bank rates

Wisconsin Deal: $200 Cash And 1.1% MMA

Wisconsin savers can score an easy $200 cash bonus by opening a checking account with First Bank Financial Centre.

But perhaps the best part of this deal is that once you have the checking account, you can open a money market account that pays one of the top rates in the nation.

Your first step is to open a checking account with the Oconomowoc-based bank prior to March 27.

While First Bank has four checking options, your best bets are the Free Checking account or the Classic Checking account, if you’re age 50 or older.

Both require a $100 minimum deposit and charge no monthly service fees. Classic Checking accounts earn a lowly 0.03% APY on all balances.

You have 45 days after opening the account to receive a direct deposit of at least $250 or make at least five debit card transactions.

Pull that off and the bonus is yours.

After your checking account’s up and running, you can also open a Relationship Money Market account, which is paying 1.10% APY on balances of $15,000 or higher.

A Relationship Money Market requires you to have an active checking account that receives an ongoing direct deposit of at least $250 or from which you make five debit card purchases every 45 days.

Follow all of those rules and the 1.10% return is guaranteed through June 30.

If you don’t meet the direct deposit or debit card requirement, your account will be converted to an Elite Money Market.

The Elite MMA pays a tiered interest rate, ranging from 0.05% if you have less than $2,500 in your account, to 0.50% APY for balances of $250,000 or more.

If you meet the checking account requirements but the balance in your Relationship MMA falls below $15,000, the interest rate crashes to a paltry 0.10% APY.

These accounts are only available to Wisconsin residents who must open an account at one of its 12 locations in the southeastern part of the state.

The only nationally available MMA with a higher return is offered by EverBank.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based bank is paying 1.40% APY on balances to $50,000 for a guaranteed six months. After that time is up, the rate drops to 0.61% APY on a Yield Pledge MMA. Higher balances earn 0.61% APY.

You need to deposit at least $1,500 with EverBank to open an account, but the 1.40% APY is paid on your entire balance.

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