bank rates

Malvern Federal 5.01% Checking Account

Of all the high-interest checking accounts popping up, Malvern Federal Savings Bank is one of the best.

Its Rewards Plus checking pays 5.01% on balances up to $35,000, considerably more than the $10,000 to $25,000 limit imposed by most other banks.

Although many banks limit their high-interest checking accounts to local customers, Malvern’s offer is available nationwide and you can sign-up online. (Click here to compare this with a couple of other good offers from First State Bank and AmericaNet Bank.)

Malvern will reimburse up to $25 a month in ATM fees, so you can obtain cash from other banks without charge.

All you have to do is have at least one direct deposit or automated withdrawal, and make at least 10 debit card purchases, each month. That allows the bank to make money on transaction fees.

But how hard is it to swipe your debit card a few times each week at the dry cleaners or Starbucks’ drive-thru?

Should you fail to meet any of those monthly requirements, your interest rate will be cut to 0.20% and your ATM fees will not be reimbursed for that month.

Balances over $35,000 earn 1.01%, a little less than most of these accounts.

Malvern has seven branches in suburban Philadelphia and earns four of five stars in Bankrate’s “Safe & Sound” rating system.

Don't miss out on the next bank deal. Get the newest deals delivered straight to your inbox!

Comments (27)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)
27 Existing Comments
  1. mark said:
    on March 25th at 02:20 pm

    do I get charged for the debit transaction…or is that something the retailer has to pay?

  2. BloggingBanks said:
    on March 25th at 02:33 pm


    You don’t get charged for transactions – it’s the retailer that pays the transactions fees. You only need to swipe your debit credit 10 times – it could be buying $1 bottled soda 10 times/month or doing your regular purchases.
    I like the $35K limit on this deal. I am aware of some rewards checking accounts which offer high APY on up to $50K..

  3. Debt Consolidation said:
    on March 25th at 11:01 pm

    Yes, BloggingBanks is right. It’s the retailer, in this case, who will pay the fees for the transactions. I also like the $35k limit that has been placed on this. That’s a breather, 🙂

  4. Victim said:
    on March 26th at 06:33 am

    Too many restrictions!
    It sounds like a trap to me.

  5. BloggingBanks said:
    on March 27th at 05:38 am


    All it takes to get the good deal is making 10 debit card transactions/month, a direct deposit and an online statement. If that’s too difficult, then you could “easily” get 2- 3% from a CD and sleep well at night!

  6. Doug said:
    on March 27th at 11:10 am

    Please note, I contacted the bank directly and spoke to a branch manager. She completely lied about their requirements for opening this account. It would be prudent to avoid them.

  7. Alan said:
    on March 29th at 07:06 pm

    BloggingBank, which bank allows up to $50K for a similar bank deal?

    And Doug, I’m curious – what was lied about with their requirements to open an account? I’ve read you need 10 “pin” transactions which I understand means NOT merely a “credit” transaction purchase.

  8. Marilyn Teifke said:
    on April 1st at 09:48 am

    I recently applied for this account with Malvern and their credit checker denied my application. My husband and I have excellent credit. I just cashed out a CD and thought this could be a good alternative to the low CD rates. Why would we be denied an account to DEPOSIT money (not to borrow)? Are they afraid we would N e v e r default on their terms thus saving them paying interest on the money.

  9. walt said:
    on April 2nd at 03:52 pm

    I’ve been putting as much as $250k into accounts, but was denied an account, I think at Beverly in MA. They don’t want anyone who deals with more than two banks. From what I’ve seen at other banks, this is a form of bait and switch. High rates to build up the customer base, then average or worse rates later. Most bank customers are slow to make changes – I am not.

  10. DealMaven said:
    on April 2nd at 05:11 pm

    I contacted Malvern Federal and asked why you were rejected. A spokesperson said you were rejected by ChexSystems, a company the banking industry uses to identify applicants that have a history of mishandling accounts.

    The spokesperson said you should receive a leeter from ChexSystems confirming your denial and supplying you with a phone number to call and challenge the decision and correct any misinformation in your history.

    From what you’ve told us, I’d say there’s some bad info in your record.

    You can read more about ChexSystems at its Website:

  11. Dollar Bill said:
    on April 10th at 01:52 am


    “ChexSystems” does NOT reject or decline anyone from having an account at Malvern Bank. It says that in BOLD LETTERS on the ChexSystems web site.

    I was also declined for this offer. Huge deposits in accounts. Perfect Credit. No debt. There is NO REASON why I should have been declined, not even for overdrafts.

    This is a scam. I plan on reporting this to the appropriate government agency.


  12. Dave said:
    on April 10th at 10:40 am

    They recently restricted new accounts only to people currently residing in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

    This was done in the past week or so. So people may be getting rejected because of that.

