Most of the reward checking news in the New Year has been disappointing as several rate cuts have been reported. On the plus side, new reward checking accounts are still being launched at community banks and credit unions around the nation. I thought it would be useful to point out new ones at two Illinois banks.
For those of us who have been following reward checking for years, these new ones are often disappointing since the balance caps are lower than they used to be. The $25,000 balance cap used to be typical. Now, $15,000 and $10,000 balance caps are more common. A Lower balance cap makes it easier for the banks to pay the high yields. For example, if a reward checking account pays 3% for balances up to $25K, the bank may have to pay out $750 in interest over a year. If the balance cap is only $10K, the maximum payout goes down to only $300.
For the two new Illinois banks, both have balance caps of $15,000. However, the rates are competitive which may make these accounts worthwhile for some. Below are the two banks and a summary of their reward checking accounts:
Community Bank of Trenton
- 4.07% APY on balances up to $15,000
- 0.10% on balances over $15,000
- 0.10% on all balances if requirements are not met
- up to $10 in ATM fees refunded per statement cycle if requirements are met
- 12 debit card purchases
- 1 direct deposit per month
- $1,000 minimum balance
There's an online application link at the bottom of the rates page, but the online application is limited to residents of a few Southern Illinois counties near St. Louis.
For more account details, please refer to this forum thread from DA reader ChadJack12.
Harvard Savings Bank
Harvard Savings Bank recently launched a reward checking account called WOW Rewards Checking. Here's a summary of the rates and features as of 1/4/2013:
- 2.50% apy on balances up to $15,000
- 0.05% apy for amount above $15,000
- up to $10 ATM refunds nationwide
- 15 signature based debit card purchases
- 1 direct deposit each statement cycle
I don't see any online application, so new customers will probably have to visit one of the bank's branches. In addition to branches in Harvard, Illinois, the bank has a branch in Morris, Illinois which is about 40 miles southwest of Chicago.
For more account details, please refer to my forum thread which has an account overview.
Searching for the Highest Reward Checking Rates
You can find reward checking accounts available in your state by using 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.