FitnessBank recently cut rates again on its Fitness Savings Account. The top rate fell from 2.75% to 2.60% APY at the start of November. For two months in the summer, the top rate had been 3.00% APY. After three Fed rate cuts that total 75 bps, a 40 bp rate cut seems reasonable. With a top rate of 2.60% APY, the Fitness Savings Account remains the rate leader for nationally available savings accounts.
The Fitness Savings Account currently has the following APY/step tiers:
The Senior Fitness Savings Account is for those who are at least 65 years of age. This account has lower step requirements to qualify for the interest rates:
Of course, it’s not exactly fair to compare this with the typical online savings account. The Fitness Savings Account requires that the customer average at least 12,500 steps per day in the previous month to earn the 2.60% APY (the Senior Savings Account requires only 10,000 steps per day for that rate). If you average fewer steps, the rate that you earn falls.
I first reviewed FitnessBank in July when the rate had recently risen to 3.00% APY. Many details of FitnessBank and the savings account are described in that FitnessBank review. One change since July is in the ACH transfers. The default transfer limits have been reduced. Outgoing and incoming ACH transfers initiated while logged into FitnessBank now have a default maximum of $2,500 per day. The previous limit had been $15k. According to a CSR, they lowered this default limit for security reasons. If customers need higher limits, they can request a limit of up to $15k. There’s no dollar limit when the ACH transfer is initiated from another bank.
Qualifying for the High Rate
The step requirements are waived for the first month. The initial APY will be 2.60% until the rate adjustment date following first full month that the account has been opened. After that time, your interest rate will be determined based on your average number of steps for the previous month.
The step counting requires that you install the FitnessBank Step Tracker app on your smartphone. This Tracker app is compatible with several step tracking devices including Fitbit, Apple Health, Google Fit and Garmin. The steps are counted by one of these step tracking devices, and then the step counts are transferred to the FitnessBank Step Tracker app which is read by FitnessBank to determine your interest rates.
I know many readers had concerns about being able to average enough steps to qualify for the top rates. It should be noted that FitBit will register steps even if you are using a treadmill or elliptical exercise device. FitBit doesn’t require actual movement as when you’re walking or running outside. So if the weather is bad, you can still pick up steps by using exercise equipment at home or at a gym.
In my experience with FitBit, you can achieve between 2,000 and 3,000 steps by walking a mile. Also, a lot of house chores such as taking out the trash, doing the dishes and cleaning your house can quickly add 1,000+ steps.
One good thing about the step requirement is that it allows FitnessBank to maintain higher rates. Only a certain percentage of customers will qualify for the top rate. Many customers will only qualify for the lower rates. The interest cost to FitnessBank is based on the average rate.
The FitnessBank Step Tracker app has a leaderboard that lists the average daily step count for all customers who choose to be included in the leaderboard. A reader who is a customer of FitnessBank reported that the leaderboard currently has a total of 792 customers. Out of those 792 customers, only 223 are averaging at least 12,500 steps per day. That’s only about 28% of the customers. It should be noted that there is likely to be a higher percentage at the end of the month when customers ensure their Tracker apps have been synchronized with their FitBit and other step tracking devices. Also, customers have different account balances. Customers with larger balances are probably more likely to ensure they meet the step requirements.
FitnessBank is a division of Affinity Bank, a Georgia-based bank that was established in 2002. Affinity Bank and FitnessBank are treated as the same entity for the purpose of calculating FDIC insurance limits and deposits.
To view the top Savings Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.