High-Yield Reward Checking Account at a New Jersey Bank (The Provident Bank)

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Update 11/02/2010: The top rate has fallen to 2.51% APY.

The Provident Bank has just started a reward checking account called Free Smart Checking. It pays 2.51% APY on balances up to $25,000 (0.65% for above) if the following monthly requirements are met:

  • 10 signature-based debit card transactions
  • one direct deposit or auto debit
  • Online banking and receiving electronic statements


If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.25%. The minimum opening deposit is $50. There are no monthly service charges.

I called the bank for additional details. According to the CSR, you have to come into a branch to open the account. They require 2 to 3 forms of ID (driver's licences, major credit card and utility bill would be sufficient). The application uses ChexSystem. The CSR didn't think a hard pull would be done. I didn't see any mention of ATM refunds in the ad, and I'm afraid I forgot to ask the CSR about this.

The Provident Bank is one of the largest banks in the nation to offer a reward checking. It has $6.3 billion in assets, $4.2 billion in deposits and 86 branches through out Central and Northern New Jersey. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 12010).

For other high yield reward checking accounts and to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.

Rate History:

  • 10/30/10: 2.51% APY for up to $25K; 0.65% for above
  • 06/30/10: 3.01% APY for up to $25K; 0.65% for above
  • 11/02/09: 3.26% APY for up to $25K; 0.75% for above
  • 05/01/09: 4.01% APY for up to $25K;
  • 01/30/09: 5.01% APY for up to $25K; 1.00% for above.
  • 01/09/09: 5.01% APY for up to $25K; 1.25% APY for above
  • 05/02/08: 5.01% APY for up to $25K; 2.00% APY for above; 0.25% base rate
Related Pages: The Provident Bank, New York, Philadelphia, checking account, reward checking account

Comments
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
https://www.providentsmartchecking.com/index.html

Unlimited ATM Fees refunded

Online application
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
no check images are on electronic statement; you have to manually print each check one by one only online.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
It's now shown on the bank's web site http://www.providentnj.com/ but the rate sheet is weird: for balances of $25,000.01 - $999,999,999.99 it pays 1.98% APR = 5.01% to 2.00% APY
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
Amounts over $25K earn 1.25% APY.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Amounts over $25K earn 1.00% APY.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Good luck with an "easy" account opening. If you live in NJ but are too far from their branches, they mail you a packet w/o explanatory info. I had to call them up and go thru each page to determine eaxctly what they wanted signed and what ID docs they wanted. I suggested they add a cover page with a list of required items that need to be mailed back to them. Not one of my easier accounts to open!
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I stopped by a branch office today. The assistant manager said the rate is dropping to 4% on May 1st.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Rate is now officially 4.01% up to $25,000 and 1.00% over $25k
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
rate is not 4.01% APY but on the website in the FAQ section it still says 5.01%. It appears that the lower APY started in April since the interest I got for this past month is lower. Still beats many other banks though.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Just wanted to say thank you for an amazing website.

Truly a ton of help!
uslee
uslee   |     |   Comment #11
Now it has a $2000 daily limit for out-bound transfer. Also for account with high balance, it asks for advance notice for account closing.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
Rate has dropped to 3.26%
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
Anything below 4.00% is not acceptable; considering the effort spent.

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