bank rates

Glory Days Over For High-Yield Checking


Best account now just over 4%We’re ready to declare the high-yield checking craze over.

Two years ago, reward checking accounts were the most lucrative FDIC-insured investment around, an oddity born out of the recession.

Not anymore.

In 2009, the best of these accounts paid upward of 5% on balances as large as $50,000. We haven’t found deals as good as that in quite some time.

These accounts were attractive despite strict rules that, for example, required account holders to make a dozen or so debit card transactions each month.

But more and more, banks are making these less and less rewarding accounts available to local customers only.

And we suspect the deals — both local and national — are only going to get worse.

Those debit card transactions we mentioned above helped banks earn enough money to be able to offer high rates.

Every time you swipe your debit card at the register, banks charge retailers a transaction fee, revenue that could be cut by almost two-thirds under restrictions set to take effect next month. (Yes, there are supposed to be protections for smaller banks, but it’s unclear if these will work.)

So while we’ll continue to highlight deals as we find them, this will be the last national ranking we do.

Consumers Credit Union, based in Waukegan, Ill., offers the best nationally available deal at 4.09% APY on the first $10,000 in the account. Balances between $10,000 and $25,000 earn 1.59% APY, while balances above $25,000 earn 0.76% APY

Membership is open to anyone, but you must pay a $5 membership fee and keep $5 in a savings account.

The other top national offers are:

3.51% APY from Hope Federal Credit Union, based in Jackson, Miss. Membership is open to anyone, but you must pay a $10 membership fee and put an additional $15 in a Kasasa Cash rewards checking account. The account pays 3.51% APY on the first $10,000. Balances above that amount pay 0.75% APY.

3.01% APY from Atlantic Coast Bank of Waycross, Ga. The top rate applies to the first $15,000 in the account. Balances above that amount earn 0.50% APY. The bank has 11 branches in northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

You can compare these offerings to the best nationally available savings and money market rates in our extensive database.

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Comments (2)
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2 Existing Comments
  1. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on June 22nd at 10:30 am

    These deals are still available as of today.

  2. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on July 11th at 07:58 am

    You can still get these deals as of today.