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Provident Community 4.51% Checking

Provident Community Bank

It happens time and time again.

A community bank offers a great deal without having the staff or technology it needs to keep up with the avalanche of applications, and its reputation is quickly trashed.

(To see what we mean, take a look at all the angry comments on Redneck Bank’s customer service.)

Maybe the smart thing for community banks to do is out-source the online application process.

That’s what Provident Community Bank, with five branches in and around Union, S.C., has done for its Dream Checking account.

It’s hired the same company that provides the online sales pitch and application forms for First State Bank of Kansas City’s high-yield checking account.

It isn’t rolling in kudos, but it sure hasn’t suffered the same beat down as Redneck. (First State has also been swamped with new accounts and began accepting applications from Kansas City area residents only last week.)

Provident Community is paying 4.51% APY on balances up to a generous $50,000 — the highest limit we’ve seen in a while. It also reimburses customers for all the fees they incur using other banks’ ATMs.

Aside from that the monthly requirements to earn that return are pretty standard: 10 debit card purchases and one direct deposit or automatic bill payment per month.

(If you’re unfamiliar with this kind of account, click here to learn how high-yield checking accounts work.)

One unusual drawback: Provident Community charges a $20 monthly fee if your combined balance in its accounts falls below $10,000.

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Comments (6)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 3.29 out of 5)
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6 Existing Comments
  1. Tracy said:
    on May 22nd at 11:57 am

    I am thinking of opening this account, but I was wondering where it says there is a $20 monthly fee if the balance falls below $10,000? All it says on the FAQ’s is that there is no monthly service charge.

  2. Pamela Detrick said:
    on May 22nd at 03:04 pm

    You have to live around South carolina to apply and get a checking account with this bank

  3. Bob said:
    on May 26th at 09:05 am

    First of all, let me say I really enjoy Bankaholic articles and the comments. They are so helpful. I have been using the First State Bank(s) with their 5% checking account. You have to live in the Kansas City metro area, but if you do I highly recommend it. There is a limit of $25k and it requires 15 transactions, but it turns out there is a holding company with 7 different banks. Each bank lets you open an account, which is what I did. As far as getting 15 transactions – well my wife and I enjoy watching DVD’s – which can be rented for a dollar a night from http://www.redbox.com or http://www.moviecube.com if you have one of their vending machines near you. It’s a great and convenient deal and generates a transaction each time (we canceled our Blockbuster subscription once we found out about Redbox).

  4. DealMaven said:
    on May 26th at 09:14 am

    We were bamboozled by Provident Bank. They told the truth, but not the whole truth. You can apply for Dream Checking, no matter which one of the 50 states you live in. But you have to stop by one of their friendly branches in south Carolina to actually get the account going.

    We think that’s kind of a hassle for anyone living more than say 25 miles from Union.

  5. Deborah (from Philadelphia) said:
    on December 14th at 03:45 pm

    Thanks again DealMaven and everyone for these helpful comments.

  6. eve geohagan said:
    on February 20th at 01:08 pm

    check out bankrate.com before you get involved with any bank! Provident, although they have been around a long time, have a 1 star rating, of a possible 5–the lowest possible as of 2/20/10. I quote the website here: PREDICTIVE INDICATOR
    As stated, we have determined a composite Star rating for this bank of 1 star , indicative of a significantly below average financial condition. At times, financial conditions of banks change rapidly and significantly. Hence, our Safe & Sound Star ratings should not be deemed predictive of likely future ratings. However, in view of early warning indicators set forth within this report, in combination with the institution’s financial data, we believe that the Star rating for this institution is unlikely to change within the ensuing twelve month period.
    Use your own judgment.