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Reward Checking Accounts with Rate Guarantees - One With 6% Until 2010


This might be the best checking account in the U.S. United Federal Credit Union is still offering 6.01% APY for balances up to $25,000 on its Interest Plus Checking Account. In addition, it's still guaranteed to last until 2010. Unfortunately, membership is limited. Refer to the credit union's eligibility page for the details. It has the typical reward checking requirements. Refer to my account review for the full details.

I first posted on this reward checking account in May 2008. I added the note on the rate guarantee in October 2008. In this interest rate environment, I'm surprised they're still offering this rate guarantee.

This is one of only three reward checking accounts out of 407 on my high yield checking website that are still at 6% APY as of 6/14/09. Unfortunately, neither of these other two reward checking accounts are available nationwide.

For nationwide accounts, the highest rate as of 6/14/09 is 5.01% APY available at Coulee Bank and Founders Bank (see my nationwide list). As I mentioned on Friday, many banks have stopped offering their accounts nationwide, especially ones offering the best rates. Update 6/15/09: A reader just reported that Coulee Bank will be reducing its top rate to 4.04% APY starting on 7/01/09.

There are a few other institutions offering rate guarantees on their reward checking accounts. They don't offer 6%, but at least you don't have to worry each week about rate cuts. Below is the list of these accounts. Please leave a comment if you've seen other reward checking rate guarantees.
  • 6.01% up to $25K guaranteed to 1/1/10 at United FCU in MI, OH, OK & AR (account review)
  • 4.50% up to $25K guaranteed until Kentucky Derby 2010 at Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company in KY (account review)
  • 4.01% up to $25K guaranteed to 12/31/09 at Artisans' Bank in DE (account review)
  • 4.01% up to $25K guaranteed to 11/1/09 at Leominster CU in MA (account review)
  • 2.75% up to $250K guaranteed to 9/30/09 at Allegiance Bank in PA (account review)
I've just updated my High Yield Checking Website with the latest rates. Unfortunately, the vast majority of changes are rate cuts. The average APY for these 407 accounts is 3.93%.

You can see that these reward checking rates are not teaser rates by looking at the rates from reward checking accounts that have been around for a while. At the bottom of my high yield checking page, I include the latest stats for these accounts. In addition to the average APY for all of the accounts, I also include average APY by year of when I first posted on the accounts. I posted on 83 reward checking accounts in 2007, and they have an average APY of 3.60%. It's lower than the overall average, but it's still much higher than the average rate of online savings accounts. How can reward checking accounts pay such high rates? Check out my post on the math behind reward checking accounts.

Edit 6/15/09: Added note on reward checking requirements. Added the 4.50% KY reward checking to the list.

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  |     |   Comment #1
Banking Guy,
You overlooked Commonwealth Bank and Trust in Kentucky, 4.5% up to $25K, guaranteed until the Kentucky Derby in 2010.
  |     |   Comment #2
My credit union in the St Louis area is still offering 5.01%. Don't know how much longer they will be doing this, but they're one of the only around who hasn't reduced their rate.
Rayle Shonie
  |     |   Comment #3
It's important to note that in addition to meeting membership eligibility requirements, there are requirements for getting the 6.01% rate with United Federal Credit Union.
Mike from Cash Flow Moe
  |     |   Comment #4
Renasant Bank (Tennessee-Mississippi-Arkansas), 4.01% up to $25K.
  |     |   Comment #5
Big thanks to Anonymous 6:34 AM. Opened with no problems. 4.5% guaranteed until 5-1-10. 10 Debits. No fees. 1st 50 checks free. 4 star bank rating.
  |     |   Comment #6
gaelicwench, I'm in the STL area too. What is your credit union?
  |     |   Comment #7
Last year I had open few accounts to chase higher rate, but until now I have been rejected to open new account by several banks, because too many new account within 9 month. Has any one at this situation?
Banking Guy
  |     |   Comment #8
Unfortunately, many banks use ChexSystems and reject applications based on too many recent ChexSystems inquiries. First Arkansas Bank & Trust is an example. I've been told they reject applicants if they've had over 4 ChexSystem inquiries in the last 6 months. This Bankrate article has some more ChexSystem info and describes how you can order a report.
  |     |   Comment #9
Just spotted Community Bank with their RC account in AL/MS/TN for a guaranteed 3.25% up to $30K thru 12/31/09.
  |     |   Comment #10
Banking Guy just posted July 13, 2009, on MBT Bank in Iowa: 5.15% up to $25K, guaranteed until 5/15/10. (Local only)
  |     |   Comment #11
I just tried to open an account with Commonwealth for the Extreme checking but when I got to the end of the app I got a message about not being able to verify my information and when I called they told me I was rejected but would not tell me why and that I could not apply again ...very frustrating...anybody have any experience with this...I live in NY.
  |     |   Comment #12
I tried to open an account today and got a message that there was a problem verifying my information and gave me a number to call. I called and they told me my application was rejected but would not tell me why. They also said I could not apply again. I called back again got a different cs person and they told me they did not know why I was rejected and said I would get a letter. I live in New York. Very frustrating after given them all my personal information in my application. Has anyone had any problem with this?
  |     |   Comment #13
I guarantee that there will be a lot fewer banks with such promise in the future. The general low-rate atmosphere and small profit for RCAs will force RCA rate to be lower and fewer without any guarantee in 2010.

By 2011, I foretell there will be one fourth of RCAs left.

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