"We can afford to pay more interest on the account because of the actions of the customer saving us money."
One of the stipulations for the account is the debit card must be used for 12 credit transactions a month.
Jones said using the debit card costs less than when a paper item is used. The bank earns more interchange fees from a credit action.
Another criteria is at least one direct deposit or an automatic transfer from the account. This saves money because the bank doesn't have to process the item with staff.
An attractive perk is the bank will refund all ATM fees for people who have to use other banks' ATM up to $30 a month. They also throw in a free order of checks a year.
Now I don't have to worry about this, but anything more than $25,000 in the account only earns 1 percent.
If I fail to meet the criteria, the default rate is paid on the entire balance, which is .1 percent.
Bluegrass Bank has many of the same criteria for its ABC Checking Account, which stands for Added Benefits Checking. For instance, any amount above $25,000 earns the minimum NOW rate.
Melanie Wilson, customer service supervisor at Bluegrass Bank, says there are four criteria: direct deposit or automatic debit, such as paying an electric bill; 10 debit card transactions; one bill pay transaction where you manually go in and approve payment; and sign up for e-statement.
Bluegrass made the offer when it opened in March, and Wilson says about 250 people have opened this type of account since August.
The account comes with a free debit card, unlimited check writing and free boxes of checks. All foreign ATM charges are refunded. Online, the account holder sees monthly image statements, which shows images of checks.
So if you've been puzzled about some way to earn interest and have access to the Internet, these accounts might be worth checking out.
If you have any pros or cons to add about this type of banking, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment at my blog, http://kyvoice.com/amnews/tweaking.
Check out Dollar Tree for wrapping needs
My co-worker and friend Jennnifer Brummett passes along this info:
The best place ever for gift wrapping of all kinds and quick, easy, inexpensive party decorating is The Dollar Tree, hands down.
I bought some really pretty tissue paper for gift bags, a few tiny gift bags, plus bags for wine bottles. And, of course, everything is a dollar. They have SOOOO much. It's totally worth a look-see.
As far as decorating goes, The Dollar Tree also offers party necessities, such as invitations, banners, plates and hats. I didn't want to go big and fancy for Beckett's first birthday because — hey, he's a year old, he didn't care. So I bought a few cute things there (his family supplied some more stuff, but that's a totally different thing).
If you're looking to give cute, inexpensive goody bags at your child's class party there are lots of cute things available seasonal and not.
Or here is an even cheaper and greener way to wrap gifts: old newspaper. Whether it's the Sunday's color funnies or just regular pages, this is great way to use newspapers. The biz page editor, Stephanie Schell, noted that she hasn't splurged for gift wrap in years, but relies on newspaper.
Here is a thought of the day I received in an e-mail from Real Simple magazine:
Buying something on sale is a very special feeling. In fact, the less I pay for something, the more it is worth to me. — Rita Rudner
Emily Toadvine is a Web content producer at The Advocate. Check out blog, Tweaking, at amnews.com.