bank rates

Southern Deal: Checking Pays 3.01%

Red pen on top of check and check registerResidents of four Southern states can earn 3.01% APY on a rewards checking account and top it off with a savings account that offers a better yield than the best nationally available deal.

Ouachita Independent Bank pays 1.01% APY on its Reward Plus Savings account for balances to $50,000 — besting the 0.90% APY offered by the top-paying national savings accounts.

The bank, based in Monroe, La., allows anyone who lives in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas to open an account.

Your first step is opening a Reward Plus Checking account with a $100 minimum deposit.

You’ll earn a notable 3.01% APY on balances to $15,000 just by making 12 debit card purchases each month, receiving eStatements and making at least one direct deposit or automatic payment per month. Your ATM fees also will be refunded if you meet the monthly requirements.

Higher balances earn 0.25% APY. If you don’t meet the requirements, you’ll earn 0.05% APY for that month.

Once you’ve established your checking account, you can open a Reward Plus Savings account with a deposit of at least $100. By fulfilling the rewards checking requirements, you’ll earn 1.01% APY on savings balances to $50,000.

The savings account only allows you one free withdrawal per month and charges $1 for the second withdrawal and $2 for each subsequent withdrawal. You’ll also need to keep at least $400 in your account or pay a $5 monthly fee.

You can open an account online or at one of Ouachita Independent Bank’s 12 locations in northern Louisiana.

For more information, visit or call 318-338-3000.

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