Multiple people have now contacted me about how the Everbank FreeNet Checking Account offers a good high-interest checking account with a lot of great features. I admit that I didn’t know much about them because their regular interest rates (currently 3.25-4.41% APY) are lower than my main checking account bank, Presidential Bank (4.50% APY Checking, 5.12% APY Savings). But if you ignore the interest rate difference, it truly does have the makings of a good main checking account. Right now I use a combo of Bank of America (deposit checks + ATMs) and Presidential (higher interest rate + bill pay).
Here’s a brief review of what it offers:
Intro Rate of 5.51% – To start you off, they offer you 5.51% APY for the first three months. After that it drops off to the regular interest rates of 3.25-4.41% APY depending on your balance. That’s still much better than most banks. In fact, they “pledge to keep the yield on your FreeNet Checking Account and Yield Pledge Money Market Account in the top 5% of competitive accounts as tracked in the Bank Rate Monitor National Index? of leading banks and thrifts.”
ATM rebates, No monthly minimums, No direct deposit requirement, Postage-paid deposit envelopes – These are all features that Presidential does not have. ATM rebate details:
EverBank will even reimburse you for up to $6.00 a month in surcharges levied by ATM operators (simply use one of our convenient bank-by-mail envelopes to mail EverBank your ATM receipts within 90 days of the transaction)!
Finally, they even partner with other banks to waive ATM fees and make deposits. In my area, they partner with US Bank, which has a pretty big network here.
More Details – Free initial 50 checks. Minimum opening deposit $1,500. Account closed within 30 days of opening – $25.00 fee. $1,500 minimum balance for free Online Billpay.
EverOne Financial Center – This online account aggregation product sounds a lot like Yodlee. I hear it stopped working for Emigrant and ING recently after their new security upgrades, but hopefully it’s just a matter of time before that’s fixed. (Edit: Emigrant access is reportedly fixed)
Guarantee: $50 to close your account – If you open the FreeNet account, keep it open for 3 months, pay at least 3 bills online, and still close your account within 30 days of the 3-month anniversary, they will send you a check for $50. Giving you an incentive to leave, that’s new
Overall, that is a pretty outstanding feature set. I don’t know of any bank that offers the above and decent interest. If you just want the money, think of it as 5.51% APY for 3 months + a $50 bonus. Add in the claims of good customer service, and I may just have to give Everbank a try sometime.
(Side note: Somebody also mentioned City National Bank. CNBT also has a high-interest checking account with no minimum fees, but you need direct deposit and it has this really weird requirement of using their check card 10 times every month for purchases or else you lose the interest. That’s just way too annoying.)
By Jonathan Ping | Banking | 8/10/06, 2:04am