Posted by William Charles on December 14, 2016
Current Savings Account Sign Up Bonuses

Published on December 14th, 2016 | by William Charles


[IL only] Hometown Community Banks 5.01% APY Checking Account (10 Debit Card Transactions Required)

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 5.01% when requirements are met
  • Minimum Balance: $20 to open 
  • Maximum Balance: $5,000 for 5.01% rate, balances over $5,000 earn 0.10%
  • Availability: Must open in branch, all locations in IL [Branch locator]
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: 10 debit card transactions & eStatements
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Unknown 
  • Monthly fees: None listed
  • Insured: FDIC
  • Expiration date: None listed

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive a 5.01% APY interest rate on balances of up to $5,000 when you complete the following requirements (otherwise 0.1% APY rate is paid):
    • Complete ten debit card transactions
    • eStatements
  • Interest is given as points with each point having a cash back redemption of 1¢
  • Receive 10 rewards points each time you make a debit card purchase
  • Apparently you also get 2,500 points just for creating an account


The Fine Print

  • Interest is paid in points, redeemable for cash, gift cards, merchandise or travel.
  • Each point has a Cash Back redemption value of $0.01.
  • Points will expire four years after the date of issuance, and are redeemable on a first-in, first- out basis.
  • 5.01% APY interest is paid on the first $5,000 in your account provided 10 debit card purchases post and clear your account during the monthly statement cycle, otherwise 0.10% APY is paid on the first $5,000 in your account.  0.10% APY interest is paid on the portion of your balance over $5,000.
  • The Amazing Account is available to consumers only and is limited to two accounts per person.
  • A consumer account is one that is used primarily for personal, family or household purposes; all other accounts are business accounts.
  • eStatements required.
  • Paper statements are available for $2 per statement cycle.  Minimum Opening deposit is $20.  Rate is variable and may change after the account is opened.
  • Fees may reduce earnings on account.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

This account does not come with any monthly fees, you do have to pay conveneice fees for using Mobile Deposit, Popmoney or any ATM. You’ll get up to $10 refunded each month, or you can pay an extra $2 and get $20 refunded each month.

Our Verdict

This is probably the best rewards checking account at the moment (apart from the location restriction) due to the fact you get a massive 5% APY and the requirements are easy to meet. The points vs cash back seems a bit weird, I wonder if it’s possible to get better value than 1¢ per point with travel (it’s not with gift cards). If anybody knows more about this account, please share it in the comments.

Big thanks to reader JF for letting us know about this account.

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22 Responses to [IL only] Hometown Community Banks 5.01% APY Checking Account (10 Debit Card Transactions Required)

  1. evan says:

    should 10 transactions/month be as easy as 10 amazon reloads or has to be over a certain amount each?

  2. AB says:

    I wonder how the taxes work for its if it is points it should be tax-free, right? That makes it equivalent to an ~8% return.

  3. TJ says:

    You’re going to get a 1099 as interest for sure. If you live in their local area they have in the past sent out $100 for opening a checking account (any type) in the mail. The banks aren’t called “hometown banks” on the outside they are all “XXXX community bank” where XXX is the name of the town you are in. Amazon reloads definitely work, I do that myself for their promo type account they did before the Amazing account which was 2.something% on 10k after 10 debits.

    • Hard/soft pull? Can fund with credit card? Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier ;)!

      • jf says:

        I wonder if this user is referencing the pot of gold checking they had? It was either 2.01 or 3.01% cant remember which. And no funding with CC. Cash/check/MO only.

        • TJ says:

          Pot o’ Gold checking, yes, and they stopped that when they switched to the Amazing checking. I looked it up, was 2.01% 10k/.15% above (and 13 debits, so they reduced the number for Amazing). They didn’t force me to convert so I still have the old one though. Amazing is slightly more money but Pot o’ Gold is just pure interest, not points you have to redeem.

  4. adam says:

    Lots of locations near Peoria and Bloomington. Also in Macomb, great for Western Illinois students. I’m all the way up in Chicago though, so…I’ll pass.

  5. jf says:

    Woohoo! Glad this made the cut! Its also important to mention the same bank has a 7.5% variable visa with no balance transfer fees. They have also opened a few without a hard pull but not guaranteed. They usually pull experian.

    Never seen the $100 at my relatives house. That would be sweet since you would be able to get it twice!

    Also dont forget you get 2500 points for each checking account you open, so its $50 free!

    • Where does it say 2500 points per checking account? Thanks JF 😀

      • jf says:

        It doesn’t say that, but its what you get. Trust me. They don’t advertise it but you get it! I promise you!!!! Users can call in and verify that if they want to, the banker may have to double check, but its there!

      • jf says:

        I know its kinda blah to some people….but the only time I have seen something easier or better was Lake Mich CU. They can be super had to get into though esp w credit cards. I want their 6% checking (currently 3) and their prime platinum credit card which is prime plus 3%……

      • jf says:

        Its also chex systems that they use and experian soft pull to open the account. And no CC funding allowed, and they may allow a person to get their CC up to 20k limit without a HP. But not guaranteed. They are trying to get the 7.5 variable switched to fixed. If they don’t do it this year I certainly hope they do it next year….sorry for so many replies lol

  6. Corridor says:

    I called a branch and made an appointment to open accounts for my wife and I. The day prior to our appointment, they emailed me and said we can’t open an account because we our outside of their area. I live in Illinois and I am an 1 hour and 15 minutes away.

    Any suggestions to circumvent this?


  7. Jake N says:

    Hey Will – is this available to open online or phone or only branch? Was poking around the site and didn’t see an application option. Wouldn’t mind picking up two of these for me and my gf. Comes out to ~$200 more interest than if held 25k @ 1%!

  8. Corridor says:

    Did everyone receive the 5.01% last month? I received about 4.8%. The site still shows that it’s 5.01 is the current rate.


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