Update 5/2/2011: The top rate is now 1.00% APY.
Republic Bank is offering a high-yield reward checking account called BreakFree Checking. It offers the following rates if certain monthly requirements are met:
- 1.00% APY for balances up to $500,000
- 0.05% APY for portion of balances over $500,000
- 0.01% APY base rate if monthly requirements are not met
The monthly requirements include:
- 12 debit card purchases
- 1 direct deposit or automatic payment
- receive online statements
Some additional important features of this account include:
- $10 account setup fee
- $10 annual fee
- $50 minimum initial deposit
- No minimum balance requirement
- Free ATM transactions everywhere (All ATM fees assessed are refunded to the account on the next business day.)
This is the first time I've seen an account setup fee and an annual fee. They're small, so the account could still be worthwhile for large balances.
There's an online application link at the BreakFree Checking page. However, the first page of the application lists the areas of the country that are eligible to apply. Areas include:
Kentucky market areas: Boone, Bullitt, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton, Oldham, Scott, Shelby and Warren County
Indiana market areas: Clark County, Floyd County and Harrison County
Florida market areas: Hillsborough, Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas County
Ohio market areas: Hamilton County
According to the bank customer service rep, they do not run a credit report at a branch during the account opening process. However, if you apply online, they do run a credit report that could be a hard pull.
$100 Bonus Through 4/30/10
A reader mentioned receiving a mail offer about a $100 bonus for opening either the BreakFree checking, the Premier 50 checking or the Absolute Free checking. I inquired about this offer via the bank's online chat. According to the CSR this offer was sent National City clients to move their business over to Republic Bank. However, the CSR also said that new customers who are not National City clients could still be eligible if they are willing to move all of their accounts to Republic Bank. A branch visit would be required for this $100 bonus. Hat tip to the reader for mentioning this promo in the comments.
The bank has two FDIC charters that are both under one holding company. These two banks are:
- Republic Bank based in Port Richey, FL (FDIC Certificate # 35344) Ratings: 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com and 3½ stars (good) at BauerFinancial
- Republic Bank and Trust Company based in Louisville, KY (FDIC Certificate # 23627) Ratings: 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com and 3½ stars (good) at BauerFinancial
The above ratings are based on 9/30/09 financial data.
- 05/02/11: 1.00% APY up to $500K (not sure when rate changed)
- 02/17/10: 2.00% APY up to $500K