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Fulton Bank: MMA Deal, Checking Bonus

Dollar signSavers in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia can score high rates and a good bonus with a money market account and a checking account at Fulton Bank.

The bank, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, pays a guaranteed 1.25% APY on MMAs through Feb. 11, 2015. It also dishes out a $150 bonus on new checking accounts if you make 15 qualified transactions.

To earn the 1.25% APY on your MMA, you must open the account with a minimum deposit of $10,000 by Oct. 11 and keep that much in your account. The maximum deposit is $1 million.

After the guaranteed period is up, the rate will gradually decrease.

Fulton Bank doesn’t guarantee those rates, but it currently pays 1.00% APY for the two months after Feb. 11, 0.75% APY for the two months after that and then 0.50% APY for two months and 0.25% APY for two months.

In comparison, the best nationally available MMA comes from EverBank (www.everbank.com), which pays 1.40% on its Yield Pledge MMA for a guaranteed six months after you open your account, on balances to $50,000.

After the six months is up, you’ll earn the standard MMA rate from the Jacksonville, Fla.-based bank, which now is 0.61% APY. Balances above $50,000 also earn 0.61% APY.

So, the Fulton Bank offer pays less the first six months and a bit more for two months. Because the rate falls so far toward the end of the first year, this probably isn’t an account that you’d want to remain – unless rates improve.

To earn Fulton Bank’s checking bonus, you’ll need to open an account by Oct. 11. Then you’ll need to make 15 transactions of at least $10 each. Transactions include debit card purchases, online or mobile bill payment, and mobile check deposits.

Once you complete the 15 transactions, you’ll receive the $150 bonus within four to six weeks.

Fulton Bank has four checking accounts to choose from, but only two – Simply Checking and Prime Life Interest Checking – have no minimum balance requirements to avoid a monthly service fee.

You have to be at least 50 years old to open a Prime Life checking account, but interest rates are low. The most you can earn is 0.10% APY on balances to $10,000. Lower balances earn lower rates.

With any of Fulton Bank’s checking accounts, you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $25 if you open an account online. If you open the account at one of the bank’s 116 branches, there’s no minimum deposit requirement.

For more information, visit www.fultonbank.com or call 800-385-8664.

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