Yesterday I reviewed the top online CD rates at Focus Bank. The bank also offers a reward checking and savings account. The reward checking is called MAXimum Free Checking. I first reviewed this account in 2007 when the top rate was 6.01% APY. The rate has fallen, but it remains competitive with a 3.01% APY for up to $25K as of 6/14/2011. Balances over $25K earn 0.51% APY. The monthly requirements include 10 debit card purchases, online access and e-statements. I have more details in my Focus Bank reward checking review.
If you have more than $25K, their savings account can help you earn a little more interest. It's called MAXsavers Savings Account, and it pays 1.01% APY on balances up to $50K. The MAXimum Free Checking monthly requirements must be met to qualify for this interest rate. Otherwise, the rate falls to 0.10%.
At the top of the MAXimum Free Checking page, it states "Online accounts are limited to residents in Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and parts of Illinois." If you meet this requirement, you can apply online using the "Open Now" link on the MAXimum Free Checking page.
Focus Bank branches are located in Arkansas and Missouri.
Focus Bank Overview
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 19.67% (average) based on March 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Focus Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 1426).
How This Reward Checking Compares
The 3 percent yield for balances up to $25K is higher than what you can now get from nationally available reward checking accounts. The best rate for a $25K balance cap is now only 2.51% APY as of 6/14/2011 (see post).
To review more accounts, you can use our reward checking account table. Use the "Filter Accounts" button on top of the table to select either nationwide accounts and/or your state. Also, you can use this button to select the investment amount. This allows you to compare accounts with different rate tiers.