First Clover Leaf Bank's Reward Checking Account Is Now Available Nationwide


Update 9/29/10: First Clover Leaf Bank has lowered its rate and balance cap, and it is no longer available nationwide. The bank now requires new customers to open the account at one of its branches.

I just confirmed with First Clover Leaf Bank that their reward checking account, My Great Rate Checking, is now available nationwide (except in Nevada). An online application link is located at the bank's My Great Rate Checking page. I first reported on this bank's reward checking account in May 2008 when they required a branch visit to open the account.

As of 9/14/2010, My Great Rate Checking has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met:

  • 4.01% APY for balances up to $25,000
  • 0.50% APY for portion of balance over $25,000
  • 0.25% base rate if requirements are not met
  • Refunds of ATM fees nationwide

Monthly requirements include:

  • 10 debit card purchases
  • one direct deposit or ACH debit
  • 3 online bill payments
  • receive electronic statements

There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.

Note the online bill pay requirement. Most reward checking accounts don't have this as a separate requirement from the direct deposit.

I'm not sure why Nevada residents are excluded. This is stated on the first page of the application:

Due to Nevada State Law, residents of Nevada are ineligible

The bank CSR stated this same thing. This is the first time I've seen a bank exclude Nevada because of this supposed law. If you know more about this law, please leave a comment.

Please note that it's common for small banks to change their policies on new account availability. If too many people apply, they can make the account only available to residents of their home state or even to their local market area. Recent examples of this happened at ViewPoint Bank and Randolph Bank & Trust Company.

First Clover Leaf Bank is a small bank in Illinois with $437 million in deposits and 82 employees. It has an overall health score of 3 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 22.89% (above average) based on 6/30/10 data. Please refer to our financial overview of First Clover Leaf Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1948 (FDIC Certificate # 30330).

Credit for noting this availability change goes to Riki at Best Cash Cow.

Other High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts

With the addition of First Clover Leaf Bank, the number of nationwide 4% $25K reward checking accounts is now up to three. As I mentioned in this recent post, Danversbank and South Division Credit Union continue to offer 4.01% APY on their reward checking accounts for balances up to $25K.

To find reward checking accounts in your state or to find those available nationwide, please refer to the reward checking section of

Related Pages: checking account

51hh   |     |   Comment #1
Thanks so much, Ken.

This nationwide offer increases competition and certainly impacts the banks to keep their high RCA interest rate.  Competition is healthy and good for RCA customers!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Does any one know if the auto ACH debit can be ANY auto ACH debit, even one from, say, your ING or Ally account? Or does it have to specifically be one for a bill?
dunker   |     |   Comment #3
The three bill pays on top of the one direct deposit or ACH debit is a real killer.  If you have multiple RCAs and a limited number of monthly bills, how many monthly bills can you devote to a single RCA?

Anon #2, I don't know the specific rules for this RCA, but in general any ACH debit can be used to satisfy the ACH requirement for qualification.  I don't know of an instance where it must be a bill pay ACH.
51hh   |     |   Comment #4
Online billpay: It is easy.  It is just the number of bill payments.  Thus one can set up a billpay to a payee and pay three times in a month if one wishes.  The important matter is that there is no minimum requirement for the billpay amount. 

ACH debt: Ally pull (i.e., ACH transfer from FCL to Ally using Ally site) should meet the requirement.

Ten debit transactions (not 12 or even 15) is a plus!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Thanks, dunker. For bill pays, you may be able to just split some of your regular bills into multiple payments. Sometimes, I pay a given light or water bill from two or three separate accounts, or pay them by mixing bill pay with debit/credit card payment. Guess it will depend on your bills and balances and such. In my case, each payment is still a fairly large (>$20). No desire to play that game of dozens of $1 payments, although some people will advocate that practice.
dunker   |     |   Comment #6
It also might be instructive to look at their recent rate history:

  • 02/11/10: 4.01% APY up to $25K
  • 09/19/09: 4.50% APY up to $25K
  • 03/06/09: 5.25% APY up to $25K
At this rate, they're due for another rate drop within a few months.  Probably after the rush of new depositers dies down.  It is interesting to note that they lost $7.5 million in deposits over the past year.  Maybe that was one of the reasons they made their RCA available nationwide.
glxpass   |     |   Comment #7
If the online bill payment requirement preents a rush of depositors that might cause a rate drop even faster than it would have occurred otherwise, I'm all for it.  Most bill pay systems have the ability to set up recurring bill pays, and remember that the bill pay payee can be anything or anyone.  Hint, hint.  Allow for enough time for the bill payment to post, especially if the payment is sent by check rather than electronically.

Although it might seem counterintuitive, the more onerous RCAs (reward checking accounts seem to be, the longer the rate might last.  IMO, once a bank or CU meets its deposit goals for their RCA product, they have less incentive to keep the high rate, especially in the current low interest rate environment.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
I tried few time to open an account an I'm getting this message after filling the application:

" At this time we are unable to process your request "
dunker   |     |   Comment #9
#8 - That's probably due to the overload of applications that occur just after Ken posts a nationally available RCA with a yield of 4% or better :-)
darkdreamer4u   |     |   Comment #10
I opened this acct. back in July from out of state, so no news to me. All went fine via mail, though a bit slowish until I had everything in my hands. This month will be the first I'll use it as an RCA (WTdirect bonus special is up tomorrow). Partial utility and cc bills will take care of the billpay requirement. Let's hope the party won't be spoiled by a deluge of new clients...
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
Is there anyone knows the billing cycle? How do they count the opening day? 
darkdreamer4u   |     |   Comment #12
Billing cycle ends on or around the 20th (depending on what weekday it is).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
Danver CSR today said their rate was going to drop in October. She did not know what the new rates would be. Looks like another 4% bites the dust...
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
Did they say how far Danversbank's rate was going to drop?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
Anybody know if "Please note that all applications are subject to our approval and a review of your credit history may be used in the approval process" means hard credit pull?
darkdreamer4u   |     |   Comment #16
Why are people posting about Danversbank here?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
#16, darkdreamer4u: Probably because there are only about three nationwide RCAs at 4% left. So if Danversbank (one of them) is tanking soon, it might be a good time to open another one.
darkdreamer4u   |     |   Comment #17
@ #15: If you're talking about Clover Leaf, it didn't look as if they did a hard pull for me (though only checked one of the bureaus).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
If you have 10 or  more inquiries with ChexSystems, this back will not accept your application.  I was just declined.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #20
To #19, how did you find that?

Most all of us here have much more than 10 ChexSystems iquiries.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
Yep denied as well. Looks like they are Chex sensitive
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
Are these denials coming before or after the microdeposits?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
Applied last night, recieved denial this afternoon.
SamL   |     |   Comment #24
applied last night and received approval today
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
Here's the logic behind the denials based only on the number of Chexsystems inquiries: "we don't want the kind of customer who is always looking for higher rates with other banks."
51hh   |     |   Comment #26

This bank should be on the nationwide RCA List.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
Applied on Tuesday, received and confirmed the micro deposits today.

Did not receive an approval or denial (yet).
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #28
To anonymous #27: the same with me. They said the fund will be transferred upon final approval. Hopefully things go right.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #29
Applied Tuesday, microdeposits received and confirmed on Wednesday, funding occurred and welcome e-mail received today. That has to be the fastest I've ever been able to open an account online. At least of the variety that use microdeposits.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #30
rate dropped to 3.85% and balance cap dropped to 15,000. Bummer. Not even received debit card yet.
darkdreamer4u   |     |   Comment #31
Oops, wouldn't have noticed it if not for your post. They didn't announce it to acct. holders...
51hh   |     |   Comment #32
That is the likely result when the bank is open to applicants nationwide.
High-Yield Reward Checking Account at an Illinois Bank (First Clover Leaf)

Update 9/29/2010: The top rate has fallen to 3.85% APY, and the cap has fallen from $25K to $15K.

First Clover Leaf Bank has a reward checking account called My Great Rate Checking that pays 3.85% APY on balances up to $15,000 (0.50% for above) and refunds ATM fees when the following monthly requirements are met:

  • 10 debit card purchases
  • one direct deposit or ACH debit
  • 3 online bill payments
  • receive electronic statements

If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.15%. There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.

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