High-Yield Reward Checking Account at Integrity Bank in Houston - Local Only

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Update 7/7/2011: The rate has fallen. Please refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

Integrity Bank is offering a high-yield reward checking account with the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met:
  • 2.76% APY on balances up to $25,000 (as of 7/7/2011)
  • 0.50% APY on portion of balance over $25,000
  • 0.10% on all balances if requirements are not met
The monthly requirements include:
  • 10 debit card purchases
  • 1 direct deposit or direct debit
  • Receive e-Statements
Additional features of the account include:
  • $100 minimum initial deposit
  • ATM fees refunded nationwide
  • Free online bill payment
  • Cycle includes the last day of the previous month through the next to the last day of the current month
Based on the reward checking documentation it appears ATM fees are refunded regardless of monthly requirements. Also, I don't see any mention of fees. Most reward checking accounts lack any monthly fees. However, there have been more recent ones which have fees.

There's an online application, but in the first page it states that a branch visit is required to complete the application process. It's a small one-office bank located in Houston, Texas at 4040 Washington Avenue.

The bank was just established in late 2007 so it doesn't have a rating for safety and soundness at BauerFinancial. It has 4-star rating (sound) at Bankrate.com based on 3/31/09 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2007 (FDIC Certificate # 58631).

Other Reward Checking Accounts

To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation or to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.

Rate History:
  • 06/08/11: 2.76% APY up to $25K
  • 10/02/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K; 0.50% over; 0.10% base
Comments


Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Poor customer service.  It took more than one month for me to receive the new account package which notified me of the acccount number, and two more weeks to get a debit card, and then another 10 days to get the PIN number of the debit card.   
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Most comprehensive customer service I've ever seen ... almost too comprehensive.  I completed the on-line application and a bank employee contacted me, eager to set up an appointment to finish the process.  Showed up to my appointment, everything went smoothly.  Using the online application made the process quick and painless.  After opening the account, I have had little contact with bank employees -- only two on-site transactions which were completed in a professional manner one would expect at any bank.  I am currently enjoying a 4% interest rate on my checking account.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I don't live near Texas, and am attempting to open the account.  On-line app went well, but then someone emailed me that i need to personally come in to the branch to sign paperwork.  I'm asking if they can make an exception and mail it to me.  So far, they have not been very accomodating. 
Zoidberg
Zoidberg   |     |   Comment #5
They're a good bank to deal with, & pay a great yield on my balance. The only trouble I had was having to wait 2 weeks to get my debit card.

 

Anonymous #4: I don't see any reason to complain here. The bank serves the Houston area, You are not within their market, and its entirely unreasonable for you to expect them to make an exception for you alone.
elarh
elarh   |     |   Comment #6
One transaction was not counted towards my monthly 10. A monthly charge fron NetFlix was disallowed as it somehow came in classified as recurring charge. Bank rep told me that I actually needed to physically swipe the card in order to get a valid POS count. If this is the case, use of the card for buying over the net will not count towards rewarded transaction count.
51hh
51hh   |     |   Comment #7
I doubt it, all RCA counts debit transactions in a few ways: either with PIN or without PINs.  Some RCAs accept either PIN-basd ot non-PIN based transactions, a few require it to be non-PIN based and, maybe 1-2 require pin-based.  Online or not is not an issue.
elarh
elarh   |     |   Comment #8
The only info I saw when opening the account was "Make 10 debit card purchases". There were no stated restrictions as to how the purchase was made.

Both PIN and non-PIN transactions have qualified. The only purchases (other than the NetFlix charge) I've made for this RCA were all ones where the card was swiped. I've only had the card for 2 months.

The issue came up after I failed to qualify this last period. The Bank Rep said that the NetFlix charge did not qualify. She said it was rejected as a recurring charge. She added that the intent was for the customer to physically swipe the card (I personally think she doesn't know what she's talking about on this). However, she did agree to qualify me for the higher interest rate this last period.

I'm probably just going to switch the NetFlix charge over to another RCA. That seems to be the simplest way to deal with it.
51hh
51hh   |     |   Comment #9
Also, make 1-2 additional transactions every month to be safe.

Another way (before end of cycle) is to check how each debit transactions are coded (if one stands out as a different code), you may want to ignore that one for meeting requirements.
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