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Best RCA Now Open In All States

Monday, August 2, 2010 - 10:02 PMRandolph Bank & Trust Company - Details
4.75% APY up to 25k.

you can even fund through CC.
2
adityanmadityanm25 posts since
Jun 5, 2010
Rep Points: 154
1. Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 2:26 AM
It's actually been available nationally for a several weeks.  The real news is that you can now apply on line.  I applied by phone two weeks ago.  The CSRs are very nice and helpful.  I suspect that with the great rate and the recent rate drops or localization of most of the 4% nationally available RCAs, Randolph is going to be inundated with applications.
4
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
2. Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 12:11 PM
It's now restricted to North Carolina residents only.  See the blog comments.

From their Web site:
Due to overwhelming volume, we have restricted our Extra-Mile Choice high interest checking account to residents in North Carolina only. At this time, our online account opening link has been suspended

3
glxpassglxpass38 posts since
May 2, 2010
Rep Points: 240
3. Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 12:11 PM
"Due to overwhelming volume, we have restricted our Extra-Mile Choice high interest checking account to residents in North Carolina only. At this time, our online account opening link has been suspended. We are hoping that this will reduce some of the phone calls that we are receiving."

Just one day after going on line.  That has to be a world record.  I said in my previous post that they were going to be inundated with applications. It's a small community bank, and I don't think they had any idea what was coming.

I'm glad I went the phone route a couple of weeks ago.
5
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
4. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 1:18 PM
Just a heads up. Randolph recodes most utility payments (which would normally be a POS purchase) as bill payment even though you initiate it from the utility company site using your 16-digit card number.  Fortunately, I have one local-only recurring utility bill which is not in their database.  Hopefully this won't become a trend as these RCAs are already a pain in the butt.
2
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
5. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 3:46 PM
Just a heads up. Randolph recodes most utility payments (which would normally be a POS purchase) as bill payment even though you initiate it from the utility company site using your 16-digit card number.  Fortunately, I have one local-only recurring utility bill which is not in their database.  Hopefully this won't become a trend as these RCAs are already a pain in the butt.

I would first make sure that the utility payments are being processed as signature-based transactions that go through a credit card network, as opposed to transactions that are going through a debit card network.  For example, AT&T has a box that I've seen checked by default that will use a debit card network for payments; thus, those payments wouldn't count towards most RCA's number-of-debit card transactions requirement, even if those requirements counted PIN based transactions (not at ATMs).

If the utility transactions really are using a credit card network, i.e. not using a debit card network such as STAR or Cirrus, then Randolph Bank shouldn't be recoding them.  The transactions have the same benefit to the bank as if they were made in a grocery store.  A POS transaction is one between a seller and a buyer, done at a physical or a virtual location.  Paying one's utility bill falls in that category.

So please confirm the nature of your utility transactions and how you know that Randolph Bank is actually recoding them.  Thanks!

 
3
glxpassglxpass38 posts since
May 2, 2010
Rep Points: 240
6. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 4:11 PM
It is laways prudent to test the new RCA for the first month.  I have to admit that Randolph Bank has some alarming perculiarities:

1. Their website goes very slow in the evening, it went out completely on me last night for about two hours (with TCP/IP server error indication).

2. Their coding is very suspicious on debit transactions.  First, I do only credit (i.e., no-pin) transactions for all my debit card purchases.  Three of my utility debit transactions got coded as "purchase," with two still pending/on hold after 3 days.  The one utility debit transaction got coded as "POS."  Two of my normal debit transactions at supermarket got coded as "POS."  The good news is the charges showed up immediately.  The bad news is that I need to ensure that those utility debit transactions got coded as "POS" properly and correctly.  My preliminary finding is that the system looks very tricky and misleading.

Conculsion (so far):  Never commit serious money after thorough understanding of their "coding/recoding system"!! 
6
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
7. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 4:32 PM
Do they give first month free even if you don't satisfy debit card condition?
1
adityanmadityanm25 posts since
Jun 5, 2010
Rep Points: 154
8. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 4:43 PM
Regarding the nature of the debit card transactions...

It's always best to check with the bank of course, but I've seen slightly different descriptions of valid transactions (those counting towards RCA requirements), including purchase and debit, even for the same RCA.  And I'm pretty sure some other RCAs I've had use the term "POS."

Interestingly, Randolph Bank's Truth-in-Savings" Disclosure says:

"Make at least twelve (12) point-of-sale transactions on your Randolph Bank Visa Check Card... Pre-authorization transactions [i.e. transactions that haven't settled (posted) yet] and ATM Withdrawals do not count towards this requirement..."

Their web site says here:

"...12 debit transactions..."

Respectfully, I think we are overthinking this and worrying unnecessarily.

