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Rewards Checking

Summary

Free Rewards Checking is a totally free checking account that rewards customers with CD-like rates of interest and refunds on other banks’ ATM fees. The bonus rate is currently 0.55% APY (Annual Percentage Yield). To qualify for these incredible benefits, simply complete the following each cycle:

  1. Complete and post to your account at least 12 check card transactions (excluding ATM transactions)
  2. Receive a monthly electronic statement (statement delivered via Online Banking)
  3. Complete and post to your account at least one direct deposit or ACH auto debit
  4. Maintain a valid e-mail address

When you meet these easy requirements each cycle, you help the bank operate more efficiently. We reward you by paying you a CD-like rate of interest and by refunding your ATM fees charged by other banks nationwide. It’s that simple! In addition, you will get a VISA Check Card* and free Online Banking. There are never any maintenance charges or hidden service charges. In the event that you do not qualify during a cycle, you will simply earn the Base Rate of 0.10%. You will be eligible for qualify again the following cycle.

Balance Requirements

  • Minimum of $50 is required to open the account.
  • No monthly minimum balance to maintain.

Eligibility

  • Available to personal accounts only
  • To qualify for the Bonus Rate, customer must meet the following requirements during that cycle:
    • Complete and post to your account a minimum of twelve (12) point of sale check card transactions (not including ATM transactions)
    • Receive a monthly electronic statement
    • Complete and post to your account at least one direct deposit or ACH auto debit
    • Maintain a valid e-mail address
  • The qualification cycle is the 4th Wednesday of a month through the 4th Tuesday of the following month. All transactions necessary to meet the four requirements must be posted to your Rewards Checking account by the last date of the qualification cycle. Please note, some businesses do not send their check card transactions through immediately so it’s best not to wait until the end of the month to make your transactions in order to qualify.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Free Rewards Checking

What are the “rewards” on a Free Rewards Checking account?
When you meet the four requirements each cycle, you’ll earn the Bonus Rate on balances up to $25,000 (0.55% APY as of 4/25/13), and enjoy refunds of all ATM fees charged when you use another bank’s ATM. The Bonus Rate paid on balances over $25,000 is 0.15% APY as of 4/25/13.

How often must the requirements be met in order to qualify for the rewards?
You must qualify each cycle in order to receive the rewards for that cycle.

What happens if I don’t meet the requirements?
You will earn the Base Rate of 0.10% APY on your balances. You will not receive refunds on the ATM fee incurred from using another bank’s ATM.

How does the tiered interest rate work?
When you meet the 4 requirements, the portion of your balance up to and including $25,000 will earn the 0.55% APY Bonus Rate. The portion of your balance above $25,000 will earn the 0.15% APY Bonus Rate. If you do not qualify, you will earn the 0.10% APY Base Rate on the entire balance.

What ATMs can I use?
You may use any ATM in the United States. At the end of the qualification cycle, if you have met the four qualifications, the total of all foreign ATM fees (the fee charged by the bank that operates the ATM you used) will be credited to your account.

Is there a limit to the number of ATM refunds a customer can receive?
No, but we ask our customers not to abuse this fantastic benefit so that we can continue offering it to all Rewards Checking customers.

Do ATM withdrawals count toward the 12 check card transactions required each cycle?
No, ATM withdrawals do not count toward the requirements. Point of sale and internet purchases using the check card do count.

Can the interest rate change on my Free Rewards Checking Account?
Yes, all rates on Rewards Checking can be changed at any time. However, while we cannot predict the future, we can possibly provide some insight by looking at the rate history on this account. The rate is a variable rate and can technically change daily, however the Reward Checking account is our premier checking account and we expect it to be our most competitive account.
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How will I know that I have qualified for my rewards?
You will receive an email informing you whether or not you qualified. We encourage you to check your transactions during the month using our free Online Banking service.

If I fail to meet the qualifications during this statement cycle, what are the penalties?
There are no penalties or service charges incurred when you do not qualify. You simply receive the lower Base Rate and do not receive ATM fee refunds.

If I do not qualify one month, am I eligible to qualify the next?
Yes!

How long will it take to open my account and when will I get my debit card?
Typically it takes about 30 minutes to open an account, depending on how busy the bank branch is that you choose to visit. At that point, we will order your check card, which will be mailed to you.

How do I make a deposit to my account?
There are several ways to make deposits to your account including stopping by a branch, mailing in complimentary deposit envelopes, and ACH transactions like direct deposit (which would help you meet one of the requirements for your Rewards Checking account).

Can I write checks with this account?
Sure. You can write as many checks as you wish.

Can I access the account with electronic or ACH debits?
Yes, and that will help you meet one of the requirements for your Rewards Checking account.

Is there a minimum amount on the debit card transactions?
No, we just ask our customers to use the card for their normal daily purchases.

How are the debit card transactions counted?
Each Rewards Checking account customer must have at least 12 check card transactions posted to their account each qualification cycle. The qualification cycle runs from the beginning of the month to the end of the month. All debit card transactions must be posted completely to the account in order to be counted.

Is there a cap on the balance on which you will pay interest on the Reward Checking Account?
No.

Can I open multiple Reward Checking Accounts?
You may have as many Reward Checking Accounts as you like, just remember you must meet the required monthly activity on each account in order to receive the highest rate of interest paid on the Reward Checking and the Free Nationwide ATMs.

Ok, so what's the catch?
There is no catch, that's why the Reward Checking is so wildly popular. It is based on a very simple principle- you help us (lower our costs and increase our revenue) and we will help you (through an above market interest rate and Nationwide ATM Refunds)

Can I open a Reward Checking account for my business?
No, the Reward Checking account is only available to personal account holders.

Are your deposits insured?
Yes, accounts carry standard FDIC insurance coverage.