Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Opening a GMAC Bank Money Market Savings Account

POSTED ON BY

With HSBC's savings account rate falling to 4.50%, you may want to consider GMAC Bank's 4.75% Money Market Savings Account as an alternative. I've finally opened a money market account with GMAC, and so far I've been impressed. Here's a summary of some pluses and minuses of GMAC Bank along with my experiences:

The Good:
  • Limited check writing. First 50 checks are free (received mine 8 days after opening account)
  • ATM card (received mine) First 4 fees per statement cycle assessed by the ATM owner, up to a total of $6, will be refunded by GMAC
  • ACH transfer system that's easy to set up online (linked my local check and HSBC's online savings account online with trial deposits)
  • ACH transfer system that's fast (transfer from HSBC to GMAC took one day, posted at GMAC before debit shown at HSBC)
  • No hard credit pull in application. I did not receive a hard credit inquiry from any of the 3 credit reporting agencies. Several have also reported this in the last year.

The Bad:
  • One downside with GMAC is the $500 minimum balance requirement. If your balance falls below $500, there is a $7.50 monthly fee ($5 if you have direct deposit).
  • No sign-up bonuses

Rate History

GMAC Bank has done a decent job in remaining near the top of money market rates. There were a couple of months during the fall in which GMAC Bank's rates were well below HSBC's rates. GMAC was also well below HSBC during most of HSBC's 4.80% promo. Below is a comparison with HSBC Direct over the last year. The APY is compared to HSBC at the start of each month:

Month GMAC HSBC GMAC Ahead
02/29/08: 3.00% 3.55% -0.55
02/08/08: 3.50% 3.55% -0.05
02/01/08: 4.00% 3.80% +0.20
01/29/08: 4.25% 3.80% +0.45
01/25/08: 4.25% 4.25% 0.00
12/21/07: 4.50% 4.25% +0.25
11/02/07: 4.50% 4.50% 0.00
10/12/07: 4.75% 4.50% +0.25
09/26/07: 4.90% 4.50% +0.40
09/21/07: 4.90% 5.05% -0.15
05/01/07: 5.30% 5.05% +0.25
04/20/07: 5.30% 6.00% -0.70 (HSBC New Money Promo)
03/16/07: 5.10% 6.00% -0.90 (HSBC New Money Promo)
01/26/07 5.00% 6.00% -1.00 (HSBC New Money Promo)
01/12/07: 5.10% 5.05% +0.05
12/15/06: 5.20% 5.05% +0.15
12/01/06: 5.25% 5.05% +0.20
11/10/06: 5.30% 5.05% +0.25
11/01/06: 5.25% 5.05% +0.20
11/01/06: 5.25% 5.05% +0.20
10/01/06: 5.00% 5.05% -0.05
09/01/06: 5.00% 5.05% -0.05
08/01/06: 5.10% 5.05% +0.05
07/01/06: 4.80% 5.05% -0.25
06/01/06: 4.75% 4.65% +0.10
05/01/06: 4.75% 4.50% +0.25
04/01/06: 4.65% 4.80% -0.15
03/01/06: 4.60% 4.80% -0.20
02/01/06: 4.30% 4.80% -0.50
01/01/06: 4.30% 4.25% +0.05
12/01/05: 4.05% 4.00% +0.05
11/01/05: 3.75% 3.75%
10/01/05: 3.45% 3.75% -0.30
09/01/05: 3.45% 3.75% -0.30
08/01/05: 3.25% 3.25%
07/01/05: 3.10% 3.00% +0.10
06/01/05: 3.10% 3.00% +0.10
05/01/05: 3.05% 3.00% +0.05
04/01/05: 2.50% 2.88% -0.38

