Posted by Chuck on February 10, 2017
Checking Accounts

Published on February 10th, 2017 | by Chuck


Leader Bank 2.05% APY up to $50,000 [CT, DE, FL, ME, MD, MA, NH, RI, VT]

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: 2.05% APY
  • Availability: CT, DE, FL, ME, MD, MA, NH, RI, VT
  • Additional requirements: $1,200 direct deposit, e-statements, 10 debit transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Insured: FDIC

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • Leader Bank offers a 2.05% APY interest rate on balances up to $50,000 with their Zeugma Rewards savings account

To be eligible for the 2.05% rate on their savings account, you’ll have to open a checking account as well and meet the following qualifications:

  • $1,200 in direct deposits monthly
  • Ten debit transactions monthly (the following count: checks, electronic payments, debit card transactions, and ATM transactions)
  • Enroll in e-statements

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 3.08.54 PM

Other Benefits

Aside from the 2.05% APY on the savings account, there are also a few benefits to the checking account, including:

The Fine Print

  • Eligible Zeugma Checking accounts will be reimbursed up to $15 per month in ATM surcharges assessed by other banks and will receive debit card cash rewards of 1% on “Qualifying Purchases” per month. “Qualifying Purchases” include signature purchase transactions only where the customer selects “credit” as the transaction type.
  • The debit card cash back rewards and ATM surcharge refunds will be paid by the 15th day of the following month for the accounts that qualify in the current statement cycle.
  • $10 minimum balance to open Zeugma Checking and $10 minimum balance to open Zeugma Savings and earn APY.
  • No minimum balance required to be eligible.
  • When you are eligible for Zeugma Checking benefits, then the interest paid on Zeugma Savings in the next statement cycle on balances of $50,000 or less is 2.03% with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 2.05%; an interest rate of 0.20% APY will be paid only for that portion of your daily balance that is greater than $50,000.
  • If you do not qualify for the Zeugma Checking, you will be paid 0.10% annual percentage yield (APY) on your entire balance in the Zeugma Savings.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective as of 7/1/16. Rate may change after account opening.
  • Bonuses and gifts are subject to IRS tax reporting requirements IRS 1099-INT.
  • Checking accounts subject to an inactivity fee of $10.00 for each 90 day period in which there is no customer initiated activity.
  • One account per household.
  • Not eligible with Step Anywhere relationship.

Our Verdict

If you do keep a full $50,000 in cash, you’ll earn around $1,000 per year in interest with this account, which is $500 more than a standard 1% APY savings account. An account like this will only make sense if you keep a nice amount of cash reserves since at smaller amounts you’d do better with something like the Insight card.

When looking into opening a new high-interest checking or savings account, I like to look at the overall Profit per Account. This account scores quite nicely on that scale. And it’s been around for at least two years so hopefully it’s here to stay.

We’ll add this our list of High Interest Savings Accounts.

Keep in mind that Leader Bank have stated that they run regular account reviews and if they think abuse is occurring they will downgrade accounts.

Hat tip to @pointsforlater via personal message

33 Responses to Leader Bank 2.05% APY up to $50,000 [CT, DE, FL, ME, MD, MA, NH, RI, VT]

  1. Mser says:

    Anyone tried to apply outside those states listed? Can select any state for an address if you choose on of the listed states to get to the application page.

  2. Liam says:

    holy cow, Zeugma is a weird name for a checking account product, whether you know what it means or not

    • Ian says:

      Zeugma is an ancient city of Commagene; located in modern Gaziantep Province, Turkey. It means “yoking” or “bonding”, is a figure of speech in which a word, usually a verb or an adjective, applies to more than one noun, blending together grammatically and logically different ideas.
      The CEO is Sushil K. Tuli. Weird, website says “Copyright © 2010 Leader Bank, N.A.” And, application says ©2014.

  3. Tt says:

    This is one of a number of great offers that started showing up around the county about 6 months ago with both a higher rate and ~50k range that had not hit this blog that I’ve alluded to previously. I’m confident this particular one will now be changed or pulled due to publicity. Time will tell. Congrats for finding this one. Thing is it’s not even their best offer. There is also a bonus offer on top if you can qualify. Most probably can’t though. Hint hint….

    As I’ve also stated before more banks are now willing to negotiate for better deals these days which has greatly changed the competitive landscape for best rates and sometimes even bonuses obtainable. So everyone needs to do their homework.

  4. RB says:

    The post says this is valid in FL. But I don’t see any locations come up for FL on their website.

    • Chuck says:

      Click ‘Apply Now’ and select Florida from the dropdown menu.

    • Ian says:

      You don’t see any branches in FL, MD, DE, ME, NH, VT, RI, CT (a loan office in CT) because “With assets over $1 billion, Leader Bank, N.A. is a nationally chartered bank founded in 2002 with seven full-service branches in Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Burlington, and Cambridge, MA.

  5. Tt says:

    By the way,I’m not trying to be arrogant. My post is just trying to inform you all. Perhaps there will be an upcoming post by Chuck on how to find banks willing to negotiate, how to negotiate better offers and even how to find offers not well publicized.

  6. Jason says:

    Beyond “normal” debit transactions, their debit card will also earn 1% cash back for certain P2P money services (not Venmo, but others.) I earned a couple hundred dollars before they shut me down.

