Update 12/02/10: The top yield has fallen to 2.43% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.
First National Bank of Altavista has a reward checking account called Ka-Ching! Checking that pays 2.43% APY on balances up to $30,000 (1.01% for above) and refunds ATM fees without limits if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 12 Visa check card transactions, 2) one direct deposit or ACH auto debit, and 3) receive electronic statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.10%. The minimum opening balance is $100. There are no monthly service fees.
According to the FAQ, they allow you to open multiple accounts which is nice for those who want to earn the top yield for balances over $50K. However, each account has its own requirements that must be met.
One interesting thing mentioned in the FAQ is that if ATM refunds exceed $600 for a year, they will send you a 1099. Apparently, ATM refunds are considered miscellaneous income. This shouldn't be an issue for most people, but it's interesting nonetheless. The only way I can see how anyone may have this much ATM usage is if the person spends a lot of time in Las Vegas.
The FAQ specifically states that customers are required to come into a branch to open accounts even if they use the online application. Branches are located in the Virginia cities of Altavista, Lynchburg, Forest, Moneta and Amherst. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 6811).
For other high yield reward checking accounts and to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.
- 12/02/10: 2.43% APY up to $30K
- 08/31/10: 3.04% APY
- 11/01/09: 3.35% APY
- 05/01/09: 3.80% APY
- 01/01/09: 4.31% APY
- 04/20/08: 5.01% APY up to $50K; 1.01% over; 0.10% base