Apple Bank for Savings' new online savings account called the Grand Yield Direct Savings Account had a rate increase today to 5.25% APY (from 5.15%). Apple Bank just started this online savings account in July. It follows the typical online savings account model with only $1 minimum and online linking to an external account for ACH transfers.
Now with UFB Direct, Amboy Direct and now Apple Bank all offering 5.25% APY or higher, will HSBC or EmigrantDirect respond? If the Fed continues its interest rates pause next week, there may not be much movement. With a rate within 0.10% or 0.20%, those banks may feel they're close enough so most customers won't feel it's worth it to move their money.
Below are some details about this Grand Yield Direct Savings Account:
From the learn more page and the FAQ page:
- The minimum balance is $1 with the full interest paid on all balances
- There are no monthly service charges
- Money is available through links with external accounts. They also have a deposit-by-mail feature.
- Initial deposit can be done by ACH or by mailing a check
- Statements are mailed monthly if there is account activity and quarterly if no activity.
- Joint accounts can be set up
- Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account each month.
According to the bank's customer service representative:
- There's no hard credit pull, only ChexSystem is used (he didn't sound too sure).
- There's no sign-up bonus
- There's no fees for standard outgoing ACH transfers. Next-day transfers have a $10 fee
- ATM cards and checks are not available.
A reader reported the following during his signup process:
- Took 3 days for the initial deposit to be debited by ACH from his external checking account.
- A temporary password is sent by snail mail before you can log in. This took 9 days after the money was debited from the checking account.
- Once the letter arrives, you can sign up for online banking and access your account.
- Another day is required before external transfers are available.
- External transfers are handled by CashEdge with no apparent limits on the number of external accounts.
- The trial deposit method is used to verify the external links
- The tool-free number for customer service is 800-588-5871.
Apple Bank for Savings is FDIC insured. Theapplebank.com web address is listed in the FDIC entry so you know it's legit. The bank has $7.6 billion in total assets and total liabilities of $7.0 billion. Bankrate.com gives the bank 4 out of 5 stars (sound).
[Update 4/6/07: The Grand Yield Direct Account now requires a $2,500 minimum initial deposit. However, after the initial deposit, there are no minimums to earn the maximum interest or to avoid monthly fees.]