bank rates

New Leader In Reward Checking Pays 4%

Liberty National Bank has jumped to the top of our rankings of the best high-yield or reward checking accounts.

It’s paying 4.11% APY, which is the best rate you’ll find on a nationally available rewards checking account these days.

Unfortunately Liberty National, which has five branches around Fort Sill, Okla., is only offering that rate on the first $10,000 in its Kasasa Cash checking account.

Anything over that earns 0.50% APY.

During the depths of the recession, high-yield checking accounts were the one thing savers could be legitimately excited about. Dozens of banks were paying 4.5% or even 5.0% on balances of $35,000 to $50,000.

Now the rates and limits on even the best high-yield accounts have fallen so much that we suspect many savers don’t think they’re worth the hassle.

Liberty National is the only bank that pays more than 4% on nationally available high-yield checking accounts. The next best returns, and the maximum balance eligible to earn that rate, are:

3.75% APY from AmericaNet Bank and Evantage Bank, two jointly-owned Oklahoma-based banks, on deposits up to $10,000.

3.03 APY from Coulee Bank, based in LaCrosse, Wis., on deposits up to $25,000.

3.01% APY from Danversbank, which has 30 branches in the Boston area, on deposits up to $25,000.

3.01% APY from Liberty Bank, which has four branches in the Alton, Ill. area, on deposits up to $25,000.

The rules to qualify for the top rate at Liberty National Bank are pretty typical for these types of accounts.

Each month you need to make 12 debit card transactions and one direct deposit or automatic payment from the account. Failure to do so reduces your earnings to 0.10% APY for that month.

Do that and Liberty National will also reimburse your costs for using other banks’ ATMs.

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Comments (6)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
6 Existing Comments
  1. Kevin said:
    on January 3rd at 11:15 am

    if I have $10,000 to invest in a cd why would I choose a cd that pays 1.x% when this pays 4%?

  2. TXCr1cket said:
    on January 4th at 03:23 pm

    Kevin, because with a CD, it just sits there, & you have to do nothing more. With a reward checking account, you work for it in the form of transactions:

    “Each month you need to make 12 debit card transactions and one direct deposit or automatic payment from the account. Failure to do so reduces your earnings to 0.10% APY for that month.”

    4.11% to 0.10% APY is a steep penalty for failure to jump through all hoops.

  3. will said:
    on January 16th at 08:34 pm

    That “steep penalty” only applies to the individual qualifying/statement period. The real penalty is the steady downward trajectory in both rates and caps for rewards checking accounts. Long-term, the very existence of rewards checking accounts is threatened by the Fed’s new regulatory power to lower swipe fees and other charges that effectively subsidize these accounts.

  4. Kathy O'Gorman said:
    on January 30th at 12:07 pm

    These rates are still offered as of Jan. 30.

  5. jOANNE TKADLETZ said:
    on February 3rd at 07:46 pm


  6. NickelAndDimed said:
    on February 4th at 09:14 am

    All interest-bearing accounts at FDIC-insured banks — including high-yield checking — are insured up to the maximum $250,000. For more information about what is insured, see the FDIC website: