2.00% Reward Checking Account at Amegy Bank in Texas - Available Nationwide

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Update 11/22/09: The top rate has fallen to 2.00% APY.

Amegy Bank is offering a reward checking account called Smart Yield Checking. It has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met:
  • 2.00% 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
  • Free ATMs nationwide
The monthly requirements include:
  • 10 debit card purchases
  • One direct deposit or two ACH debits
  • Login to online banking at least once a month
  • Receive e-statements and maintain valid email address
Additional features of the account regardless of the monthly requirements include:
  • $50 minimum initial deposit if opened at a branch; $1,000 minimum when opened online
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly service charge
  • Free online Bill Pay
The "Sign Up Now" link at the Smart Yield Checking page takes you to the online application. People in any state are eligible to open the account.

Amegy Bank also offers an internet money market savings account (see account review).

Branches are located in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas.

The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are fair: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial (based on 6/30/09 data) and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com (based on 3/31/09 data). The bank has been a FDIC member since 1982 (FDIC Certificate # 24107). It's a sizable bank with $11.6 billion in assets based on 6/30/09 FDIC data.

Other Reward Checking Accounts

There are definitely many other nationally available reward checking accounts with better rates and balance caps than this one from Amegy Bank. One thing I found interesting about Amegy Bank is that it's one of the largest banks offering a nationally available reward checking account. Also, Amegy Bank offers an internet money market account which has a rate of 1.20% APY as of 9/27/09. The money market rate has been falling over the last year, but the reward checking rate has held. I've always thought the long-term rates for reward checking will be about one percentage point above online savings accounts.

To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation or to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.

Rate History:
11/20/09: 2.00% APY up to $25K; 0.50% over
09/27/09: 2.12% APY up to $25K; 0.75% over; 0.05% base
Comments
Charlie
Charlie (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
As of 23 April 2010, Amegy Bank raised the highest interest rate on Smart Yield Checking to 2.22% APY. Unless there's some small bank making a better offer, this is the best you're going to get from a brick and mortar bank in Houston. Great customer service.
3.65% Internet Savings Account at Amegy Bank
Update 11/28/09: Rates have fallen. Rates now vary by tier: 0.55% APY to 0.75% APY.
Update 11/07/09: Rates have fallen. Rates now vary by tier: 0.90% APY to 1.10% APY.

Amegy Bank continues to have competitive rates on its Internet Money Market Account. The top yield is 3.65% APY for balances of $10K and over. The yield for balances between $1K and $10K is 3.35% APY.

I first reported on this account in October 2007 when it was offering a yield of 5.20% APY for balances between $1K and $100K. For some...




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5.20% Online Savings Account at Amegy Bank
Amegy Bank has started a new online savings account called the Personal Internet Money Market Account. It currently pays 5.20% APY on balances from $1k to $100k. Balances over $100k earn 5.30% APY.

The two main downsides to this account are the $1k minimum balance to avoid a $12/month service charge and the lack of an ACH electronic funds transfer system. But according to the service rep, an ACH system may be added in the near future. If the rate can remain competitive, it'll be something to keep an eye on....

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