This 4.75% savings account offering is shown in the WaMu Free Checking account application page. The page provides a checkbox for this Statement Savings account with a 4.75% APY for deposits of over $1. It has no monthly fees and a minimum deposit of $1. It states you must apply for both accounts to take advantage of this offer so it doesn't look like those who already have a WaMu Free Checking account can open the Statement Savings account with this rate. I wasn't able to get through to a CSR today. I'll try again Monday. The standard rate for the Statement Savings Account is only 0.40% APY for all balances.
One thing that analysts were worried about Citibank's online savings account was that it would hurt profits since many current customers would move their money from the very low interest standard savings and checking accounts into this high-yield online savings accounts. So far I think Citi has reported that about a third of the deposits into the high-yield online savings accounts have been from current customers. If WaMu isn't going to allow current checking account customers to open this new account, this could be the reason. I don't see this savings account advertised anywhere on WaMu's website. So WaMu may be trying to carefully introduce it.
Citibank has shown for the last several months that it is intent to keep the savings account rate competitive. It's too early to know if WaMu will do the same thing. But with no minimum balance requirements, there's nothing to lose. For those mostly interested in a free checking account, WaMu may have the best deal. Unlike Citibank's checking, there are no minimum balance or direct deposit requirements. WaMu also gives free checks, free outgoing wire transfers, one free overdraft/NSF waiever per year and a reward debit card (see post). Now with a high-yield savings account connected to the free checking, there's another nice perk.
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this savings account special in the finding deals post.