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FAQs

Opening Checking Accounts

  1. Can this be used as a business account?

    No. Sierra Reward Checking accounts are offered exclusively for California residents and must be opened online. This account is to be used for personal, family, or household purposes and is limited to two accounts per household.

  2. Is overdraft protection available for Sierra Reward Checking accounts?

    Yes, you can link your savings account or apply for a Sierra Reserve Line of Credit. (This is not a commitment to lend.)

  3. Can I open multiple Sierra Reward Checking accounts?

    Sierra Reward Checking accounts are limited to a maximum of two per household.

  4. Can I open a Sierra Reward Checking account over the phone or in a branch?

    No, you must apply online for this account.

  5. Can a DBA use this account?

    No. Sierra Reward Checking accounts are offered exclusively for California residents and must be opened online. This account is to be used for personal, family, or household purposes and is limited to two accounts per household.

  6. What happens when I apply online?

    Upon your completion of the online application process. you will be prompted to enter your email address and select a password to use for tracking your Online Account.You will receive a confirmation email once your application has been submitted successfully. Once the account(s) have been approved, you will receive an email that will instruct you to log into your 'Online Account Center' (which you had created during the application process). In your 'Unread' messages will be further instructions regarding the completion of your Account Opening including your Account Documents and Disclosures.

Opening Savings Accounts

  1. Can I open a Sierra Reward Savings account over the phone or in a branch?

    No, you must apply online for this account.

  2. Can I open multiple Sierra Reward Savings accounts?

    Sierra Reward Savings accounts are limited to a maximum of two per household but must have a separate Sierra Reward Checking account.

  3. Can this be used as a business account?

    No. Sierra Reward Savings accounts are offered exclusively for California residents and must be opened online. This account is to be used for personal, family, or household purposes and is limited to two accounts per household but each Sierra Reward Savings must have a separate Sierra Reward Checking account.

  4. What happens when I apply online?

    Upon your completion of the online application process. you will be prompted to enter your email address and select a password to use for tracking your Online Account. You will receive a confirmation email once your application has been submitted successfully. Once the account(s) have been approved, you will receive an email that will instruct you to log into your 'Online Account Center' (which you had created during the application process). In your 'Unread' messages will be further instructions regarding the completion of your Account Opening including your Account Documents and Disclosures.

Sierra Debit Card Transactions

  1. May I "carry forward" Sierra Debit Card purchases in excess of the required number to the next qualification period?

    No, during each qualification period you must meet all four qualifications.

  2. If I use my Sierra 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 the account.

Sierra Reward Checking FAQs

  1. If I miss my qualifications by only one Sierra Debit Card transaction, can I call in and get my interest anyway?

    No. However there are no service charges and you will still earn base rate of 0.05% APY.

  2. Are there any monthly service fees?

    No. There are no monthly service fees on Sierra Reward Checking accounts.

  3. How often must the qualifications be met to qualify for Sierra Reward Checking rewards?

    Each monthly qualification period.

  4. Can the APY change on my Sierra Reward Checking account?

    Yes, all rates on Sierra Reward Checking may change at Bank of the Sierra's discretion.

  5. What happens if I do not meet the qualifications for Sierra Reward Checking rewards?

    Your checking is still free and you can start over with the next qualification period to earn the rewards. Interest will be paid at the base rate of 0.05% on APY on your balance.

  6. Are fees refunded on ATMs used internationally?

    No, nationwide only.

  7. Is Sierra Reward Checking insured?

    Yes, your Sierra Reward Checking account is insured by FDIC.

  8. How does the tiered interest rate for Sierra Reward Checking work?

    If you meet the qualifications, you will receive 0.89% APY on balances up to $25,000 and 0.25% APY on balances over $25,000.

    If you do not qualify, you will earn the base rate of 0.05% APY on your entire balance.

  9. If I fail to meet the qualifications during this qualification period, can I still have a chance to qualify during the next qualification period?

    Yes, of course!

  10. If my account balance goes negative, will I still be able to qualify for my rewards during that qualification period?

    Yes, as long as the qualifications are met.

  11. If I use another bank's ATM and pay a fee, when will I get my refund?

    When the qualifications are met, up to $25 of nationwide ATM fees will be refunded on the last day of the statement cycle. We make our best effort to identify those ATM fees eligible for reimbursement, based on information received from card networks and ATM operators. In the event that you did not receive a reimbursement for a fee that you believe is eligible, please call a Customer Service Representative for assistance.

