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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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DETAILSINSTITUTIONAPYMINMAXPRODUCT
The Morrill and Janes Bank and Trust Company0.85%$25k-Treasury Index Account
The Morrill and Janes Bank and Trust Company0.80%$1,500-MJ Elite Checking
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of April 16, 2014

High-Yield Regular Checking Account at Morrill & Janes Bank - Available Nationwide

POSTED ON BY

The Morrill and Janes Bank and Trust Company

Update 8/2/2011: The Elite Checking yield has fallen to 1.06% APY

Update 4/29/2011: The Elite Checking and the Treasury Index Account are now limited to Kansas and Missouri residents.

Morrill & Janes Bank is offering a high-yield regular checking account called Elite Checking which offers a 1.51% APY for balances over $1,500. This isn't a reward checking accounts. No transactions are required. For balances under $1,500, there's a $6 monthly fee and the rate falls to 0.95% APY. The rates are listed in the bank's Elite Checking page as of 10/05/2010. On the bank's home page it states "paying 1.51% APY since April 2009".

I called the bank today at its toll-free number (877.690.8258), and according to the CSR, accounts can be opened from any state (It's now limited to KS and MO) There's an online application via the Andera.com service. Initial funding through Andera.com can be done by ACH. However, once the account is opened, the bank doesn't offer online ACH services. They do accept ACH transfers initiated by your other bank.

Some other perks of the account as listed on the website include:

  • Free first order of checks
  • Up to a $25 bonus for turning in old checks and debit cards ($2 per check book packet and $2 per debit card) I'm not sure how they would handle this for online applications.
  • Free ATMs through the Allpoint network
  • Free online bill pay

The bank also offers a money market account called Treasury Index which has a current yield of 1.51% APY for balances of at least $25K (0.50% for under). This is listed in the bank's savings account rate sheet as of 10/05/2010. There are no monthly maintenance fees. This account may be something to consider if you open the checking account and the checking rate doesn't hold up. This account is also available nationwide, but the online application doesn't go through Andera.com.

Will It Stay Competitive?

With any liquid account like this, the question is how will the rates hold up. It can be very frustrating to go through the hassles of opening a savings or checking account only to watch the rates become uncompetitive. The fact that the rate has stayed the same since April 2009 is a good sign. However, in April 2009, Alliant Credit Union's High Rate Checking had a yield of 2.50%, and Ally Bank (when it was GMAC Bank) had a 2.25% APY on its savings account. Today, Alliant is paying 1.35% APY and Ally Bank is paying 1.24% APY. It was much easier to maintain 1.51% APY last year as compared to this year.

Also, it's a small bank with $551 million in assets and $346 million in deposits. The small size will make it harder for them to maintain such a high rate for a nationwide customer base. However, the bank isn't that different from Incredible Bank's parent, River Valley Bank, which has $981 million in assets and $829 million in deposits. Incredible Bank has been offering a very competitive regular checking account available nationwide since at least November 2009 (see review).

Bank Overview

The bank's main office is in Merriam, Kansas with 7 branches in Kansas and Missouri. Its overall health score is 4 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 6.07% (excellent) based on 6/30/10 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Morrill & Janes Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 1143).

Credit for this find goes to FW member cgx who mentioned it in the FW liquid account thread.

Searching for the Best Checking, Savings and Money Market Rates

  Tags: The Morrill and Janes Bank and Trust Company, checking account, Kansas, Missouri

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Comments
19 comments.
Comment #1 by Dave (anonymous) posted on
Dave
FW effect will kill this bank in two months. They have over 10000 followers who will rate chase for an extra penny.

I will not even consider a move at 1.51% from where I'm now.

7
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
LOL.

Dave, thanks for not moving. It will just allow another individual to rate chase. LOL...

Perhaps NO one should move to this move, then, perhaps they will increase their rates to attract others. LOL

 

2
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To Anonymous - #2, Keep on dreaming, I give you my spot and please move your funds there..

1
Comment #4 by flagator posted on
flagator
Spoke to CSR today and was told checks are free for the life of the Elite Checking account. Also can move money online between the Elite Checking and Treasury Index accounts

2
Comment #5 by BeKind (anonymous) posted on
BeKind
No online ACH for both the checking and the savings...must fill out a form that the bank would fax or email to you.

2
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The terms and conditions about inactivity and dormant account status are pretty lax.  If you don't do any deposit or withdrawal for 12 months and your balance is below $1,000, then it could be flagged as inactive.  If they cannot reach you and your account has been inactive for 10 years, then it could be flagged as dormant.  Ten years is a long time considering many other banks consider your account dormant after a year or so.

4
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It has been over two months since this post was made and the rate is still at 1.51%.  So the dire predication about it not lasting two months is a crock!  This bank is one of few that provided its account terms and conditions (especially about inactivity and dormant status) in a clear manner. Many others do not provide this information and many times the CSR don't even know about it.  The only odd about the Elite checking rate and the Market Index savings rate is that they are the same.  Will they diverge later?  Perhaps, but if they do, you can switch your money to the other account.

