Posted by Chuck on January 25, 2017
Checking Accounts

Published on January 25th, 2017 | by Chuck


MemoryBank 1.5% APY for First Year on up to $250,000

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: .5% bonus on top of regular rate (1.5% total)
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Additional requirements: ACH transfer, e-statements, 5 debit card purchases
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Up to $500
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Expiration date: Unknown

The Offer

Direct Link

MemoryBank is an FDIC insured internet bank available to US residents age 18 or older.

  • MemoryBank offers an EarnMore checking account with an interest rate of 1.5% APY for the first year on balances up to $250,000 when qualifications are met

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 10.50.06 PM

You’ll earn 1% APY base earnings and a bonus of .5% for the first year. After the first year, the interest rate will revert to the standard 1% APY rate. You need to do the qualifying activities, even for the 1% rate.

To be eligible for the bonus rate, you need to do the following three qualifying activities:

  • Receive at least 1 electronic deposit such as payroll, transfers from other financial institutions, or even Popmoney each month
  • Use your debit card for at least 5 in-person or online purchases each month
  • Get your statements online

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 11.09.14 PM

The Fine Print

  • Bonus rate valid for first 12 statements (bonus period), on balances from $0.01 – 249,999.99
  • Minimum $50.00 to open account
  • After the bonus period you must maintain activity requirements to earn the current APY and no bonus APY is available
  • A new customer is defined as not having an EarnMore Account in the six months prior to date of account opening
  • If activity requirements are not met or balances are in excess of $249,999.99, the APY is .05%

Our Verdict

The qualfications aren’t difficult to meet: enroll in e-statements, automate a monthly ACH transfer of any amount from your regular checking account to the MemoryBank account, and buy five $.50 Amazon reloads each month.

The standard best interest rate is usually between 1% and 1.35% so this account is a bit better. And they’ll give the high rate all the way up to $250k which is quite generous.

That said, I’d thing for most people this isn’t worthwhile being that the 1.5% rate is only valid for one year; after that it reverts to 1%, and even the 1% is only with the qualifications being met. And most people don’t hold anywhere near $250k in cash, in any case.

If I did have $250k sitting in cash in a 1% account, I’d jump on this offer. For the hassle of buying five $.50 Amazon gift cards each month, I’d net an extra ~$1,250 on top of the ~$2500 I’d earn from any other 1% account, for a total interest earnings of ~$3,750.

Even at amounts lower than $250k it could make sense to do. Internet banks are usually each to deal with and you’ll also get $500 in credit card funding as an added bonus.

Just bear in mind that reader’s reports indicate they might not approve you if you have too many Chex inquiries.

We’ll add this our post on Best High Interest Savings Accounts.

Hat tip to Maxmizingmoney

81 Responses to MemoryBank 1.5% APY for First Year on up to $250,000

  1. gary says:

    does anyone know if its a hard or soft pull and it says the account can be funded by debit/credit card anyone know up to how much?

  2. joe says:

    We will be jumping on this. (I think) The real improvement is the ease of use vs multiples $25K reward checking accounts combined with a 1%+ savings account. Instead of ~60 transactions you need to do 5. And there is no restrictions on how many transactions go out of the account like a 1% savings account.

    The one big drawback, is if you’re not diligent, instead of missing out for the interest for 1 2% 25k account you are missing out for the whole thing.

    It says it can be funded with a credit card? I did not see that… And the lady at the 800 # told me soft pull.

  3. Matt says:

    It’s a soft pull, and up to $500 with credit card.
    Gave me a 2 day message, but I think this is standard.

  4. Ashok says:

    Hi Doc – The rate of 1.5% is not guaranteed for 1 year. Only the bonus rate of 0.5% is guaranteed for 1st year . The base rate of 1% can change at any point in time like a reward checking account as per the fine print for this account

    I bet this rate falls in a couple of months unless the fed increases rates further.

    • Radster says:

      Where did you see language to support your claim?

      I think you’re incorrect based on “Earn 1.5% Annual Percentage Yield.. for the first year…”

    • Chuck says:

      Ashok, good point, you probably technically right. I’ve added in a bit to make this clearer.

      Since they are advertising it as 1.5%, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that this isn’t a bait and switch tactic.

  5. Ashok says:

    Also you cannot add a beneficiary or POD on this account .. that kind of sucks

  6. Ben says:

    Not trying to be nitpicky, but when I first read this I thought you meant only 1 DD in the first year and only 5 debit card transactions in the first year….not per month. That got me more excited, until I clicked on “need” link which clearly states the DD/debit transactions are per statement.

  7. Chris says:

    Got instant approval and option to fund $500 with credit card. Thanks for the heads up!

