FitnessBank Rises To Rate Leader for Online Savings Accounts
FitnessBank has become the rate leader for online savings accounts. The top-tier rate of its Fitness Savings Account increased 100 bps to 3.50% APY. This is an all-time high for FitnessBank that exceeds the 3.00% APY that FitnessBank offered in 2019.
The Fitness Savings Account requires that the customer average at least 12,500 steps per day in the previous month to earn the top APY (the Senior Savings Account requires only 10,000 steps per day for that APY). If you average fewer steps, the rate that you earn falls, and unfortunately, those rates haven’t been increasing much. If you just miss 12,500 steps and qualify for the second tier, you currently earn only 1.25% APY. This FitnessBank page provides the details about the FitnessBank Step Tracker App that’s needed to meet the step requirements.
The monthly step requirements make it unique to online savings accounts. This step requirement is both a benefit and a drawback. It’s a benefit in that it allows the Bank to offer a top rate. Since not every customer qualifies for the top rate, the average interest rate FitnessBank pays is more sustainable for an online bank. The drawback is that it does have step requirements that many customers may not be able to meet to qualify for the top rate.
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:
Here’s a summary of the basic features of the Fitness Savings Account. These features apply to both the Fitness Savings Account and the Senior Fitness Savings Account.
- $100 minimum to open, to earn interest, and to avoid a $10 maintenance fee.
- Account balances are capped at $250,000
- Standard 6-per-month withdrawal limit applies. $10 fee is charged for each additional withdrawal.
- Interest is compounded daily, and credited monthly
- No debit/ATM Cards available
- No step requirements for the first month
The funds transfer features are important for online saving accounts. Below are the details for ACH and wire transfers based on the information I received today from a FitnessBank official:
- Outgoing and incoming ACH transfers initiated using FitnessBank’s online funds transfer system are limited to $2.5k per day
- Outgoing and incoming ACH transfer limits may be increased up to $15k by request
- No size limit on ACH transfers when initiated by another bank
- Free incoming wire transfers, and if the incoming wire is above $15k, FitnessBank will reimburse that fee charged by your other bank.
The small ACH limits are common for the non-major online banks. I was told by the Bank official, that “the smaller limits do reduce [their] risk especially since it settles next day.”
New Fitness Checking Accounts
In the last year, FitnessBank launched its Fitness Checking and Senior Checking Accounts. These are reward checking accounts that require debit card usage to qualify for the top rate. In addition to the debit card usage requirement, they also have step requirements similar to the savings accounts. If you meeting these requirements, you are rewarded with two rate benefits:
- Extra 10 bps on your Fitness Savings Account
- 1.00% APY on your Fitness Checking Account on up to $25k (0.25% for portion of balance above $25k)
To qualify for the above rate benefits, the following two requirements must be met:
- 10,000 steps average per day (7,500 for those 65+)
- 10 PIN-based/signature-based debit card purchases per account period
The current maximum Fitness Savings Account rate is 3.60% APY (an extra 10 bps with the checking account and qualifying activities.) To qualify for this, you must meet the following requirements:
- 12,500 steps average per day (10,000 for those 65+)
- 10 PIN-based/signature-based debit card purchases per account period
The top Fitness Checking rate is low for reward checking rates. For savers, the main benefit will be earning the extra 10 bps on your Fitness Savings Account. For a $250k balance, that results in an extra $250 of interest earnings in a year.
A few of the important features of the checking account include:
- $100 minimum to open and to avoid a $10 maintenance fee.
- Only one account per primary account holder
- If requirements are not met, the APY is 0.10% on the entire balance.
- No step or debit card usage requirements for the first month
- ATM fee reimbursement up to $10 per statement period
- Free online banking, bill pay and mobile deposit
Fitness Savings Account Rate History
Since FitnessBank was launched in 2019, the top tier rate of the savings account has been above the average rate of the major online savings accounts. There were times in 2019 and 2020 when the rate was way above the average. However, there was also an eight-month period in 2021 and early 2022 when the rate was just a little above the average.
One thing that has changed with this new 3.50% APY is that there is now a wide difference between the top tier rate (3.50% APY) and the second tier rate (1.25% APY). In the past, the difference has been much smaller. If you think you might not be able to meet the 12.5k/day step requirements, you would be better off with an online savings account from another bank.
When I first wrote about FitnessBank in 2019, I was worried that this concept might be considered too much of a gimmick. After more than three years, It’s a good sign that FitnessBank is still going strong with new checking accounts.
I know some people don’t want to play games with their savings. Also, the customer must be a smartphone user who is willing to download the Step Tracker app. There may also be privacy concerns with having your steps tracked.
Those who have physical limitations may find it difficult or impossible to qualify for the high interest rates. However, it should be noted that the Step Tracker app is now able convert cycling and swimming distances into steps. So you’re no longer limited to just walking and running.
In my experience with FitBit, you can achieve between 2,000 and 3,000 steps by walking a mile. Also, a lot of household chores such as taking out the trash, doing the dishes and cleaning your house can quickly add 1,000+ steps.
There are definitely a few concerns with this concept, but there are also some positives. Most everyone can achieve health benefits by walking more, and a concept like this can provide that incentive.
