Popular Posts

Best Reward Checking Accounts for Large Balances


High-yield reward checking accounts can be an alternative to online savings accounts for money that you want to keep safe. Like online savings accounts, reward checking accounts are liquid and safe. Many reward checking accounts offer higher yields than online savings accounts. The two main issues with reward checking are the monthly activity requirements to qualify for the high rate (debit card usage being the primary requirement) and the balance cap that limits how much of your money can earn the high rate.

You can use our reward checking table to find the highest rates on reward checking for different deposit amounts.

One thing that becomes clear from this table is that as your reward checking balance increases, the APY falls. For balances of $25k and under, it’s easy to find reward checking accounts with APYs that are much higher than any online savings account rate. When your balance exceeds $25k, that’s no longer the case. If you look at the “earn” column, you can see how much interest you can earn in one year, assuming the APYs and balance caps remain the same for the year. This “earn” column calculates the blended APY for the specific balance and multiples that with the balance.

Reward checking/savings combo

At many banks and credit unions, you can earn more on a large balance by splitting your money between a reward checking and reward savings account. The savings account links to the reward checking account, and you can qualify for a higher savings account rate up to a certain balance when the monthly requirements of the reward checking are met. The most common reward checking/savings combo is under the Kasasa brand. Hundreds of banks and credit unions partner with the Kasasa company to offer Kasasa Cash checking accounts and Kasasa Saver savings accounts.

To maximize the interest that you can earn in a Kasasa Cash/Saver combo, you should first maintain the maximum balance in your Kasasa Cash account that qualifies for the highest rate (this typically ranges from $10k to $25k). Second, maintain the maximum balance in your Kasasa Saver account that qualifies for the highest rate (this typically ranges from $25k to $100k).

For many Kasasa Cash and Saver accounts, you are able to earn an average yield on the combined balance of the two accounts that exceeds the yield that you can earn from online savings accounts. Below is an example with fictitious Kasasa Cash and Saver accounts:

Total balance of $75,000 that’s split among two accounts:

  • Kasasa Cash checking: 2.00% APY on balances up to $25,000 ($25,000)
  • Kasasa Saver savings: 0.75% APY on balances up to $50,000 ($50,000)
  • Average: 1.17% APY on a $75,000 combined balance

In this example, the average APY for the combined balance of $75k exceeds the APY of any online savings account for that same $75k balance.

When you exceed the balance caps on Kasasa accounts, you typically earn a lower rate. Sometimes, that second-tier rate is still competitive. For the above example, let’s assume the second-tier rate is 0.25%. So when your Kasasa Saver balance exceeds $50k, the portion of your balance above $50k would earn 0.25%. You can then factor in this second tier rate to calculate the average APY for larger balances as shown in the below example.

Total balance of $100,000 that’s split among two accounts:

  • Kasasa Cash checking: 2.00% APY on balances up to $25,000 ($25,000)
  • Kasasa Saver savings: 0.75% APY on balances up to $50,000 ($50,000)
  • Kasasa Saver savings: 0.25% APY on portion of balance over $50,000 ($25,000)
  • Average: 0.94% APY on a $100,000 combined balance.

As you can see, this Kasasa Cash/Saver example can allow you to earn more interest than you can with any online savings account, even for a $100k balance.

Like online savings accounts (but not like CDs), your money in a Kasasa Cash/Saver combo is liquid. You can move your money out without a penalty. That's an important attribute in today's world when high inflation may soon force rates higher. The only caveat is that these Kasasa accounts require monthly debit card usage (plus a few other requirements) to qualify for the high yield. If you can tolerate the monthly requirements, these accounts are a reasonable alternative to online savings accounts.

Comparing the best reward checking/savings combos

The table below lists several of the best Kasasa Cash/Saver accounts in the nation. In addition, it lists a few other checking, savings and money market accounts that offer a high yield on large balances. Some are reward checking accounts that are not under the Kasasa brand.