ETA: I do support the idea above of "testing" some transactions first and even verifying them with the bank in case it isn't clear how they would be treated.  I'm just not convinced that only transactions made at POS terminals will count towards the RCA's transaction requirement.

 
2
glxpassglxpass38 posts since
May 2, 2010
Rep Points: 240
9. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 4:51 PM
Do they give first month free even if you don't satisfy debit card condition?

No.

4
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
10. Saturday, August 7, 2010 - 8:10 PM
glxpass, nice to see you again!

I can say confidently that NOT all transactions have to be at POS terminals. I made 3 online transactions by initiating payment from the utility company's website.  In 2 of those cases it went through as Bill Payment.  These were both with national service providers (phone and cable). However, the third case was treated as POS.  This was with a local service provider.

The other interesting thing is that for the 2 bill payments, both vendors also appeared on their CheckFree Quick Biller Add pull down menu.  The third did not.  So I'm not sure if the issue is the card prefixes or the fact that they already consider this merchant a bill payee and are in fact recoding it. 

But I think we all can agree that the best way is to just test first. 
2
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
11. Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 2:00 PM
I made an on-line purchase from Amazon.  With every other RCA I've used, this qualifies as a POS.  Randolph considered it an on-line payment and didn't give me credit for a POS transaction.

And considering they do not accept "pre-authorized" transaction, even if done using the debit card,  I am not going to use my Randolph debit card for any on-line transactions including utility bills.  So for the most part I'll just use the card at restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores and gas stations.
2
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
12. Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 3:52 PM
Looks like the people who missed out on this deal are the lucky ones.
2
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
13. Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 6:39 PM
Oh, I'll have no trouble getting at least 12 POS purchases a month from brick and mortar establishments.  It's just a matter of rearranging which RCA cards I use for which purchases.  Randolph will actually be the loser, because they won't be getting the percentage on that $100+ charge from Time Warner cable. 

So for five months I'll be happy to earn 4.75% on $25K.  Then on January 1, we'll see how far they drop the rate, and we'll go from there.
2
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
14. Monday, August 9, 2010 - 2:27 PM
I just spoke with a CSR at Randolph Bank & Trust.  She confirmed that all debit card transactions, in-person or online, over $5 will count towards the transactions requirement of the RCA.  Now if you've a utility that is routing the payments through a debit card network, by your choice or otherwise, that would be a problem.  The only transactions I've had like those are from AT&T, which gives you a choice about whether or not to use a debit card network.

To check a given purchase, first make sure it's actually posted to your account and isn't in a preauthorization stage.  After it's been posted, if there's still a question about whether the transaction would qualify, contact Randolph Bank.

It makes absolutely no sense for Randolph Bank to accept (for RCA purposes) only in-person transactions.  Nor does it make sense for them to not count payments to utilities (excluding debit card network considerations).  If abuse were a concern, that can be done just as easily with in-person transactions as with online transactions.  Don't assume that just because "POS" is missing from the transaction description that it automatically means that the transaction doesn't count towards the RCA's number-of-transactions requirement.
1
glxpassglxpass38 posts since
May 2, 2010
Rep Points: 240
15. Monday, August 9, 2010 - 2:49 PM
I just spoke to LuAnn in the department that handles RCAs and she told me that using the Randolph debit card for an on line purchase does not count as a qualifying POS sale.  If any of you have any questions regarding this issue, you should call either Laurin or LuAnn at 336-229-5338.
1
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
16. Monday, August 9, 2010 - 2:56 PM
I just spoke to LuAnn in the department that handles RCAs and she told me that using the Randolph debit card for an on line purchase does not count as a qualifying POS sale.  If any of you have any questions regarding this issue, you should call either Laurin or LuAnn at 336-229-5338.

And I just spoke with Joyce who confirmed that online transactions do count.  She will talk with LuAnn (who's probably getting a lot of calls questioning this information!).

I asked Joyce to contact me if somehow online transactions don't count after all.  Regardless, there's a definite problem with training and consistency among the CSRs!

Of course, the issue isn't whether the transaction has POS in its description, just whether it counts towards the requirement.  :)
1
glxpassglxpass38 posts since
May 2, 2010
Rep Points: 240
17. Monday, August 9, 2010 - 3:33 PM
Lesson learned, gentlemen. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

If online purchases don't count toward RCA, I'm done with this bank. No way I'm carrying that card around with me and put $25K in harms way. One of the reasons I decided to go through the trouble of RCAs in the first place is being able to do things exclusively online and keep it close to the vest.
1
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
18. Monday, August 9, 2010 - 3:44 PM
Lesson learned, gentlemen. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

If online purchases don't count toward RCA, I'm done with this bank. No way I'm carrying that card around with me and put $25K in harms way. One of the reasons I decided to go through the trouble of RCAs in the first place is being able to do things exclusively online and keep it close to the vest.
A simple question for you; well, 2 questions:

1.  Have your transactions settled?  Usually that takes around two business days.

2.  What did Randolph Bank say when they actually looked at your transactions?  Note that I'm not talking about what they might say about a hypothetical transaction, but what they did say when looking at a specific transaction of yours.

