Posted by Chuck on April 25, 2018
Checking Accounts

Published on April 25th, 2018 | by Chuck


Heritage Bank 3.33% APY Rewards Checking Account – Available Nationwide

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 3.33% APY
  • Minimum Balance: None ($100 minimum to open)
  • Maximum Balance: $25,000
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: Optional
  • Additional requirements: Yes, see below 
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Yes, up to $1,500 with a Visa credit card Credit card funding no longer allowed
  • Monthly fees: None 
  • Early Account Termination Fee: $30 fee if account is closed within 6 months of opening
  • Insured: FDIC

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • Heritage Bank offers their eCentive rewards checking account with an interest rate of 3.33% APY on balance up to $25,000 and ATM fee waiver.

Heritage Bank is a bank in the midwest with locations in Minnesota and Iowa. This account can be opened online for any US citizen nationwide.

To be eligible for the 3.33% rate, you need to do the following:

  • Enroll in e-statements
  • Have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment (ACH) each month
  • Make 10 or more debit card payments and/or purchases that will post to your account each month (excluding ATM transactions)
  • [Login once per month – this is mentioned in the video but not on the offer page]

The Fine Print

  • Any portion of the balance above $25,000 will earn .15% APY
  • If qualifications are not met, account will earn .05% APY
  • When you meet the eCentive Account qualifications we will refund up to $25.00 per statement cycle of domestic ATM fees and MasterCard cross border/currency conversion fees for foreign debit card transactions.

Avoiding Fees

There is no monthly fee. There is an early termination fee of $30 if the account is closed within 6 months.

Full fee schedule can be found here. There is a $10/month dormancy fee which will apply after 12 months. Won’t apply to anyone using the account who will be making debit and ACH transactions, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you end up not using the account.

A reader notes that you must always leave $.01 in the account, else they’ll close it automatically after a few days, and will result in a $10 fee if you want to reopen.

Our Verdict

Comparing this other high interest checking and savings accounts, this comes out as one of the best available options. There aren’t many other options which have a $25k allowance, and the 3.33% rate is better than most. Plus, the qualifications should be fairly easy to meet. It is worth noting, however, that with general interest rates climbing, these rewards checking become less enticing.

We’ll add this to our List of Best Savings Account options. 

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I have two 2% up to $20k accounts that each require an ACH and 15 debits/month. Two of these new accounts will more than double my monthly interest income while reducing my total monthly debits by 10.

I’ll email them to ask about hard pulls.

Can you share when you know if they hard pull?

Wow, I’ve already heard back from a banker and this is their reply:

In regards to your online submission – we only pull a soft credit check for opening an eCentive account with us. It will not show as a hard pull on your credit report.

Popular Bank is now offering a 2% savings account with no debits required. The only requirement is a 5K minimum deposit. The rate is also good all the way up to 100K+.

Ken you may want to check out All America Bank – they pay 2.25% monthly – only 10 debits required – no direct deposit required – I have used them for years. Also they have Money Market accounts paying 1.75%. I really like this bank. They are also known as Redneck Bank.

You had my hopes up for All America Bank until I noticed that they cap 2.25% at a low $10k.

I understand but . . . . they allow you to have more than one. Redneck Bank – 2.25% $10K and All America Bank 2.25% $10K. Also Heritage Bank $25K cap at 3.33%. RN

I already have 14 open checking/savings accounts. I’d open another one for a 3.33% rate but not more ~2% ones.

Yes. Most of mine are more than 3%. I hate the ones that restrict you to a minimum $5 per debit at 12 debits that is a minimum of $60/month. One of mine is One American Bank and pays 3.50% with this requirement. Hope you called First Advantage Bank because they did approve me in GA when it says their states only allowed. RN

The $5+ isn’t much of a problem for me since I have so many bills, but the low caps are a pain.

I did call and they weren’t helpful at all. Waste of a hard pull. I’m in TX so not exactly close to their market like you are.

Sorry – another pointer: La Capitol Credit Union – 4.25% for the first $3,000 and over $3,000 2% up to $10,000 – you have to run 20 debits, Estatements, login – I have had them for 2 years – you have to make a small donation $20/year. RN

Another pointer and feel free to give me some of yours. Check out Premier Members Credit Union Money Market. You get 4% for the first $2,000! Digital Credit Union 5.12% for the first $1,000! RN

Well, this is why it’s not good to chase rates. Just signed up for ETFCU a week ago. I wish I had waited. It seems the difference in earning between the two accounts over a 12 month period is about $220. But this one requires only 10 transactions instead of 15. I’m also looking to sign up for a few bank accounts that might be chex sensitive so I’ll hold off on applying for this. Who knows what other bank will raise their rates next..

