easyGROW FAQs

Rewards and Qualifications

  1. What are the rewards of easyGROW Checking?

  2. What do I need to do each qualification cycle1 to receive these rewards?

    • Make ten (10) purchases with our Visa Debit card. (Purchases must be posted, not pending. ATM transactions excluded.)
    • Ensure one (1) posted Direct Deposit or Automatic Payment occurs from your account.
    • Enroll in Online Statements to receive your statements electronically. You can save them to your computer and view them whenever you like.
  3. How often must the qualifications be met for me to earn my easyGROW Checking rewards?

    • The qualifications must be met each qualification cycle.1
  4. What qualifies as a Direct Deposit or an Automatic Payment?

    • A direct deposit is an auto-credit to your easyGROW Checking account. Payroll is the most common direct deposit. An automatic payment includes any electronic bill payment debited from your easyGROW account to pay any merchant who is set up to receive electronic payment. Please note: Payments made to merchants that only allow paper bill payments (i.e., checks) will not qualify as easyGROW Automatic Payments. Contact your merchant to inquire if they are set up to receive electronic bill payment or paper bill payment.
  5. Do automatic transfers between accounts held at First Bank & Trust qualify as a Direct Deposit or Automatic Payment?

    No, transfers between accounts held at First Bank & Trust do not qualify as a Direct Deposit or Automatic Payment.
     

  6. What happens if I do not meet the qualifications for easyGROW Checking rewards?

    • Your checking account is still free, and you can start over next cycle1 to earn the rewards. Interest will be paid at the base rate of 0.05% APY on your entire balance and you will not receive ATM fee refunds in months when you do not meet the qualifications.
  7. Are there any monthly service fees?

    • No! There are no monthly service fees on our easyGROW Checking accounts. Other fees may apply based on your account activity and other services you request. These fees may include paper statement fees, account research assistance, replacement card fees, NSF returned item fees, overdraft item fees and stop payment fees. We will provide you with a detailed fee schedule when we open your account. Please review it carefully before using your account.
  8. How does the tiered interest rate for easyGROW Checking work?

    • If you meet the qualifications, you will receive 1.01% APY on balances up to and including $24,999.99, and 0.25% APY on balances $25,000.00 and above.
    • If you do not meet the qualifications during the qualification cycle1, you will earn the base rate of 0.05% APY on your entire balance for that statement cycle.
  9. Can the APY change on my easyGROW Checking account?

    • Yes, all rates on easyGROW Checking may fluctuate on occasion at our discretion.
  10. Is this just a “teaser” rate?

    • No, this is a high Annual Percentage Yield account. However, easyGROW Checking rates may fluctuate from time to time at our discretion.
  11. How is the interest calculated?

    • The Daily Balance Method is used to calculate interest. This method applies a daily periodic rate to the principal in the account each day.
  12. If I meet the qualifications, when will I receive my rewards?

    • Interest is paid monthly and posted on the last day of the statement cycle.1 Unlimited ATM fees worldwide will be refunded to you at the end of your statement cycle.
  13. If I use another financial institution’s ATM and pay a fee, when will I get my refunds?

    • If the qualifications are met, unlimited ATM fees worldwide will be refunded to you at the end of your statement cycle.1
  14. Do I have to do anything in order to get my ATM fee refunds?

    • No. If you meet the qualifications, unlimited ATM fees worldwide will be refunded to you at the end of your statement cycle.1
  15. How will I know that I have qualified for my rewards at the end of the cycle1?

    • You can log into Online Banking to review your account activity and confirm that you have met the account qualifications at any time.
    • On the last day of the statement cycle, you will receive an email stating whether or not you met the qualifications for that cycle.
  16. Will I receive a 1099-INT reflecting interest earned on my easyGROW Checking account?

    • Yes, but only if more than $10 of interest is paid to your easyGROW Checking account.
  17. Are fees refunded on ATMs used internationally?

    • Yes, if the qualifications are met.
  18. If my account balance goes negative, will I still be able to qualify for my rewards during that qualification cycle1?

    • Yes, as long as the qualifications are met. Please keep in mind that interest is calculated based on the Daily Balance in the account (including the negative days, if applicable). Also, while you would still receive ATM Fee Refunds for meeting the qualifications, they may be applied toward any negative balances, NSF returned item fees, or overdraft item fees. Therefore, fees could reduce earnings.
  19. If I fail to meet the qualifications during this cycle, can I still have a chance to qualify during the next cycle1?

