I had missed this before the holidays, but it looks like a new reward checking account with a competitive rate and balance cap. It's being offered by Nicolet National Bank in Wisconsin. There are some signs that it's open to all. I've sent a message to the bank, and I'll update this post when I receive a reply. The bank calls the account the Real Rewards Checking, and it has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met (as of 12/02/2011):
- 3.00% APY on balances up to $25,000
- 0.50% APY on portion of balance over $25,000
- 0.05% base rate if requirements are not met
- ATM surcharge reimbursements up to $15 per month
The monthly requirements include:
- 10 debit card purchases (PIN or signature)
- Direct deposit
There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. In the full disclosure page it says the APY is accurate as of 6/13/2011 so the account appears to have been around since June.
There's an online application, and in the first page you have to select your eligibility. It gives you three options on where you live: Wisconsin, Michigan or other. If you select Michigan, you also have to select your Michigan county. If you select other, they request that you provide the name of the banker who referred you. So if you don't live in Wisconsin or one of those Michigan counties, you may not be eligible.
Nicolet National Bank branches are located in the Wisconsin cities of Green Bay, De Pere, Marinette, Crivitz and Appleton. There's also a branch in Menominee, Michigan.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 15.86% (average) based on September 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Nicolet National Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2000 (FDIC Certificate # 57038).
Thanks to forum member larkin for posting on this.
How This Reward Checking Rate Compares
For reward checking accounts available nationwide, the best rate for balances up to $25K is 2.52% APY at ABCO Federal Credit Union. You can get a rate of 4.09% APY at Consumers Credit Union (guaranteed to 6/30/2012), but this only applies to balances up to $10K.
For those in Wisconsin, there's another bank that has a slightly higher rate of 3.05% APY for balances up to $25K. It's Community Bank and Trust. This bank also has an online application that's open to all Wisconsin residents.
These rates are accurate as of 12/02/2011.
Finding Other Reward Checking Accounts
To find the best reward checking accounts in your area or that are available nationwide, please refer to our reward checking account table. Use the "Filter Accounts" button on top of the table to select either nationwide accounts and/or your state. Also, you can use this button to select the investment amount. This allows you to compare accounts with different rate tiers. For more details about how to use the rate tables, please refer to our rate table guide.