By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
First Effingham Bank to offer 'reward checking'
Placeholder Image

First Effingham Bank has unveiled a unique, no minimum-balance free checking account that rewards customers with 5.5 percent annual percentage yield (APY) earnings and automatic refunds on all ATM fees nationwide. The account is entitled Reward Checking, descriptive of the numerous benefits attached to the account.

Most everyone has heard the expression, “You need money to make money.” For most checking accounts, which require high balances or charge monthly fees in order to earn interest, the expression usually holds true. However, now with free Reward Checking from First Effingham Bank, people with balances between one penny and $50,000 can earn high interest, 5.5 percent APY plus get refunds on fees charged by other banks’ ATMs anywhere in the U.S. (Account balances above $50,000 enjoy the rewards too: earning 1.5 percent APY on the amount above the $50,000 level.)

“Reward Checking marks the latest evolution in our Totally Free Checking program. Our commitment to tradition, innovation and service is shown clearly in this new account introduction. Usually when a bank adds conveniences the customer has to pay. We have added the conveniences and we’re paying our customers,” said Carolyn Sanders, president of First Effingham Bank.

Reward Checking is a totally free checking account that rewards customers when they do things that improve the efficiency of First Effingham Bank. To receive the high interest and the ATM fee refunds, Reward Checking account holders must:

• Make at least 10 free check card transactions per cycle (excluding ATMs)

• Receive their monthly statement via secure email notification (versus a paper statement)

• Have one Direct Deposit or one ACH auto debit

“Our research has shown that a large group of customers find the account requirements to be added conveniences more than the usual requirements,” Sanders said. “We expect that many who are not yet our customers will come on board to join our existing customers in taking advantage of this innovative account offering.”

If the Reward Checking account holder does not meet all the requirements during the statement cycle, he or she will still enjoy a free checking account with free Internet banking and free online bill pay, but will not receive the bonus rate of interest or ATM refunds for that time period.

However, the account holder will still earn .25 percent APY on their free checking balance. There is a $100 minimum balance to open but no minimum to maintain and absolutely no monthly service charge for the Reward Checking account. Reward Checking accounts are for personal checking customers, but First Effingham Bank still offers Totally Free Checking to small businesses and non-profit organizations.

First Effingham Bank is a member of the First Chatham Bank family of neighbor banks headquartered in Savannah. First Chatham Bank opened for business in January 2002, becoming the first locally owned full service commercial bank chartered in Chatham County since 1989.

First Chatham Bank and its affiliates, First Effingham Bank, Richmond Hill Bank and First Glynn Bank, serve coastal Georgia through eight offices and a network of 26 ATMs.