    • Yes, of course!
  20. What if my new Visa® Debit card doesn’t arrive until late in the cycle1 and I don’t have time to earn my first month’s rewards?

    • Don't worry! We waive the qualification requirements for your first qualification cycle anyway, so you'll earn rewards even if you receive your Visa Debit card late in the cycle.
  21. If I miss my qualifications by only one debit transaction, can I call in and get my high interest rate and ATM refunds anyway?

    • No. However, you will still earn 0.05% APY.

Monthly Statement and Qualification Cycles

  1. What is the statement cycle1 for easyGROW Checking?

    • The statement cycle begins on the fourth Wednesday of each month and ends on the day before the fourth Wednesday of the following month.
  2. What is the qualification cycle1?

    • The qualification cycle normally starts on the fourth Tuesday of every month and ends on the business day prior to the fourth Tuesday of the following month. Exception: If a federal holiday falls on the business day prior to the fourth Tuesday of the month, the qualification cycle will end on the business day prior to that federal holiday. View the qualification calendar.
  3. Will all easyGROW Checking customers be on the same statement and qualification cycle1?

    • Yes.
  4. If an existing customer is moved to an easyGROW Checking account, will his/her statement cycle1 change?

    • Yes, an existing customer’s statement cycle would change from his/her current cycle to the new cycle listed above.

Debit Card Transactions

  1. If I use my Visa® Debit card at an ATM, will that transaction count towards my qualifications?

    • No. Only POS (point-of-sale) transactions count, and they must be posted to, not just pending on, your easyGROW Checking account.
  2. What debit card transactions qualify as point-of-sale transactions?

    • Qualifying transactions include in-store, online and over-the-phone purchases.
  3. What is a “settled transaction”?

    • A settled transaction is one that has posted to your account. When you use your Visa Debit card, the merchant places a memo hold on your account in the amount of your purchase. It may take several days before the transaction posts or clears.
  4. May I “carry forward” Visa Debit purchases in excess of the required number to the next qualification cycle1?

    • No, each cycle you must meet all three qualifications.
  5. Will the purchases from my old account count toward meeting the qualifications for the first cycle1 on my easyGROW Checking account?

    • No, but we waive the qualification requirements for the first qualification cycle anyway, so you’ll earn rewards even if you don’t meet the qualifications.
  6. If I provided my Visa Debit card information to a merchant for a monthly payment, does that qualify as an Automatic Payment?

    No, an Automatic Payment includes any electronic bill payment debited from your easyGROW account to pay any merchant who is set up to receive electronic payments. Recurring transactions processed as Visa Debit card POS (or point-of-sale) transactions do count toward your 10 Debit card purchases qualification.

  7. I currently have an account at First Bank & Trust and receive Dream Points Rewards for using my debit card. If I convert my account to an easyGROW Checking account, will I still receive Dream Points?

    • No. Your rewards for an easyGROW Checking account include a premium interest rate and ATM fee refunds when you meet the monthly qualifications. Dream Points Rewards is a different incentive program in which First Bank & Trust cardholders may earn points redeemable for merchandise, gift certificates, airline tickets and travel discounts. Dream Points Rewards do not apply to easyGROW Checking Visa Debit cards; however, you can still receive these points on your First Bank & Trust Visa Credit card.

    If you’d like to apply for our First Bank & Trust Visa credit card (with Dream Points), contact us at 800.843.1552.


Online Statements

  1. How do I sign up for Online Statements?

  2. Must I access my Online Statements online in order to qualify for the rewards?

    • No, you must accept electronic delivery with a valid email address. You don’t have to look at it, but we strongly recommend that you review your statement to properly reconcile to your check register.
  3. Do I receive images or checks back with my easyGROW Checking account?

    • No, you will not receive check images with your Online Statements. However, you may request a copy of specific check images in person or by phone for a fee.
  4. Can I have an easyGROW Checking account if I don’t own a computer?

    • Yes, of course! You don’t have to own a computer, but you must have access to one and have a valid email address so you can receive your Online Statements and we can keep in touch with you regarding your account.
  5. What if I need a printed copy of my statement and/or check image?

