auto Debit.  That's the first I had heard of an Auto Debit.  I guess that goes in my "live and learn" file.

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Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The requirements are located in their Consumer Account Disclosure under Absolute Checking.  It does state the following:  Rates are determined based on the activity of the prior month. For example, if you meet all the requirements in January, you will qualify to receive the highest APY in February. This interest will post to your account at the end of February and will be reflected in your February statement. If you do not meet the requirements in January, you will receive the lowest rate on your February statement. 

The above information is also on the Absolute Checking Account Information page.  It would do you guys well to read the fine print, as those are the terms and conditions silly!

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Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
IF AN INDIVIDUAL PUTS MONEY INTO AN INTEREST PAYING CHECKING ACCOUNT AND MEETS ALL THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THAT ACCOUNT THEN INTEREST SHOULD BE PAID IN FULL FOR THAT MONTH. VIEWPOINT BANK IS PULLING A CON JOB ON INVESTORS BY RIPPING THEM OFF OF ONE MONTHS INTEREST!  BUT WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A BANK IN A STATE THAT GAVE US ENRON AND GEORGE W. BUSH?

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Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Another gotcha that has happened to me with Viewpoint is that they seem to delay the debit transactions at the end of the month so they don't show up until the following month.

I know there is normally a delay but if you look at the delay during the month it increases dramatically towards the end. I think they do this to **** people out of interest who are trying to meet the requirements at the last minute.

When this happened to me they told me that don't have any control over when merchants post the transaction but I had a bunch of transactions all from different merchants and it was not over a weekend. Very suspicious. After that I made sure I had met the minimum before the 3rd week of the month.

 

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