4.04% Reward Checking Account at an Alabama Bank (Keystone)


Update 3/28/09: A reader has reported that the top rate is scheduled to fall to 4.04% APY starting April 20, 2009. See bottom of the post for the rate history.

Keystone Bank has a rewards checking account that pays 4.04% APY on balances up to $25,000 (1.15% for above) and refunds ATM fees without limit if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 debit card transactions, 2) one direct deposit or auto debit, and 3) receive electronic statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.25%. There are no minimum opening deposit, no minimum balance requirements, and no monthly fees.

According to the FAQ, a customer can open multiple reward checking accounts. This is nice if you have over $25k. You still have to meet the requirements for the additional account.

Update 3/17/09: A reader was told by the bank that they have decided to limit the rewards checking product to the state of Alabama. Also, it now only shows up on CheckingFinder.com for Alabama zip codes.

Branches are located in Auburn and Gadsden, Alabama. It's a new bank that was just established in 2007. It's a member FDIC (Certificate # 58328).

For other high yield reward checking accounts and to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.

Rate History:
04/20/09: 4.04% APY
03/17/09: No longer available nationwide
01/31/09: Available nationwide per CheckingFinder
01/31/09: 5.15% APY up to $25K; 1.15% over $25K (per CheckingFinder. Bank's flash page still shows 2.50% which is assumed to be out-of-date)
04/20/08: 5.15% APY up to $25K; 2.50% over $25K
Chantillian (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
Having had no clue who checkingfinder.com is nor why one should go that route, I tried to sign up via Keystone's web site. The next day - moments ago - I got a kind Email suggesting that I go to checkingfinder.com.

Maybe I missed something, or the instructions here could be clearer, or I'm not as up-to-speed as most others, or a combination of these.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #2
CheckingFinder.com was built by FirstROI who markets these reward checking accounts to banks and credit unions. This About Page has more details.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
This account is no longer available nationwide. I am out of state and applied yesterday, and today I got an email stating that 'they have decided to limit the rewards checking product to the state of Alabama'. The bank also doesn't show up on Checkingfinder any more for zip codes outside Alabama.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
My account was opened 3/16, one day before they shut out nationwide accounts. Since they cycle monthly on the 18th, my "free" startup cycle consisted of two days, and I now have to meet requirements by April 18. This will be impossible since Keystone uses a manual paperwork system. Also as of April 20 their interest rates drops to 4.04% APY. Just another 2-bit operation.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
The Keystone 5.15% checking account is a scam. I opened an account with them and met all there qualifications and still didn't get 5.15%. After numerous emails and phone calls was told that they can no longer offer the 5.15% even though it is advertised on there homepage still and employees promised me the higher interest rate. Also it was very difficult to meet the criteria to get the higher interest. I believe few people actually qualify and the few that do they tell them it is no longer available. It is a well planned out teaser rate scam so stay clear of keystonebank.com keystonebank.us or any other domain that forwards to the same or similar video promising too good to be true interest rates.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
I've had a very positive experience with Keystone Bank so far. They automatically gave me the high interest rate the first month. I'm guessing they do this since it takes a few weeks to get the debit card.

Also, I met all the requirements the 2nd month and was given the promised interest rate. Customer service has been excellent, too. I sent a question online and got a response back within a day. Also, when I called their main number, a person picked up immediately and was very helpful.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
This account is NOT a scam. I live in Maryland and opened an account earlier this year (prior to their decision to limit the account to customers in Alabama). Everything has worked as advertised. I find it very easy to meet the monthly requirements for the higher interest rate(currently 4.04%). In addition, all ATM fees charged by local banks have been refunded by Keystone. This is important to me as there are no Keystone Bank locations outside of AL.

It's a shame that they've decided to limit these accounts to customers in Alabama. However, there are many other banks with similar accounts. I signed up through checkingfinder.com. There's a link on the Dave Ramsey website.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8

The rates for the Keystone Bank Reward account are misleading!  Unlike other reward accounts, at Keystone, if your balance is over $25,000, you earn ONLY 1.41% for the ENTIRE balance. 

Look at the bottom of your statement for proof.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
I received the 4.04% for a month.  Today, I received an email stating it was going down to 3.01%.  A good rate, but they still advertise 4.04 on the web.  Appears they hook you and then reduce after a month or two.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Been with Keystone for a full year, plan is as advertised.... I've had no problems making monthly requirements and they consistently deposit the high interest rate (right now 3%). As far as the electronic transfer requirement, I have a regular old checking acct with regions that I use to deposit (an ACH transfer) to Keystone every month. I don't know why some folks insist its a scam, or just a teaser rate, they've been good to me! Acct web features and monthly statements are pretty bare bones though, could do with some updating for sure.