Checking is getting a lot more interesting.
Savings and checking accounts used to be two distinct worlds. Savings accounts were exclusively for earning interest over the long term and were tapped only for emergencies or big-ticket purchases—the proverbial “nest egg”—while checking accounts were primarily used for paying bills or making everyday purchases, and never earned interest.
Today, there are hybrid accounts that can be used for earning and spending. For many people, an interest-bearing checking account (or, simply, interest checking) makes a lot of sense. It simplifies life, for one thing—one account that allows you to earn interest on easily accessible cash. But not all interest checking is created equal. These accounts come with requirements and restrictions, not to mention widely varying interest rates.
With interest checking, you usually receive a debit card to make purchases and ATM transactions, plus you can write checks, set up automatic electronic payments and pay bills online from the account—all while earning interest. But how much? For a typical account, you can expect less than .50% annual percentage yield (APY).
For the right to earn interest, you may have to perform a certain number of transactions per month, maintain a minimum average daily balance, set up direct-deposit and/or pay one or more bills online through the account. Many of these requirements, like direct deposit and online bill-pay, actually simplify your life.
Before choosing interest checking, you need to consider how many checks you typically write per month, how many purchases you make with a debit card, and what kind of minimum balance you can comfortably maintain, among other factors.
If you’re leaning toward interest checking, it’s worth your time to look into OSB’s new Interest Plus checking. It requires at least twelve point-of-sale transactions and one automatic ACH debit or credit transaction per statement cycle and offers a whopping 2.17% annual percentage yield* on your balance, up to $25,000. Plus, your monthly $5 service charge is waived when you enroll for eStatements.
* Rates and promotional offers are subject to change or cancellation at any time. To earn the maximum interest, you must complete 12 or more point-of-sale transactions with your OSB debit card each month, and have at least one monthly recurring ACH debit or credit. Yield valid as of 6/1/18. Other restrictions may apply.