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Rewards While You Save: Community Bank Savings Rewards Programs

Jan. 14, 2013
Personal Finance
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Sure, you got the free rewards checking account, but how about all that money you’ve been putting away in your savings account? Shouldn’t you be getting some rewards for that too? NerdWallet thinks you should, and we’ve found the best community bank savings rewards programs that not only keep your money safe, but also offer competitive interest rates and other perks that increase your savings. You often get the best interest rates when you link a rewards saving account with a rewards checking account.

Why community banks?

Most community banks have assets under $1 billion, so they are less beholden to stock market interests. They mostly invest in small businesses within their community and often have better interest rates than big banks. Many of them offer very rewarding savings accounts, too. You’ll need to have an active rewards checking account and meet some easy monthly requirements to take full advantage of the top interest rates, but we think you’ll find that it’s worth it.

Chicopee Savings Bank (Chicopee, MA) – Rewards Savings

Offering a competitive-to-high interest rate (depending on your account balance), Chicopee Savings Bank’s Rewards Savings account links to your Rewards Checking account to give you an extra return on your money. To qualify for the best interest rate, you’ll need to meet the Rewards Checking requirements each month: make at least 12 debit card purchases, receive electronic statements and make one automatic payment or direct deposit. The Rewards Checking account has its own great interest rate, and also offers $25 in ATM fee refunds per month. Even if you don’t meet the criteria, you still get a competitive interest rate for your account. Easy!

Keystone Bank (Auburn, AL) – Keystone Saver

Keystone Bank’s Keystone Saver account offers the opportunity for free rollover rewards, as interest and ATM fee refunds from your Keystone Cash account are automatically transferred to your Keystone Saver account. The Keystone Saver account earns the highest interest rate when you make 10 debit card purchases, have one direct deposit and receive electronic statements each monthly cycle. Competitive rates are still offered for those who don’t meet the requirements, so everyone gets to make money while they save.

Hancock Bank and Trust (Hawesville, KY) – Green Rewards Savings

The Green Rewards Savings account at Hancock Bank and Trust is great on its own. It comes with free online banking, no minimum balance requirement, 6 free withdrawals per month and competitive baseline interest. But, when you meet the minimum monthly requirements for the Green Rewards checking account, you’ll get a better interest rate for both accounts and free ATM fee refunds nationwide. To qualify each month, you’ll need to make a minimum of 12 debit card purchases and one direct deposit, and sign up for e-statements. Check out the Green Rewards Savings account and watch your money grow right before your eyes.

Lake City Bank (Warsaw, IN) – Rewards Savings

Lake City Bank’s Rewards Savings account makes earning easy. By meeting some easy requirements, you can get a great interest rate on your savings account and compounded rewards from your linked Rewards Checking account. As long as you meet the monthly qualifications by making 8 debit card purchases and one direct deposit, and signing up for e-statements, you’re golden. Please note: you’ll need to keep $200 in your savings account to avoid a monthly fee.

Ouachita Independent Bank (Monroe, LA) – Reward Plus

Ouachita Independent Bank is not kidding when they call their account Reward Plus—not only do you get a high interest rate when you meet the minimum monthly requirements, but your rewards are compounded with a truly incredible interest rate from your Reward Checking account. ATM fee refunds are automatically added to your Reward Savings account and there is no charge for online banking or online bill pay. As long as you keep $400 in your account to avoid monthly charges, stay within their withdrawal framework and meet the easy qualification criteria, you will have access to a truly rewarding savings account. If you don’t meet the criteria, you’ll still earn a base interest rate that can compete with the best of them!

First National Bank (Orrville, OH) – Bonus Savings

Remember Sonic the Hedgehog? All he had to do to get bonus points was jump up in the air and grab some gold rings. Well, First National Bank makes earning Bonus Savings even easier than that. All you have to do is have a Bonus Checking account and know how to spell your name. That’s it! Sign up to receive electronic statements and you’ll get great interest without doing a thing. For your Bonus Checking account, you’ll also get free online banking, free mobile banking and a free ATM card. No minimum balance requirements and greater interest than regular savings, too —what are you waiting for?

TransPecos Bank (Pecos, TX) – Kasasa Saver

Life is full of tough decisions. Getting a Kasasa Saver account at TransPecos Bank isn’t one of them. Linked to your Kasasa Cash checking account, The Kasasa Saver automatically gets the money you earn from ATM fee refunds and the interest earned from Kasasa Cash. It also gets its own awesome interest rate. You earn interest twice, there is no minimum balance to earn rewards, and if you can’t meet the monthly qualifications, your account stays free and still earns a small amount of interest. To earn the top interest rate, you’ll need to make 10 signature-based debit card transactions, one direct deposit, and one online bill pay or automatic payment each month. You’ll also need to sign up for e-statements and access online banking once per cycle.

Suburban Bank & Trust (Elmhurst, IL) – Total Rewards Savings

The Total Rewards Savings account at Suburban Bank & Trust is a package deal: you get the rewards and great interest rate from Total Rewards Savings account complemented with the rewards and interest from your SBT Rewards Checking account. This account also refunds ATM fees incurred nationwide, up to $20, which gets added to your savings account automatically. Two great interest rates, no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees. Just make sure you make 10 debit transactions, one direct deposit or automatic bill pay, and receive e-statements each month to qualify for the best interest rate.

Williamstown Bank (Williamstown, WV) – RealSaver Savings

Williamstown Bank doesn’t say they’ll give you one interest rate and then give you another. Their RealSaver Savings account earns a great interest rate when you meet the minimum monthly requirements: 10 debit transactions, one direct deposit and electronic statements. Pretty easy, and because your RealSaver Savings account is linked to your Rewards Checking account, you’ll get the earnings from a terrific interest rate and refunds from ATM fees added to your savings. The accounts have no minimum balance requirements and no monthly charges.

Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank (New Orleans, LA) – Fidelity Saver

Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank knows that it can be tough keeping up with your saving. Maybe you don’t have a ton of disposable income to throw into an account. Well, the Fidelity Saver account adds to your savings for you. Linked to your Fidelity Reward Checking account, the rewards you earn from checking (interest and nationwide ATM fee refunds) are compounded in your Fidelity Saver account. There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly charges. Qualifying for the top interest rate is easy: make 10 debit card purchases, one direct deposit or automatic payment and receive e-statements each month. These are things you probably do anyway, so it shouldn’t be too hard to keep up. Even if you don’t meet the qualifications one cycle, you get a baseline interest rate on both accounts. Get out there and get earning!