We need actual data points rather than further speculation.

Thanks in advance for your answers!
1
glxpassglxpass38 posts since
May 2, 2010
Rep Points: 240
19. Monday, August 9, 2010 - 3:59 PM
1. Not Yet. Tomorrow.

2. I spoke with Joyce (poor girl!) She was confident that all transactions done with your card (online or in person) would count toward RCA. But to confirm, she transferred me to Account Services where I spoke with Alicia.

Now it gets interesting. According to Alicia, it doesn't matter what the description of the transaction is (POS, Bill Pay, whatever). The key to their system recognizing it as a qualifying POS is something called a transaction code.  Anything other than an ATM use would count. I told her that one of my transactions actually listed the card type as ATM and if this would render it non-qualifying. She re-assured me that the key is the transaction code. As long as it's 50, nothing else matters. She will call me back tomorrow after my transactions have settled and confirm if she sees the transaction code = 50.

So sit tight. It ain't over yet!
1
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
20. Monday, August 9, 2010 - 4:20 PM
We apologize sincerely to Randolph Bank Customer Service for a huge number of calls inquring about debit transaction qualifications, me included (two calls):-)

In short, Randolph should operate just as any RCAs, all debit transactions will be counted if a card/number is used (yes, there is a bank code to decide whether it qualifies or not).

The safest way is to call CSR (sorry) and confirm on all debit transactions when all 12 (or more) debit transactions are completed (and record his/her name).  BTW, the debit transactions certainly took their time to be settled (some are 4-days old and still pending):-)
3
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
21. Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 10:44 AM
OK. It's official. All card transactions got coded with 050, so they will count toward RCA
1
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
22. Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 10:57 AM
OK. It's official. All card transactions got coded with 050, so they will count toward RCA
Does this include utility payments that you briught up in #4?
1
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
23. Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 11:08 AM
OK. It's official. All card transactions got coded with 050, so they will count toward RCA
Does this include utility payments that you briught up in #4?
Yes. If there's any question on your specific transactions, just ask what the tran code is. You can do this thru online chat.
1
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
24. Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 11:23 AM
I just checked with Laurin who is LuAnn's boss, and she said that LuAnn was misinformed.  She confirmed what Red Cobra said.  Any time you use your debit card it counts as a qualifying POS transaction.
1
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
25. Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 11:28 AM
On my account, all 12 card transactions have posted. Current Interest Rate is now 4.64%. Used to be 0.10 %
3
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
26. Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 1:46 PM
On my account, all 12 card transactions have posted. Current Interest Rate is now 4.64%. Used to be 0.10 %
Thanks for the information.  Same here (showing higher interest rate after 13 above-$5 transactions), although I did not recall what the interest rate was before. 

Do you think that their website is so smart that it even detect those debit purchases that are $5 or more?  Then it is superb.  I am only aware of one bank (credit union actually) that reports compliance beforehand.
3
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
27. Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 3:26 PM
I don't know that it would give any compliance indication per transaction. Best way is to try a <$5 purchase and look for any differences in the description.
1
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
28. Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 6:32 PM
The online application is working again... only via NC zip codes.
3
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
29. Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 8:16 PM
Actually, If you already have an account, you cam open another regardless of your zip code.
1
adityanmadityanm25 posts since
Jun 5, 2010
Rep Points: 154
30. Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 9:30 PM
Actually, If you already have an account, you cam open another regardless of your zip code.
I discovered that, too.  But it is unclear whether the application will be eventually accepted by the bank.  I think that the ultimate "screener" is the bank staff, not the online process. 

When I provided my ss number and account number, it came back stating that it cannot locate my information.  Anyhow, I can bypass it and go on with the actual application.  I do not think that the bank would allow more accounts from out-of-state.  Just my thought.
2
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
31. Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 11:24 PM
In my case it did find my information and presented me with a pre-filled application.

I even funded it with Schwab visa to earn additional $20 as well.
2
adityanmadityanm25 posts since
Jun 5, 2010
Rep Points: 154
32. Friday, August 20, 2010 - 3:00 PM
In my case it did find my information and presented me with a pre-filled application.

I even funded it with Schwab visa to earn additional $20 as well.

There is a limit of two accounts per social security number, per CSR.

4
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
33. Friday, September 17, 2010 - 8:41 PM
One great feature for Rnadolph Bank Online system is that it automatically and accrately reports when one meets all the requirements by exhibiting the correct 4.64% interest rate.
5
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
34. Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 7:10 PM
I cannot access Randolph's online service at all this weekend.  Their online is usually slow during weekend anyway.  But maybe it is another new security measure to shut off their online during long weekend:D

Anyone Randolph fans can access their site this weekend?  I am in Mass.
4
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
35. Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 8:41 PM
I cannot access Randolph's online service at all this weekend.  Their online is usually slow during weekend anyway.  But maybe it is another new security measure to shut off their online during long weekend:D

Anyone Randolph fans can access their site this weekend?  I am in Mass.

