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Two Hot Reward Checking Accounts Available Nationwide


Update 9/08/09: A reader received notice from Incommons Bank that they are no longer accepting applications from outside of Texas.

With so many savers looking for decent interest rates, hot deals don't last long. So keep that in mind with these two deals. I've received confirmation from the two banks today that both of their reward checking accounts are available nationwide. As we've learned from banks like First Arkansas Bank & Trust, Bank2 and Countybank, banks with hot reward checking accounts will often reduce availability before long. We'll see how long these will last:
  • 5.01% APY up to $25K at Incommons Bank in TX (account review)
  • 4.50% APY up to $25K Guaranteed to May 2010 at Commonwealth Bank & Trust Company in KY (account review)
For savers who have been watching their deposit rates fall week after week, that rate guarantee being offered by Commonwealth Bank is especially nice. I have a few other rate guarantees that are only local deals listed in this late July post. I haven't reviewed these to see if they're still avaiable. Please leave a comment if any of these have changed or if you've found other reward checking rate guarantees.

These latest nationwide deals are not yet included in my nationwide list of reward checking accounts. These will be added soon (unless the banks start restricting the accounts before then). The Incommons Bank rate of 5.01% far exceeds the next best nationwide rate of 4.51% APY.

Most banks offering reward checking accounts only allow people in their local market areas to apply. I have the full list of these reward checking accounts at the front page of my High Yield Checking Website. Many banks have cut their rates for September, and I don't yet have these changes noted on this list. I'll be making these rate updates in the next few days.

Update 12:23pm: You win some and you lose some. Community National Bank was on the top of my nationwide list of reward checking accounts with a 4.51% APY. I just learned today that the bank is now restricting it to consumers who live in the Southeastern US (see post).

Overview of High Yield Reward Checking Accounts:

If you're new to reward checking accounts and wonder how they can offer such high interest rates, please refer to my reward checking introduction and my post on the math behind reward checking.
Related Pages: checking account

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Are there any drawbacks to put a large amount in a reward checking account? Are saving accounts safer than checking accounts? (since we need to use visa debit cards often)
marc   |     |   Comment #2
I don't think there is much of a drawback. If someone steals your card, you aren't responsible for the charges, just like with a credit card. Same with some internet hacker fraud. Though it might take a bit to get the funds put back which could lose interest. And there's always the ATM withdrawal limit to protect you if you were kidnapped and forced to take out money. So in my mind, having $25k or more in these accounts isn't a big deal for the benefit of the higher rate.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Does as transfer to or from another bank account count as fulfilling the condition "1 Direct Deposit or Automatic Payment from your account"?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
For msot banks, yes, it is treated as meeting the direct deposit/debit requirement.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Wow, that was fast for the Commonwealth, average life is like 2-3 weeks from post time here or FWF. I would start counting the days for Incommon... 2, 3, 4,...
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Correction to above post: Community Bank, sorry.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
The system accepted my application from California.

Oddly enough, they don't explain the rewards cycle (unless it's in the tiny print). Anyone know if this is a calendar month cycle? Other?
Doug   |     |   Comment #8
Marc commented that debit card holders are not responsible for fraudulent use of the card. This is only partially so.

First, unlike a credit card, the gov't does hold you responsible for the first $50 in losses. MasterCard and Visa may claim your liability is zero---but only if you meet their certain small print requirements, such as maintaining activity and filing a police report.

Second, see if the bank has a dispute fee. This fee is often assessed for EACH disputed charge. If the dispute fee is more than the charge, you are basically SOL unless you can get the merchant to reverse the charge (a big PIA).

Third, if fraudulent misuse results in a negative balance---for example, the reward rate drops and you remove all but a few dollars from the account, a common practice---and you choose not to formally dispute (because the charges are less than the dispute fee), then the bank may hold YOU responsible for one or more NSF charges.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
Thanks Marc and Doug. I was thinking about putting all my mmk/savings into an award checking account. The City National Bank(TX) has no cap and pays 3.28% APY while my other online saving account pays 1.95%.

Anon 1:18 PM
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
For Incommons Bank, is there a hard pull on credit report?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
Incommons Bank declined my NY application:-(
'Unfortunately at this time, we will not be able to open your account as we are concentrating our efforts to the Texas area and limiting the geographic area in which we serve.'

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