Update 9/24/2014: Simple Checking, Value Checking and Performance Interest Checking have replaced the free checking accounts.
Update 3/29/2011: Various free checking accounts have replaced the reward checking accounts (the Smart Checking) for new accounts.
- 1.00% APY on balances up to $25,000
- 0.25% on balances over $25,000
- 0.10% base rate if qualifications are not met
- ATM fee refunds up to $25 per cycle
The monthly requirements include:
- 20 debit card purchases
- one direct deposit
- receive e-statements
Additional features of the account include:
- $100 minimum initial deposit
- $4.99/month service charge if the above requirements for the top rate are not met
- free Safety Checks
- free online Bill Pay
The bank also offers a reward checking account with fewer requirements, but with a lower rate. It's called Smart Checking, and it has the following rates and features if these monthly requirements are met:
- 0.50% APY up to $25,000
- 0.25% APY over $25,000
- 0.10% if requirements are not met
- ATM fees nationwide refunded up to $25 per cycle
Monthly requirements include:
- 15 debit card purchases
- one direct deposit
Unlike the Super Smart Checking, the Smart Checking has no monthly fee regardless of meeting the monthly requirements.
Branches are located in the Houston, Texas and its suburbs of Katy and Bellaire.
The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 58417).
Other Reward Checking Accounts
I was surprised to see the monthly fee mentioned in the bank's disclosure. The vast majority of reward checking accounts have no monthly fee even if you don't meet the monthly requirements. Also, most only require 10 debit card purchases per month rather than 20. Perhaps these added requirements will make it easier for the bank to maintain the high yield.
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.
Edit 7/04/09: Added info on the Smart Checking Account.
- 02/01/11: 1.00% APY up to $25K; 0.25% over
- 11/01/10: 2.02% APY up to $25K; 0.50% over
- 07/25/10: 3.01% APY up to $25K
- 05/03/10: 2.01% APY up to $25K
- 01/15/10: 3.01% APY up to $25K; 0.76% over
- 05/10/09: 4.01% APY up to $25K; 1.01% over; 0.10% base