  8. Ken says:

    WOW this is a great deal. 0.5% better than my other best savings account. That’s a free utility bill over my other account 🙂

    I’ll wait to see if we can establish a reason why they deny some people as we’ve got lots of Chex inquiries.

  9. Stor says:

    I am actually interested in how this account works on payment on death. It may be a bit morose but I do also base my;savings account choice on ease of keeping funds out of probate. Particularly if I am going to park 200k+.

  10. ss says:

    Couple of deal breakers –

    1. From fine print: “Rates may change at any time.” Plenty of banks lure new customers with high rate then drop it. See UFBDirect, Mysavingsdirect, etc.

    2. From live chat with rep: “No PoD designation allowed.” If you pass away, good luck with probate.

    3. Mentioned above: Denials based on Chex inquiry issues.

    Alternative – 1.4% 1 year CD at or
    1.38% 1 ear CD at

  11. Joshua H. says:

    Approved after phone call from CSR. Chex pull, no hard pull. Fund $500 with Citi AA Plat Select, in Citi page it shows as professional service during pending.

  12. Aks says:

    Instance approval. But online account opening will take 2-3 business days.

  13. Yu says:

    Can anyone who fund the account with CC share which CC you use and if it is treated as purchase?

  14. Dan says:

    I just funded with my Amex DL Reserve card. I’ll report back whether it settled as a cash advance or purchase.

  15. lian says:

    what’s the fund 500 at credit card, I am new here don’t know what is. Please.

  16. Kirk says:

    I just called Memory Bank asked if it would be charged as a purchase or cash advance. I think I will try it anyway. I have set my cash advance max limit to $20 on my Chase credit card.

  17. Kirk says:

    They told me it would be a cash advance. (I forgot to add this to my previous post.)

  18. Yu says:

    One more question. Since it says the New monthly statement cycles begin on the 15th of each month, does that mean it’s best if I open the account on 15th?


    • cm says:

      For what it´s worth, yes, you should open the account on the 15th. I opened mine on the 9th or 10th of the month and that statement cycle a) counted as one of the 12 I get at the bonus rate, and b) only got me 3 days of the higher interest. So that was a mistake. I even saw your question and just didn’t think about it enough.

  19. Hanna says:

    Chase Freedom Unlimited coded as purchase.

  20. Ken says:

    Has anyone been successful opening this account that has a lot of new bank accounts on their record? Like 6+ for the last 6 months?

  21. travis says:

    my application was actually declined. anyone having any experience having them change the decision?

  22. Dave says:

    How reputable is this bank? I’m not seeing any reviews for them and their website looks about 10 years outdated

  23. borntobehermit says:

    It doesn’t look to be in Mint. Has anybody found a way to add it?

    • Tan T says:

      I called the bank, they don’t support yet.

      I opened the account last month and today my Funds Transfer was locked. I called and after a very long process (about 40 minutes, they have to tell me they will call back), the CSR said I was locked because I ACH’d an outside account that is not under my name. Never had that problem with Alliant before. Now they unlocked that feature but all of my registered outside accounts have been suspended and I don’t find a way to access them. Will give them a call again this afternoon. Also, they also limit your transfer accounts to be only 5.

      This bank is good for putting money there as savings money, but it’s not good at all as a main bank account. I’m thinking if it;s worth open just for 0.5% more than other high yield checking, but with limitation and no support from Mint.

      • Joe says:

        To add on to this, they throttle how much you can withdraw per day and per rolling 30 day period. I was told these limits increase over time, but it caps out at $10k for the transaction and $20k for the rolling 30 day period. That is disappointing to me.

        I asked how would I get out more quickly, and was told I can write a check to myself. Does anyone have experience with that at this bank or other banks?

        • TG says:

          Have you tried to just ACH pull above the limit from another bank?

          • Nick says:

            Pulling from another bank is the only way to go. It gives you unlimited access to your Memory Bank balance subject to the 6 withdrawals per month. It’s absolutely the only method I use given those puny daily limits Joe mentions. As a side note, UFB Direct has that same sort of restriction. However, Barclays Savings doesn’t. So, if you can live with only earning 0.95-1% that’s a handy “pass-through” account for moving large sums.

      • yu says:

        Did you initiated the transfer from Memory bank or from another bank ?
        Also did you try to ACH fund into or ACH fund out from Memory bank ?


        • TanT says:

          I can do ACH just fine (in and out) from another bank. Just get stuck when I want to initiate it from Memory Bank.

  24. Ed says:

    I have a Memory Bank account and was told in a phone call that it is considered a checking account not subject to the 6 withdrawals per month. And if you think about it that makes sense: you have to do 5 debits to get the full rate. I don’t think anyone would “bite” at an account that would only allow one withdrawal per month after performing qualifying activities.

