4.07% Reward Checking Account at First Southern National Bank in Georgia - Local Only


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.

Rate History:
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

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I'm pleased to report that I had a great experience opening this account recently. I happened to be in Statesboro, and even though I live over 500 miles away, they let me open the account. It may have helped that I had a quasi-local connection (my company has a facility in the area), but the rep mentioned that they are considering expanding this to allow nationwide access...so keep an eye on this one.

If you do happen to swing through Statesboro, definitely stop and open an account. (I suppose making up some local connection - like relatives in the area or whatever - couldn't hurt). The folks in the branch are very friendly and they have free popcorn and a free Coke machine too!

In addition to award checking, they have a savings account paying 2.25% on balances up to $225,000.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
formal agreement with FDIC in March 2009.
51hh   |     |   Comment #3
Not even an ACH/DD requirement, cool bank!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I opened a Rewards Checking with them.  While they do require that you be a resident of Georgia (and you must swear to this when applying), they do not require a brand visit.  I live in Atlanta, GA and applied online using their website.  The next day, I got an email from a CSR asking that I confirm my driveer's licence issue date (I left it blank on the oline application since it said optional).  I called her back and left her the issue date on voicemail and later that day she sent me another email with my account information.  Debit card should arrive 7-10 days.  So no visit was required but you must be a GA resident.  It appears they have a $7 bill pay service (no thanks!) and a $15 fee if you close your account within 90 days.  With 5% interest, I'm happy....we'll see how long that lasts.
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #5
Thanks Anonymous #4 for sharing your experience with this bank. I've updated the post with the note about it being available to all GA residents.
51hh   |     |   Comment #6
4.5% as of 2/10/10.
51hh   |     |   Comment #7
4.59% APY today.
51hh   |     |   Comment #8
4.07% APY as of 1 April.