Is This What It Will Take? Over 2% Interest to Win Checking Deposits?

A study by Bankrate.com reveals high-yield checking accounts paying over 2% are still being offered by U.S. financial Institutions. Could this become the norm as interests rates rise, the economy improves and the war for deposits heats up?
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The dismal rate environment for depositors has lingered for over five years now. But there are still financial institutions offering yields of 2% or more on federally-insured liquid deposits (not CDs), according to a new Bankrate.com report.

Bankrate recently surveyed 56 high-yield checking accounts offered by U.S. banks, thrifts and credit unions. The average annual percentage yield for these accounts was 1.57%, nearly twice the average APY offered by the typical five-year certificate of deposit (0.80%) and more than 26 times the average yield offered on standard interest checking accounts (0.06%).

All of the high-yield checking accounts that Bankrate surveyed are federally insured by the FDIC or NCUA. And, of course, unlike a five-year CD, a high-yield checking account is completely liquid.

Rank Top High-Yield Checking
Accounts in the U.S
Nationally
Offered?
APY Monthly Debit
Transactions
Required
Balance Cap
1 BECU N 4.07% 1 $500
2 Jeff Davis Bank N 3.25% 10 $10,000
3 Consumers Credit Union Y 3.09% 12 $10,000
4 Ouachita Independent Bank N 3.01% 12 $15,000
T-5 Great Lakes Credit Union Y 3.00% 10 $10,000
T-5 Lake Michigan Credit Union Y 3.00% 10 $15,000
6 Coulee Bank N 2.55% 10 $15,000
7 Belvoir FCU N 2.53% 15 $15,000
T-8 Bank of the Wichitas Y 2.50% 10 $10,000
T-8 Lee Bank Y 2.50% 12 $15,000
T-8 CapEd FCU Y 2.50% 12 $10,000
9 BankTexas N 2.25% 10 $7,000
10 Cross Keys Bank Y 2.05% 12 $10,000

All 56 high-yield checking accounts mandate electronic statements and many require direct deposit. Other typical requirements include a certain number of debit card transactions, online bill payments and/or automated withdrawals each month. The specific details vary by account. Meeting the requirements is very important because the average yield drops to 0.06% if the monthly mandates are not satisfied.

Even if the accountholder meets all of the requirements, the 1.57% average yield applies only to a certain limit, known as the balance cap. The most common balance cap is $25,000, but the highest-yielding accounts tend to have lower balance caps. None of the 15 highest-yielding accounts are available nationwide with a balance cap over $15,000.

Half of the high-yield checking accounts that Bankrate surveyed are available nationwide (including 12% that require a charity contribution, a family member’s credit union membership or an in-branch signature).

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