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Beacon Federal's 4.00% Reward Checking - Confirmed Nationally Available

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 4:48 PMBeacon Federal Bank
I had posted on this bank's new reward checking account in September, but I wasn't able to confirm if it was available nationwide. They never replied to my email, so I called today. The CSR said you can apply online from any state. No branch visit is required. They can mail all required documents.

The rate as of 10/12/2010 is 4.00% APY, but the account has some downsides:
  • The top rate only applies to balances up to $20,000
  • Only one account allowed per social security number (per CSR)
  • Requires 15 debit card purchases per month (other requirements are typical)
  • No ATM fee reimbursements (part of Allpoint network)
Refer to my Beacon Federal reward checking review for more details.

Please remember that small banks often change their account eligibility policies.
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,471 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,600
1. Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 10:42 PM
Thanks, Ken.

It is a $1B bank, thus they may be able to "tolerate" nationwide applicants a bit longer.

I would still urge those who are interested to apply quickly before they change their mind. 
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
2. Friday, October 15, 2010 - 12:05 PM
BEWARE!!! Besides obtaining a ChexSystems report (as all banks mostly do), this bank also does a "hard pull" inquiry that will appear on your TransUnion credit report for up to 2 years and will most likely lower your credit score with them by a few points.  So, if you don't want an inquiry to appear on your credit report, don't bother to apply.  And, they refuse to remove it as a courtesy from your report.  Shame on you, Beacon Federal!
WhataBummerWhataBummer413 posts since
Oct 15, 2010
Rep Points: 1,702
3. Friday, October 15, 2010 - 2:45 PM
WTB: One should usually find it (Chex or others) out before one applies. 

Very few RCA banks do hard-pull inquiries according to my experience. 
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
4. Friday, October 15, 2010 - 3:32 PM
51: Many CSRs don't know the difference between a "hard" pull and "soft" pull; and many times they will tell you there is no hard inquiry, when in fact there is. I'll bet many applicants who are approved by the bank wouldn't even know that a hard pull inquiry was made, until they request their free annual credit report.  I was notified about the hard pull by my credit monitoring service the very next day after I applied.

Btw, a branch manager stated that the reason they do a hard pull is because of overdraft privileges. They want to know, with a fair degree of certainty, that the applicant is creditworthy to receive this service. Therefore, they need more than just a ChexSystems report to satisfy themselves.
WhataBummerWhataBummer413 posts since
Oct 15, 2010
Rep Points: 1,702
5. Monday, November 1, 2010 - 6:08 PM
Careful not to get debit card transaction fees. I just got a notice that after 10 PIN transactions there is a $2.00 fee for each one. Considering that you need 15 to get the 4% make sure no more than 10 are pin.
schris413schris4138 posts since
Sep 29, 2010
Rep Points: 38
6. Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 1:11 PM
Just got off the phone with them,  you must live within 40 miles of one of their branches to open an account.....bummer because this does sound like a safe investment bank...
SkiretaSkireta1 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 7