    • You can print a statement from your computer. Additionally, the bank keeps records of all statements and checks as required by state and federal laws. You may request these in person or by phone for a fee.
  6. What if I change my email address?

    • You must notify the bank when your email address changes so that we can deliver your notification of your statement availability and other important disclosures. Failure to notify the bank of your new email address may result in you not meeting the monthly qualifications.
  7. What if I don’t want my statement delivered electronically?

    • Online Statements delivery is a qualification for all easyGROW Checking accounts. As a result, if you choose to receive paper statements rather than Online Statements, you will not be able to earn the rewards interest rate or receive ATM Fee Refunds.

Account Limits

  1. Is there a limit on the amount of money I can keep in my easyGROW Checking account?

    • There is no limit to the amount you put into your account. Feel free to consolidate savings and accounts at other institutions into this account. However, when you meet the monthly qualifications, you will earn a higher interest rate on your balance up to and including $24,999.99 than you will on your balance $25,000.00 and above.
  2. Is there a minimum balance requirement in order to receive my rewards?

    • No.
  3. What is the minimum opening deposit for an easyGROW Checking account?

    • $100.
  4. Is there a limit on the amount of ATM Fee Refunds that I can receive during a qualification cycle1?

    • No, you will receive unlimited ATM Fee Refunds when qualifications are met.

Opening/Converting Accounts

  1. Are there residency requirements for the account?

    • Yes. At this time, we are only able to accept applications from residents of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
  2. May I open more than one easyGROW Checking account?

    • No. Each primary account holder may open only one easyGROW Checking account.
  3. Can I utilize paper checks for my easyGROW Checking account?

    • Yes, since the easyGROW product is a checking account, paper checks are allowed; however, please be aware that paper check transactions will not count towards your monthly qualifications, so we encourage the use of your Visa® Debit card. If you would like checks for your easyGROW Checking account, please contact your local First Bank & Trust.
  4. Is overdraft protection available for easyGROW Checking accounts?

    • Yes, with an approved application for an overdraft protection line of credit. Fees apply. Please contact us to learn more.
  5. If I already have a checking account at First Bank & Trust, how do I convert it to an easyGROW Checking account?

    • Simply call or drop by one of our branches and talk with an associate about converting your account to easyGROW Checking.
  6. If I convert my existing account to an easyGROW Checking account, will I be able to use my existing Visa® Debit card and checking account number with my easyGROW Checking account?

    • Yes, if your account is already with First Bank & Trust, you can use your existing Visa® Debit card and your checking account number.
  7. Can I open an easyGROW Checking account over the phone?

    • Yes, you may apply for an account over the phone. However, activation requires an electronic or paper signature. Therefore we prefer for you to come in to a branch or apply online. (We accept online signatures.)
  8. Can a DBA use this account?

    • No.
  9. Can a trust account use this account?

    • No.
  10. Can this be used as a business account?

    • No.
  11. If I am converting an account that accrues interest to an easyGROW Checking account, do I need to wait until the interest posts on the first account before closing?

    • If you already have an interest-bearing account at First Bank & Trust, and you convert it to an easyGROW Checking account, you will be paid interest earned up until the date you convert your account. Once you convert your account, you will be eligible for the new interest rates.
  12. What happens if I apply online?

    • You will receive an online confirmation of your successful submittal as well as a follow up email to begin your micro-deposit process.

FDIC Coverage

  1. Are easyGROW checking accounts FDIC Insured?

    • Yes. Each depositor is insured up to the limits currently allowed by the FDIC. However, if you have additional accounts with us, please note that the FDIC coverage limits apply to the combined balances of all your accounts.

1Annual Percentage Yield (APY) for an easyGROW Checking account is accurate as of 12/27/2012 and is subject to change. This is not a teaser rate. Minimum deposit to open is $100. For qualifying accounts, 1.01% APY will be paid on the portion of your balance up to and including $24,999.99, and 0.25% APY will be paid on the portion of your balance $25,000.00 and above during the qualification cycle. If you do not meet the requirements during the qualification cycle, 0.05% APY will be paid on your total balance for that statement cycle and you will not receive ATM fee refunds. easyGROW Checking is only available to residents of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota; limit one account per primary account holder.

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