Date Line of My Money Market Savings Account Opening:
  • Sunday, April 9th - I filled out the online application and specified my local checking account as the funding source.
  • Tuesday, April 11th - Local checking account debited. There were no trial deposits.
  • Thursday, April 13th - Received welcome kit in the mail. It included a welcome letter with account information. Also it included a signature card and a postage-paid envelope. The signature card had to be signed and mailed back.
  • Monday, April 17th - Received box of 50 checks (free). Also received Visa debit card in a separate envelope. The PIN that I selected at account opening did not work to activate card.
  • Sunday, April 23rd - Initiated the account linking process for local checking account and HSBC Online Savings (I could have initiated this earlier). Selected random deposit method of verification (trial deposits)
  • Wednesday, April 26th - Finally received PIN in the mail. With this PIN I was able to activate check card.
  • Wednesday, April 26th - Trial deposit made at local checking account. I verified the account at GMAC and initiated a transfer from local checking into GMAC account.
  • Thursday, April 27th - Trial deposit made at HSBC. I verified the account at GMAC and initiated a transfer from HSBC savings account into GMAC account. The money transferred from local checking account posted at GMAC.
  • Friday, April 28th - The money transferred from HSBC savings account posted at GMAC.
  • Saturday, April 29th - Checked credit report at Equifax and no hard inquiries have yet to be recorded. Debit still not shown at HSBC for Thursday's transfer to GMAC.

For more discussion on GMAC Bank and issues like the hard credit pull, refer to this Fatwallet thread.

[Edited 02/29/08: Updated rate history comparison.]
[Edited 04/20/07: Updated rate history and hard credit pull info]
[Edited 11/10/06: Updated rate history comparison]
[Edited 10/06/06: Updated/fixed rate history and comparison]

  Tags: savings account

Related Posts

Comments
21 Comments.
Comment #1 by Perturbance (anonymous) posted on
Perturbance
I decided last week that it was finally time to pull most of my cash out of ING and switch to GMAC. Even with ING's bump today to 4.15%, they're just too far behind the pack.

It took two business days for the ING withdraw to hit my bank account, which is the same amount of time it's taken for deposits there in the past.

With GMAC, I funded with an initial deposit from my bank account. I signed that bank up for the random deposit verification test at the same time. The funding deposit was deducted a day before the trial deposits posted.

1
Comment #2 by Steve Holt (anonymous) posted on
Steve Holt
Ken - I am in the process of getting my GMAC MM account up and running (trial deposits, etc.). One thing I did learn from that welcome package (specifically the Deposit Agreement booklet page 34), and was verified with a CSR, is you don't have to keep a average daily balance of $500 in the MM to avoid a fee. That fee is waived if you have total accounts at GMAC over $1000. So if you have a CD over $1000 you covered. No monthly fee.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
When I oppened GMAC account few days ago, I saw a hit on my TransUnion credit report. This is good news since my highest credit score is at transunion, effect is relatively small.

Can't wait to leave HSBC

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hey great blog.

I was wondering what you thought of the longterm health of the company? I have a feeling the rates are high at gmac because lots of people are uncomfortable about the uncertain future of the company. We all know that gm is going to be selling more of this company off as they get deeper in to financial troubles.

1
Comment #5 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks everyone for your inputs.

About GMAC's financial health and link to GM, here's an article from the Detroit Free Press. GM has already sold a majority stake of GMAC to Cerberus Capital Management LP. The article does say that it hasn't yet helped GMAC's investment grade rating.

GMAC Bank does have a 4/5 stars rating at Bankrate.com for more info on FDIC's safety)

I guess the high rates they've been offering could be related to this issue. As in all cases, you never can tell how long banks will remain competitive with rates.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've been with GMAC since you first posted information about the bank. Money transfers can be set up instantly and deposits to GMAC are put in your account immediately (while awaiting collection). The number of links to other banks seems to be limitless making it very easy to move deposits around.

1
Comment #7 by Scott (anonymous) posted on
Scott
Thanks for the info on GMAC. I have been at HSBC and was disappointed with the drop to 4.50%. The GMAC rate is pretty close to what HSBC offered, and the online application process seems to have gone smoothly.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
From my understanding after listening to a FA, companies with short term cash needs offer higher cd rates to satisfy the cash need. Usually they do it with a cash broker but GMAC decided to go straight to the public. I am glad they did. 5.40 apr is great. Just be watchful when your cd matures.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Now that you're about six months into the GMAC online money market account, have you got any new pros/cons?

