Posted by Chuck on January 28, 2018
Checking Accounts

Published on January 28th, 2018 | by Chuck

31

Customers Bank 2% APY Checking Account on up to $100,000 [Requires $500 Debit Card Spend]

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 2.00% APY
  • Minimum Balance: $0.01 (minimum opening balance is $10)
  • Maximum Balance: $100,000
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Hard/soft pull: Unknown
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Insured: FDIC

The Offer

  • Customers Bank offers a 2% APY checking account on balances up to $100,000 when you spend at least $500 in signature debit card transactions

The rate is comprised of a base rate of .25% APY, plus a bonus 1.75% APY when meeting the debit card requirement. Customers Bank is located in the Northeast, but seems to be available for all US citizens to open an account.

The Fine Print

PDF

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of 12/13/2017
  • To be eligible to open this account, new money is required (funds not currently on deposit with Customers Bank)
  • APY of 2.00% will be guaranteed on all balances through February 23, 2018. As of February 24, 2018 all balances will earn 0.25%APY and the additional bonus APY of 1.75% will only be earned when the Visa Debit Card signature based purchases equal $500 or more during the statement cycle.
  • The “Bonus” APY of 1.75% will be calculated on the average daily balance for the statement cycle and credited on the statement cycle ending date for average daily balances up to $100,000.99.
  • During statement cycles when the Visa Debit Card signature purchases do not total $500 or more, the Bonus checking account will earn 0.25% APY.
  • Bonus Checking is a variable rate account and the account interest rates and APYs may change after February 23, 2018 without notice
  • Limit of one Bonus Checking account per tax identification number

Avoiding Fees

There are no monthly fees on this account.

Our Verdict

Two important things to keep in mind before getting in on this. First, they clearly write the rate can change at any time; I don’t know if this bank has a history of bait-and-switch, for now I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

The other thing is, of course, the $500 debit card requirement. They require signature purchases and – to keep it simple – let’s assume you’re losing out on credit card spend when doing so. I’ll figure a 2.5% loss due to the spend, or $150 per year. After figuring that, it’s only a small increase over the top savings rate which is (at time of this writing) ableBanking 1.70% APY. Fully maxing out this Customers account with $100k, you’ll get an extra $300, but lose $150 from the spend, cutting the gain in half. More realistically, you won’t have a full $100k in the account.

Anyway, it’s another interesting option, especially if you have lots of cash reserves, but overall I’m not sure how many people will find this offer worthwhile. We’ll add this to our List of Best High Interest Saving Rates (though it won’t make the Basic list there due to the $500 requirement). You can check out that resource for up-to-date information on the best savings rates available.



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shipitkthx83
shipitkthx83

Would be interesting to know if PIN-less debit counts towards the $500 requirement. (Venmo maybe?)

Jeremy
Jeremy

I don’t see why not. That’s my assumption of how to accomplish this. It also changes the calculus more in favor of this account. If you assume you could use a Discover Checking account that offers 1% on those transactions, that would only be losing out on $5/month. Now, your benefit over the 1.7% savings account is $300 – $5*12 = $240.

Brandon
Brandon

Problem I see is the $300 difference requires a massive 100K in the account (which many Americans are not even close to, many don’t even have 6 months of emergency funds). And most people have cards that give at least 2%, all the way up to 6% in cashback. So it makes it $180 assuming 2% back. And that assumes you can spend the $500 a month on PIN less transactions. Miss a month, and you lose $145 in interest. Not worth the hassle in my opinion.

Ken
Ken

Or just buy a money order for $0.70 and deposit that into a bank account. So your opportunity cost is effectively $0 since you’re not cutting into your CC spend.

Ken
Ken

Nevermind, MO won’t work since it requires a PIN. Should be able to add cash to Paypal or Serve since neither requires a PIN.

Yet Another Redditor
Yet Another Redditor

A $500 MO from WM should work for this. Not much opportunity cost there and only 70 cents fee.

