Update 1/29/2010: Countybank cut its top rate to 4.01% APY. Also, the online application is now only accepting zip codes from South Carolina.
Countybank is offering a reward checking account called Kasasa Cash. The account offers the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met:
- 4.01% APY on balances up to $25,000
- 1.01% on balances over $25,000
- 0.02% base rate if qualifications are not met
- Refunds of ATM fees nationwide
The monthly requirements include:
- 10 debit card purchases
- one direct deposit or automatic payment
- sign in to your online banking
- receive e-statements
Additional features of the account regardless of the monthly requirements include:
- $100 minimum initial deposit
- no minimum balance requirement
- no monthly service charge
- Online Bill Pay appears to be $7.95/mo (see summary) - according to CSR, it may be free. Contact bank for details.
There's an online application at the bank's Kasasa Cash Page. The "Apply Now" button takes you to the Kasasa website that provides an online application. You can also search at Kasasa.com for reward checking accounts. The Countybank application used to allow all zip codes. However, a reader has reported that it now only accepts zip codes from the following states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Update 1/29/2010: I checked zip codes for the above states at the Kasasa application page, and only SC zip codes were accepted. It appears they have reduced availability to only SC.
I thought Kasasa.com was another reward checking provider to give BancVue and FIRST ROI (the main provider and marketer for reward checking accounts) some competition. But according to Kasasa's About Us Page, "Kasasa products are created, marketed and serviced by BancVue and FIRST ROI." Perhaps they wanted to give reward checking a fancier name.
Countybank is based in South Carolina with branches in Greenwood, Lexington and Greenville. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 9155). Update: The bank has strong ratings for safety and soundness: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 12/31/08 financial data.
Other Reward 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.
01/29/10: 4.01% APY up to $25K (application only accepts zip codes from SC)
05/04/09: 4.75% APY up to $25K; 1.01% over; 0.02% base
Edit 1/29/10: Application only accepts zip codes from SC
Edit 8/08/09: Application only accepts zip codes from some states
Edit 7/10/09: Application no longer accept West Coast zip codes.
Edit 5/31/09: Corrected 2nd tier rate.
Edit 5/27/09: Corrected cost of bill pay. It appears to be $7.95/mo instead of free (5/28/09 - may actually be free)