Posted by Chuck on July 5, 2016
Checking Accounts no image

Published on July 5th, 2016 | by Chuck

12

Main Street Bank 2.25% APY Checking, up to $25,000 – Available Nationwide

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 2.25%
  • Minimum Balance: $100 to open
  • Maximum Balance: $25,000
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: None
  • Additional requirements: Yes, see below 
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Insured: FDIC

The Offer

Direct link to offer

Receive a 2.25% interest on balances up to $25,000 when you complete the following requirements:

  • Have at least 12 debit card purchases post and settle
  • Be enrolled and receive eStatement notice
  • Have at least 1 direct deposit, 1 automatic payment (ACH), or have 1 bill pay post and settle

We should be able to automate a bill pay or ACH transfer or direct deposit, which means that after the initial setup, you just need to make 12 debit card purchases per month to get the 2.25% rate.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 6.01.49 PM

Miscellaneous Notes

  • When meeting the qualifications, you’ll also get unlimited ATM refunds nationwide (details in the fine print here).
  • When meeting the qualifications, you’ll be eligible to get a 1% APY rate in a Savings account on up to $50k. If you are doing their checking deal, it could make sense to open the Savings account at the same time.
  • Make sure to select the Kasasa Cash checking account and not the Kasasa Cash Back account – you don’t want that one.

The Fine Print

  • This account is intended to be the account holder’s primary checking account in which payroll transactions and day-to-day spending activities occur. This includes, but is not limited to: grocery, gasoline, apparel, shopping, dining, and entertainment transactions. Commensurate with the spending activities identified above, we expect the accounts debit card to be used frequently throughout each month and for transaction amounts to reflect a wide dollar range. Small debit card transactions conducted on the same day at a single merchant and/or multiple transactions made during a condensed time period particularly near the end of a Monthly Qualification Cycle are not considered normal day-to-day spending behavior. These type of transactions appear to be conducted with the sole purpose of qualifying for the accounts rewards and thus will be deemed inappropriate and transactions and will not count toward earning the account’s rewards. Main Street Bank reserves the right to determine if the account is being maintained for a purpose other than day-to-day, primary use. Account holders who persist in making debit card transactions in a calculated and limited fashion in order to meet their monthly qualifications may have their account converted to a different account or closed.
  • Account transactions and activities may take one or more days to post and settle to the account and all must do so during the Monthly Qualification Cycle in order to qualify for the account’s rewards.
  • “Monthly Qualification Cycle” means a period beginning one (1) business day prior to the first day of the current statement cycle through one (1) business day prior to the close of the current statement cycle.

Avoiding Fees

Even if the qualifications are not met, there are no fees on this account.

Our Verdict

This account is offered by Main Street Bank of Michigan, but the account can be opened online by anyone in the USA.

On the surface, 2.25% doesn’t sound impressive since there are some options with up to 5% APY. However, since they allow the 2.25% rate on up to $25,000, it’s well worth taking a look.

Let’s dive into the math: getting 2.25% APY on $25k will yield you around $556 by year’s end (.02225 x 25,000). If we’ll deduct $250 which you could have gotten using an ordinary 1% saving account, the gain is still a healthy ~$306. That tops out almost all of the options which we calculated in the post High-Yield Savings Accounts: Profit per Account (aside from Consumer’s Credit Union), and it could make sense for someone who keeps large cash reserves on hand.

I was initially excited about this account until I read the fine print indicating that they don’t want people to get the account just for the 2.25% rate, and they’ll ostensibly close down or convert such accounts. It’s not clear whether this is enforced and how much activity will keep them happy. In any case, this could still be a solid option for someone to make this their main checking account or at least a used checking account for bill payments, etc. It works out pretty well since they also have that 1% Savings account options so it might be something to consider.

The big unknown here is whether they do a hard pull for opening the account. Be sure to opt out of overdraft to increase the chance that it will be a soft pull, and please let us know if you have a data point on this.

Check out our introduction to rewards checking in this post and a roundup of other high-yield checking and savings options in this post.

Hat tip to reader Dirk



12 Responses to Main Street Bank 2.25% APY Checking, up to $25,000 – Available Nationwide

  1. joE says:

    I think a better and more fair comparison of opportunity cost would be to compare this deal to ($15k @ 3% + $10k @ 1%) since these are available to all, LMCU + any online savings account. Not to mention LMCU is a credit union that offers much superior products and rates and you won’t have any worries regarding earning 3%.

    No wrong or right here, just a different perspective to consider.

  2. joe says:

    LMCU is a hard pull though. Main street was a soft pull

  3. Max says:

    I have an account with them opened in march and they have contacted me 2 times for account closure if i am not doing proper regular checking transactions in my account. They want to see different types of daily spend on the account as per their fineprint else they will shut it down
    Even things like doing multiple transactions in a day 2-3 times a month didnt go well with them

    • annex1982 says:

      The website looks kinda odd.

      So, is this a go or no?

    • Chuck says:

      Sounds like they are pretty strict.

      Thanks Max

    • dev says:

      There is a similar data point on DepositAccounts at https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/main-street-bank-mi.html.

      Based on these data points, my assessment is that this account isn’t worthwhile for the typical DoC reader, who would be forgoing at least 2% cashback (or equivalent miles/points) by using a debit card for “daily spend” (whatever that means in the bank’s eyes). With some experimentation it might be possible to narrow down exactly what the bank wants, but at best your net interest rate (considering the opportunity cost of CC rewards) would be marginally higher than the 1% you can obtain in a simple savings account, and probably not worth the time and effort.

  4. David_07259 says:

    So what I gather from this is “How DARE you try to make money off the money you allow us to make money off of.”

    Screw that. LMCU and CCU have both bent over backwards to make me feel like a valued customer. They’ll continue to get my business.

  5. Julia says:

    This is what one user wrote about this bank.

    I opened a Kasasa Cash rewards checking account in early 2016. Shortly thereafter they added sever and highly arbitrary conditions for keeping the account open and earning any interest at all. Specifically, here is their language:

    “The account you opened with Main Street Bank is intended to be the account holder’s primary checking account in which payroll transactions and day-to-day spending activities occur. This includes, but is not limited to: grocery, gasoline, apparel, shopping, dining, and entertainment transactions.

    Commensurate with the spending activities identified above, we expect the account’s debit card to be used frequently throughout each month and for transaction amounts to reflect a wide dollar range. Small debit card transactions conducted on the same day at a single merchant and/or multiple transactions made during a condensed time period particularly near the end of a Monthly Qualification Cycle are not considered normal day-to-day spending behavior. These type of transactions appear to be conducted with the sole purpose of qualifying for the accounts rewards and thus will be deemed inappropriate transactions and will not count toward earning the account’s rewards.

    Main Street Bank reserves the right to determine if the account is being maintained for a purpose other than day-to-day, primary use. Account holders who persist in making debit card transactions in a calculated and limited fashion in order to meet their monthly qualifications may have their account converted to a different account or closed.”

    Without any advance warning at all, they recently told me I would receive no interest for the current month and they would be closing my account in about 7 business days. In my opinion, dealing with this bank is like dealing with a brutal, arbitrary dictatorship. Don’t waste your time and effort banking here. There are other banks that actually value having customers who save money and want a straightforward, reliable checking account.

  6. james ho says:

    File complaints against this bank, just a guised form of bait and switch. They must clearly outline and disclose their activity definition requirements to all applicants and give ample notification of changes to current customers prior to changes. Filing formal complaints are the best method to put a hault to their illegal bait and switch tactics.

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