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.
- 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