Update 10/21/10: The bank is no longer opening new reward checking accounts. Here is what I received from a reader:
Per a CSR, as of 10/6, Sonoran no longer offers their RCA and linked high-interest savings accounts. Current account holders are still getting 3.26% APY on the RCA, but Sonoran can naturally change that at any time.
- 3.26% APY on balances up to $30,000
- 1.25% APY on portion of balance over $30,000
- 0.01% base rate if requirements are not met
- Refunds ATM fees nationwide
The monthly requirements include:
- 12 debit card purchases
- 1 direct deposit or automatic ACH payment
- Receive e-statements
Additional features of the account regardless of the monthly requirements include:
- $100 minimum initial deposit
- No minimum balance requirement
- No monthly service charge
The bank also has a companion high-yield savings account that has a 1.75% APY for up to $30K (1.25% over) if the above checking requirements are met. Like the checking account, the savings account has a $100 minimum initial deposit, but no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees.
The bank's micro-website has a link to an online application. However, the application makes it appear that a branch visit is required to complete the application process.
It's a small bank with one office located in Phoenix, Arizona.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are fair: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial (based on 9/30/09 data) and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com (based on 6/30/09 data). The bank has been a FDIC member since 2006 (FDIC Certificate # 58252).
Other Reward Checking Accounts
With this reward checking account, residents of the Phoenix area now have four 5% reward checking accounts to choose from. The other three include Goldwater Bank, Bank 1440 and First National Bank of Scottsdale which I just reported on yesterday. Hopefully this competition will help keep the rates high.
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.
- 08/18/10: Checking - 3.26% APY up to $30K; 1.25% over | Savings - 1.75% up to $30K; 1.25% over; 0.01% base rate for both
- 04/23/10: Checking - 4.26% APY up to $30K; 1.25% over | Savings - 2.51% on all balances
- 12/07/09: Checking - 5.03% APY up to $30K; 1.25% over | Savings - 3.01% on all balances