It has been just over one year since my first post on Incredible Bank and its high-yield online checking account. The rate has fallen, but it continues to be very competitive at 1.42% APY on balances up to $250K as of 11/17/2010. For the last year it has remained near the top of the best nationwide non-reward checking accounts. By non-reward I mean there are no monthly requirements like debit card usage to qualify for the top rate. Also, it doesn't cap the rate to a small balance. It does have a cap of $250K, but I don't consider this a small cap (Above $250,001 earns 1.00% APY).
Incredible Bank's current rate is even higher than Alliant Credit Union's High Rate Checking Account which has a 1.35% APY. However, there is one nationally available checking account that has a rate that's a little higher. The Morrill and James Bank continues to offer a 1.51% APY on its Elite Checking Account. I first reported on this Elite Checking in October.
One year of remaining a rate leader is an important milestone. However, 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. Their rates continue to be respectable, but they're no longer near the top. CNB Bank Direct just did another rate cut of its savings account today. The rate is now 1.20% APY. As for 1st Constitution Bank, its top rate is now only 1.10% APY. That's the same as the rate of ING Direct's Orange Savings Account. ING Direct is a useful baseline for internet savings account rates. If it's not significantly higher than ING Direct's Orange Savings Account rate, it's not that competitive.
Incredible Bank does have some nice features. I have the full details in my November 2009 review. Below are some noteworthy ones:
- No minimum balance requirements ($1K minimum to open)
- No paper checks
- Free online bill pay and mobile banking
- ACH Transfers: $50K/day inbound limit, $10K/day outbound limit. 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.
I like my IB account. Transfers are fast. Checks you send aren't pulled from your account until the person cashes it, allowing a few days of float, which is nice. I've had no problems with them, and hope the rate stays high.
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 and a Texas Ratio of 17.27% (excellent) based on June 2010 data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1967 (FDIC Certificate # 19772).