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Pursuing A New High Interest Checking Account

I previously applied for a high interest rewards checking account. It took a good amount of time to get a response from this application. Unfortunately, it was the response I didn’t want to hear. I wasn’t eligible. Apparently you have to live withing a certain distance of that credit union or bank. I wish they put the requirements for becoming a member on the website, it would be much easier to sort through all of the options.

After the rejection, I started at the top of the list of Illinois high interest checking accounts and sent emails inquiring about becoming a member. After getting responses from all of the credit unions and banks, I pretty easily narrowed my options down to two: Devon Bank and NorStates Bank.


Below are the advantages of opening a rewards checking account with Devon Bank:

  • 4.15% APY on balances up to $20,000
  • 1.15% APY on balances greater than $20,000
  • 0.15% if the requirements are not met
  • Free online bill pay
  • Free phone banking

Below are the requirements (more info on requirements for high interest reward checking accounts) to gain the 4.15% APY:

  • 10 debit card transactions
  • Accept estatements
  • A direct deposit, ACH auto debit or online payment


Below are the advantages of opening a high yield checking account with NorStates Bank:

  • 4.50% APY on balances up to $25,000
  • 1.01% APY on balances greater than $25,000
  • 0.15% if the requirements are not met
  • No monthly fee
  • No minimum balance
  • Free online bill pay

Below are the requirements to gain the 4.50% APY:

  • 10 signature debit transactions
  • 1 direct deposit or auto payment
  • Accept estatements


Other than the information listed above, the only other major factor is where the banks are located. Devon Bank is within a 10 minute drive from where I work and is closer to my condo, which is important if I stop working in that area. NorStates Bank isn’t far away, but it isn’t close enough to get to during lunch while at work.


Both banks have the same requirements for gaining the higher interest rate. I’m pretty sure they both have similar benefits like free online bill pay, no minimum, no account fees, etc. Devon Bank doesn’t state this on the website, but every account like this that I have seen has no minimum or account fees.

NorStates Bank has a higher interest rate by .35% and a higher allowed account balance. I don’t particularly plan on keeping more than $20,000 in cash so the maximum account balance isn’t much of a factor. My decision came down to whether or not I want the .35% higher interest rate at the expense of having to go further to reach the brick and mortar account.

I’ve decided to go with Devon Bank because the location will never change, but the interest rates can change. Who knows, maybe Devon Bank will end up with a higher interest rate at some point. Before opening the account, I will inquire about minimum balances and account fees to be safe. Hopefully this is the end of my journey to open a high interest rewards checking account.

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