  12. What if my new Sierra Debit Card doesn't arrive until late in the qualification period and I don't have time to earn my first month's rewards?

    Bank of the Sierra waives the qualifications during the first qualification period on your account. You will receive your rewards for the first statement cycle that you have the account even if you don't meet the qualifications.

    NOTE: The first rewards may not be a full qualification period; they will be based on the date your account opened.

  13. What if I close my account?

    If you close your account before interest is credited, you will forfeit the interest.

  14. Is this just a "teaser" rate?

    No, this is a high Annual Percentage Yield account. However, Sierra Reward Checking is a variable rate account and the rates may fluctuate from time to time at Bank of the Sierra's discretion.

  15. How will I know that I have qualified for my rewards at the end of the qualification period?

    You can log into online banking to review your account activity and confirm that you have met the minimum account qualifications at anytime.

    You will receive an email stating whether or not you met the qualifications each statement cycle.

  16. 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.

  17. Will Sierra Reward Checking customers receive a 1099 INT at the end of the year reflecting interest earned?

    Yes

  18. What are the rewards of Sierra Reward Checking?

    0.89% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) on balances up to $25,000.

    0.25% APY on balances over $25,000.

    0.05% APY base rate on non-qualifying balances (if you do not meet all the qualifications).

    Nationwide ATM fees up to $25 are automatically refunded at the end of your statement cycle.

    APY is accurate as of June 15, 2015.

  19. How do I check my Sierra Reward Checking account balance?

    Bank of the Sierra offers free Online Banking with 24-hour access to your account information.

    Sierra TeleBanking offers 24-hour account information at 888.307.3772

    ATMs nationwide.

  20. How do I access my money?

    Shortly after opening a Reward Checking account, Bank of the Sierra sends you a free Sierra Debit Card.

    If you'd still like to use paper checks, just contact Bank of the Sierra to order.

    Reward Checking also has free Online Banking and Bill Pay so you can access your account and pay your bills from anywhere you have an Internet connection. While online, you can view account activity, transfer funds between accounts and confirm deposit amounts.

    You may also set up an Interbank Transfer within your Online Banking by clicking on the 'Interbank Transfers' tab. Upon enrollment of an external account,our system automatically generates one or two small credit transactions to the enrolled external account. You will complete the verification process by retrieving amount of transaction(s) and entering the amounts into Sierra Online Banking. Once the account has been verified, you are then able to process Interbank transfers.

    ATMs nationwide.

  21. Do I have to do anything in order to get my ATM fee refund?

    No, other than meeting the qualifications; ATM refunds are automatically paid on the last day of your statement cycle.

  22. What are the monthly cycle qualifications to receive the rewards on this account?

    Minimum 12 Sierra Debit Card purchases per qualification period (Purchases must be posted and cleared to this account-- excludes ATM transactions).

    Minimum one direct deposit or ACH automatic payment from this account per qualification period (must be posted and cleared). Intra-bank transfers do not count as qualifying Direct Deposit or Automatic Payment.

    Make at least one online payment using Sierra BillPay per qualification period (must be posted and cleared to this account).

    Enroll & receive electronic statements through Sierra eStatements.

    Your qualifying transactions must be posted during the qualification period. Transactions may take one or more business days to post and clear to an account from the date the transaction is made.

Sierra Reward Savings FAQs

  1. What if I close my account?

    If you close your account before interest is credited, you will forfeit the interest.

  2. Do I get a Sierra Debit Card for my Sierra Reward Savings account?

    You get a Sierra Debit Card for your Sierra Reward Checking account that you use to meet the qualification for your associated Sierra Reward Checking account. You can also use this card to access the money in your Sierra Reward Savings account at ATMs nationwide.

  3. Are there qualifications for Sierra Reward Savings AND Sierra Reward Checking?

    No. To receive the benefits on BOTH accounts you just meet the qualifications during each qualification period on your associated Sierra Reward Checking account.

  4. Do I get checks for my Reward Savings account?

    No, Sierra Reward Savings cannot be accessed by check.

  5. How will I know how much interest I have been paid each month in my Sierra Reward Savings account?

    You can review your periodic statement, log into your online banking for a history of interest paid; and we will provide you with appropriate tax documents at the end of the year stating annual interest paid.

  6. Can I have multiple checking accounts that fuel my Sierra Reward Savings?

    No. You can only link one Sierra Reward Savings account per Sierra Reward Checking account.

