Top Reward Checking Account in Houston at Tradition Bank


It has been a long time since my first review of Tradition Bank and its reward checking account. At that time in early 2008 the reward checking account had a 5.76% APY. The rate has fallen, but it has held up well compared to other banks. It remains a good deal for those in the Houston area. The account is now called e-Star Checking, and there have been some additional changes since my 2008 review besides a lower rate. Below is a summary of the rates as listed at the bank’s rates page as of of 6/20/2013:

Rates if monthly requirements are met:

  • 2.50% APY for balances up to $25,000
  • 0.50% for portion of balance over $25,000
  • 0.10% base rate if requirements are not met

Monthly requirements to qualify for the above rates include:

  • 10 debit card purchases per month
  • ACH or direct deposit
  • e-statements

Notable account features include:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance (can be waived with a $2,500 minimum daily balance)
  • Receive up to $25 in ATM fee refunds
  • Free bill pay IF minimum of 5 bills paid per month; otherwise $5.95 per month after the first 90 days.

This isn’t the typical reward checking account as you can see in the list of notable features. Most reward checking accounts are free regardless of balance. However, most reward checking accounts have lower rates and balance caps. So that’s the tradeoff to consider.


I emailed the bank about who is eligible to open the checking account. According to the bank representative, they require customers to open the account in person at a branch. They said it’s preferable for the custom to live in Houston. If you don’t live in the Houston metro area and you are interested in this account, it would be a good idea to contact a branch manager to ensure he or she will let you open the account before you plan for a long drive to a branch.

Bank Overview

Tradition Bank branches are located in Houston, Katy and The Woodlands.

The bank has an overall health score at of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 8.16% (above average) based on March 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Tradition Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1980 (FDIC Certificate # 23032).

How This Reward Checking Compares

There are a few banks and credit unions in Texas which have better reward checking deals. The best deal in Texas and the nation is at Southwest Airlines Federal Credit Union. Its reward checking account has a 4.00% APY for balances up to $25K. It has branches in Dallas and near Houston, but membership is primarily limited to Southwest Airline employees and a few other select employer groups.

The second best deal in Texas is at Navy Army Community Credit Union which has a reward checking account that pays 3.51% APY for balances up to $25K. Membership is primarily limited to those who live or work in the Corpus Christi metro area.

Another good deal is in Northeast Texas at Texas Bank which has a reward checking account with a 3.04% APY for balances up to $25K.

The best reward checking account with a $25K balance cap that’s nationally available is at ABCO Federal Credit Union. Its reward checking account has a 2.02% APY.

The above rates are accurate as of 6/20/2013.

To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation, please refer to the reward checking section of To learn more about reward checking, please refer to this reward checking overview.

elarh   |     |   Comment #1
They also allow you to open two of these accounts
51hh   |     |   Comment #2
Three best RCAs, all from Texas, ...
elarh   |     |   Comment #3
I've been getting 2.5% on this account up to the current month where it seems to have dropped to 1.875%. I can no longer find this reward checking account listed on either "deposit accounts' or the Tradition bank home page. Plus, no correspondence from Tradition indicating a change. Anybody have any intelligence on this?
pearlbrown   |     |   Comment #4
The e-Star Checking account disappeared from DA's tables the first week of November.  The fact that the account is nowhere to be found on the Traditions website may have something to do with their merger with Prosperity Bank, announced in early August. 

I reviewed the Prosperity Bank website a few moments ago and they do not appear to offer a reward checking account.   If memory serves, it was Prosperity who took over Coppermark Bank a couple of years ago and eliminated the 4% RCA, because they did not offer one.  I think they phased it out over a couple of months, lowering the rate significantly. 

When you call the bank and learn more info, others might appreciate your posting an update.  

Good luck in your search for a replacement RCA.
elarh   |     |   Comment #5
Interest rate did decrease from 2.5% to 1.89% for the November reporting period. I called the bank and was told that the account will no longer be offered effective January 1, 2016 when the Prosperity takeover takes place. Another one bites the dust.
2.75% Reward Checking Account at a Texas Bank (Tradition)
Update 11/08/09: The reward checking account is no longer listed on the website.

Update 1/05/09: The top yield has fallen to 2.75% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

Tradition Bank has started a reward checking account called Gold Star Checking with a current yield of 2.75% APY for balances up to $25,000 (1.00% for over) and refunds ATM fees if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 debit card purchases, 2) one ACH credit or debit (third party initiated ACH), and 3) enroll and receive...

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