5
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The checking account requires electronic statements enrollment.  The application process doesn't allow you to deselect the e-statement checked box on the account options screen.

2
Comment #9 by Ron (anonymous) posted on
Ron
I started the application process about a week and a half ago and while slow I believe it will be worthwhile. (I am one of those WaMu customers that got saddled with Chase so the switch is overdue.) The online application is a pain, and they use one of those verification questionnaires to validate who you are and whenever I do one they are invariably wrong (the pain of being a Jr. - one would think SSNs would keep that from happening). In addition to the flawed verification system, they only allow two ways to fund opening the online account, debit/credit card or ACH between another savings or checking. I HATE those types of ACH games since they post 2 small amounts of money into YOUR account first - I'm smart enough now, but in the past I got dinged $30 because I once exceeded my 6 transfers/month limit!  Anyway, it took about a week between filling out the online app and the ACH being squared with my (former) Chase account. I'm guessing I'll have checks next week.

Regarding the $25 bonus, I never asked about that but I got a letter entitling me to a gift or $10 added to my account.  I'm opting for the ten.

2
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
For those who care about paper statements, the CSR said that the Elite Checking must use estatements while the Treasury Index account has the paper option.  The checking application, which goes through Andera, has the estatement box always checked and you can't remove it.  For the Treasury Index application, there is no mention about statements during the application process.

1
Comment #11 by Ron (anonymous) posted on
Ron
To follow up on my December 21 comments, I emailed the bank and was told that online customers were entitled to the old check and debit card "buy-back."  All I had to do was mail them in.  It cost a couple bucks to mail the books of checks, but I had to mail in some deposit checks anyway so I will still come out ahead by a few dollars.  Also, I did receive a $10 bonus for simply opening the account.

2
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
With rates pushing downward at other banks, I decided to open the Treasury Index savings account at this bank.  The 1.51% rate has been steady since aarly 2009.  The online application process is different than for the checking account.  There is no Andera website interface involved.  it is pretty much straight forward with just supplying your ID information only.  You can only fund the savings account either by a transfer from an existing account at that same bank or a mailed check.  The bank CSR did call to verify some things one day after I applied.  If there is nothing else that is needed, they will send an account packet with an envelope to mail the deposit check and signature documents back to them.  I don't know if the savings account has the bill pay feature like the checking account.  I guess I will find out when I establish the online access later.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I read over the savings account features and it does include the bill pay option for all savings accounts, so I should be able to use that to send bill payments even though my account is not a checking account.  The CSR called with the same kind of security questions like those asked for applying for the checking account (prior address used, phone number used, where the SSN was obtained, etc.)

1
Comment #14 by mbglencoe posted on
mbglencoe
Be Careful !  I opened a checking account at this Bank ( The one that pays 1.51%)  Afterwards I printed out a document that says the bank does not review signatures on checks or even obtain a physical signature of the accountholder. I called and basically the rep told me that any signature would be honored and that the account holder would be responsible for any losses. I told him to cancel my account.

3
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
mbglencoe:

 

Thanks for the heads up.  I am also in process of applying for this.  I did see the bank's disclaimer.  However, I didn't telephone them.  I had no clue they would be so brazen in their headlong rush to avoid taking responsibility.  I thought their notice was more of a CYA kind of thing.  It appears instead that at this bank:  "anything goes".

And as you point out, that could easily include your entire account balance as some bank employee steals it leaving you with no recourse and no hope whatsoever of recovery from a bank located out in the middle of nowhere.  It's too bad they don't pay a little less interest and use their savings to look at some signatures.  But I guess that's not going to happen.

I gotta tell you:  Some of these banks buried deep in the midwest are kooky.  FNBO is another example.  They followed their own rules and did things in a strange way.  I don't need to do business with another bank like that.  When I deposit money into a bank, I need it to remain safe. 

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yup.  I've run across this one before.  There are two things at play here:



1.  The return on your money.

2.  The return of your money.

To me, #2 is the more important.  I don't run naked through the streets.  And I don't run naked of protection for my money at any bank, either.  Sure they are paying you more interest.  But the fraud risk is too high.  And if fraud should happen, don't even think of contacting the FDIC.  They will just laugh and tell you to sue the bank . . . . . . . . . in Kansas!!!!!

Pass

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Has anyone noticed, in their  "Limits and fees" schedule, a daily limit of $2,500 on "total" transactions.  Any comment from people who have this account will be appreciated.

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The actual limit appears to be $300/day.  $2500/day is permitted only with special approval.  $300 is much closer to the limit I would have expected with such cards as they list.

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They have now limited the ELITE CHECKING to residents of Kansas and Missouri.

1