Literally in the same boat as you. Just opened ETFCU and got it up to $20k, it’s a difference of $66 per year. I’ll skip this for now, but we’ll see if others offer more than this.

If you account for the higher max of 25k, the difference is definitely more than $66

Check out First Advantage Bank. 4.50% – only 10 debits required – direct deposit and E Statements – I have my dry cleaners automatically debit my account and this counts for the 10 – Check it out!

Applied a few weeks ago and they declined since it’s only open to KY/TN residents now. Did a TU hard pull too 🙁

Check again Ken. I live in Georgia and they allowed me to open it. Mention you have a friend who opened one not in KY/TN!


Check for what? When you try to apply they have a big red section saying TN/KY only right now. Also this is what they emailed me when I applied:

Your FAB online account application has not been processed. We are currently not accepting out of region applications. This will be reopened nationally however, we are unsure as to when it will be reopened. If you have any questions or feel there has been an error please contact FAB Customer Support @ 1.800.552.9291.

Sorry to hear that. I called them and spoke to a representative who honored my application. I guess they no longer allow other states to join. RN

Big question is how quickly will they take this away when they get 500 new customers from Hawaii just doing 10 $.50 Amazon reloads every month.

Why Hawaii?

There are many high-interest accounts that have for years never targeted customers for low purchases to meet requirements.

no CC funding – Debit, ACH, mail a check. ACH has a $4K limit.

i assume no Hard Pull, b/c i’ve got 3 frozen bureaus and made it through to the signature card stage. But approval is generated after they receive the signature card (?).

Is the 4K limit for both push and pull ACH? I’m assuming it only applies to the ones originating from the account, in other words will I not be able to push all 25K at once?

Push/pull from an external account and there won’t be any limits.

Did they say you have to send them a physical signature card in the mail? Or could the signature card be done online or faxed? Could you please update us if you know! We want to open this account but overseas for the next few months. thanks!

Video is incorrect – eCentive Terms and Conditions don’t list a once-a-month login requirement, just the 10 debits, estatements and the direct deposit or automatic payment (ACH).

— Click the Save Application frequently, times-out fast and you’d rather resume it than start over.
— Don’t use Firefox to apply because it downloads instead of opens-in-browser the last 2 pdf disclosures; you need to click their checkbox at bottom else your application won’t complete.
— I was told there’s zero grace period to get the 3.33% interest, 10-14 days to get the debit card, statement cycle ends last business day of month.
— You can email in a scan of your picture ID

I used Chrome and I could not find the checkbox at the bottom. I had to save the applications. Very frustrating!

Save thing here. So stupid.

Worked for me in chrome, checkbox was at the bottom left

I like them so far. This is my first month and waiting to see that 3.33% up to $25K!

Which browser did you use?.

Update- I used Internet Explorer (sorry I forgot to mention that in my Firefox tip)

What email did you use for sending the picture ID, ?
Would scanned documents via email work for the withholding/debit forms too, or do they have to be mailed?

that’s the correct email; I forgot to ask them if I could email scanned withholding/debit forms.

I sent them all the documents to that email, Ill report back if they accept them

What documents did they request? Copy of ID, and what else specifically? Someone mentioned a debit form, but I don’t know what that is.

I only had to send a scanned copy of my license. The signature pages need to be sent asap so that you will not miss out on the 3.33%. I called in a week to confirm receipt of my scanned license and the forms I mailed. The Debit card came the 1st week of the month so I could easily meet the 10 debits that month.



they told me they don’t accept email submissions for the signed docs and ID verification. i had to snail mail my docs to their PO Box

did they end up accepting your emailed docs?


spoke with them again. they said they are not accepting new account docs via email… only fax or snail mail

Seems to be either an update here or some internal confusion on this point. I emailed asking if I could email scanned docs and they sent me a secure message link that allowed me to send docs.

Did you just get a secure email message or did you actually get a link to upload? I just emailed them asking for a secure link to upload and they responded only by saying that I had to mail the documents.

When I opened my second account, I just asked for them to send me a secure (not specifying why) and then sent the documents as an attachment when I replied to the secure email.

