Peoples Bank is offering a reward checking account called Free Interest Checking with the following rates if certain monthly requirements are met:
- 3.35% APY on balances up to $50,000
- 1.00% APY on portion of balance over $50,000
- 0.10% base rate if monthly requirements are not met
- 10 debit card purchases
- One direct deposit or draft
- Receive e-statements
- $100 minimum initial deposit
- No minimum balance requirement
- No monthly service charge
- Free internet bill pay
- free ATMs nationwide (according to CSR, they refund fees charged by other banks the next day regardless of meeting above requirements)
The e.Savings Account has the following rate tiers as of 10/17/09:
- 1.81% APY on balances of $10,000 and above
- 0.50% for balances under $10,000
- $500 minimum opening deposit and minimum daily balance to avoid $15/quarter fee
- Interest credited quarterly
- six free withdrawals per quarter. Then $2.50 per withdrawal beginning with withdrawal seven
- Must receive statements electronically
Update 9/07/09: The reward checking application is now limited to North Carolina residents. The online savings account application continues to allow out-of-state people to join.
The bank is headquartered in Newton, North Carolina with 17 branches in western North Carolina.
Peoples Bank has some decent ratings for safety and soundness: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 3/31/09 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC members since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 5956).
Other Reward Checking Accounts
The rate of this Peoples Bank reward checking account is below average for reward checking, but on the plus side the balance cap is higher than average. There are not many nationwide reward checking accounts that have balance caps at or above $50K. Note, it has been common for banks to change their policies on nationwide availability, so if a policy changes, please leave a comment.
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.
10/17/09: e.Savings: 1.81% APY over $10K
08/31/09: Free Interest Checking: Restricted to North Carolina residents
07/21/09: Free Interest Checking: 3.35% APY up to $50K; 1% over; 0.25% base (available nationwide) e.Savings: 2.02% APY over $10K; 0.50% under $10K