  7. Can I open a Sierra Reward Savings account without opening a Sierra Reward Checking account?

    No. You need a Sierra Reward Checking account to have a Sierra Reward Savings account because they work together. The high interest paid for the statement cycle on your Sierra Reward Checking account will be automatically transferred to your Sierra Reward Savings account the following business day after each statement cycle to help you save more and save often.

  8. Is Sierra Reward Savings insured?

    Yes, your Sierra Reward Savings account is insured by FDIC.

  9. Can I have one Sierra Reward Checking account that links to multiple Sierra Reward Savings accounts?

    No. Sierra Reward Checking can only link to one Sierra Reward Savings account.

  10. What happens if I don't meet the Sierra Reward Checking account qualifications one month?

    You still earn the base interest rate on both accounts and you can start over with the next qualification period to earn the rewards.

  11. How is the interest calculated?

    Daily Collected Balance Method. This method applies a daily periodic rate to the principal in the account each day. Interest on noncash deposits begins to accrue no later than the business day we receive credit for the deposit of the noncash items (for example, checks). Fees may reduce earnings.

  12. Do I earn interest on both the Sierra Reward Checking account and Sierra Reward Savings account?

    Yes! And the interest paid on your Sierra Reward Checking account is automatically transferred in to your Sierra Reward Savings account each month. Plus, even if you don't meet the monthly Sierra Reward Checking qualifications one month you still get a base interest rate on both accounts.

  13. How do I check my Sierra Reward Savings account balance?

    Bank of the Sierra offers free Online Banking with 24-hour access to your account information.

    Sierra TeleBanking offers 24-hour account information at 888.307.3772

    ATMs nationwide.

  14. How do I access my money in my Sierra Reward Savings account?

    Your Sierra Debit Card linked to your Sierra Reward Checking will also be linked to your Sierra Reward Savings account. You will be able to access your money at ATMs nationwide.

    Reward Savings also has free Online Banking and Bill Pay so you can access your account and pay your bills from anywhere you have an Internet connection. While online, you can view account activity, transfer funds between accounts and confirm deposit amounts. Transaction limitations will apply:

    Bank of the Sierra Savings Accounts are limited to nine (9) savings withdrawals per quarter with no charge, beginning with the tenth (10th) savings withdrawal a charge of $2.00 will be assessed on each savings withdrawal thereafter. Charges will be assessed quarterly.

    Transaction Limitations: You may make six (6) transfers from your account each four week or similar period, if by preauthorized or automatic transfer, or by telephone (including data transmissions) agreement, order or instruction, or by check, draft, debit card or similar order (including Point of Sale [POS] transactions, made by the depositor and payable to third parties. Transfers and withdrawals made in person, by messenger, by mail or at an ATM are unlimited.

  15. What are the rewards of Sierra Reward Savings?

    0.59% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) on balances up to $25,000.

    0.25% APY on balances over $25,000.

    0.05% APY base rate on non-qualifying balances (if you do not meet all of the qualifications on your associated Reward Checking Account).

    APY is accurate as of June 15, 2015.

Sierra eStatements

  1. What if I change my e-mail address?

    You must notify the bank when your e-mail address changes so that we can deliver your notification of your statement availability.

  2. What if I need a printed copy of my statement and/or check image?

    You can print a check or statement from your computer. Additionally, Bank of the Sierra keeps records of all statements and checks as required by state and federal laws.  We can provide you with copies for a fee.

  3. What if I don't want my statement delivered electronically?

    Electronic statement delivery is a qualification for all Sierra Reward Checking accounts. Delivery of paper statements is not an option, if you want to meet the qualifications and earn the higher rate.

  4. Must I access my electronic statement online in order to qualify for the rewards?

    No, you must accept electronic delivery with a valid e-mail address. We strongly recommend that you review your statement to properly reconcile your check register, and report any errors or omissions within a timely manner.

  5. Do I receive images or checks back with my Sierra Reward Checking account?

    You will receive check images with your electronic statement.

Statement Cycle

  1. What is the qualification period?

    The qualification period begins on the first Thursday of each month, ending on the business day prior to the first Thursday of the following month.

  2. What is the statement cycle for Sierra Reward Checking?

    The statement cycle ends on the first Thursday of each month.

Account Limits

  1. Is there a limit on the amount of ATM refunds that I can receive during a statement cycle?

    Yes, $25.00 for nationwide ATM Fees.

  2. Is there a minimum balance requirement in order to receive my rewards?

    No.

  3. Is there a limit on the amount of money I can keep in my Sierra Reward Checking account?

    There is no limit to the amount you put into your account. Feel free to consolidate savings, CDs, and accounts at other institutions into this account.

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