Maybe I should have ignored their guidance to mail the docs and just responded to the email with them. I ended up mailing everything and then they told me that I also needed verification of address for my wife (of the same last name, who lives with me… she is my wife after all) so I had to mail that as well. It delayed the process but the account is finally open as of today or recently.

must be a citizen to open online

I called the Customer Service number and they got confused. The CSR was told by another person “Just say you are a citizen” but we agreed this was probably not great advice. I got a callback today that they had talked to compliance and they will be sending me some forms to fill in. So it sounds like it is possible to join, just not online, because, um, whatever!

how did that go?

On the debit card application that has to be mailed it says you authorize them to obtain your credit report. Does that mean hard pull?

Asked them that when I applied and rep said no, soft.

So you have to snail mail forms to them to open the account? What is required to be mailed?

Did they say you have to send them a physical signature card in the mail? Or could the signature card be done online or faxed? Could you please update us if you know! We want to open this account but overseas for the next few months. thanks!

Yes. Here are the requirements —

“Please return to us via U.S. mail within 10 days:
• Your (and any joint owner’s) legible copy of unexpired picture ID
• Proof of Address, if not current on your ID (i.e. recent utility bill, phone bill, etc.)
• Signed Account Agreement
• Signed Beneficiary Designation Form, if applicable
• Signed Debit Card Application, if applicable
• Check Order form, if applicable”

So for me the question is how long will it last? Don’t want to sign up and have them shut down the 3% after a couple months. Anyone have previous experience?

Also, does Venmo count as a “purchase”?

it can change anytime. Likely they will increase the debit purchases requirement before lowering the interest

During the approval process it may be found that additional information or documentation will be necessary in order to open the account. We will contact you via phone or email using your contact information provided earlier in this application. Please add to your address book so our emails are not blocked by your spam filter.

Reminder: Your new account(s) will automatically be enrolled to receive monthly eStatements instead of paper statements. When your monthly eStatement is available to view in online banking, you will receive an email notification. If you use a spam filter, please add to your list of approved senders.

Thank you for your application!

Can you confirm if that is the standard message for everyone?.

I quickly realized the real downside of this bank is that when you print out the “account agreement” and “request for a consumer debit card”, your full SSN is printed on the paper and they give you a PO box address to send there. That being said, you cannot send express, cannot send certified mail and have to send by regular mail and you are at the risk of losing your mail on the way while your full info is listed there. The way they handle the paperwork is so poor. I will try to see if I can scan and email them the required paperwork.

By the way, I gave my PPBDC and try to fund $3000, my PP account is zero balance with bank account as back-up. I’ll report back if account can be successfully open and whether it can proceed the initial funding on my PPBDC.


I don’t disagree they probably can allow submission of documents securely on their web site, but I don’t quite understand why do you think e-mail is better option/more secure than snail mail?

E-mail is NOT secure and you should never send sensitive information via e-mail. In the most generic case e-mail travels in plain text over potentially dozens of servers owned by who knows who.

Compare that to USPS. There is a federal law explicitly prohibiting anyone from opening someone else’s letters.

Yes, letters can get lost in the mail, but how often does that happen? It has happened to me maybe 2 times in 20 years.

It used to be the norm to have to send documents in the mail to open a remote bank account.

To you, yes. To me, no. YMMV.

Assuming that risk outside of the bank is equal (i.e., that email and postal mail are equally secure), I suspect that physical documents are more prone to mishandling inside the bank than are digital ones. But in reality, it won’t stop me from opening a bank account.


were you able to email your docs? i called and they told me to snail mail the docs to a PO box

So did PPBDC work for funding?


i used my discover cc to fund $2k

Why can’t you send certified mail? Certified mail can be sent to a PO box. I get certified letters in my PO box regularly.

so will ten 50cent amazon reloads trigger the monthly debit card requirement?

Personally i do organic spending, dollar store
water bottle, taco bell in order to meet the requirements so that my account is at less of a risk of getting banned

Obviously there system will at some point figure out the same charge for the same amount, i mean at least vary the amounts, try to put in a bit more effort

What is an “automatic payment(ACH)”? Does that just mean “do one ACH into the account every month”?

I interpret that to be an outgoing ACH from Heritage at least once per month such as pay bills and other recurring payments (mortgage, credit card payments, etc).

I called and asked. The lady said it simply meant that you’d need to just do one ACH from your bank to Heritage each month. No minimum.
She also said the there was no minimum to count as a debit card purchase.

They said you can try faxing in your signed docs. However, if the images are too hard for them to see, then the only other option is to mail in your docs, unfortunately. They do not accept scanned images sent via email. Hope this helps!

Thanks for sharing these high yield accounts when they pop up. As someone who lives in an area that doesn’t seem to have many good bank account bonuses, these types of accounts are some of my favorite.

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