Even if you’re scrounging for change under the seat of your beat-up pickup, you may still be able to open a bank account, thanks to the "You’re Approved Checking Account" from Snyder, Okla.-based Redneck Bank.
That’s right: Redneck Bank. A division of the Bank of the Wichitas, this tongue-in-cheek online consumer bank offers checking and money market accounts that you can open with $1 and keep open with a minimum balance of a penny. And they’re available to both rednecks and yanks alike.
This play on pop culture may be, on the surface, “where bankin’s funner,” as its web site proclaims. But although the bank may attract redneck (and redneck wannabe) customers across the country, slackjawed account holders could get duped if they don’t read the fine print.
Where They Getcha
If you’re a frequent check card user with a Redneck Mega Money Market Account, you probably won’t be laughing when you get your statement. You’ll pay $5 per check card transaction (after the six free transactions you get each month).
And for withdrawals at ATMs not owned by Bank of the Wichitas, Redneck charges what amounts to a city folk fee of 75 cents per transaction, in addition to the fee charged by the ATM operator. People who have a Rewards Checking account at Redneck do get free world-wide ATM privileges. The money market and You're Approved account holders do pay the fees, however.
The online bank’s You’re Approved account, aimed at account holders with little or no credit or poor credit, charges a $5 a month fee. Thankfully Redneck offers free bank-to-bank transfers. You’ll need them if your Redneck account gets cleaned out by surcharges.
As with any banking decisions, read about account features and fees carefully. To decide whether a Redneck account works for you, you’ll have to do a little math to make sure your income and spending habits won’t actually lead you to rack up debt.
More Back for Mr. Moneybags
Redneck’s two high-yield interest-bearing accounts, the Rewards Checking Account and the Mega Money Market Account, are for people pulling in the mega bucks.
If you choose the rewards account, you’re required to make at least 10 check card transactions per month. If you have less than $10,000 in your account, you can get an annual percentage yield of 5.25%. If you have more than $10,000, your APY is 2.25%. This compares to a 4.77% APY with a interest-bearing checking account from FAA Credit Union in Oklahoma City, which requires a minimum balance of $1.
With a Redneck Mega Money Market Account, you can earn 3.1% APY if your balance is less than $35,000 and 1.65% if your balance is more than that. This compares to an APY of 2.02% if you have money market account with AllNations Bank in Calumet, Okla., which requires a minimum balance of $2,500. To compare rates on similar accounts available in your area, go to BankingMyWay.com and enter your state or ZIP code.
The company says the Mega Money Market Account is the "redneck version" of a savings account. It earns a decent interest rate, but it may force you to think twice before you dip into your cash.