Update 5/8/2011: The balance cap has fallen from $50K to $25K.
Standard Bank's reward checking account, My Green Checking, doesn't offer the best reward checking rate, but it's one of the few reward checking accounts that still has a $50K balance cap instead of $25K. It pays 2.25% APY on balances up to $50K (1.01% over) as of 1/27/2011. I first reviewed this account in August 2009, and the rate and balance cap have held since that time. The monthly requirements are pretty typical with the main requirement being 12 signature-based debit card purchases.
Online Application for Illinois and Indiana Residents
One advantage of My Green Checking is that there's an online application which is available at the My Green Checking micro site. I was hoping they expanded who they allow to apply. When I called back in 2009, I was told it's available only to residents in Illinois and Indiana. I called again yesterday, and the CSR told me the same thing.
For those in Illinois or Indiana, this can be a better deal than the nationally available reward checking accounts if you maintain a $50K balance. There are still two nationally available reward checking accounts that offer around 3.00% APY on balances up to $25K. However, the rates fall way down for balances over $25K (The future of one of these two is questionable).
One interesting thing to note about Standard Bank is that it's one of the largest banks that offer a reward checking. It has $2.32 billion in assets and 42 branches in Illinois and Indiana. Most banks offering reward checking accounts are under $1 billion. I reviewed some of the largest banks with reward checking accounts last year.
Other High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts
To find reward checking accounts in your state or to find those available nationwide, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com.