The left column lists the average APYs for selected large balances. The ranking is based on a $100k balance. These APYs are in bold. I also included the average APYs for a $250k balance. The third APY combines the first-tier rate of the Kasasa Cash and the first-tier rate of the Kasasa Saver. The combined balance is the sum of the balance caps of the two accounts. The combined balance of the above example is $75k. This is typically the balance sweet spot for a Kasasa Cash/Saver combo.

The middle table column provides the details of the APYs and balance tiers of the accounts. Note, “QA” stands for Qualifying APYs. These APYs only apply when the monthly requirements are met. Otherwise, the Non-Qualifying APYs apply (NQA). I also include accounts which have no monthly requirements to qualify for a higher rate. I note these accounts with the term “RFA” (Requirement-Free APYs).

Most of the accounts listed have blended APYs in which the second-tier interest rate applies only to the portion of the balance above the tier. The first-tier rate applies to the portion of the balance up to the tier. The blended APY is an average of the two interest rates. Blended APYs are typical when the second-tier rate is lower than the first-tier. If the APY wasn’t blended, your APY would fall when your balance exceeded the tier.

For most traditional savings and money market accounts, APYs are not blended. When your balance exceeds the tier, the second-tier rate applies to the entire balance. This is common when second- and third-tier APYs are higher. As your balance crosses above a tier, you earn a higher APY on the entire balance.

The right table column lists the institution name. The region that these accounts are available are listed inside the parentheses. In addition to those that are nationally available, I focused on accounts that are widely available (either in a major state or in multiple states). Please note that the availability of these accounts are fluid. Banks and credit unions often change the availability. So if you apply and you find a different availability, please leave a comment.

The right table column also includes a brief summary of the monthly requirements (MR) to qualify for the top-tier rates. To keep the text to a minimum, I excluded common requirements like e-statements. You should assume all of these accounts require e-statements. I also include a note if there are any monthly fees. One common feature of all Kasasa accounts is that there are no monthly maintenance fees.

Reward checking/savings combo issues

The banks that offer Kasasa accounts expect their customers to be using these accounts as primary checking accounts in which debit cards are used to make purchases that total hundreds of dollars per month. Most Kasasa accounts only require a certain number of debit card purchases per month, but banks are often concerned with the total dollar amount of the debit card purchases. If the total monthly purchases are under $100, banks may question you. The odds of being questioned increase if you’re maintaining large balances near the caps.

The reason many banks are pushing customers to spend more is that banks receive a percentage from each purchase you make with the debit card. This is paid by the retailer and is called an interchange fee. The percentage that banks receive is around 1% of the purchase amount. This interchange fee helps banks pay the high interest on reward checking accounts. If you only make $100 in debit card purchases per month, the bank is only receiving about $1 in interchange fees. If you’re receiving $37 in interest for that month (perhaps from earning 3% on a $15k balance), the interchange fee isn’t helping the bank much. Fortunately for savers, the average bank customer maintains balances much lower than the cap and they spend much more with their debit cards. Due to the average checking account customer, banks are able to offer a high rate on pretty high balances. The problem arises if a bank attracts too many dedicated savers who maintain balances near the caps and who don’t spend much with their debit cards. This can cause the banks to lower the rates or balance caps. It can also cause the banks to reduce the availability of their accounts to just their local region to avoid attracting too many dedicated savers.

As described above, it’s likely that a few of the banks listed below may lower their rates and/or balance caps. Also, it’s likely that a few might reduce availability to just their local areas. So instead of accepting applications for anyone in nearby states, they may only accept applications from their own state or from just their metro area. If you see that a listed rate, cap or availability region has changed, please leave a comment. I plan on making regular updates to the table.

