FitnessBank Savings Account Still Leads But Rates Have Fallen

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Deal Summary: Fitness Savings Account, 2.60% APY on balances over $100 when step requirements are met.

Availability: Nationwide (internet bank)

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:

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
2.30%$100-FitnessBankFitness Savings (12,500+ Steps)
2.00%$100-FitnessBankFitness Savings (10,000 - 12,499 Steps)
1.75%$100-FitnessBankFitness Savings (7,500 - 9,999 Steps)
1.25%$100-FitnessBankFitness Savings (5,000 - 7,499 Steps)
1.00%$100-FitnessBankFitness Savings (0 - 4,999 Steps)
Rates as of December 15, 2019.

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:

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
2.30%$100-FitnessBankSenior Fitness Savings (10,000+ Steps)
2.00%$100-FitnessBankSenior Fitness Savings (7,500 - 9,999 Steps)
1.75%$100-FitnessBankSenior Fitness Savings (5,000 - 7,499 Steps)
1.25%$100-FitnessBankSenior Fitness Savings (0 - 4,999 Steps)
Rates as of December 15, 2019.

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.

Bank Overview

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.

For more information about FitnessBank and Affinity Bank, please refer to my July FitnessBank review and our financial overview of FitnessBank/Affinity Bank.

To view the top Savings Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.

Related Pages: savings accounts, nationwide deals, Internet banks

Comments
111
111   |     |   Comment #1
My Northern Direct 2.5% rate expires 12/31/19. Hoping Santa brings me a hamster, a hamster wheel, and a hamster-sized FitBit tracker for Christmas - if so, I'll sign up for this.
Smarts
Smarts   |     |   Comment #2
111, you gonna put your body to the grueling exercise for a lousy 1/4 or a 1/2 % more?
The statistics show that only a handful of people qualify for the high rate, the rest of them are just saying, well, maybe the next month or the month after the next month and so on, until they totally give up.
Repairing a knee cartilage cost million times more than the extra interest earned on that high rate saving.
111
111   |     |   Comment #11
Sorry, but re-read my post - repairing the knee of the hamster (that I "might get for Christmas") will cost me next to nothing. After all - it's a hamster.

Apparently some folks did not get the joke.
GreenDream
GreenDream   |     |   Comment #17
Smarts, first off 111 was joking (see the part about a hamster sized fitbit) and not indicating any desire to put his own body through anything. Secondly, getting 12500 steps does not require "grueling exercise", just a lot of normal everyday walking (not even running). Taking long walks won't force you into expensive knee surgery. Heck if you just count up the steps you make during an ordinary day doing ordinary activities, you'd probably be surprised at how high the number is. At work, as part of a fitness awareness initiative, they once gave everyone these cheap step-counters (not-connected to the net, so useless for this account) that you just put in your pocket and it'll count the steps. I tried it for a bit out of curiosity, and in a normal day of doing nothing special it easily counted 5k+ steps by days end. Of course I'm a healthy adult who takes the stair instead of the elevator when going up/down a couple of floors, don't cruise around the parking lot to find the closest spot to the doors (IE not afraid of having to walk a bit from my car to the door) and don't hop into my car when I want to visit someone just few houses down the street, so YMMV.
Norbert
Norbert   |     |   Comment #3
I spoke with a Northern rep earlier this week. My request was that accountholders be given as much notice as possible of what the new rate will be. There is a potential mass exodus of funds from many of us dependent on that decision.
#4 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
GreenDream
GreenDream   |     |   Comment #16
111, if you have a dog, just hook the fitbit up to fido and let him out for his daily runs. You'll be racking up the steps in no time ;)
payitforward
payitforward   |     |   Comment #5
"Customers with larger balances are probably more likely to ensure they meet the step requirements."

