About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Best Reward Checking Accounts in Houston and in Texas


Best Reward Checking Accounts in Houston and in Texas

If you live in the Houston metro area, you have access to some top reward checking accounts. Just like in other areas of the country, there have been a few reward checking accounts in Houston that have made large rate cuts. Several readers had opened accounts at Texas Citizens Bank in Houston when it was offering a reward checking account paying 5.01% APY on balances up to $25K. That rate was slashed to 2.50% last December. That's a good example of the downside with reward checking. Like any liquid account, there's no guarantee about future rates.

The 5% reward checking for balances up to $25K is not only history in Houston, but also in the U.S. However, there are still many banks and credit unions offering 4.00% for balances up to $25K. These aren't available nationwide, but only in certain areas of the country. Houston is currently one of those lucky places.

For Houston as of 4/19/2011:

The best reward checking deal in Houston is currently at Integrity Bank, SSB, a small bank located at 4040 Washington Avenue. I first reviewed this account in October 2009. Since that time they have been offering 4.01% APY on balances up to $25K. A reader just commented that they require new customers to come into the branch to open new accounts.

The second best reward checking deal is at Plus4 Credit Union which has a field of membership that includes many parts of Houston. It currently offers a reward checking that pays 3.50% APY on balances up to $25K. My first review of this account was in August 2009 when the top yield was 4.01%.

For Texas as of 4/19/2011:

Not only those in Houston, but everyone in Texas can currently qualify for two top reward checking accounts. Both offer online applications, and they currently accept applications from any Texas resident. Note, it has been common for banks to reduce the availability of their accounts. So make sure you check with the bank before applying.

The first one is the Absolute Checking Account offered by Viewpoint Bank which is based in Plano, Texas. They're still offering 4.00% APY on balances up to $25K. There's an online application, and anyone in Texas is eligible to apply. My first review of this account was in May 2008 when the 4.00% applied to balances up to $50K. It also used to be available nationwide. This changed last July when the bank restricted applications to Texas residents. One thing to note is that many readers have experience problems in the application process.

The second notable Texas reward checking account is offered by TransPecos Bank which has branches in West Texas. It doesn't have the best rate, but it has some features that can appeal to those with large savings. The reward checking account, Kasasa Cash, is currently paying 3.33% APY on balances up to $25K. Over $25K, it pays 1.33% APY which is an excellent second-tier reward checking rate. That rate is higher than the rates of almost all internet savings accounts. For those who want higher rates for balances over $25K, TransPecos Bank offers Kasasa Saver. If you meet the Kasasa Cash monthly requirements, this Saver account pays 1.75% APY on balances up to $250K. These rates have held since my first review in June 2010. You can apply for these accounts online if the application accepts your zip code. Currently, it appears to accept all Texas zip codes.

Other Cities and Reward Checking Accounts

When I reviewed the best reward checking accounts in Austin, I also provided an overview of how reward checking accounts work and their history.

You can view the top reward checking accounts that are available nationwide in our reward checking account table.

As I described for Texas, you can often find higher rates that are only available in your state. To find these in our reward checking table, use the "Filter Accounts" button above the table. Then select your state.

It's important to note that many of the listed accounts for a state are not available for everyone in the state. Click on the plus sign to the left of the bank name to view account details. More info on the bank can be viewed by clicking on the bank name.

Related Pages: checking account, Integrity Bank, Houston, Plus4 Credit Union, Houston, TransPecos Banks, Odessa, Beaumont, LegacyTexas Bank (TX), Dallas

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
A more interesting article for you to submit would have been an investigation of why TX has so many more reward checking accounts available to its citizens and just as populous states like FL have so few.
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #3
@anonymous #1, You're right about Florida not having that many reward checking accounts compared to Texas. California is even worse. I'll look into this.

@51hh, thanks for alerting me to Union Square CU. It turns that that we just recently added this to our database. However, it wasn't marked with a Texas branch so it wasn't showing up in our Texas reward checking table. I just fixed that. Unfortunately, it appears to be primarily limited to Wichita County, Texas.
Bill Gattess
Bill Gattess   |     |   Comment #4
Any known affiliation groups that allow membership with Union Square FCU?

Alan   |     |   Comment #5
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the state with the most competitive Rewards Checking Accounts is in Texas, the major state with the youngest average age, while Florida, with very few competive RCAs is the major state with the oldest average age.  I would think banks/CUs want to attract customers who are most likely to make many purchases with the cards.  Which group is most likely to be a very active user of RCAs:  Average age 25 - 30 or average age 60 - 65?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
I think it comes down fundamentally to supply and demand. In areas where there is a large supply of funds and less competition for funds, there is less need for banks to offer high interest rates to attract deposits.

I think this explains why reward checking has taken hold well in random less affluent areas of the country like south Georgia, Louisiana, rural Missouri, Arkansas, west Kansas, etc. but you don't see a lot of banks offering it in major cities like NYC, L.A., Chicago, and the like. In the smaller areas the banks probably have much lower average deposit balances and can make out well lending the money they are borrowing at 3%-4%.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
 TransPecos Bank is 2* at bankrate. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Since BancVue (Kasasa) is located in Austin,TX I would've expected more of a presence in Texas by now - but the national listing doesn't show that.


Speaking in general....Texas Citizens Bank died soon after it got mentioned. Hopefully the accounts mentioned here don't meet the same fate.


Ken does a great job (much appreciated!), but I hate to see accounts adversely affected...
adityanm   |     |   Comment #9
re #8 . you are right but without this blog I would have nrver found TCB & INTG. Even if it lasts 2 months it is worth my  time and effort. I opened my account today.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Another good feature at Integral bank is that you get 2.1% on balances > 25k,by linking a savings account, which is more than what any other bank pays.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
been using Orange Savings Bank ...Orange Texas...  for over15 years check out thier reward savings 3.5 per cent up to 35k
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
Integrity is typical bait and switch bank. All other 3 banks did not change any rate and cap. Intigrity dropped its rate from 4% to 2.76%, not last for 2 month since this article. Well, the rate drop was quite silence, you noticed it on July 13th but it happened on Jun. 8th. Ok, I've done 4 transcations this morning, 4c, 9c, 15c, 18c..... will do that for another 6 transactions.