Reward Checking/Savings Combos for Large Balances

APYs, balance caps and account availabilities are accurate as of 12/21/2021

Blended APY (combined balance) Accounts & APYs
QA=Qualifying APYs
NQA=Non-Qualifying APYs
RFA=Requirement-Free APYs
Institution Name (Availability)
MR=Monthly Requirements
1.50% ($100k)
1.29% ($175k)
1.02% ($250k)
Kasasa Cash: QA=3.00% (up to $25k), 0.40% ($25k+); NQA=0.05%
Kasasa Saver: QA=1.00% (up to $150k), 0.40% ($150k+); NQA=0.05%
Keesler Federal Credit Union (AL, LA & MS)
MR=12 debit card purchases & 1 direct deposit, ACH credit, or ACH payment
1.25% ($100k)
1.20% ($125k)
0.73% ($250k)
Kasasa Cash: QA=2.01% (up to $25k), 0.10% ($25k+); NQA=0.01%
Kasasa Saver: QA=1.00% (up to $100k), 0.25% ($100k+); NQA=0.05%
Old Missouri Bank (AR, CO, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, NE, OK, OH, TN & TX)
MR=12 debit card purchases & 1 direct deposit, ACH credit, or ACH payment
1.25% ($100k)
1.20% ($125k)
0.85% ($250k)
Kasasa Cash: QA=2.00% (up to $25k), 0.50% ($25k+); NQA=0.05%
Kasasa Saver: QA=1.00% (up to $100k), 0.50% ($100k+); NQA=0.05%
Malvern Bank (DE, FL, NJ & PA)
MR=12 debit card purchases & 1 ACH payment or credit
1.13% ($100k)
0.90% ($250k)
Kasasa Cash: QA=1.50% (up to $50k), 0.25% ($50k+); NQA=0.05%
Kasasa Saver: QA=0.75% (up to $200k), 0.25% ($200k+); NQA=0.05%
Susser Bank (TX)
MR=12 debit card purchases of $5+ & 1 direct deposit or ACH payment transaction
2.00% ($50k)
1.13% ($100k)
0.60% ($250k)
Kasasa Cash: QA=2.50% (up to $25k), 0.25% ($25k+); NQA=0.05%
Kasasa Saver: QA=1.50% (up to $25k), 0.25% ($25k+); NQA=0.05%
Westside State Bank (IA + states contiguous to IA which include IL, WI, MO, NE, SD, MN)
MR=12 debit card purchases & log into online banking & review e-statement
1.09% ($100k)
1.04% ($250k)
T-Mobile MONEY Checking Account: QA=4.00% (up to $3k), 1.00% ($3k+); NQA=1.00% T-Mobile MONEY - Accounts provided by Customers Bank (nationwide)
MR=10 debit card purchases + one-time enrollment & registration
1.33% ($75k)
1.06% ($100k)
0.57% ($250k)
Kasasa Cash: QA=2.50% (up to $25k), 0.24% ($25k+); NQA=0.05%
Kasasa Saver: QA=0.75% (up to $50k), 0.24% ($50k+); NQA=0.05%
22nd State Bank (AL, GA, FL, MS)
MR=12 debit card purchases & log into online/mobile banking
1.01% ($100k)
1.01% ($150k)
0.83% ($250k)
High Interest Checking: QA=1.01% (up to $150k), 0.35% ($150k+), 0.00% ($1M+); NQA=0.01%
High Yield Savings: RFA=0.55% (up to $1M)
Quontic Bank (nationwide)
MR=10 debit card purchases of $10+
1.00% ($100k)
1.00% ($250k)
M1 Spend Plus: RFA=1.00% (all balances) M1 Finance - Accounts provided by Lincoln Savings Bank (nationwide)
$125 annual fee (first year is free)
0.94% ($100k)
0.68% ($250k)
Advantage Checking: QA=2.25% (up to $25k), 0.50% ($25k+); NQA=0.10% Presidential Bank (nationwide)
MR=7+ electronic withdrawals (ATM, POS, ACH, bill payments) & $500+ direct deposit
0.89% ($100k)
1.03% ($125k)
0.94% ($250k)
Xtraordinary Checking: QA=1.75% (up to $25k), 0.25% ($25k+); NQA=0.00%
Money Market: RFA=0.85% ($100k+), 0.60% ($20k+), 0.25% ($1k+)NB
Connexus Credit Union (nationwide)
MR: 15 debit card purchases or $400 in debit card spending
0.80% ($100k)
0.80% ($250k)
Zynlo Money Market: RFA=0.80% (up to $250k), 0.10% ($250k+) ZYNLO Bank (services provided by PeoplesBank) (nationwide except for CA)
0.71% ($100k)
0.83% ($115k)
0.65% ($250k)
0.78% ($265k)
Max Checking: QA=3.00% (up to $15k), 0.00% ($15k+); NQA=0.00%
Money Market: RFA=0.35% ($100k+), 0.30% ($50k+), 0.25% ($25k+), 0.20% ($2.5k+)NB
Max Savings: RFA=0.65% ($250k+), 0.50% ($100k+), 0.10% ($100+)NB
Lake Michigan Credit Union (nationwide)
MR: 10 debit card or credit card purchases, direct deposit & 4 logins to home banking

