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Rewards Checking Interest Rates 3%+

August 13th, 2013 at 07:04 pm

We have emergency fund money and some 'house' money that I want to earn better interest rates on. I have several possibilities I will be talking to my husband about. The biggest problem with earning these rates is the hoops we have to jump through to get them.

The best rate is 3.20% at a bank local to our state. It is a rewards checking account. We can deposit up to $25K. We will have to make 10 point of sale transaction with the debit card issued to us per month, in addition to 3 automatic withdrawals to third parties (or as an alternative one direct deposit). That interest rate would allow us to earn $800 on $25K in one year.

The next best rate is 3.0% at a very local bank, that I could walk to in five minutes. It is also a rewards checking account. The maximum amount that can earn that interest rate is $10K, with 0.1% for balances over $10K. This account also requires 10 point of service transactions, and one deposit or one automatic withdrawal.

There is also a deal with Bank of the West. No special interest rates, but cash bonus up to $150. To get the $100 we would need to direct deposit $250 each month for I think at least two months. To get the $50 we would need to use the debit card 10 times each month for two months, each transaction has to be $3 or more. This one seems a little complicated, for a low return, but I think it could be done.

And BeAWealthyWarrior has mentioned the NFCU offer on her blog that is also a possibilty to earn 3% on $3000 for 12 months. There are hoops to that offer as well, including a regular direct deposit for 12 months to a checking account. Although once set up that one would be easy. I'm just realizing that I actually do save $300 a month for property taxes. I could just move that plan there for the next year. Now that I thought of that I'm getting a little more interested.

The auto withdrawals that these account require are too big of an issue because we have plenty of things that are on auto withdrawal...investments, water bill, electric bill, gas bill, water softner rental, our mortgage payment, cell phone bill, and tv/phone bill.

I'm really not ready to give up our USAA account as our primary bank, part of that is because I know all the account numbers! Ha. However, to keep the initial principal intact and earning the great rate, I would need money to go into each account to cover the ten debit transactions and any auto withdrawals that are set up.

I was thinking we could take advantage of the first two accounts I mentioned and use one account for the first of the month and the other account for the second half. Or we could each be in charge of 10 transactions for one bank. I think the latter would be easier for my husband instead of all the switching of cards every two weeks.

I think I asked another time, but does anyone use a Rewards checking account? How do you keep track of your requirements? Do you think this method may be too much of a hassle or would it be worth the return? Let me know, as I'm not sure what I even think yet!!

1 Responses to “Rewards Checking Interest Rates 3%+”

  1. Beawealthywarrior Says:

    I thought the 12 months of direct deposit was to get the $100 bonus not if you only wanted to purchase the $3K certificate. I will double check but if so that's not an issue. I'm still going to keep USAA and just set-up automatic transfers.

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