Banking Deals of the Week: Jan. 27

President Obama gives his State of the Union Speech tonight and, no doubt, both bank executives and bank investors will be watching closely.

Last year was a profitable one for the former and a lousy one for the latter. But the White House has signaled new efforts to rein in big banks and tax the tar out of those who accepted TARP money in 2008 and 2009.

What that means to bank investments is unclear. So far in 2010, we’ve seen little or no traction gained in key areas like certificate of deposit rates, money markets or checking account investments.

But we have a common refrain here at Deals of the Week and it’s this: somewhere, somehow, someway, there’s a bank deal out there right now with your name on it — no matter what is happening on Wall Street or in Washington.

With that mantra in mind, let’s see what this week brings to the table:

Bank Checking

Provident Community Bank is out with a high APY on its high-yield checking account — 4.01% for deposits up to $50,000.

That compares very favorably with the average U.S. checking account interest rate of 1.39%, as measured by BankingMyWay’s Weekly Interest Rate Checking Account Tracker.

The details aren’t so onerous. If your deposit amount rises above the $50,000 maximum, the APR drops back to 1.01%. You’ll also need to meet the following account usage criteria:

  • Make 10 Visa debit card transactions.
  • Set up one direct deposit or ACH Auto Debit.
  • Enroll and receive electronic checking account statements.
  • Access online banking.

According to Provident’s Web site, you’ll need a minimum balance of $100 to open the checking account. In addition, the deal is available for personal accounts only.

For more details on signing up, visit the site.

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