Customers like an incentive to save. EverBank gets that, which is why the online bank is bringing back the introductory bonus rates that ended last year.

With this move, EverBank, an online bank with about 600,000 customers and more than $10 billion in deposits, is vying for more customers and more deposits.

Today, EverBank began offering six-month bonus rates of 1.05% APY on its money market and checking accounts.

“We’re excited to see how customers respond to this new incentive. By providing a six-month bonus rate, we’re giving our customers more time to actively engage with their new accounts and decide if we’re the right long-term bank for them,” said an EverBank spokesperson.

In July 2011, EverBank discontinued bonus rates for its money market and checking accounts, citing an evolving market. The online bank said the decision was not related to the new debit card swipe-fee rules that led many banks to cut back on the perks on checking accounts.

Previously, EverBank’s bonus rates lasted three months.

“We’ve evaluated past incentive offerings and discovered that three-months was not enough time for customers to take advantage of all EverBank’s services,” the EverBank spokesperson added. “We’re currently offering a new bonus rate that lasts for six-months instead of three, and is backed by our Yield Pledge after the bonus period expires.”

EverBank’s “Yield Pledge” is a commitment to ensure that the rates of its accounts will remain in the top 5% of competitive accounts available by leading banks nationwide.

Stacked up against the competition

With the 6-month bonus rate, EverBank’s money market account earns an effective 0.91% APY during the first year. The current ongoing rate is 0.76% APY.

Money market accounts from Sallie Mae Bank, Discover Bank and Ally Bank offer 0.90% APY, 0.80% APY and 0.79% APY, respectively.

The interest rate on EverBank’s checking account varies depending on the deposit balance. With the bonus rate, the effective first-year rate ranges from 0.72% APY to 0.88% APY on balances up to $100,000. The ongoing rate ranges from 0.39% APY to 0.76% APY.

Incredible Bank’s checking account earns 1.01% APY on balances up to $250,000. Ally Bank doles out 0.75% APY on balances of $15,000 or more (0.40% if less than $15,000). Bank of Internet USA doles out a flat 0.71% APY on all balances.

It is a mixed market, so the allure of EverBank’s rates depends on the account balance.

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