Author Topic: Interest Earning Checking Accounts?  (Read 2816 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Interest Earning Checking Accounts?
« on: May 11, 2013, 01:42:43 PM »
Over the past several years, I have held my checking account dollars at Umpqua Bank and Tri Counties Bank. At one point, the interest rate was up to 3.5% on the first 25k held in your account. Up until recently, Umpqua Bank was offering 1.5% on the first 25k. Today, I noticed that the interest rate was reduced to 0.50%.

It's barely worth the 15 POS transactions per month (made by 15 small dollar amount online bill pays to a monthly bill) at that percentage.

I'm located in Northern California, and am now looking for a new bank again.

I have direct deposit, all my bills are setup on auto bill pay, and I use my credit card for most purchases, paying it in full afterwards. I usually keep between 10-20k in liquid assets. Meaning I want the money in my checking account, or a savings account that I can access almost instantly. I have very few checks that need to be deposited, so I would be okay if the bank was not local, or if it was a little difficult to deposit checks / delay until funds were available.

I am located in the Northern California area. Live and work in and around Sacramento, and travel frequently for work to Bakersfield, Pittsburg, and Salinas.

What are you guys using for your checking account? Any suggestions?

Obviously, I'm going to stay at Umpqua Bank unless I can find something better. It's just time to reevaluate and see if there is something better again.

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  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Interest Earning Checking Accounts?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2013, 02:32:46 PM »
Provident Credit Union has the same type of rewards checking.  One ACH transfer and 10 debit transactions are required.  Currently they are paying 1.76 percent up to $25k, but the rate has been steadily dropping over the last couple of years.  Depending on how you get to Salinas, there's a branch right off 101 in San Jose plus branches in Walnut Creek and San Ramon. near 680.  They have a check photo deposit app, but I have not used it.  Admission requirements are minimal, get someone that banks there to refer you or check the website to see if you meet other criteria.


  • Bristles
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Re: Interest Earning Checking Accounts?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 08:45:21 AM »
What are you guys using for your checking account? Any suggestions?

I've been using Alliant Credit Union for three years now. The current rate is 0.65% without any of the direct deposit or debit card transaction requirements. Better rates are out there if you look, but I'm very happy with Alliant due to their one-day ACH transfers, online check deposit and general awesomeness. You can contribute $10 one-time to Foster Care to Success to qualify for eligibility, if you don't meet any of the other requirements.

The savings rate is 0.70% and the HSA rate (if that matters to you) is 1.05%. They also offer a reasonably-priced list of decent investment choices for an HSA.

Edited to add the savings and HSA bit a the end.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:47:40 AM by madage »


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Re: Interest Earning Checking Accounts?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 09:13:28 AM »
It's an online savings account, rather than a checking account, but no minimum transactions needed type thing - SmartyPig is paying 1% right now.

Rates suck right now, for a good reason.  Take advantage of that reason.  (Those who pay off a mortgage early and complain about low interest rates are silly, IMO.)
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