bank rates

Fewer Deals Offered In Rewards Checking

Two months ago, six banks were paying more than 3% on nationally available high-yield checking accounts.

Consumers Credit Union offers the top nationally available rate at 4.09%Now there are three.

And to think, just six months ago we were lamenting that three of the five accounts offering 4% had vanished.

So, yeah, things have gone from bad to worse for rewards checking.

Consumers Credit Union of Waukegan, Ill., continues to offer the top nationally available rate of 4.09% APY. That’s more than 1 percentage point higher than its closest competitor.

Consumers’ top rate is available on balances up to $10,000. Balances between $10,000 and $25,000 earn 1.59% APY. If you keep more than $25,000 in the account, you’ll earn 0.76% APY.

Just two other banks offer nationally available accounts with returns greater than 3%. They are:

3.01% APY from Danversbank, which has 30 branches in the Boston area. The offer applies to balances up to $25,000.

3.01% APY from Atlantic Coast Bank of Waycross, Ga., which operates 11 branches in southeast Georgia and northeast Florida. You can earn 3.01% APY for balances up to $15,000.

Most credit unions don’t qualify for our rankings because of membership restrictions and joining fees that make yields less attractive. But Consumers Credit Union allows anyone to join who pays a $5 membership fee and keeps $5 in a savings account.

To earn top rates, you must make 12 debit card transactions each month, one direct deposit, enroll in online banking and sign up for eStatements. If you don’t, you’ll earn 0.05% APY for that month.

Given the limited nationally available choices, it might make sense to comb the offerings of your local credit unions and community banks to see if you can find a better deal.

We’ve found a number of local offers promising returns better than 4% APY.

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Comments (1)
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One Existing Comment
  1. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on May 18th at 07:44 am

    These deals are still available as of May 18, 2011.