Once Upon A Time
Our Free Checking Account
We’ve been in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for nearly five years now. After we ditched Washington Mutual, we moved our accounts to a local bank, and went with their free checking option.
For four years, our account sat there making no interest. Now that we use our prior month’s income for our current month’s budget, we typically have at least up to a month’s worth of cash in the account.
Finally, about two months ago, I chatted online with a bank representative about a high-interest checking account. The move was simple and done right online. We immediately went from zero interest to making 4.0% on our checking account balance!
Find a High Interest Checking Account
I was happy with a 4.0% interest rate that came without the hassle of changing banks, but interest rates over 5% are available through other banks – local or otherwise! Here’s a few links I found:
- High Yield Checking Deals is a blog that lists, by state, the highest-paying high-yield checking bank accounts. There are dozens in the 5-6% range! This site also gives statistics of the average yield & balance cap for the combined accounts.
- CheckingFinder is recommended by (and advertises on) the Dave Ramsey Show, and lists banks by zip code or by interest rate.
On each of these accounts, you typically must meet certain requirements each month to qualify for the high interest rate. Qualifications typically include the following limitations:
- Direct deposit of at least one paycheck per month, or auto-draft pay of at least one bill per month.
- A certain amount of debit-card transactions per month (usually 10-15 transactions).
- Most accounts I’ve seen apply the high interest rate up to the first $25,000. Any money above that amount each month will earn at a lower rate (typically 0.5% or other nominal amount).
I find that after 8 trips to the gas station & 4 trips to the grocery store, it’s pretty easy to attain the necessary 10-15 transactions required to qualify. Of course, take a look at each individual bank’s requirements.
Just Do It
The interest gained may not seem like much, but another $10, $25, $50 a month quickly turns into hundreds of dollars per year. Bust out of this recession with a high-interest checking account!
Do you use a high-interest checking account?