2.50% Reward Checking Account at a Kansas Bank (First National Bank)


Update 11/08/09: The top yield has fallen to 2.50% APY. See bottom of the post for the rate history.

First National Bank just started offering a new reward checking account that's called the Ultimate Checking. It pays 2.50% APY on balances up to $25,000 (0.10% over) if the typical reward checking requirements are met: 1) 15 Visa check card transactions per month, 2) ACH or Direct Deposit, and 3) receive eStatements. If these requirements are not met, the rate goes down to 0.10%. Also you get up to $30 in ATM refunds per statement if these requirements are met. The minimum opening balance is $100. After it's opened, there are no minimum balance requirements.

There is an "Apply Now" button at the top of the Ultimate Checking page. This opens up an online application. However, the Ultimate Checking page states the following:
We provide service within the Kansas City Metropolitan area and surrounding counties. All accounts must be opened at a First National Bank Banking Center

First National Bank is part of the financial services holding company, First National of Nebraska. It's the same holding company that owns First National Bank of Omaha which is the parent of FNBO Direct. However, First National Bank seems to be run as a separate bank designed to serve the Kansas City metro area. It is FDIC insured separately from FNBO (FDIC Certificate # 33789). It has 7 branches in the Kansas City metro area and 233 employees.

For other reward checking accounts in other parts of the country, please see my reward checking account page and my best checking account post.

Thanks to the reader beanieblueeyes who mentioned this new checking account in the finding deals post.

Rate History:
10/29/09: 2.50% APY up to $25K; 0.10% over
06/18/09: 3.00% APY up to $25K
05/23/09: 3.50% APY up to $25K; 0.25% over; 0.10% base
12/02/08: 3.50% APY up to $25K; 0.50% over; 0.25% base
02/09/08: 4.00% APY.
01/26/08: 4.25% APY (it had been 5.00% APY).
11/06/07: 5.25% APY.
06/28/07: 5.60% APY (initial post)

Edit 12/30/08: APY for over $25K is 0.50% (down from 1.50%). APY if requirements not met is 0.25% (down from 0.50%)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I just called this bank to test this theory and was told that I could apply online, but all initial forms would have to be signed in person. A faxed copy would not do.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
the rate has dropped to 3.50%
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Along with the rate drop to 3.50% goes 0.50% APY for amount over $25K, and 0.25% if requirements not met.