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VirtualBank is Back in the Game! 4.60% Money Market

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VirtualBank just made a stunning rate increase on its Money Market Account. The Money Market rate increased from 3.55% to 4.60% APY. The last money market rate increase from Virtual Bank was back on September 27, 2005 when the APY went from 3.40% to 3.55%. Over the next 5 months it remained at 3.55%. I had thought VirtualBank had given up on being the money market rate leader. Perhaps VirtualBank took a lesson from what EmigrantDirect did last September in that you can get more attention with one big rate increase rather than a bunch of small rate increases.

$20 Sign-Up Referral Bonus

VirtualBank still has a nice sign-up referral bonus program. Here are the details:

1. You can refer up to 50 friends to open eMoney Market accounts.
2. Each friend that opens an eMoney Market account earns $20.
3. You then earn $20 for each friend who opens an account.
4. You can earn up to $1000.

If you want a referal, send an email to me at bankdeals@gmail.com and I will send you one within a day. Note, there is a $100 minimum deposit requirement. Just like ING Direct, you can fund the account with an ACH transfer, and future deposits and withdraws can also be done with ACH transfers. Unlike HSBC, you don't have redo the ACH setup for future transfers. The only bad thing is that you have send in a check to link additional accounts.

5.10% 1-year CD

In addition to the money market rate increases, it also raised rates on most of its certificates of deposit. The APY on the 12-month CD increased from 4.90% to 5.10%. All the CDs have a minimum deposit requirement of $10K.

My Experience Opening a VirtualBank CD

I just opened a 6-month CD with VirtualBank last month. The process was fairly easy, however, it's not as easy as opening an ING Direct CD. If you're interested in a VirutalBank CD, I recommend first opening an eMoney Market Account. Now with an APY of 4.60%, there's no reason not to. After it's open, you can do ACH transfers into the eMoney Market Account and then use this money to fund the CD. Unlike ING Direct, you begin the CD application process outside of your login account. You enter your information and then log into your account where you specify that you'll be funding the CD with money from the eMoney Market Account.

There were two complications for me during the CD application process. First it asked for my eMoney Market account number and client ID number. The account number is listed when you log in. However, the client ID number is not. I had to send VirtualBank a message from the secure mailbox for this answer. The second problem is that VirtualBank requires that you send in a signature card even when you are funding the CD from the eMoney Market account. During the application it looked like I had to print out the card, sign it and mail it in before the CD would begin. I was having some problems with my printer, so this was very aggrevating. However, the CD took effect the next day. Also, VirtualBank sent me in the mail the signature card along with other CD documentation. So I was able to just sign that and mail it back in a postage-paid envelope.

The CD can be managed using VirtualBank's secure message email system that's available when you log in. I was told by a VirtualBank rep that I can make requests through this secure email to deposit a mature CD into my eMoney Market account. Also, you can use it to request an early withdrawal (there's still a penalty). I've sent several emails through this message system and VirtualBank has always done a good job at replying within a day or two.

Before I opened a money market account at VirtualBank, the reps did a good job at answering my email questions. Here's one of their answers on penalties for early withdrawals on CDs:

Any CD with a term less than six month would have to pay a penalty of one month interest. CDs with terms equal to six months but less that one year would pay a penalty of three months interest. CDs with a term equal to one year or more would pay a penalty of six months interest. Please be aware these penalties would be applied whether the interest has been earned or not.


Previous VirtualBank Posts


Comments
4 Comments.
Comment #1 by Brian (anonymous) posted on
Brian
nice...this will put some heat on ED.

1
Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yup, it should put some pressure on ED. If they want to retain their image of the top no-min savings account, they need to do something drastic like an increase to 5%.

1
Comment #3 by ncnblog (anonymous) posted on
ncnblog
Hey, thanks for all of your work in keeping up with this stuff...very, very useful! I mentioned your site on my podcast today...and put a link on the podcast site. Keep it up!
ncnblog.com
ncnpodcast.com

1
Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks ncnblog!

1