The vast majority of high-yield reward checking accounts have a debit card usage requirement to qualify for the high interest rate. This can be a deal killer for those who don’t want to use debit cards due to security concerns or the desire to use cash-back credit cards. Thanks to a DA reader, I learned of a new reward checking account that doesn’t require debit card purchases to qualify for the high yield. It’s the Easy Rewards Checking at Bank of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. If you don’t want to use a debit card for purchases, you can qualify for the high rate with several other types of banking transactions. Below is a summary of the account rates and features as described in the bank’s rates page as of 4/24/2013:
Interest rates if monthly requirements are met:
- 1.75% APY on balances from $1,500 to $30,000
- 0.25% APY on portion of balances over $30,000
- 0.10% APY on entire balance if requirements are not met
To qualify for the above premium rates, a $2,500 minimum balance must be maintained and 10 or more qualifying transactions must be made. As I mentioned above, there are many alternatives to debit card purchases for the qualifying transactions. Below is a list of these that are listed in the small print of the bank’s rates page:
- eBIll payments
- debit card purchases
- ATM withdrawals
- direct deposits
- transfers between accounts that you initiate online
- Teller transactions
- ACH charges from third parties
The $2,500 minimum balance requirement is also not typical for reward checking accounts. However, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a $2,500 minimum balance to avoid fees. There’s no monthly service fee regardless of the balance.
Unlike most reward checking accounts, there are no ATM fee refunds if you meet the monthly requirements. However, I was told they are part of the SUM ATM network.
A branch visit is required to open an account. However, I was told they do accept customers outside their local area as long as they visit a branch to open the account.
Bank of Cape Cod branches are located in the Massachusetts towns of Hyannis, Osterville and Falmouth.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) based on December 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Bank of Cape Cod for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2006 (FDIC certificate # 58270).
Other Reward Checking Accounts
To find reward checking accounts 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.