Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
The Morrill and Janes Bank and Trust Company0.80%$1,500-MJ Elite Checking
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of August 23, 2014

Top Checking Account No Longer Nationally Available at Morrill & Janes Bank


The Morrill and Janes Bank and Trust Company

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.

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

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Comment #1 by O-Qua Tangin Wann (anonymous) posted on
O-Qua Tangin Wann
Thank you for posting this news.I was told they were inundated with so many new accounts--a staggering amount--even they were shocked and caught by surprise. I myself would be surprised if they keep the 1.5% rate that high for much longer in spite of the fact they are limiting the account to a geographic location. They had to figure if they lowered the rate fast, there might be a run of people pulling their money out.

~O-Qua Tangin Wann 

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
This is a small bank that probably could not handle a massive influx of funds both in or out from the company.  They had a "non-competitive" rate from a couple of years ago that they have been able to remain stable for an extended period of time while other banks that were "top tier" a couple of years ago have dropped their rates significantly since that time.  Internet banking has introduced another "run on the bank" scenario by opening up the potential customer (and former customer) base.  Eventually, these smaller banks have only one recourse -  they limit the accounts to in-state residents who don't shift their money to other banks at a whim like all of the "virtual" customers would be prone to do.  With two other banks that I have accounts with that have dropped their rates, I have switched my payroll direct deposit to this bank.  I've already switched my direct deposit three times in six months.

Comment #3 by 51hh posted on
Plus: Somebody started a thread on M&J in the FWF forum, that ought to do it for any deals.

Comment #4 by glxpass posted on
"51hh - #3, Friday, April 29, 2011 - 5:35 PM

Plus: Somebody started a thread on M&J in the FWF forum, that ought to do it for any deals"

You are quite possibly correct, but I think it's fair to say that posting publicly any deal involving a deposit account with a high rate from a small bank will likely end the deal sooner, whether it's published on, FWF, or both.

I tried to address the issue in this FWF post on the thread you referenced.  I can't (and I suspect you can't either) ask Ken to suppress this information as it's what is all about.  Admittedly, as I stated in my post, I censor myself on FWF from starting dedicated threads about sensitive deals, but sometimes it's a tough call whether or not to criticize others for doing it.

Comment #5 by Dan (anonymous) posted on
Here's a question... why do banks sometimes make the *opposite* move, where they limit their best accounts to out-of-area customers?

For example, I have Capital One Online Checking & Costco Savings accounts (1.01% and 1.15% APR respectively, at the moment).  The checking account has no fees or minimums, and refunds other banks' ATM fees.  Great!

But if I still lived in the Washington, DC area, I would apparently be ineligible to sign up for Capital One's online checking accounts.  I could only get their much, much crummier branch banking accounts, which have minimum balances, high ATM fees, and low-to-non-existent interest rates.  What gives?  I would've switched to another bank if they hadn't let me open their better accounts.  Why do banks limit their online accounts to areas where they don't have branches?  What do they get out of doing that?  Are they trying to make sure that local customers bear the costs of running branches and ATMs?

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
I live in the Washington DC area and used to have direct deposit to the Chevy Chase bank checking account (now Capital One Bank) since 1996 (but not anymore since they kept reducing their rates and never increased them in nearly 15 years).  The reason why only out of state people can get the higher rate online checking account (through their Direct Bank operations) is because the local Chevy Chase Bank branches still want the "monopoly" of opening checking accounts in the DC area and not to have the Direct Banking operations impinge "on their turf".  You will note that the Capital One Bank (formerly Chevy Chase Bank), Capital One N.A. (has the Online Money market accounts and savings accounts) and Capital One USA Bank, N.A. (has the online checking accounts) have all different routing numbers.  They don't want the local DC customers to flock over to the online banking operations when they open accounts.  You then take business away from the original Chevy Chase bank branches.  The bank workers get paid for opening new accounts.  By opening the online checking accounts to the DC area, you rob these workers of their commissions.  It also means that these newly opened checking accounts would be serviced by the direct banking opeations and not the former Chevy Chase Bank branches.

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
I'm sorry to report that on 5/3, Morrill & Janes Bank will lower it's rate to 1.23%.

Comment #8 by O-Qua Tangin Wann (anonymous) posted on
O-Qua Tangin Wann
Ken, the M & J Treasury Index Account rate also dropped (to 1.31% APY).

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
The motto of this bank is "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.... Your bank for life".  Online banking customers (especially customers outside of the bank's local servicing area) tend to be fickle.  The bank's policy to allow out of state customers to apply for accounts was probably a mistake which has since been corrected.