Update 7/14/10: The top rate is scheduled to fall to 3.00% APY effective July 29, 2010. Refer to the bottom of the post for the account history.
West Bank is offering a reward checking account called Reward Me Checking that pays 3.00% APY on balances up to $30,000 (0.50% for above) and refunds ATM fees up to $25 per cycle if the following monthly requirements are met:
- 12 signature based debit card transactions
- 1 direct deposit put in or 1 direct payment taken out of your account
- Receive electronic statement
If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.20% for that month. There are no monthly maintenance fees.
Update 4/04/09: The bank has changed their policy regarding eligibility. As stated in their online application: "The account owner must reside in Iowa at least part-time. Residency must be evidenced by a physical Iowa address (not a PO Box) which will be used as the address of record for the account."
According to the FAQs, you can apply by phone or by using their online application. I just called their toll-free number (800-810-2301) and confirmed that people in any state can apply online, and no branch visit is required. The CSR said they started offering this reward checking account in April 2008. According to the CSR, they only do a ChexSystem verification in the application with no hard credit pull.
West Bank is also the bank that holds deposits for SmartyPig. I reported on SmartyPig in early April just before West Bank started offering this reward checking account.
West Bank has several branches located in and around Des Moines, Iowa. It has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 15614).
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this reward checking account in the comments.
Other Reward Checking Accounts
To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation or to learn more about these accounts, please refer to my High Yield Checking website.
- 07/29/10: 3.00% APY up to $30K; 0.50% over
- 10/29/09: 4.00% APY up to $30K; 1.00% over
- 04/15/09: 4.00% APY up to $50K; 1.00% over; new accounts now restricted to only Iowa residents
- 07/03/08: 5.00% APY up to $50K; 1.25% over