bank rates

Earn 4% For 14 Months — Guaranteed

MB Financial Bank has a high-yield checking account that pays 4.00% APY on balances up to $10,000 through Dec. 31, 2011 – guaranteed.

We have never been a big fan of “MB Red” checking, as the account is called.
MB Financial Bank's high-yield checkgin account is guaranteeing that interest rate through at least Dec. 21, 2011.
We’ve always thought the $10,000 limit was too low. Most high-yield or reward checking accounts pay their top rate on balances up to $25,000 most.

The 0.25% APY MB Financial offers on balances that exceed that limit is also much less than the 1% you’ll find on most other high-yield accounts.

But with so many banks cutting rates on their reward checking accounts to well below 4%, this guarantee makes MB Red worth considering.

MB Financial accepts online applications from residents of Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

The account operates like most reward checking programs. To qualify for the 4% return you must:

  • Use your debit card to make 12 purchases per month totaling at least $100.
  • Set up a monthly direct deposit of at least $250 or one recurring automatic payment.
  • Maintain a $500 average monthly balance to avoid a $10 monthly service fee.
  • Enroll in e-statements and the My Rewards program to earn points for using your debit card.

If your requirements are not fulfilled, you’ll earn only 0.05% for that month.

Customers are also reimbursed for the first five ATM fees other banks charge, if they meet those requirements and carry a balance of $5,000.

That also makes us grit our teeth because most high-yield checking accounts don’t impose a minimum balance requirement to qualify for ATM reimbursements.

(If you’re unfamiliar with how these accounts work, “The ABCs of High-Yield Checking Accounts” will explain all of the rules.)

But where else will you find a guaranteed rate of 4% for the next 14 months on a checking, savings or money market accounts?

Tradeoffs are part of the game these days.

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Comments (7)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
7 Existing Comments
  1. CatThief said:
    on November 3rd at 02:30 pm

    Be careful with MB. This account changes often and without notice. Also, I question their stability as a financial institution as they continue to post losses, lose value in their stock price and do not pay back tarp.

  2. Jason said:
    on November 3rd at 04:31 pm

    MB did post a Q3 loss because it set aside more money to cover loan losses (
    But it earns 3 out of 5 stars in Bankrate’s Safe & Sound ratings, so it’s not a total basketcase, right?

  3. Hmmm... said:
    on November 4th at 09:55 am

    To CatThief:

    I have had this account since it first came out early last year. From what I remember there were only two changes. One being the interest earned above $10,000 and a dollar limit now being set for the total of the 12 transactions. I find “often” hard to believe since there has only been two changes in the last 18 months. Not bad in my books.

    I have never seen any information reported in regards to MB Financial failing to make a TARP dividend payment on time. Would you have a link handy as I am curious about this?

  4. CatThief said:
    on November 4th at 12:47 pm

    To Hmmm;

    I never said TARP dividend payment. I’m referring to MB’s statement several quarters ago that they are not in position to repay TARP, as in the amount that really counts-the principal. It’s $196 million that taxpayers are waiting to be paid back.

  5. Brian W. said:
    on November 4th at 12:53 pm

    This account is tricky, so watch out. Miss one requirement and the fees add up. Plus, mb has one of the most unreliable atm networks I’ve ever dealt with.

  6. NickelAndDimed said:
    on January 28th at 12:21 pm

    This 4% rate is still good as of Jan. 28, 2011.

  7. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on March 2nd at 08:53 am

    You can still get the 4% rate as of March 2, 2011.