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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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Opening a High-Yield Reward Checking Account


I was happy to see mentioned on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer today! For those who are first time visitors, welcome to! The ABC news piece (fast-forward to the first segment just after first commercial break) mentioned high-yield reward checking accounts and how you can earn 80x more interest than from an average checking account. So it’s likely that many of the new visitors will be interested in learning about these accounts and learning where they can open one.

Update 7/19/13: Refer to this article for details of the 4% checking account.

Overview and History of High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts

First, please refer to my article, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts. This article provides a history and an overview of reward checking accounts. After you understand the pros and cons of these accounts, you can decide if the higher rate is worth the extra effort. It’s worth it for me. I opened my first reward checking account in 2007, and I’m still an active reward checking account user. Back in 2007 I was earning 6% on my balances of up to $25,000. Rates have fallen, but they’re still a very good deal considering this interest rate environment. Today the best reward checking account that I’m personally using has a 3.04% APY on balances up to $25,000.

So once you decide that you want a reward checking account, you can use our reward checking rate table to find the best ones. This link will take you to the table. You can also find it under the checking account menu on top of the website.

Using the Reward Checking Table

To get the most out of our rate tables, please refer to my article, Tips on Using Our Rate Tables. Before using this table, the first decision you should make is if you want to open the account online or at a local bank or credit union branch (If you’re not familiar with credit unions, please refer to this article). Most reward checking accounts are not nationally available. They are only available in the bank’s market area. So if you don’t live near the bank, you may not be eligible to open the account. There are a couple of dozen reward checking accounts that are nationally available. These can be opened online or by mail. Refer to the above tips article to see how you can select your state or select “nationally available” in the table.

The second decision you should make is how much of a balance do you plan to maintain in the reward checking account. If you think your average balance will be under $10,000, you’ll want to enter an “investment amount” in the table of $10,000. You’ll find that as the balance increases, the rates go down. In general, the larger the balance cap, the lower the reward checking rate. More details about setting the “investment amount” are provided in the above tips article.

When you find a bank or credit union with an appealing reward checking account in the table, you can quickly get more information on that institution by clicking on the plus sign that’s to the left of the name. This expands the row to provide more account and bank information. For further information, click on the institution’s name. This will take you to our hub page for that bank or credit union. This page consolidates all of our information on that institution. Refer to the tips article for more details.

Credit Unions

Many of the best reward checking accounts are at credit unions. This is especially the case for nationally available reward checking accounts. To learn how you can qualify for these credit unions, please refer to my article The Big List of Credit Unions Open to Anyone.


If you have a reward checking question or a question about the website, please leave a comment in this post, and I or one of the senior DA members will try to help answer your question. We also have a discussion forum where you can ask questions on any banking topic. I hope you will find useful.

Related Pages: checking account

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pearlbrown   |     |   Comment #1
Congratulations, Ken - the best rate site on the Web is receiving well-deserved recognition!
pearlbrown   |     |   Comment #2
Congratulations Ken - it's wonderful to see the best rate site on the Web receiving well-deserved recognition!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Congratulations! I've been visiting your site for over a year and find it to be the most thorough and updated. You helped me locate a great CD deal at a CU I had never heard of and its worked out great! 
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #4
The video of this ABC World News broadcast is available here. The piece on banks and checking accounts is about 60% into the video.
51hh   |     |   Comment #5
Congrats for a well-deserved mention, Ken.

You have the most complete and up-to-date RCA list and CD list, as well as friendly and informative discussion forum.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Congratuations Ken.  You have helped so many and this is so exciting that you were mentioned on the evening news. I first learned about your site when it was BankDeals and it was mentioned in the Wall Street. The internet was not even offered where I lived at that time. Even the library did not have internet in our small town. Your site was the first place I went to when we were finally offered dial-up. I have mentioned this site to so many and they are so grateful for this site. It is amazing how much the kids from the local college working at the grocery store that I go to now use it also. In fact Lake Michigan credit union that offers a reward checking account is only 2 blocks from the store. I just tell them if you like it share it with your friends, co-workers and relatives. We all need to help one another. This is something we all should do. Even told the guy at the hardware store yesterday when I stopped in getting oil for the lawnmower. THANKS KEN

Shorebreak   |     |   Comment #7
High fives Ken. Recognition for your years of hard work making this the 'go-to' site for the latest, best rates and news related to financial institutions.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Marketplace Money also memtioned on a recent show. It was recommended as a place to check for CD rates.
Maecl   |     |   Comment #10
Well earned congratulations Ken.  Your site has come a long way and you have helped many.
RickNP   |     |   Comment #11
I missed the ABC piece, but haven't missed a day of your blog since the early BankDeals days. From the 6.25% CD in '07 to the 10 years @ 5% in Jan '11 to the 3.04% RCA I just opened this year, your website has always allowed me to make the best possible savings decisions. Any positive. recognition you get is more than deserved. May God bless you.
scottj   |     |   Comment #13
Congrats Ken, I remember reading about your site in Newsweek about 5  or 6 years ago. This site really showed it's value with that USalliance deal, pretty much only people who got in were readers here. Also thanks to this site got in on the two other best deals, Penfed 5% and United  States Senate FCU 3.33%
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
I am interested in the 4% interest for online checking broadcast from ABCnews? How can I open one?
51hh   |     |   Comment #15
4% interest: The short answer is "you can not."  The said credit union has very strict eligibility requirement for opening such an account.
pearlbrown   |     |   Comment #16
Re:  Anonymous - #14,Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 5:48 PM

I'm guessing from 51hh's reply that the broadcast referred to the reward checking account at Southwest Airlines Credit Union.  As he explained, that institution indeed has strict eligibility requirements. 

However, if you review the reward checking account tables (see paragraphs 3 and 4 in Ken's blog post), you may find some other alternatives which may interest you. 

By setting the filters in the reward checking tables to investment amount = 10,000, checking banks, credit unions, and "all" under institution type, nationally available, and local = any, you will see other institutions offering APYs in excess of 4%, although the caps (the amount eligible to earn the high rate) are lower than that of Southwest's Credit Union.  For example, see here.  

By the way, in the link I just provided, click on the ' ' next to Southwest Airlines and you will see the eligibility requirements first hand. 

Good luck to you and welcome to DA!

Mike   |     |   Comment #17
Well Done, Ken!
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #18
@anonymous #14, I think the ABC piece was probably referring to Great Lakes Credit Union. That's listed as 4% in our table when the table is set to show nationally available reward checking accounts. They have an account called the Ultimate Checking that pays 4% APY for balances up to $10,000. It's nationally available since the credit union provides a way for anyone to join. I have more details in this blog post. Please note that credit unions can sometimes change their membership qualifications. Please check with the credit union for the latest qualifications, and if things have changed, please leave a comment. I have more details about all-access credit unions in this blog post.
ChrisCD   |     |   Comment #19
Way to go Ken.  You deserve it.  Hopefully some other news outlets will refer you.

cd :O)

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.