Availability and Application
FitnessBank offers its bank accounts online only to US Citizens, 18 years or older, with a valid Social Security number. Also, the applicants must have a residential mailing address (not a PO Box) and a valid driver’s license or US passport.
Single and joint accounts can be opened. With joint accounts, FitnessBank will only connect the account to one of the account holders for rate purposes. You will want to choose the most active person to get the best rate.
FitnessBank does not do a credit pull in the account application. So you don’t need to worry about a hard pull that dings your credit score. FitnessBank just uses ChexSystems for all account applications.
The initial deposit can be made by ACH transfer from another bank. This will require that you provide your current bank account and routing number. When you apply, you’ll get an email confirmation with your application confirmation number and a copy of the disclosures attached. You’ll get another email when the account is open letting you know of the next steps.
The online application does not provide options for designating beneficiaries. However, beneficiaries can be designated after the account has been opened and funded by submitting the name, social security number and date of birth for each beneficiary via a secure message within online banking. FitnessBank only allows individuals as beneficiaries. There is no limit to the number of beneficiaries on an account.
FitnessBank is a division of Affinity Bank. FitnessBank was originally the division of Newton Federal Bank, but in January 2020, Newton Federal Bank acquired Affinity Bank and changed its name to Affinity Bank.
As an online division of Affinity Bank, FitnessBank operates under Affinity Bank’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history. Also, Affinity Bank and FitnessBank are treated as the same entity for the purpose of calculating FDIC insurance limits and deposits.
FitnessBank’s website address (fitnessbank.fit) has the “.fit” top-level domain (TLD). The “.fit” TLD was made available in 2015 to all who want to identify themselves as part of the fitness community.
FitnessBank/Affinity Bank has an overall health grade of "B+” at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 9.48% (excellent) based on June 30, 2022 data. In the past year, the Bank increased its total non-brokered deposits by $7.12 million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.14%. The Bank has assets in excess of $766 million, and deposits in excess of $633 million. Please refer to our financial overview of FitnessBank/Newton Federal Bank (FDIC Certificate # 29510) for more details.
How the Fitness Savings Account Compares
When compared to Savings Accounts and Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide, FitnessBank’s Fitness Savings APY currently ranked first. This assumes the FitnessBank customer will maintain the required step activity to earn the top tier rate.
The above rates are accurate as of 10/3/2022.
To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates and Money Market Accounts page.
NO SOUP FOR YOU!
Clearly not worth it unless you're doing it anyway, and even then it's too much of a hassle and risk.
Missing submarine hints at Russia's chilling plan: 'Radioactive tsunami'
Also I don't like to run or walk that much for my cardio I actually use a razor scooter as it's better for my knees. Standing 18 hrs. a day on a cement floor in a shop wasn't too great for the knees as it turns out. So I would have to do all those steps on top of my regular workout which I might even do If you could bank the steps. I like the concept but not the implementation a bit too strict. Exercise should be fun not a daily chore.
"But doc! I needed the extra dollar and 71 cents!"
And I don't have a smart phone
I walk daily a small amount and I have no interest in their rate that is less than 18% of what my broker is paying me
Interest rate increases might feel good for now, but if we don't cut the government spending, and I'm talking about real cuts not the phony reductions in the rate of increase, you could be witnessing the beginning of a death spiral for the economy.
One million + one million = billion, one billion + one billion = trillion, one trillion + one trillion = quadrillion, so what is the problem.
Furthermore, all of the dems said that they will NEVER pay back the national debt, the agenda is destruction on all levels of the society and issuing digital credits as money. If you obey you get to eat, otherwise you will be excluded from your money.
You must have missed the Scroll Bar
Someone needs to teach Cramer how to read a chart... spx up 200 points or 6% since 9/30
Please let me know when Cramer turns bullish...;)
Q:The current top APY 3.5% has cap $250K. Just wondering the cap is per account or per customer?
A:Hello. The cap is per customer; however, it is a soft cap. We are not, and have not ever actually enforced it by returning funds in excess of that limit.
Q:The soft cap means I can have more than $250K in my account. But the amount over $250k will not earn 3.5% APY, right?
A:Sorry, it means we are not enforcing the limit. The entire balance will earn the corresponding rate. We just reserve the right to return the funds.
Q:I am not quite understand the $250K cap policy. Your website clearly say the cap. According what you said, it could be no limit. And some day the Bank still have chance to enforce the policy?
A:Correct. Our terms give us the right to return funds in excess of $250,000. We have never done so, but in the event that we do return funds we would reach out in advance to get the best method. We have never done this in our history.
As I approach 60, I am in much better health than ever before. I owe this, to good nutrition and exercise, but none would have been so effective, had I not had the knowledge that I have with Fitbit.
So....when this little bank deal showed up on this page, I did not walk, I ran to it. I average many more than 12.5K steps per day per month.
For those of us who are fit, this is a piece of cake. I walk for an hour every day during lunch, instead of sitting at my desk, and I workout at my local gym every evening for another hour, on a variation of strength, aerobic and flexibility classes.
If I were to gift to each and every one of you, something, it would be a Fitbit. I gave the Fitbit Charge 2 to all my family members and friends as a Christmas present in 2017, and we all still use the same tracker and walk "together" every day from miles away.
Invest wise. Invest in your health first.