Update 8/2/2011: The Elite Checking yield has fallen to 1.06% APY.
The Morrill & Janes Bank has started to limit its Elite Checking and Treasury Index accounts to residents of Kansas and Missouri. This is now stated on its website. The Elite Checking account had been available nationwide and has been on top of my list for the highest yielding liquid account without balance caps or monthly usage requirements. At least the bank has kept the rates unchanged. So for those who already have an account, be glad you opened the account when you did.
The Elite Checking still has a yield of 1.51% APY for balances of at least $1,500 and the Treasury Index account has a yield of 1.51% APY for balances of at least $25,000 (as of 4/29/2011). These rates have held since I first reported on these accounts in October 5, 2010.
Limiting accounts to smaller areas has been common for banks that have offered high deposit account rates. I think most would agree it's better than reducing rates. When deposits start to grow more than loans, banks have to rely more on their investment portfolios to cover the cost of the interest payments. With current 6-month Treasury yields of only 0.08%, banks can't earn much these days from their conservative investment portfolios.
The larger banks that can grow loans more easily should be able to take in more deposits. As you can see in our financial overview of The Morrill & Janes Bank, it's a small bank with $598.67 million in assets and $439.25 million in deposits. Banks with under $10 billion are generally considered small banks. Considering its small size, I'm glad The Morrill & Janes Bank was able to keep this account nationally available for as long as it did.
For those who don't live in Kansas or Missouri and are looking for a decent interest rate for their liquid accounts, you may first want to review my post on Strategy for Getting the Best Yields in Deposit Accounts. If you don't want the limitations and hassles of reward checking accounts, there remains some good savings account deals. The two best as of 4/29/2011 are the savings account promotions at Tennessee Commerce Bank and at Salem Five Direct.