I know some people have avoided reward checking accounts because they don’t like debit cards. Most all reward checking accounts require monthly debit card purchases to qualify for the high yield. There are a few which don’t have this requirement. One is Mercantile Bank of Michigan. It has a reward checking account called WOW Checking. This still has monthly activity requirements, but customers can meet these requirements without debit card purchases. Below is a summary of the rates and requirements of this account as listed in the bank’s WOW Checking page as of 7/11/2013:
Rates if monthly requirements are met:
- 3.00% APY on balances up to $15,000
- 0.00% on portion of balance over $15,000
- 0.00% on entire balance if requirements are not met
Monthly requirements to qualify for the above rate:
- 15 customer-initiated activities that can include: deposits, withdrawals, checks, ATM withdrawals, ATM deposits, Debit card transactions, ACH debits, ACH credits, internet banking transfers and automatic loan payments.
The WOW Checking account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service charge. There is a minimum initial deposit of $50.
Unlike most reward checking accounts, the monthly requirements aren’t necessary to receive refunds of ATM fees. Mercantile Bank will automatically reimburse ATM withdrawal fees charged by ATMs located in the U.S. This policy actually applies to all of the bank’s deposit accounts.
Availability - Michigan Only
There’s a link to an online application on the WOW Checking page. However, the first page of the application states:
You must be a Michigan resident or an existing Mercantile Bank of Michigan customer to open an account online.
Mercantile Bank branches are located in the Michigan cities of Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Kentwood, Wyoming and Holland.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) and a Texas ratio of 8.99% (above average) based on March 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Mercantile Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1997 (FDIC Certificate # 34598).
Other Reward Checking Accounts
To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com. To learn more about reward checking, please refer to this reward checking overview.