Update 5/5/15: The bank is now limiting the account to Oklahoma residents.
This week I’ve been looking for banks with competitive reward checking accounts that are allowing people from any state to apply. Most banks either require a branch visit to open an account or limit new customers to their market area. I was able to find one new bank that is currently allowing people from any state to apply online. It’s Security Bank, and it has a competitive reward checking account that it calls Security Bonus Checking. Below is a summary of the account rates and features as listed in the bank’s Security Bonus Checking page as of 8/22/2013.
Rates and ATM fee refunds if monthly requirements are met:
- 2.05% APY on balances up to $25,000
- 0.30% interest rate on portion of balances over $25,000
- 0.10% APY on entire balance if requirements are not met
- Up to $25 in nationwide ATM fee refunds
Monthly requirements to qualify for the above rates:
- 10 check card purchases
- Direct Deposit or ACH auto debit
- Receive e-Statements
The account has no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement. The minimum deposit to open the account is $100.
We’ve been tracking Security Bonus Checking rates since September 2012. The only rate change since that time was in January 2013 when the yield fell from 2.50% to 2.05%.
Currently Nationally Available Available to OK Residents Only
Update 5/5/15: The bank has started to limit this account to residents of Oklahoma. This is stated on the bank's Security Bonus Checking page.
If you click on the "open now" button on the bank’s Security Bonus Checking page, it’ll take you to an online application. The only restriction listed in the application is that you must be a US citizen to open an account online. I emailed the bank to confirm they were accepting applications from any state. Here is part of the reply that I received:
We do accept applicants from other states. When your online application is received and approved, you may fund the account by ACH transfer, wire transfer, or by mailing a check. We would require a current Driver’s License which can be scanned and emailed to us. At the time the account is approved for opening, we would send an application for a debit card.
This reply was received on 8/21/2013. Please note that small banks often change the eligibility rules for account opening. This has been very common with reward checking accounts. After a bank starts to get too many applications, it will start restricting new accounts to residents in their state or within their local market area. So if you try to apply for this Security Bonus Checking account and you are rejected because you’re outside their market area, it’s another case of a bank changing eligibility rules. Please leave a comment if that happens to you.
Security Bank is small with just one branch in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has 39 employees and $389 million in deposits.
It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 0.48% (excellent) based on March 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Security Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 4178).
How This Reward Checking Compares
For nationally available reward checking accounts, the Security Bonus Checking is now one of the best deals. Other than this checking account, the highest rate for a $25K balance cap is 2.02% APY at ABCO Federal Credit Union. The second highest is 1.76% APY at Provident Credit Union.
Most of the banks that are offering reward checking accounts available nationwide have low balance caps. For example, AmericaNet Bank and its two sister banks (Redneck Bank and Evantage Bank) offer a 2.00% APY but it only applies to a balance of up to $10K. American Savings Bank offers a 2.00% APY for balances up to $15K, but I just learned this week that it has changed its eligibility rules. New customers must be residents of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, or West Virginia to be eligible to open the reward checking account.
The above rates are accurate as of 8/22/2013.
There are many local deals with reward checking accounts that pay over 2% for up to $25K. To find reward checking accounts in your state or that are available nationwide, please refer to our reward checking table. If you want to learn more about reward checking, this reward checking overview has many details.