  13. DealMaven said:
    on April 10th at 10:49 am

    Dave’s right Dollar Bill. It’s nothing personal. Malvern Federal Saving started limiting its Rewards Plus Checking to residents of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio this past week. We suspect that’s why you were rejected.

    A bank officer told me that Bankaholic, and USA Today all wrote about Malvern’s checking account within just a few days of each other, and it was swamped with so many applications it couldn’t keep up. So Malvern decided to limit access to the states nearest its home in suburban Philadelphia.

    If you have a Rewards Plus account and live in another state, don’t worry. You can keep it.

  14. Eddie said:
    on April 13th at 05:03 pm

    I was approved last week and I live in Florida. This is my 4th rewards checking account in the past year and a half (3 other Banks). Also, I was discharged from Ch. 7 in Sept. 07 and still approved.

    I wonder why some of you have not been approved?

  15. Eddie said:
    on April 13th at 05:07 pm

    I just read that they changed the State requirement on April 6th. I applied on the 4th.

    That was close.

  16. Dollar Bill said:
    on April 14th at 01:41 am


    I currently reside in one of the following states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, or Ohio.

    My application was STILL declined for no valid reason whatsoever.


  17. Eddie said:
    on April 14th at 09:34 pm

    Beware of what?

  18. Andrew said:
    on April 18th at 10:31 am

    I opened my account with Malvern about a month ago and everything went though fine. My landlord tried to look for Malvern to show up on Checking Finder and they are no longer there. Luckily, i get in when i did since i live in California 🙂

  19. Anne said:
    on April 29th at 07:18 am

    I applied for a Malvern Federal 5.01% ckg acct yesterday morning and by noon I got a denial email. Like the others who have commented, I also have perfect credit, never been late on a payment, no history of any bounced checks or kicking in overdraft, it’s a 42 yr. history. And I live in PA, 30 miles from a branch bank.

    Something seems strange…I guess we better beware

  20. John said:
    on May 27th at 10:48 am

    So far so good. I live in NYC and was able to open my account without any issues. Expect to receive your welcome letter, debit card and pin number separately.

  21. mike said:
    on June 11th at 09:39 am

    rate drop?? bank not answering phone at 10am…closing account today!

  22. Eddie said:
    on June 15th at 09:53 am

    I’ll be closing my account on July 1 when the rate changes.

  23. Eddie said:
    on June 15th at 10:18 am

    Disregard…The rate dropped on the 9th…..pulling money out NOW!

  24. Nic said:
    on June 16th at 07:56 am

    I asked at my local bank (Phila. PA) what the banks with the high interest ckg accts were up to, he said that they are usually smaller banks who are attempting to build a customer base = teaser rates. They want more customers to take out loans and their interest rates are usually a little higher on the loans. I am pulling out today too.

  25. cw said:
    on March 16th at 08:00 am

    Malvern Federal started as a small community bank in the late 1800s..those of you that say to be afraid, I am not sure as to what you are afraid of? I and my family have been with this bank for generations. Don’t call them liars or suggest fraud…I know this bank and these people and they are good members of our community and have been for over 100 years.

  26. Steve Darnell said:
    on April 8th at 01:30 pm

    They have gradually dropped my rewards rate from 5% to 1.5% over the last year, without even telling me. Prime rate stuck at 3.25% the whole time. Disgusting.

  27. Bank CardUSA said:
    on March 23rd at 12:29 am

    So cool that your mom got you into running!Reply Reply Erica says: April 14, 2010 at 7:07 am I love that running is a family event! So so cool. And of course, gorgeous wedding pictures! You really rocked your first road race ever!!! And running is such a wonderful addiction Reply Reply Amy Lawson says: April 14, 2010 at 7:40 am Britt! I cant wait for the rest of this story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Reply Reply Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run says: April 14, 2010 at 8:22 am Wow what a journey! I loved reading this post. Its giving me hope yet. Your mom is a rock star btw. Cant wait for tomorrows post!Reply Reply Runnerbelle says: April 15, 2010 at 6:53 am I think she is too! She is definitely a huge motivator for me!!Reply Reply Gracie says: April 14, 2010 at 8:28 am I love your wedding pics! So in the next post are you going to reveal the secret to speeding up? Because I think I need to know that!Reply Reply Runnerbelle says: April 15, 2010 at 6:53 am Thanks! Not sure if its really a secret. but it is what worked for me. Reply Reply Boston: Guest Post, My Mom! – RunnerBelle says: April 17, 2010 at 11:58 am […] So Whats the Big Deal? Boston: How I started running & my first Boston Marathon Boston: The BQ, My Path to Achieving It Boston: Running as a QUALIFIED […]