When it comes to checking accounts, the banking world has a variety of options available. Student accounts, senior accounts, children’s accounts, reward accounts – given the variety of offerings, it is no surprise that most consumers stick with basic checking accounts that are easy to use and safe for holding deposits. After all, two of the most crucial considerations in selecting a checking account are convenience and reliability. A popular perception, however, is that those criteria can be gained only by forgoing higher rates of interest that could potentially be earned on the funds in the account.
An increasing number of institutions are striving to change this perception, however, and are making a strong case that a consumer can have convenience, reliability, and higher interest rates with a single checking account. Internet banks, credit unions, and community banks like FNB-Fox Valley are leading this charge.
FNB-Fox Valley, like dozens of other community banks and credit unions, has found a partnership with BancVue’s Kasasa accounts and services to be a great way to make the most competitive checking accounts in the country available to their customers. FNB-Fox Valley’s Kasasa Cash checking account comes with the highest interest rate currently being offered by Wisconsin-based financial institutions.
Presently, the average interest rate for a nationally available standard checking account is hovering at just over .10% (slightly under the average savings account rate of 0.17%). The average interest rate for reward checking accounts, however, is over 1.50%, many of which are Kasasa-partnered offerings. Because these high yield checking accounts offer such a significantly higher interest rate, you should take a moment to see if there is one that would be worth making a switch to from your standard checking account. Below are a few things to consider in the process.
Many reward checking accounts come with no monthly maintenance fees, nor requirements to meet in order to avoid those fees. All Kasasa-partnered accounts fall into this category, which is part of what makes FNB-FoxValley’s offerings so attractive. Make sure that any account you’re looking at has no disguised fees buried somewhere in the small print.
Most reward checking accounts that come with high yields have certain requirements that must be satisfied by the account holder in order to earn the high yield. Usually (as with FNB-Fox Valley’s Kasasa offerings), the bank will not charge a fee if the requirements are not met, but instead will only pay a much lower interest rate on funds in the account. Requirements vary, ranging from minimum debit card purchases to automated direct deposits. The good thing is that even if you are unable to meet the requirements every month, the checking account will simply function as a standard account with a nominal interest rate.
Most high-yield reward checking accounts are offered by community banks and credit unions in order to attract more deposits that will in turn benefit local businesses and individuals through loans made by the institution. Depositing funds at one of these institutions could not only be good for you in terms of higher interest rates, but good for the community, also, by making more funds available to be loaned out closer to home.
Evaluating your current banking situation to see if one of Kasasa’s offerings is a good fit for you could end up earning you more money in the long run, as your deposits grow with the increased rate of interest. If you are willing to commit to meeting a few monthly requirements, then opening a high-yield checking account could be a win-win situation for both you and your community.
Patrick Russo is a writer for DepositAccounts.com, where he and the team track the latest deals and trends in consumer depository banking.