3.75% Reward Checking Account at Liberty Savings Bank - Nationally Available


Update 11/22/09: The top rate has fallen to 3.75% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

Liberty Savings Bank is offering a reward checking account that's called High Interest Checking. It has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met:
  • 3.75% APY on balances up to $25,000
  • 0.75% APY on balances over $25,000
  • 0.10% base rate if qualifications are not met
  • Refund of ATM fees of up to $25 per cycle
The monthly requirements include:
  • 15 signature-based (credit) debit card purchases
  • One direct deposit or 3 online bill pays
  • Receive e-statements
Additional features of the account regardless of the monthly requirements include:
  • $100 minimum initial deposit
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly service charge
  • free online bill pay
There's an online application that's provided by Andera, and people from any state can apply online. I called the bank and confirmed this today. According to the CSR, you can fund the account with an ACH transfer, and nothing needs to be mailed. The first order of checks is free, and according to the CSR, there's no hard credit inquiry (only a soft pull for identification purposes).

Branches are located in Ohio, Colorado, Florida and South Carolina.

The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are mixed: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 12/31/08 financial data. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1984 (FDIC Certificate # 32242).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this account.

Other Reward Checking Accounts

It's nice to see another nationwide reward checking account. My nationwide reward checking list only has 39 banks and credit unions which allow you to open a reward checking account from any state. This list has been shrinking a little over the last month as some banks have decided to restrict their accounts to their market area. I've speculated that nationwide reward checking accounts may have a harder time keeping up rates since they're more prone to rate chasers. It's best if banks can enroll many "Average Joes" who'll spend a lot on their debit cards, keep balances well under the $25K cap and forget to meet the monthly requirements every now and then.

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.

Edit 11/08/09: Added '3 online bill pays' as alternative to direct deposit requirement.

Rate History:
11/10/09: 3.75% APY up to $25K; 0.75% over
04/27/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K; 1.01% over; 0.10% base
Related Pages: Liberty Savings Bank, Tampa, checking account, reward checking account

  |     |   Comment #1
Does "direct deposit" include a manual ACH transfer ?
High Interest Checking
  |     |   Comment #2
It is a great rate; however, I think it would be hard to keep track of all the debit card transactions unless you shopped regularly at those locations.
Jon the Canadian
  |     |   Comment #3
It's not too hard - I run 3 separate charges every time I fill up on gas, and you can always check online banking to see how many have been processed.
A Germann
  |     |   Comment #4
Direct Deposit does not include a manual ACH transfer from another financial institution; they do not come through with proper coding. It would include electronic deposit of payroll, pension, social security, etc. We are in the process of tweaking the account so you either have at least one direct deposit or at least one online bill pay every month.

Also, we will open an account for anyone nationwide. In mid-June, we will offer account-to-account transfer which will allow you to transfer to and from your account at another institution into and out of your account with Liberty Savings Bank.
A Germann
  |     |   Comment #5
And it may surprise you how many signature-based debit card transactions you do every month. When we were researching the accounts, I didn't think I would qualify either. I was surprised to find that I could qualify TWICE for the reward on High Interest Checking.
Ohio's SaveNOW Bonus Program Provides a Little Help to Savers
The government hasn't made it easy on savers over the last couple of years as interest rates have plummeted, but here's an example of a state government that's trying to help a little. The State of Ohio launched in April a savings program called the SaveNow Bonus. Here's how the Ohio Treasurer described it:

Unfortunately, the interest bonus is limited to $5,000.

Not all banks in Ohio have signed on. According to the Cincinatti Business Journal, participating banks include PNC/National City, Liberty Savings, Wayne Savings and MainSource Savings.

4% Deal at Liberty Savings...

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