1
Comment #10 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Don't have any new cons except for the lagging in rates over the last 2 months. See my latest post for more info.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
With GMAC about 6 month now, have 3 cd and 3 MM acount (to pay differnent bill and ATM, since it limit to 6 withdraw transcation), very happy about the product.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm curious now that we're about 7 months after you have opened the GMAC MMA and i'm sure you have seen your credit report in betweeen this period;...any hard credit report pulls for you BankingGuy???

1
Comment #13 by Kevin (anonymous) posted on
Kevin
I'm new to online savings/money markets too and appreciate all the posts on this board.

I sent an email to GMAC about the credit pull for opening a money market account and got this response(quite quickly I might add)...

"Thank you for contacting GMAC Bank. The credit check
would be a soft hit on your credit report."

I was thinking about going to Amtrust Direct, but I take it GMAC might be a better place to start. Is it better going with a MMA or a savings account?

1
Comment #14 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Anonymous, I never got a hard credit pull.

Kevin, thanks for the info. The main difference between AmTrustDirect and GMAC is the check writing. GMAC has limited check writing (allows 3 per month). AmTrustDirect doesn't provide this. That's the unofficial difference between a savings account and a MMA (MMA has limited check writing and savings does not).

The nice thing about check writing is that it provides an easy way to get access to the money. Sometimes online access can have problems or there can be several days in delay to transfer money to a checking account.

1
Comment #15 by Kevin (anonymous) posted on
Kevin
Thanks Banking Guy. I thought the main difference between the two was that the MMA's rates fluctuated more readily.

Never thought about that aspect of check writing either. I never paid much attention to that feature because I just figured I wouldn't need it since I'd still continue to use my primary checking account to pay bills and such. From your previous post, it sounds like you didn't have any problems with their online features so I might go with them. Thanks.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks for all your comments and info.
I recently switched from ING to GMAC and generally happy about it.

Two things I want to add.

1. GMAC confirmed that they have no limit on the external accounts that can be linked.

2. Account activity can be downloaded to MS money but not to Quicken.

1
Comment #17 by Virginia (anonymous) posted on
Virginia
To follow up on Steve Holt's comment about the CD - I found the same line in the deposit agreement and emailed customer service to make sure that a CD counted. During three rounds of emailing back and forth, CSR "AKish" told me that a CD wouldn't satisfy the requirement because it was a "one-time deposit account" and then when I asked what other accounts did qualify, he informed me that GMAC didn't offer any other deposit accounts.

Sensing that "AKish" might not have all the answers, I called the 800 number for GMAC and got a very friendly female CSR who said that of course the CD was a deposit account and it would count for the minimum balance needed to waive monthly fees, no problem. The accounts don't even have to be expressly linked, just have to belong to the same person and it's automatic. She also seemed to know exactly what I was talking about from the outset of the conversation.

I'm still planning to open MMA and CD accounts with GMAC next month, but the experience sort of makes me wonder about their customer service...

1
Comment #18 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks Virginia for the info. You would think the CSR would be able to take the time to answer an email accurately.

GMAC also has a secure messaging system that you can use once you get an account. I've been pleased with the replies that I received through that system.

1
Comment #19 by nytrader (anonymous) posted on
nytrader
I noticed the same thing at HSBC. Chase dbited my account and 2 days later HSBC credited my account. It's faster to take a tellers check and hand deliver it to your bank. It's credited as next day deposit.

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
hello, thanks for the blog. i am considering investing in GMAC MM insured savings 1 on a short term basis - a year or less. are there any other advantages or percs to having a GMAC MM? like a better deal on GMAC financing or mortgage rates?

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Great Day! I am looking for information about GMAC financing your blog is one of them. We know that GMAC is one of the best finance company that specialize in auto financing, real estate financing, insurance and commercial financing. Many people trusted and got a great deal with GMAC. I have also found interesting website that tells about the company – GMAC Financing

1