  25. John says:

    I am wondering whether Amazon purchases would be fine, looking at the requirements.

    On the marketing site, it seems that online purchases are qualifying:
    “Use your debit card for at least 5 in-person or online purchases3.”

    Whereas on the account disclosures, this is slightly:
    “At least 5 point-of-sale (POS) debit card transactions2 must occur during the statement cycle.”

  26. phil says:

    anyone know if a mobile check deposit will meet the monthly deposit requirement?

  27. TG says:

    BofA AS Biz counted as a purchase.

    Also their routing number is 091017620. They list it as the routing number for wires but I confirmed it’s for ACH too.

  28. Debra says:

    Funded with $500 from Amex SPG Business, posted as purchase (Business Services – Other Services).

    Somewhat confusing application process… got instant approval but received notification of a message shortly after, which I then could not access–you have to create an online login just for the application, I had done so but then couldn’t log into it for whatever reason. So I called in and the lady reset my application login as well as telling me what the message was. They asked for upload of drivers license and proof of address (utility bill / bank statement), verification was completed shortly after I uploaded. Now I’m just waiting for online banking to work, I set it up (you have to make a new, separate login from the application) but it won’t let me log in yet. Apparently you have to wait a couple days for them to email you that you are able to log in. Frankly, I’m not super confident I won’t have to call in again… but at least the credit card funding worked!

  29. Bhanna says:

    Got up to a page that had a check box with a message that read as follows “By continuing with this account application, you authorize us to verify the information you submitted and to obtain credit reports concerning you. Upon your request, we will tell you if a credit report was obtained and give you the name and address of the credit reporting agency that provided the report. You warrant to us that the information you are submitting is true and correct. By submitting this application, you agree to allow us to receive the information contained in your application, as well as the status of your application.”

    I sent them a message about whether that means a hard pull or not… I know on this page it says it is a soft pull, but I would just rather be safe, don’t want the inquiry on my report for two years for just being able to pull 500$ from a credit card…

    Hopefully they get back to me soon, and ill update this comment

    • Bhanna says:

      “Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate your interest in Memory Bank. At this time we do a soft credit pull and a Chex Systems inquiry…”

      So confirmation of soft pull just in case someone is not comfortable with the wording in the application. GL

  30. Yu says:

    Anyone know if they waive the requirement of the 5 debit card transactions for the first months to get the 1.5% rate?


    • Radster says:

      Applied for account 12/25. On 4/16 I received an email stating:

      “To ensure you had enough time to meet all the simple conditions to earn the 1.50% APY, we’ve given your account a grace period in which the monthly statement cycle activity requirements have been waived. This grace period has now ended.”

      Looks like it was four statement cycles.

  31. Puckhog says:

    Application for a joint account was instantly approved on 4/15.

    Initial $500 funding by credit card posted as purchase (oddly as “Home & Utilities: Home Improvement”) on BAC Travel Rewards Visa.

    It took a day to be approved for online account access.

  32. Connnie says:

    Did you guys receive checks for this Memory Bank checking account? If yes, did you have to make the request specifically? How long did it take to receive checks? The daily incoming/outgoing limits for external transfers are miserable.

  33. Manish says:

    Here is the scoop –
    This is a great alternative to CDs tied up for a length of time. No brainer for the first year anyways.

    $8000 rolling 30 day limit
    $2000 daily transfer limit
    Debit card works great and has notification alerts you can set up
    App works well too to keep up
    It took me a while to figure out the 5 transaction thing since I did not want to use this as a main checking account and did not want to buy random stuff. Finally stumbled on the perfect way… produce…. lol
    Yep, just go to Target on a slow night time and buy 3 bananas and 2 lemons separately as self checkout and you will be done under $1.50 for stuff you actually need ha ha
    I like seeing the interest rate paid monthly (15th)
    This is a good place for $10-$15K worth of spare emergency cash and not getting anything in return.
    Only problem is beneficiaries etc. So after the first year I might park the money into 1month-3month CDs as part of my Fidelity umbrella work/401K account which has everything in order. You can get 1 month CDs at 0.8% etc or 0.95% for 3 months and so on. So it is a good way to park it after the first year close to the 1% and not worry about any requrirements or successor issues on death etc.

    Hope this helps.

    • A says:

      Good note.
      I do not leave home.
      I just make 5 small denomination bill payment from my utility company website. And monthly recurring $5 transfer to bank account.

      • Yu says:

        Would you confirm the online bill payment to the utility company is counted as the 5 qualified transaction required?


  34. HJ says:

    DP: used amex hilton card to load $500 as purchase

  35. verygood says:

    To get the bonus – Can I transfer (pull) money from Memory bank website (to save the cost of pushing ACH from another bank) instead of pushing from another bank?

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