    My hypothesis for the shutdown was that I got flagged after making several rapid $.50 amazon purchases to meet the minimum number of transactions. It was only a day or two after that happened that I got the shutdown email. Previously I’d been using the self-checkout while going grocery shopping and making multiple purchases. Oh well – it was nice while it lasted.

    • Bob says:

      How do you do the P2P transfers? Transfer to a friend’s account and route the money back? And it sounds like these P2P transactions don’t count as part of the 8 debit transactions required right?

  7. Eduardo Baez says:

    Just called Leader Bank. CSR told me it is a soft inquiry and $1000 direct deposit is just a $1000 ACH electronic deposit.

  8. Eduardo Baez says:

    I applied today. So, don’t add anything to the post until I confirm it from Credit Karma/Free Credit Score. If it is a hard inquiry, they will notify me. However, they may take a few days to do that.

    • Chuck says:

      Please keep us updated.

      • Eduardo Baez says:

        On 02/15/2017, applied for Leader Bank Zeugma Rewards Checking/Saving Package. As per Leader Bank e-mail, application is being processed and it should take a couple of days.
        On 02/16/17, refreshed my TransUnion and Equifax Credit Reports via Credit Karma. There is no new hard inquiries so far on both credit reports.
        I have to check Experian Credit Report using However, it refreshes once a month.
        So far, I have received no hard inquiries alerts.

        • Thanks, let us know about Experian when it does update.

          • Eduardo Baez says:

            On 02/17/17, got free Experian Credit Report from There is no new hard inquiries. Leader Bank CSR was correct at least regarding the review of the credit report when applying for Zeugma Rewards Checking/Savings package. So, I am confident now that it is a soft hit. Also, I got an e-mail today requesting me to upload a photocopy of my Florida Driver License. I will inform you when the account is either approved or rejected. If approved, I will share my experience later on about how the $1000 direct deposit and 8 debit card transactions requirements work to qualify for the 2.05% APY.

          • Chuck says:

            Thanks Edaurdo, I’ll add the data point

  9. Eduardo Baez says:

    Just to follow up my Zeugma Rewards Checking/Savings package application process.
    On 02/22/17, got an e-mail requesting me to upload a photocopy of my US Passport.
    On 02/23/17, both accounts show up as approved. I was instructed to verify the two small deposits they just submitted to my external account so my initial deposits can be processed.

  10. Eduardo Baez says:

    I just want to clarify that one of the requirements is not 8 debit card purchases but 8 debit transactions.

    Based on link above, checks, electronic payments, debit card transactions (purchase completion), and ATM transactions are considered debit transactions. Only internal transfers are excluded.

    So, for example, you can pay 8 credit card bills using Leader Bank Bill Pay and satisfy the 8 debit transaction requirement.

  11. Eduardo Baez says:

    Please be aware that the requirements to qualify for Zeugma Rewards have been modified. Effective April 1, 2017, the following requirements will change:
    •Minimum direct deposit will increase from $1,000 to $1,200 per month
    •The number of debit transactions posted and cleared per month will increase from 8 to 10

    Transactions made at, with or through the following vendors will not be counted towards the minimum number of debit transactions requirement for Zeugma Rewards or receive the 1% cash back regardless of if it is a transaction where “credit” is selected as the payment type: Google Wallet, PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, or MoneyGram.

  12. Eduardo Baez says:

    Just got my ChexSystems Report. Leader Bank did pull ChexSystems when opening my account last month.

  13. Chris says:

    Does anyone have any DPs on what counts as Direct Deposits for Leader Bank? Thank you!

    • Eduardo Baez says:

      As per my own experience since opening the account in February 2017, any $1,200 recurring external transfer counts as a Direct Deposit.
      I scheduled a $1,200 recurring transfer from EverBank to Leader Bank the third day of every month to meet the Direct Deposit requirement.
      I schedule 10 credit card bill payments via Leader Bank Bill Pay every month to meet the 10-debit transaction requirement.
      I highly recommend Leader Bank to anybody. They have no fees, no minimum. You can transfer money in and out and also use Pop Money all without fees.
      If you use the debit card, they will give you 1% cash back on every signature transaction. This is very convenient for web sites in which the convenience fee for paying using the credit card is a percentage of the transaction while the convenience fee for paying using the debit card is a small flat fee. In some cases, the 1% cash back minus the small flat fee is much better than the 2% cash back using a 2% cash back credit card minus the percentage convenience fee for paying the transaction using that 2% cash back credit card.

      • Chris says:

        As always, very helpful info Eduardo. Thanks again!

        I will open an account with them and give them a shot.

        • Eduardo Baez says:

          You are always welcome Chris.

          This is a good time to open your Zeugma Rewards Checking/Savings package because their statements run by calendar month. So, you will have time to satisfy the requirements for August 2017.

          Please take into consideration that transactions made at, with or through the following vendors will not be counted towards the minimum number of debit transactions requirement for Zeugma Rewards or receive the 1% cash back regardless of if it is a transaction where “credit” is selected as the payment type: Google Wallet, PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, or MoneyGram.

  14. Jay says:

    I applied from FL, turned down, and was told that they are updating their website and no longer are taking new applications from the state. But if you have a current member refer you, you possibly could get a supervisor override to get an account opened at the moment. Until, I presume, it’s completely impossible with that website update.

    Oh well, I was looking forward to using this as an everyday checking and rewards savings, but i wondered why they ever accepted FL accounts, seems completely out of their region of interest, New England.

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