Abbreviation definitions used in table:

  • NB = Non-Blended APYs - Above-tier APY applies to entire balance. Default is Blended APYs in which the above-tier APY applies only to the portion of the balance above the tier.
  • MR = Monthly Requirements to qualify for the reward APYs.
  • QA = Qualifying APY when monthly requirements are met.
  • NQA = Non-qualifying APY when monthly requirements are not met.
  • RFA = Requirement-Free APY - No monthly requirements to qualify for the listed APYs.
  • APY (balance) = Annual Percentage Yield for specific balance that may be divided between checking and savings account to maximize APY.

To search more reward checking accounts and to learn more about them, please refer to the DepositAccounts.com high-interest reward checking table.

Table Updates:

12/21/2021: ECCU is no longer offering Kasasa accounts.

Related Pages: savings accounts, money market accounts, checking accounts, reward checking accounts
Comments
darkdreamer4u
  |     |   Comment #1
My local credit union has a Kasasa Rewards Checking (3.0% up to 20k) plus Saver (1.5% up to 100k), making it a blended 1.8% for 100k - not too shabby.
Drawback: 13 debit card charges of $5 or more are required.
Mikey1
  |     |   Comment #2
The devastating rate cuts and, in essence, demise of both All America/Redneck and Customers as viable options is painful to experience. It’s something that I never would have predicted a year ago. From vibrant and fully funded to comatose and with just a few dollars now, And it sure looks like neither is coming back to life anytime soon.
HankL
  |     |   Comment #3
I have a problem with fulfilling the minimum debit requirement to earn the higher interest rate reward. I have historically avoided using debit cards and have exclusively used credit cards for decades. Due to the pandemic my wife and I have reduced our exposure to the Covid-19 virus by minimizing our retail purchases and increased our online purchases.
I have researched the subject on the net and the suggestions range from paying at the self-checkout registers and charging individual items multiple times to buying and reloading gift cards with minimum amounts multiple times. I’m not sure which method(s) would work best, much less easily, and would appreciate any advice and examples of how to easily fulfill the minimum debit requirements using the internet?
Thank you in advance for your advice and assistance.
andybuji
  |     |   Comment #4
utility payments if you can - cable and phone in particular work for me. Cox and Verizon specifically.
wtpo3
  |     |   Comment #5
FYI - Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) announced in an email on December 15 that they will be discontinuing their Kasasa accounts effective February 1, 2022. Their email states:

We are writing to inform you that effective February 1st, 2022, we will discontinue our Kasasa checking and savings accounts. The product launched just prior to the global pandemic, and we kept the generous rate and cash back rewards despite industry rates dropping to the lowest levels in years. The difficult decision was made to close the Kasasa® product line to position our organization for sustainability and future growth for our members.

Kasasa Cash® and Kasasa Cash Back® accounts will be converted to our Interest Checking account. You may also want to take advantage of the $10 maintenance fee waiver for all members who opt out of paper statements beginning January 1, 2022.

Kasasa Saver® accounts will be converted to our exclusive Preservation Savings Account, where we are offering 1.00% APY on balances up to $250,000 until February 1, 2023. There are no qualifications required to receive this great rate. Multiple accounts may be opened if funds are insured within the $250,000 NCUA limit through proper account vesting.

This account is only available to those with existing Kasasa accounts, and available to Kasasa checking account only holders to open from February 1 to March 1, 2022.

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 [email protected] 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.