Ken
Ken

Yup, this is what I was thinking too. And since it’s a legit debit card there should be no problems at WM either.

Ken
Ken

Crap, MO requires a PIN so that won’t work. Maybe Paypal add to account or Serve since none require PINs.

bob
bob

except…that would be a PIN-based transaction, right? Is that the same as “signature transaction”? I wonder if that’s why DoC put the bit in about losing out on a CC charge…

bob
bob

so, this is better than LiveOak’s 1.6% (Savings) rate, and it’s better than Blue FCU’s 2% b/c you don’t need 12 swipes per month and the other hoops there.

And, b/c it’s a checking acct, you’re not limited to 6 withdrawals per mo like with a savings acct. Definitely worth doing.

bob
bob

boy…the application process is BRISK. no ID challenge at all. You enter a DL, DOB, SSN, and….you get your account. No challenge questions, no uploading of documents, no VeriSign-ing, no hard pull (which is fine)…

They say you can’t register for online banking until after you’ve funded your account. I guess by ACH-ing in money from another bank – but you’d have to call in to tell what the recent micro-deposit transactions are, yes? Or visiting a branch..or mailing them a check.

Here’s the language (i’ve excised the part with the account & routing numbers)

Thank you for choosing Customers Bank! You are able to access your account anytime, anywhere by enrolling in our mobile and online banking services.

Once your account is funded, you can enroll in online banking using your web browser by going to http://www.customersbank.com. You can also enroll using our mobile apps, search of “Customers Bank Access” in the iTunes Store or Google Play Store and download our app, tap on “Accounts” and select “New User Registration”.

Prefer to mail a check? Feel free to mail them to Customers Bank, 73 Old Dublin Pike, Doylestown, PA 18901 and we’ll deposit them in your account.

For support or questions, feel free to contact Customers Bank Support at onlineaccountsupport@customersbank.com or call us (267) 390-4132.

Ken
Ken

Been talking to a banker here, on a Sunday!!

Opened an account and have my account # and routing. Apparently can’t create online access till you fund the account. So DD or Fidelity or something else that doesn’t require trial deposits probably.

– They pull chex
– $500 can be online purchases, anything that doesn’t require your PIN.
– They have lowered their rates in the past, but only when market rates deceased, and he said they’d be incremental decreases if at all. Nothing major at once time.
– Customer service available 7 days a week

This account would replace almost all of my “high interest” accounts earning <2% provided they don't reduce their rates any time soon. I'll keep the other accounts open just in case they do drop rates though.

Hopefully we start seeing more of these higher interest accounts popping up.

Mikey
Mikey

Banks offer these higher rates because they know a certain small percentage of account holders will not qualify each month. To complicate matters banks have different statement cycles. So it easily gets confusing trying to recall if you did your 10 debits here or spent your $500 there if you have multiple accounts.

Ken
Ken

That’s why keeping detailed records in a spreadsheet is necessary. It’s easy to setup scheduled reminders on your computer/phone.

Ken
Ken

Fidelity requires submitting a voided check, deposit slip, or a recent statement to link. not sure how to get funds into the account so I can get online access to verify trial deposits. Talking to them now.

Randy
Randy

If I made a $500 Facebook Messenger payment from this account to my wife FB do you think this would qualify? No PIN involved.

JILL
JILL

I called the bank in order to to get some information, and I was told that it is a hard pull to open the checking account.

Ken
Ken

Huh, I was told it was a Chex inquiry only. I opened the account yesterday so hopefully no pulls show up. Did they mention which credit agency they pull?

JILL
JILL

I called and spoke with a representative from the bank named Myrna. When I asked if whether there is a hard credit or soft credit, she said hard credit. They use the Chex inquiry, but then they also do a “verification”, which is a hard pull credit check. She seemed very certain about this. I didn’t ask what credit agency they use.
Also, she told me that an online purchase will satisfy the requirement for the bonus and that for in-store, you need to do it as a credit (no pin) with a signature.
Ken, would you please let us know if it turns out that they did a hard pull credit check or just a Chex inquiry only?
Thanks.

