2.01% Reward Checking Account at a Texas Bank (West Texas National)


Update 1/09/09: The top yield has fallen to 2.01% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

West Texas National Bank is offering a reward checking account called Ultimate Checking. It pays 2.01% APY on balances up to $25,000 (0.50% for over) and refunds ATM fees if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 check card transactions, 2) one direct deposit or ACH auto debit or one online bill pay, and 3) access online banking with electronic statements. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.25%. The checking account remains a free account with free online bill pay regardless of meeting the above requirements.

Update 4/08/08: According to the banking rep, you can apply online without having to come into a branch. At the end of the online application, you'll need to print out and mail in the signature card. Also, you'll need to mail in a copy of your driver's license and second form of ID along with your check for the initial deposit.

It appears that a branch visit is required to open this account. The bank is headquartered in Midland, Texas. In addition to Midland, branches are located in Alpine, Terlingua, Crane, Denver City, Kermit, Pecos and Seminole. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 22957).

Rate History:
01/09/09: 2.01% APY for up to $25K; 0.50% for above; 0.25% if req's are not met
11/01/08: 4.01% APY
04/30/08: 5.01% APY
12/21/07: 6.01% APY for up to $25K; 0.85% for above; 0.51% if req's are not met
Related Pages: West Texas National Bank, Odessa, Lubbock, checking account, reward checking account

  |     |   Comment #1
Banking Guy, I have a question about all these reward checking accounts, which are becoming more attractive for their high rates as the regular rates for CDs and savings accounts keep falling.

Question is about all the required check card transactions, sometimes 10 to 12 to 15 per month. There are easy ways to have that many transactions, if one wants to...but.....

Do those kind of retail purchase transactions carry a per transaction charge when done with these kinds of accounts??? And, I'm living outside the U.S. now, so I'm wondering whether in addition, those kinds of transactions would carry a foreign currency transaction fee (1-3%), which many but not all banks have taken to charging?

If the check card transactions are fee free and don't carry a foreign currency fee, then, that's a great deal despite the hassle factor. But if they carry either kind of fee, then at 10-15 per month, it pretty much wipes out the attractiveness.

Yet, I never see any mention of the fees issue, regarding the check card transactions, when those requirements are discussed. Thanks.
Banking Guy
  |     |   Comment #2
These debit cards are typically treated similar to credit cards so there aren't transaction charges for the user. However, like credit cards, there may be foreign currency exchange fees. I haven't looked into which reward checking accounts are best for these.
  |     |   Comment #3
turkeys..... online app rejecting a perfectly valid SS# in two diff browsers.
  |     |   Comment #4
Looks like they are now down to 5.01%
Banking Guy
  |     |   Comment #5
Thanks. Sorry to see the rate drop.
  |     |   Comment #6
Rate drop, now 2.01%
Banking Guy
  |     |   Comment #7
Ouch. That's a big drop. If others fall like this, it's going to be hard to justify these accounts as a replacement to online savings account. Even ING Direct's Orange Savings is paying 2.50%.
  |     |   Comment #8
My HSBC account now pays 1.3%. Savers are getting absolutely crucified in this environment. Might as well go buy cr..p at wallmart and bestbuy than try and save money.

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