Error: No Response from Enterprise Server
2
darkdreamer4udarkdreamer4u174 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 630
36. Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 9:47 PM
Same here. Long holiday weekend maintenance most likely
2
RedCobraRedCobra11 posts since
Aug 7, 2010
Rep Points: 26
37. Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 3:11 PM
Just received an e-mail from the bank:

 

"We are enhancing our Extra-Mile Choice High Interest Checking Account by making it easier for you to earn a high rate of interest with qualifications that are easier to meet 

Qualifications Effective 1/1/2011

? Sign up for e-statements and online banking

? 6 debit card transactions ($20.00 minimum)  

   per statement cycle

? 1 Direct Deposit or 1 ACH Withdrawal

The staff of Randolph Bank would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

 

Instead of 12x$5 (=$60), spend 6x$20 (=$120)!  Well, as long as it's easier...
4
mariafaltermariafalter57 posts since
Jun 6, 2010
Rep Points: 222
38. Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 5:14 PM
As long as they don't mess with the rate or cap I can handle this...
2
darkdreamer4udarkdreamer4u174 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 630
39. Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 5:23 PM
I suspect we will begin to see higher minimum transactions for RCAs become the norm soon. 

Financial institutions (community banks or credit unions alike) offering them count on some percentage of their account holders not meeting the requirements in each period.  As a result, the institution pays much less than the stated RCA rate because when customers don't meet the monthly qualifications they continue to earn but at a much lower rate.   

We have seen RCAs which are offered nationwide suddenly become limited to local accounts only, to eventually be followed by a decrease in the cap eligible to earn the maximum rate.  This increase in the minimum transaction is simply another way to continue to narrow the institution's exposure.  The net effect is to enhance the financial institution's profitability (now you miss meeting requirements if either the number or amount of debit transactions is wrong), or curtail deposits if the institution has such a large amount on deposit that it cannot invest it profitably.    Either way it works to the institution's advantage - which is what we expect. 

At the same time, the Durbin amendment in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 signed in July allows merchants to offer discounts for non-card purchases as well as the power to set minimum and maximum card purchase amounts. 

So it appears we savers are once again getting squeezed on both sides - from the sellers who accept our debit and credit cards and from the institutions where we keep our money - which in turn enables them to lend at much higher rates.   

Not sure where it ends - but all the more reason to continue sticking together on this forum and keeping each other apprised of great deals as we find them - it's a cold cruel world out there.....
5
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,356 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 5,954
40. Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 6:47 PM
So we're going to have to change our spending patterns a bit in order to earn our $90 a month in interest on $25,000 which we're lucky to have in savings.  Meanwhile there are people without jobs, homes foreclosed, going into debt and living off their credit catds.  For them it's a cold cruel world.  For us privileged few, this is a minor inconvenience.

And I also don't find having to spend a minimum of $120 a month on things I was going to buy anyway in order to earn $90 in interest to be a major burden.

This move by Randolph is a reaction to those in the RCA community who think that it's appropriate to spend as little as possible in order to meet a bank's qualification requirements, often spending less on purchases than they earn in interest.  For my money, I prefer a reaction like this, rather than a drop in the interest rate to 3% or less, which we're seeing all to often from too many other banks.
3
dunkerdunker135 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 403
41. Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 6:52 PM
So we're going to have to change our spending patterns a bit in order to earn our $90 a month in interest on $25,000 which we're lucky to have in savings.  Meanwhile there are people without jobs, homes foreclosed, going into debt and living off their credit catds.  For them it's a cold cruel world.  For us privileged few, this is a minor inconvenience.

And I also don't find having to spend a minimum of $120 a month on things I was going to buy anyway in order to earn $90 in interest to be a major burden.

This move by Randolph is a reaction to those in the RCA community who think that it's appropriate to spend as little as possible in order to meet a bank's qualification requirements, often spending less on purchases than they earn in interest.  For my money, I prefer a reaction like this, rather than a drop in the interest rate to 3% or less, which we're seeing all to often from too many other banks.

As I said, I can handle this as long as they don't change the APR or cap. We'll talk again in January when they announce that they do just that as well:-(
2
darkdreamer4udarkdreamer4u174 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 630
42. Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 6:55 PM
Hopefully not to ruin any party, there definitely will be a cut in interest rate for Randolph Bank coming 1 January 2011.  It is just the size of the cut which is unknown at this point.  I have confirmed it via two CSRs. 
4
51hh51hh1,460 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,346
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