CornerStone Bank is offering a rewards checking account that pays 3.60% APY for balances up to $50,000 (1.50% for above) and refunds ATM fees nationwide if the following monthly requirements are met:
- 10 debit card purchases
- one direct deposit or automatic payment
- electronic statements
- log into online banking
The top yield of 4.35% as of 12/12/08 is a little low for reward checking accounts, but this is good for balances up to $50K. Another plus is a high yield of 3.01% for balances over $50K. Typically, the yield for balances over the cap is 1% or lower.
Update 10/22/09: It has been reported that the bank has changed its policy and now only accepts applications from residents of North Dakota and Minnesota.
I spoke with a banking rep, and I was told they can open accounts by mail from people outside of North Dakota. They'll mail you the documentation. They require a copy of your driver's license and a notarized signature card. Their toll-free number is 1-888-297-2100. I learned they started this reward checking account in October 2007, and the top APY had been 5.01%.
Branches are located in the North Dakota cities in Enderlin, Fargo, Sheldon, Fort Ranson, Lisbon and Bismark. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 13198).
Other Rewards Checking 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.
Edit: Added info on its availability for people outside of ND.
10/22/09: No longer available nationwide. Bank only accepts ND and MN residents.
03/11/09: 3.60% APY up to $50K; 1.50% APY over $50K
12/12/08: 4.35% APY up to $50K; 3.01% APY over $50K
Edit 6/14/09: Removed link to out-of-date checking page.