A good checking account these days is one that earns 1% interest. Plus after paying the applicable federal, state, city, social security, and medicare taxes on the interest you’re probably making less than 0.7%
Bank Direct is an online, FDIC insured bank, that gives AA miles based on your average checking account balance. You get 100 miles for every $1,000 you have in the account every month. Plus miles are not taxable. You won’t get a 1099 for the interest income like you do on a regular interest bearing account.
So if you have $25,000 sitting in an account earning 1% interest for a year you’ll get $250 interest. Assuming a 40% marginal tax rate between all those fed/state/city/social security/medicare taxes you’ll only have $150 to show for it.
With the mileage checking you would have earned 30,000 tax-free miles instead. Plus they do actually pay .05% interest on top of the miles.
I’ve been using this account for some time now and have been very happy with them.
-If you pay a bill every month for 12 months you will get another bonus 2,000 miles. I have a $1 bill pay automatically set up from the Bank Direct website for the 15th of every month to my credit card account.
-You can also get another 5,000 miles if you have direct deposit set up.
-Withdrawals are easy, you can use any ATM for free and they will reimburse the other bank’s ATM charge up to 4 times per month.
-You can make deposits at your local bank and ACH it online to Bank Direct. Or you can mail in a deposit as well.
-You get 50 free personalized checks when you open your account.
-There is a $2,500 minimum balance to avoid fees.
AA miles have some of the best availability out there and are quite valuable. You can even use them for one-way awards on AA and on all of their partners, including El Al. They also have a great distance based OneWorld chart. Date and route changes on AA awards are free!
AA has very well priced off-peak awards that are good for the majority of the year. Just 20,000 miles each way from the US to Europe or South America or 17,500 each way to Hawaii for example. You can get to Israel via Europe off-peak for 40,000 miles or nonstop on El Al for 45,000 miles in coach or 67,500 in business class each way.
AA Zone Based Award Chart Linky
AA OneWorld Distance Based Award Chart Linky