Update 4/07/10: The top rate has fallen to 4.07% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.
First Southern National Bank is offering a reward checking account called First Rewards Checking. The account offers the following rates if certain monthly requirements are met:
- 4.07% APY on balances up to $25,000
- 1.10% APY on balances over $25,000
- 0.10% base rate if qualifications are not met
- ATM fees refunded worldwide
The monthly requirements include:
- 10 signature-based debit card purchases
- Receive e-statements
Additional features of the account regardless of the monthly requirements include:
- No minimum deposit
- No minimum balance requirement
- No monthly service charge
- Free internet banking
- Free phone bank
Update 1/29/10: It has been reported that you can open an account without a branch visit. However, you must be a Georgia resident.
A branch visit to downtown Statesboro is required to open an account. Statesboro (county seat of Bulloch County) is located about 175 miles southeast of Atlanta and 48 miles northwest of Savannah. Statesboro is also home to Georgia Southern University.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are fair: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 3/31/09 financial data.
The bank has been FDIC member since 2002 (FDIC Certificate # 57239).
Other Reward Checking Accounts
Note that satisfying the requirements does not entail the typical setting up of direct deposit or ACH transactions or online bill pay, making this account the easiest in all of Georgia's numerous offerings to meet each cycle.
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.
04/01/10: 4.07% APY up to $25K
02/12/10: 4.59% APY up to $25K
09/10/09: 5.01% APY up to $25K; 1.10% over; 0.10% base