Updated Review of Heritage Bank's Reward Checking Account

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1.26*%-$25kHeritage BankeCentive Account
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of October 1, 2016.

It has been almost 3 years since I first reported on the reward checking account at Heritage Bank, N.A.. It's now called the eCentive Account, and the account continues to be available nationwide. The rates were always a little low compared to other reward checking accounts, but its current rate is more competitive today especially when compared to other nationally available reward checking accounts from banks. Below are the rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met (as of 6/27/2012):

  • 1.71% APY on balances up to $25,000
  • 0.10% APY on portion of balance over $25,000
  • 0.10% APY base rate if requirements are not met
  • Automatic refunds of ATM fees, nationwide (maximum of $25 per month)

The monthly requirements include:

  • 10 debit card purchases
  • one direct deposit or automatic payment (ACH)
  • Receive e-statements

eCentive is a free checking account with no monthly service charge and no minimum balance requirements. Minimum opening deposit is $50.

There's an online application link at the eCentive Account page. I confirmed again by calling the bank that the account continues to be available to people in any state.

The bank also continues to offer an online savings account called Heritage Direct Savings which has a rate of 0.65% as of 6/27/2012. I first posted on this savings account in April 2006 when the yield was 4.60%. In the last 3 years the savings account rates have been low compared to other internet savings accounts.

Heritage Bank is based in Minnesota. It has grown quite a bit since my 2009 report with assets growing from $179 million to $448 million. The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 7.29% (excellent) based on March 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Heritage Bank, N.A. for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1964 (FDIC Certificate # 19254).

How This Reward Checking Account Compares

There's only one bank with a nationally available reward checking account that currently has a higher rate. That bank is BankFirst Financial Services which offers a reward checking account that pays 2.00% APY for balances up to $50K. There are a couple of other banks that offer 1.75% APY but this only applies to balances up to $10K.

Higher rates are available at all-access credit unions. The highest yield for balances up to $25K is 2.52% APY at ABCO Federal Credit Union.

The above rates are accurate as of 6/27/2012.

To find the highest reward checking rates in your area, please refer to our reward checking rate table. This can also be used to find accounts available nationwide. If you're new to these tables, my rate table guide should be useful.

If you're new to reward checking, my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking, should be useful.

Comments
2.14% Reward Checking Account With No Balance Cap at Heritage Bank in MN - Nationally Available
Update 7/18/09: The top rate has fallen to 2.14% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

Heritage Bank is offering a reward checking account with a rate that's low for reward checking, but it has the advantage that all balances can qualify for the top rate. If certain monthly requirements are met, the following rate and features apply:
  • 2.14% APY on all balances
  • 0.10% base rate if monthly requirements are not met
  • Refunds of ATM fees nationwide up to $25 per month
The monthly requirements include:
  • 10 check card purchases
  • one direct...




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Heritage Bank's New Online Savings Account - 4.60%
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Heritage Bank is another bank getting into the high yield online savings account. The bank's new Heritage Direct Savings Account has a 4.60% APY. It requires a $1K minimum opening balance. The balance must remain above $1K to obtain the APY and to avoid a $10 monthly fee.

This savings account has the same features as the typical online savings account. It must be opened online, and it links to your existing checking account. Like EmigrantDirect or ING Direct, it doesn't offer...



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Heritage Bank Online increased the rate on their savings account from 4.60% to 4.72% APY. I first reported on this bank on April 2nd. As I mentioned in that post, this online savings account looks very similar to that of ING Direct or EmigrantDirect except that it has a $1K minimum to avoid a $10 monthly fee. Due to that minimum and fee, I still consider the other online savings accounts a better deal. However, it's nice to see that Heritage Bank intends to remain competitive on interest rates. This...
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