UPDATE 7/26/2016: This offer is no longer available.
The Rewards Checking Account currently earns up to 1.25% APY on qualifying balances up to $150K. The 1.25% APY has been in effect since the account was introduced in July 2011.
$50 Bonus Requirements
- Offer valid for a limited time only
- Minimum opening deposit is $100 new money
- An average daily balance of $1K for 90 days is required.
- If the account is closed with 180 days of opening, a $50 early closure fee may apply.
- The $50 bonus will be credited after 90 days of account opening.
Rewards Checking Account Specifics
The Rewards Checking Account is a tiered, interest earning, variable rate account. There are no monthly maintenance fee, no monthly minimum balance requirement, and no overdraft fees. In addition, there are unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements.
According to BofI’s website,
Rewards Checking Account allows you to control your interest rate reward based on the products/services used during the month.
The fine print details the three ways to control the variable rate:
Your interest rate can be as high as 1.25% based on the following combined rate rewards:
Direct deposits (not including intra-bank transfers from another account) totaling $1,000 or more each month will earn .4166%
At least ten (10) point-of-sale transactions per month using your Rewards Checking VISA Debit Card for normal everyday purchases with a minimum of $3 per transaction will earn .4166%
Fifteen (15) or more point-of-sale transactions per month using your Rewards Checking VISA Debit Card for normal everyday purchases with a minimum of $3 per transaction will earn .4166%.
The first time I read the fine print details concerning the point-of-sale transactions (POS), I was perplexed. Was it 10? Was it 15? Was it 25? After a lengthy (and somewhat confusing) conversation with CSR, I was able to determine that,
- The first 10 POS transactions per month will earn .4166%.
- When an additional 5 POS transactions are completed (for a total of 15 month POS per month), the second .4166% will be triggered.
I wrote about the Rewards Checking Account in July 2014 to coincide with its 3rd anniversary. I discussed what had remained the same (APY) and what had changed (balance cap introduced, monthly requirements with an emphasis on debit card purchases, removal of online bill payment requirement).
One aspect I didn’t mention was BofI’s somewhat weak external transfer service. While Bofl does not limit the number of fund transfers, there are dollar limits:
Maximum per day in or out $2,000.00
Maximum per month $5,000.00
While this may not be important to every DA reader, if you are considering depositing a large amount, you need to weigh the importance of the daily/monthly dollar limits.
As an internet bank, Bank of Internet USA is able to offer its product line to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens (18 years or older), who have a valid government ID and a valid address (P.O. Boxes addresses are excluded). Opening a Rewards Checking Account (or any other BofI account) and applying for the $50 bonus must be done online.
Bank of Internet USA has an overall health rating of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 5.91% (excellent), based on June 30, 2015 data. In the past year, Bank of Internet USA has increased its total deposit by $1.43 Billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 46.97%. Please refer to our financial overview of Bank of Internet USA for more details.
Founded in 2000, Bank of Internet USA (FDIC Certificate # 35546) is one of the first banks worldwide to offer banking services (specifically deposit accounts and loans) exclusively on the Internet. Headquartered in San Diego, Bank of Internet USA currently has assets in excess of $5.8 Billion and recently placed 6th in TopTenReviews.com’s Top 10 Online Banks Review.
How the Rewards Checking Account Compare
This is a difficult comparison that draws no concrete conclusions. Out of the 33 nationally available Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, the Bank of Internet USA Rewards Checking Account’s APY currently ranks 13th, but the qualifying balance cap of $150K far outstrips the other 32 accounts.
The above rates are accurate as of 11/18/2015.
To search for nationwide Reward Checking rates and Reward Checking rates in your state, please refer to the Rewards Checking rates section of DepositAccounts.com.