FAB&T (formerly known as First Arkansas Bank and Trust) currently offers its reward checking account (RCA), Prime Checking, on a nationwide basis. Added to the product line in early 2019, the initial 2.05% APY on qualifying balances up to $30k is still in effect. Qualifying balances over $30k earn 0.10% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.01% APY.
The qualification cycle requirements include,
- At least 12 debit card purchases
- At least one direct deposit, ACH automatic payment, or online bill pay
- Receive online statements.
The Prime Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, but does require a $100 minimum opening deposit. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $15 per month, if qualifications are met. There is a limit of one account per Social Security number. Paper statements are not available.
While the Prime Checking is a relatively recent addition to the product line, it’s not the first RCA offered by FAB&T. I wrote about FAB&T's FirstNet Checking in 2008, the Kasasa Cash in 2009, and the Pure Checking in 2014.
Prime Savings Account
FAB&T also offers the Prime Savings account as a companion account to the Prime Checking account. Each month, earned cash checking rewards are automatically transferred to the Prime Savings account. The current rates are 0.50% APY on qualifying balances up to $35k, and 0.10% APY on qualifying balances over $35k and non-qualifying balances.
The Prime Savings account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, but does require a $100 minimum opening deposit. There is one free withdrawal per month, with a $1 fee assessed per each withdrawal beyond the one free withdrawal.
Annual Earnings of Combined Prime Checking/Prime Savings Accounts
The potential combined annual earnings of the Prime Checking (2.05% APY/$30k) and the Prime Savings (0.50% APY/$35k) is approximately $790 (1.215% APY/$65k).
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Arkansas, FAB&T offers the Prime Checking and Prime Savings accounts to all “legal US residents” (at least 18 years old) who have a valid Social Security number and a government issued ID. To my eye, those four requirements (listed on the first page of FAB&T’s online application) suggest nationwide availability; I confirmed with two CSRs that the Prime Checking and Prime Savings accounts are indeed nationally available.
Opening a Prime Checking and/or Prime Savings account can be done online. FAB&T had 22 branch locations in Central and North Central Arkansas, but according to the “Important Branch Information” page, all branch locations,
will serve customers in a drive thru only mode during normal business hours.
Overview of Changes:
- 7 day a week banking with QuB
- Drive thru lanes open at all locations
- All other business needs by appointment only
- 24/7 call center can be reached at 800-982-4511
- Follow us on social media for real-time updates as needed
FAB&T has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 9.67% (excellent) based on June 30, 2020 data. In the past year, FAB&T has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $70 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 12.55%. Please refer to our financial overview of FAB&T (FDIC Certificate # 16849) for more details.
Established in 1949 as the Jacksonville State Bank, FAB&T is a family-owned and operated community bank. Three generations of the Wilson family (Kenneth Pat, founder and originally Chairman of the Board; his youngest son, Larry T., current Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO; and Larry’s son, Mark, current Executive Vice President and COO) have been involved in the economic development of the local community. Currently the 16th largest bank headquartered in Arkansas, FAB&T has assets in excess of $841 million and more than 37,000 customer accounts.
How Prime Checking Compares
When compared to the nationally available High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $30k, FAB&T’s Prime Checking APY currently ranks first.
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|2.05% APY||Prime Checking ($30k max)||FAB&T|
|2.01% APY||Kasasa Cash ($50k max)||First Security Bank & Trust|
|1.25% APY||Rewards Checking ($150k max)||Axos Bank|
The above rates are accurate as of 10/2/2020.
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.