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Amboy Direct Premium Online Savings Account Update

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Update 10/29/07: Lastest yield is 4.85% APY for $20K+ balance and 4.80% APY for balances under $20K.

If you're looking for a high yield savings account when HSBC 6% promo ends, Amboy Direct's Premium Online Savings Account may be one to consider. It has maintained its rates of 5.35%/5.25% APY since early December and its rates have remained competitive since Amboy started this savings account last April. You earn 5.25% APY on balances from $1 to under $20K. Balances of $20K and over earn 5.35% APY. There are no monthly balance requirements or monthly fees.

There were some concerns about security two weeks ago when their website was down due to an apparent defacement hacking incident (see post). However, there was no indication that any accounts were compromised, and the website was back up within hours. You may actually feel that your money is safer in this Premium Online Savings Account than at other online accounts. This is due to Amboy's policy of not allowing external ACH debits from the account. They only allow withdrawals by you when you log into the account and initiate an ACH transfer. This may improve security but it does make it less convenient. You're only allowed one link to an external account. To change links you have to mail them a $1 check from the new account. They do allow ACH deposits from an external account. Below are the details that I received from Amboy's customer service about linked accounts and ACH transfers:
We permit one linked account at a time. If you would like to change your linked account, please mail us a check from the new linked account payable to yourself for at least $1.00. In the memo section of the check write "Link" followed by the last four digits of your access ID. We will deposit the check into your account and change the linked account information within three business days. Our mailing address is as follows:

Amboy National Bank
Attention Amboy Direct
3590 Route 9 South
Old Bridge, NJ 08857

Please note that we cannot accept a starter check (checks without personal information printed in the upper left corner) or checks with the words "Payable through".

In addition, we do not block ACH deposits from third parties. Only debits from third parties are blocked. Withdrawals must originate from our website and can only be transferred to the linked account.

Although there are a lot transfer limitations, the transfers are fairly fast. I initiated my last withdrawal on a Tuesday afternoon. It was debited from Amboy on Wednesday and showed up in my checking account on Thursday. Inbound transfers initiated at Amboy have been reported to take a day or less.

Amboy Direct Refer-a-Friend Bonus

Another good feature of Amboy is their $25 refer-a-friend sign-up bonus. It's not as good as ING's since it requires you to maintain a $3K balance for 90 days. Other than that, it's similar. You get $10 for each friend who joins and meets the balance requirements for up to a total $250. If you want the bonus, please send an email to my friend at bankreferral at gmail dot com. Make sure to include Amboy in the title and include your first and last name. Since I've maxed out on these referrals, I have nothing more to earn. However, my friend still has many left.

For more details on this savings account, please refer to my August post.

Amboy Direct is part of Amboy National Bank which has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 6423).
  Tags: savings account

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Comments
11 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I agree this appears to be a good HSBC refuge. I have benefited at HSBC. I had only ten bucks in my account when the 6% rate went in. It has been great but time moves on. I dearly wish I knew HSBC's plans. If they are going to restart another "new money" deal on 1 May I need to get my dough out of there, and SOON. Amboy might be a good place to wait HSBC out and see what they have in mind to do.

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Comment #2 by rate freak (anonymous) posted on
rate freak
I doubt HSBC will have any plans to start another "new money" deal, especially on May 1. They will need time, lots of time, to evaluate what has happened. IE, how much $ came in, how much w/d or closed and how much stayed. There will be some who will indeed forget but planned to move it out anyways, but only a month or two later. HSBC will have to take that into account. And there will be others like me, that have to keep a min of $3k for other few months in order to fulfill the Interest Ck requirements and promo.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
rate freak said...I doubt HSBC will have any plans to start another "new money" deal, especially on May 1. They will need time, lots of time, to evaluate what has happened... - don't forget this info is instantaneous now - no one with a green eyeshade is crunching this info over the next month. The May 1st plan better already be ready to roll.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Really nobody can know at this point what HSBC will do. I was hoping Banking Guy might express his opinion. But even he does not know for sure. Bottom line, though, the new HSBC rate is unlikely to be better than this Amboy rate. A money move to Amboy just prior to 1 May would cover all the bases, it seems to me. BTW, I do not understand any need to keep more than $1 at HSBC. There is no minimum with EITHER of these accounts (Amboy, HSBC) as I understand things. There IS the need to keep the account open long enough to avoid an early closing penalty. But you can do that with a buck, AFAIK. I have no intent whatsoever to close my HSBC account. But dormancy is a really strong possibility. That's what worked so well for me last time.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You wanna know, I'll tell you. Here is what HSBC will do on May first if they are as smart as I think they are: they will leave their rate higher than we all expect - at least at first. They will do this, at least for a while, to suck people in and retain their money. Then later they will hit us with another "new money only" deal and we will all regret the money we have at HSBC at that point. I say move to Amboy soon, very soon. Then move money back to HSBC later, only after they launch another hot deal. JMHO

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Comment #6 by SVG (anonymous) posted on
SVG
Hmm ... no comments yet about AmTrust ?

- SVG

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
SVG said...
Hmm ... no comments yet about AmTrust ?
Who the heck wants to take a hard inquiry for an AmTrust application for what amounts to be a negligible rate difference with Amboy?

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Comment #8 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Test of transfer speed from HSBC checking to Amboy Direct

The transfer was done within ONE day. I initiated the transfer at Amboy on Thursday morning and it was shown in the current balance at Amboy on Thursday evening. The deposit wasn't available at Amboy until the next day.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Interesting timing--Amboy dropped their rates this afternoon--5.05 for under 20K, 5.10 for over 20K. So much for capitalizing on the end of the HSBC promo.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
$25 bonus problem solved.

More than 90 days had passed since I signed up for my account by completing the linked application sent by Amboy. This e-mail also contained the promotion code for the refer-a-friend $25 bonus.

When I called Amboy to find out why the bonus had not yet posted to my account, I was told the promotion code I entered into my application was a generic code and not the proper one for the bonus.

Fortunately I saved the original e-mail that had the proper code. I was told by the CSR that since I had the code, the bonus would be posted to my account in a couple of days.

What I found out was that when I used the linked application, the promotion code was already filled in with a generic code. I did not notice it was different from the bonus code.

If you haven't seen your bonus yet, you might want to check this.

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Comment #11 by terri (anonymous) posted on
terri
We have had $ in AmTrust for almost a year now-they have been good to work with. Their rate has been high all along and they have a high rating as for as a banking company is concerned.

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