Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Update on the New 5.30% e-Savings Account from PFF Bank and Trust


Update 11/21/08: The bank has been closed. Please refer to this post for more details.

Update 4/13/08: The yield has fallen to 2.90% APY. Please check the bank's website for the latest rates.

In my first review of PFF's new 5.30% APY e-savings account, I wasn't able to contact a bank representative. I was only able to summarize the details that were on the website. Today I was able to get through, both by phone and email. I first call by phone. The CSR didn't have much knowledge of this new account. So I followed up with a message through their website contact form. Even though I didn't get all the information that I had hoped for, at least I didn't have to wait long by either the phone call or the email.

The most worrisome piece of information that I received was from the email regarding their system's ACH rules. The CSR stated the following in the email:
You cannot withdraw funds via ACH from the e-savings account. Withdrawals are limited to ATM withdrawals, withdrawals at a branch or via telephone.

The phone CSR wasn't aware of this ACH withdrawal limitation. However, he did confirm that there is a $5,000 daily limit on ACH deposits. This matches what is stated in the account disclosure. I wasn't able to confirm this from the email.

So with an ACH system that may have these severe limitations, it's hard to see much benefit to this account. The 5.30% APY is very competitive, but according to the CSR, it's not guaranteed to last for any specific time.

Some other bits of information that I received from the phone CSR include:
  • no check writing
  • ATM reimbursements are automatic
  • No ACH fees
  • No hard credit pull. Only ChexSystem verification is done
  • Only paper statements are available (no e-statements)
  • $5.95/month fee after 90 days of account inactivity (i.e. no logins)
  • $22 account closure fee if closed before 180 days

PFF is going to need to make some significant improvements to its ACH system if it wants to compete. Better low-minimum savings account alternatives exist with AmTrustDirect (post), iGobanking (post) and Amboy Direct (post).

Related Pages: savings account

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