Calvin

I opened the account on 1/28, and so far I didn’t see any hard pull notification from any credit monitoring service.

For funding, they do not offer credit card funding per their email support. Since Venmo allows to withdraw to account without verifying micro-deposits, I did that, and I can access the online banking now since fund posted! 😀

One thing I can comment on their online banking: outdated and too simple.
1. You cannot download transactions – no CSV, excel, whatever.
2. You cannot setup external accounts – so no bank-to-bank transfer.
3. There is no 2FA.

Let’s see when the debit card arrives.

Ken
Ken

I was able to setup a link from my Wells Fargo account and the trial deposits gave me access to setup an online account. No problem pushing funds from WF to the new Customers account. So, yes, you can definitely do bank to bank transfers, albeit not initiated from the Customers account.

Link to Mint and you can download everything you want. Small quirks for industry leading 2% up to $100k with one simple hoop to jump through.

Calvin

Just a note from the signup site:
*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of 12/13/2017. To be eligible to open this account, new money is required (funds not currently on deposit with Customers Bank). APY of 2.00% will be guaranteed on all balances through February 23, 2018. As of February 24, 2018 all balances will earn 0.25%APY and the additional bonus APY of 1.75% will only be earned when the Visa Debit Card signature based purchases equal $500 or more during the statement cycle.The “Bonus” APY of 1.75% will be calculated on the average daily balance for the statement cycle and credited on the statement cycle ending date for average daily balances up to $100,000.99. During statement cycles when the Visa Debit Card signature purchases do not total $500 or more, the Bonus checking account will earn 0.25% APY. Bonus Checking is a variable rate account and the account interest rates and APYs may change after February 23, 2018 without notice. Fees may reduce earnings. Limit of one Bonus Checking account per tax identification number. For consumers only.

So you get 2% on all balances until February 23. By the way, they are enhancing the online banking soon – https://www.customersbank.com/upgrade/

Ken
Ken

Terms specifically say that the 2% is only guaranteed till Feb 23rd, and then it can go up or down after that point just like every other bank in existence based on the prime rate. Please try to find us a bank that guarantees its rate indefinitely, because they don’t exist. ALL rates from ALL banks are subject to change except for something like a CD.

az
az

Dead? “Open an account” button is gone.

Ken
Ken

They just updated their online systems over the weekend, maybe that’s why? I received my debit card and it won’t activate either, so I don’t know what’s going on. They’re trying to fix it for me now.

bob
bob

ok, so: you get 2% the first month regardless of Debit activity – which is good b/c it took 6 weeks and 3 phone calls to get my debit card. After that, I immediately made a $500 payment to my Citi card – but that apparently doesn’t count (it shows up as a “Transfer”).

PIN-based transactions also don’t count. I doubt Venmo does, but who knows. The acct mgr on the phone (3 transfers after trying all the phone numbers listed on their website – which only take you to Online Support) – he told me that in order for the transaction to count, you have to use the Debit card like a Credit Card (choose Credit at the prompt) and sign.

So…i’m going back to LiveOak. It’s a slightly lower APY, but no hassles. I’m not trading $500 in CC purchases for an extra 0.2% APY on my overflow account.

Ken
Ken

Took weeks to get my first card and it wouldn’t activate since it had the old phone number on it. I received my card over the weekend they upgraded their systems.

The rep I talked to said anything except for a cash advance, ATM, or PIN transaction would count for the interest.

Has anyone been able to connect their Mint account to Customers Bank? I’ve been fighting with Mint for over a month now.

Ken
Ken

Anyone get Mint to connect? Been almost 2 months now and still it isn’t working. Probably going to close the account if I can’t get Mint to work. The crazy thing is that there are many other banks that use the same backend that work in Mint, so this should be a simple fix.

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