Most reward checking accounts are free checking accounts. You don't have to worry about a monthly maintenance fee even if you don't meet the monthly debit card requirements. However, there are a few reward checking accounts that do have potential monthly fees, and that's the case with UniBank for Savings and its new reward checking account called eChecking. If you're careful, you can avoid the monthly fee and be rewarded with a reward checking rate that's quite competitive in today's environment.
The following eChecking rates and requirements are listed at UniBank's checking page as of 4/10/2012:
- 2.75% APY for balances up to $25,000
- 0.10% APY for balances in excess of $25,000
- Refunds of up to $25 per month on ATM surcharges
Monthly requirements include:
- 12 posted debit card transactions for purchases
- Maintain a minimum daily balance of $250
- Receive eStatements
If monthly requirements are not met:
- $35 monthly fee
- 0.10% APY on all balances
This is a reward checking account that you would have to be very careful to avoid missing the monthly requirements. The $35 fee would be painful. On the plus side, it might help the bank keep the high rate. Those who are not careful will help to subsidize those who are careful.
As the name implies, the eChecking requires an online application. According to the first page of the application, all residents of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are welcome to apply.
UniBank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 4.83% (excellent) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of UniBank for Savings for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1985 (FDIC Certificate # 90290).
How This Reward Checking Rate Compares
For a $25K balance cap, the highest reward checking rate that nationally available is 2.52% APY at ABCO Federal Credit Union. For balances up to $20K, INOVA Federal Credit Union offers 3.00% APY. Both of these reward checking accounts are free checking accounts with no monthly maintenance.
Overview of Reward Checking
If you're new to reward checking, my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking, should be useful.
To find the highest reward checking rates in your area, please refer to our reward checking rate table. This can also be used to find accounts available nationwide. If you're new to these tables, my rate table guide should be useful.