MetaBank is offering a high-yield reward checking account called Preferred Checking Plus. It's one of the rare reward checking accounts that has the potential of monthly fees. However, the rate is above average so it may be worth the risk of monthly fees. The account has the following rates and features if certain monthly requirements are met (as of 5/12/2010):
- 4.25% APY on balances up to $25,000
- 0.60% APY on portion of balances over $25,000
- 0.10% base rate if requirements are not met
Monthly requirements include:
- 15 debit card purchases (used to be 20)
- 1 Direct Deposit of your salary or other regular monthly income of $100 or more electronically deposited to your account by your employer or outside agency
- Log into Internet Banking
- Receive electronic statements
There's a $7 monthly service charge which is waived if you meet the monthly requirements OR maintain a $10,000 minimum daily balance in your checking account OR a relationship balance of $25,000 in loans and/or deposits.
The bank also offers the Preferred Checking Account which has no monthly fees and only requires 10 debit card purchases a month. The downside is that the top rate is only 2.00% APY as of 5/12/2010. All other features appear to be the same.
A branch visit is required to open an account, and you are required to reside in their market area. Branches are located in the Iowa cities of Des Moines and Storm Lake and in the South Dakota cities of Sioux Falls and Brookings.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are a little above average: 3½ stars (good) at BauerFinancial, 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com and an overall health score of 4 out of 5 at DepositAccounts.com (see our MetaBank rates and reviews page). The ratings are based on 12/31/09 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1955 (FDIC Certificate # 30776).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news about this account.
When a reader mentioned this reward checking account, I thought MetaBank sounded familiar. It turns out they had some publicity last year when nearly 50 institutions filed suit against MetaBank to recover $4 million in allegedly stolen certificate of deposit funds. Please refer to this post for more details.
Other High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts
Please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com to find reward checking accounts in your state or that are available nationwide.