No. of Recommendations: 1
I imagine the best rate you might find from some credit union or other niche player is perhaps 1.25% APY; but if that exists, I don't know where to find it.

If you go to the fatwallet rewards checking account forum http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/775437/ you can find some high rate deals. However, they generally come with significant strings....

Gibsland Bank Rewards Checking currently has a 4.11% rate up to $15k. However, you must have 15 debit card purchases and 1 direct deposit post and clear each month, and in order to open the account, you must visit one of their branches in person. Their branches, when open at all on weekends, only have drive-up service on Saturdays, so the in person visit would have to be Mon - Fri. And unless you happen to live near Shreveport, LA - you will probably end up spending more money on the trip to open the account than the $500 or so you might be able to earn the first year (after accounting for the debit card transactions in the balances) if you were willing and able to meet the other requirements.

The next bank on the list (skipped the CU - it's in Louisiana, too) is First Community National Bank, with 7 branches in south central Missouri (Rolla has 2 branches), where you can earn 4.01% APY on up to $10k. They don't seem to have a way to open an account on their website, but don't specifically state that you have to visit a branch, so you may be able to open an account by calling them (on their non-toll-free number) and sending paperwork in the mail. Their account requires 20 debt transactions per month, plus a direct deposit or ACH.

Coppermark Bank has a 4.00% APY on up to $25k with a requirement for 16 debit card transactions and 1 ACH/direct deposit, and they also don't seem to have an option for opening an account on-line. However, their branches in the DFW area and Oklahoma are probably a little more accessaible/available, and they say that you can call to inquire about opening an account.

So there are still some deals around that say they offer 4%. But given the requirements for debit card transactions, you would have a hard time actually realizing a 4% return on your money. In addition, the banks don't seem to make it easy to open an account if you don't live near one of their branches.

Not to mention, if this is supposed to be 'savings' - being required to use debit card transactions seems counter-productive.

AJ
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