Hmm...
WalkAbout
WalkAbout   |     |   Comment #6
payitforward , In my experience, the person with high balances are busy searching for easier money and not the waste of time walking endlessly.
GreenDream
GreenDream   |     |   Comment #15
WalkAbout, true. This account is more for those people (regardless of the size of their balance) who already are into counting their steps. For those fitness obsessives, the 12.5k rate *is* easy money, as it's something they're already doing on a regular basis.
redfarm
redfarm   |     |   Comment #7
I’ll be a lazy a couch potato earning 2.40% with First Foundation Bank's savings and 2.25% with Customers Bank's money market guaranteed through June 30, 2020.
Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #10
I've got a 2.30% guarantee liquid account up to $1 million until mid November 2020 with Northpointe Bank. I'm guessing others have that deal too. That's what I plan to use for my liquid cash after NBD since I don't expect them to beat that rate. I only keep a relatively small percentage of my cash in liquid accounts anyway so it's not very important.

Right now my cash portfolio is earning 3.2% on a weighted average basis and it's all federally insured. That's something I never would have imagined a few years ago. Coincidentally, my stock portfolio is earning about the same percentage in dividends. So the after tax rate of return on my stock portfolio is still higher than the after tax rate on my cash portfolio.
DCGuy
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #8
A more appropriate name for this account is the anti-obesity savings account.
Predatory Depositor
Predatory Depositor   |     |   Comment #9
I'd call it the Cardiac Arrest Savings Account.
Tom
Tom   |     |   Comment #12
Nearly two months ago I emailed them and asked if they would honor the 12.5K rate in my case because I am handicapped and not able to walk without a walker. They never responded,that should tell you something about their ilk.
Hanck
Hanck   |     |   Comment #13
Tom, you should have told them a discrimination lawsuit may be appropriate, I bet you would have received a reply.
GreenDream
GreenDream   |     |   Comment #14
Tom they are clear on the requirements for the rate. If you don't make 12.5k steps (10k if 65+) you don't get the 12.5k rate. period. Sucks for those who want the rate but can't manage the steps (I don't have an account, too much effort required. Plenty of decent rate institutions out there without the extra hoops to jump through. I don't even have a step-counting fitbit type device, nor do I desire one).

At most, the only recourse you have is to threaten a discrimination lawsuit under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). But actual lawsuits can be expensive with no guarantees that you'll win (though many companies will settle out of court precisely because of the expense and lack of guarantee that they'll win). Good luck should you go that route.
#18 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Rebecca C.
Rebecca C.   |     |   Comment #19
This is a wonderful program! I see a number of comments about cheating and lawsuits and 'easier ways to get money.' :( My comment is, thank you for creating a way to save more money and become healthy at the same time. The best financial plan is staying healthy, and walking a lot each day is the best way to achieve this -- so cool for them to build in the extra incentive. Your well-being, mood, energy, pocketbook and community will all be better off. If you don't make those steps, you still get what a regular savings account would provide, so it is a no-lose proposition. I just found out about this and will be telling everyone I know.
Thanks again, have a great day!
#20 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
John
John   |     |   Comment #21
Am I the only person receive the email notice of APY dropping to 2.3%?

"Effective December 1st, the top tier of our Fitness Savings Account and Senior Savings Accounts will be 2.30% APY - 2.28% APR.
Effective immediately, all new accounts are subject to a $250,000 maximum deposit limit per person. For existing account holders the $250,000 maximum deposit limit will take effect on 12/25/2019. " -- received email on 11/25/2019
FitnessBank Savings Account Earns High APY With Step Requirements
UPDATE 11/1/19: Fitness Savings Account's top rate has fallen from 2.75% to 2.60% APY. The 2.60% APY requires an average step count of 12,500 per day.

Deal Summary: Fitness Savings Account, 3.00% APY on balances over $100 when step requirements are met.

Availability: Nationwide (internet bank)

The Georgia-based, Affinity Bank, has a new and unique online bank. It’s called FitnessBank, and it’s offering an online savings account, the Fitness Savings Account, which currently has the highest rate for a nationally available savings account (3.00% APY on all balances over $100.)...

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