Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

6.00% for 90 Days in New Savings Account at UmbrellaBank

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Update 1/16/08: The new promo yield is now 5.25% APY (5.12% interest rate). The previous promo yield was 5.50% APY (5.35% interest rate) and this had lasted since 8/29/07.

UmbrellaBank has started a new promotion on its Green Day Savings Account. It's offering an introductory rate of 5.83% for the first 90 days after the account is opened. After the 90 days, the rate returns to the standard tiered rates which are rather low for an online savings account (4.16% for under $25K, 4.40% for $25K to $75K and 4.64% for over $75K). A minimum balance of $100 is required to avoid a $7/month fee.

The rate information on UmbrellaBank's website is a little confusing since they state the APY is only 5.06% for balances over $75K. Based on the table, this assumes the money will remain in the account for the entire year. The first 90 days, the money will earn 5.83% regardless of balance. After the 90 days, a balance over $75K will earn 4.64% for the rest of the year. The combined interest rate would equal 4.93%. With daily compounding, this gives an annual percentage yield of 5.06%.

A 5.83% rate that's compounded daily equals an APY of 6.00%. So as a comparison to the promos at FNBO Direct and EverBank, you can consider the first 90 days of this UmbrellaBank promo to have an APY of 6.00%.

This is a limited time offer, and based on their 5.50% money market promo last April, it may not last long. In April, UmbrellaBank came out with a promo on its money market account that guaranteed 5.50% APY through the rest of the year. Within two days, the promo changed to a guaranteed 5.50% APY through July 31st.

One thing different this time is that this promo is being advertised on their home page. That 5.50% promo was never advertised or linked to by any other part of UmbrellaBank's website. So perhaps UmbrellaBank is more serious about this promo.

After the intro rate is over, the only thing better about this Green Day Savings Account over UmbrellaBank's Pot O'Gold Money Market Account is the lower $100 minimum balance requirement. The Money Market has a $1,000 minimum, but it has a history of decent rates and has limited check writing. You could always do both, and just keep the minimum $100 in the savings account after the intro rate is over.

Below are some details I received from UmbrellaBank's customer service in April when they were offering the money market promo. These should be applicable to this savings account.
  • No hard credit pull is done. They only do a ChexSystem verification and a soft pull
  • You can fund the account by check or by a free wire transfer
  • After the account is opened, you can link to your other bank accounts and make ACH electronic fund transfers (ETF).
  • Before ETFs are allowed, you must fill out a form and mail it in with a voided check. The External Transfer Enrollment Application is available here.
  • Each new ETF link requires an additional form and voided check.
  • ETF transfers take 3 to 5 days (customer experience is usually a better indicator of the real delay)
  • There are no fees for initiating ETF transfers
  • There are no limitations on the size of the ETF transfers
  • Only 3 ETF transfers allowed per month (This seems to contradict the website so I asked if this limit would apply if you didn't have any check or other non-ATM withdrawals, and the CSR said the 3-per-month limit would still apply).

UmbrellaBank.com is the online banking division of New South Federal Savings Bank. You can find UmbrellaBank mentioned by the CEO in the 2005 annual profile (pdf). New South Federal is FDIC insured (FDIC certificate # 32276). It doesn't have a history of high ratings at Bankrate.com. It has the same 2 out of 5 star rating (below peer group) as it did in April. Last September it only had 1 out of 5 stars. However, on UmbrellaBank's home page, they're still advertising their rating with BauerFinancial which was 3.5 out of 5 stars (good) through all of 2006. BauerFinancial still gives them 3.5 stars based on March 31, 2007 financial data.

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this special in the comments of the finding deals post.
  Tags: savings account

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Comments
5 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anyone knows if there is an early closing fee? how long do the account needs to stay open?

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am a bit uncertain of myself here. I hope if I err somebody will put me right. It has long been the policy at UmbrellaBank not to charge for incoming wire transfers. I think that might be what Banking Guy is referring to when he mentions "free wire transfer". However it seems to me you might incur a charge, a wire fee, from the sending bank, if you choose to wire funds. Perhaps UmbrellaBank is offering to pick up that fee. But if they don't pick it up, then the wire transfer is not actually free of cost. Or so it appears to me.

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Comment #3 by Lance (anonymous) posted on
Lance
Anonymous, I highly doubt UB will pick up the fee from your outgoing bank. But there are some banks--mainly WaMu--which do NOT charge for outgoing wires on some of their accounts. Hence, in those circumstances, they would be entirely free. Otherwise, you're correct. You'll have to pay one of the two wire fees. It's just like ATMs. Many banks charge you if you use another networks ATM and the other network will charge you again. So you're double charged for ATM transactions.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Has anyone tried to transfer from FNBO to Umbrella ?

Is it possible to do ??

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Although UmbrellaBank's disclosure of the APY is confusing, this is the corret way to disclose the APY. Earlier this year HSBC did not do this with their online savings promotion. Here is an interesting case where the bank did not disclose the APY correctly.

http://www.bankersonline.com/compliance/ci-bonus.html

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