The three internet banks that are under the Huckabay family of banks have reopened their Rewards Checking accounts to new customers. A few months ago these banks reopened their Mega Money Market accounts to new customers. AmericaNet Bank, Redneck Bank and Evantage Bank are now accepting new customers from any state for their Reward Checking Accounts and Mega Money Market Accounts.
Redneck Bank was the first to stop accepting new customers in 2009. In February 2011, AmericaNet and Evantage did the same. Existing customers weren't affected while these accounts were closed to new customers. However, rates have continued to fall, and the balance caps remain low. So even though they're now nationally available, they aren't great deals. Nevertheless, their rates are still competitive compared to other nationally available reward checking accounts.
Here's a quick overview of the rates, balance caps and features of these accounts (as of 12/14/2012):
- 2.00% APY on balances up to $10,000
- 0.50% APY on portion of balance over $10,000
- 0.25% APY on entire balance if requirements are not met
- Refunds of ATM fees charged by any bank worldwide
Monthly requirements to qualify for the above rates and ATM fee refunds:
- 10 debit card purchases
- All statements are received electronically
There are no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements. All three banks limit the number of reward checking accounts to two per individual.
New customers can also open the Mega Money Market Account which offers a 1.10% APY for balances up to $35,000. Last month this yield went up from 1.00%. Unlike the rewards checking account, there are no requirements to qualify for this yield.
Redneck Bank, Evantage Bank and AmericaNet Bank are internet divisions of three Oklahoma banks which are all owned by the Huckabay family. In 2009 I reported on an Oklahoma news article about Wade Huckabay and how he came up with the name Redneck Bank. He wanted it to stand out from the other internet banks, and it worked. The names of the other two internet banks also have reasons behind them. The name AmericaNet was to appeal to patriotic people and the name Evantage was to appeal to technology savvy people.
In January 2011, it was reported that the three online banks held more than 40% of the banks' deposits. I guess that was too much, and it must have been one of the reasons they chose to stop accepting new customers. With the reopening of these accounts, they must need more deposits. Perhaps they have been able to grow their loans to make good use of those deposits.
Hat tip to the reader who emailed me news of this change.
How These Reward Checking Accounts Compare
The $10K balance cap is probably the main downside with these reward checking accounts. You can still get around 2% for balances up to $25K at two all-access credit unions (2.12% APY at ABCO Federal Credit Union and 2.01% APY at Provident Credit Union). You can also get 3.00% APY, but the balance caps are under $25K. Lake Michigan Credit Union offers 3.00% APY for up to $15K and Money One Federal Credit Union offers 3.01% APY for up to $10K.
If you're looking for a bank with a nationally available reward checking account, these three reward checking account rates are higher than what you can find at other banks. The next best rate is only 1.75% APY at Community Bank of Pleasant Hill and Community Bank of Raymore. Both of these also have a $10K balance cap. Heritage Bank has a reward checking account with a 1.61% APY for balances up to $25K.
The above rates are accurate as of 12/14/2012.
You can find local deals with higher rates and balance caps. To see what's available in your state, please refer to our reward checking table. You can also use the table to find reward checking accounts available nationwide. Refer to this post to learn how to use the table.
To learn more about reward checking accounts, please refer to my post 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts.