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AmTrustDirect Introduces e-Savings Account with 5.36% APY for 90 Days

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AmTrustDirect
Update 5/29/08: The e-Savings yield has fallen to 2.50% APY for balances under $100K. The yield of the e-Money Market remains at 1.75% APY for balances under $25K. See below for rate history.

AmTrustDirect just introduced a new e-Savings Account that has an introductory yield of 5.36% APY for the first 90 days. The 5.36% applies only to the first $100K. Balances over $100K earn 5% APY. After the first 90 days, the promotional rates will revert to the standard tiered rates. The minimum deposit to open and the minimum balance to earn interest is $1. This account must be funded with new money that's not currently on deposit with AmTrust.

This seems to be AmTrustDirect's version of a new-money promo that several other online banks have offered this year. The only difference is that current members will have to open a new account. I'm not sure why AmTrustDirect decided to create a new account rather than doing what HSBC Direct did early this year and just apply the higher interest to new deposits.

This e-Savings account appears to be identical to the e-Money Market Account except for the promotional rate of 5.36% APY which was the standard rate for the e-Money Market for most of this year until the rate started to fall in August. All of the features seem to be the same. The customer service rep however didn't know if the rates would be the same after the first 90 days. For those who already have the e-Money Market account, I was told that you shouldn't receive an additional hard credit pull if you apply for this e-Savings.

AmTrustDirect has a new FAQ for the e-Savings that seems to be the same as the e-Money Market FAQ. One issue not mentioned in the FAQ is that they do a hard credit pull via Equifax when you apply. They do have a decent ACH system. Readers have reported transfers completing within a day. You can link up to 6 checking or savings accounts. You can also initiate transfers from your outside bank account, however, a reader has reported that such withdrawals are limited to 3 per month. ACH withdrawals initiated at AmTrustDirect are limited to 6 (per Federal law).

Many readers have been happy with AmTrustDirect, however, it should be noted that some readers have reported problems with customer service, with the website and with ACH glitches. A reader in this previous post noted a security issue related to the webpage that is used to initiate ACH transfers.

AmTrustDirect's e-Money Market has maintained competitive rates since it began in August 2006 (see rate history). So if the post-promo rates of this e-Savings Account will remain competitive like the e-Money Market rates have been, it may be an account that you can keep for the long term.

AmTrustDirect is a division of AmTrust Bank which is FDIC insured.

Thanks so the reader Shazzy who mentioned this new e-Savings in the comments.

Rate History

Update 5/29/08: The e-Savings yield has fallen to 2.50% APY for balances under $100K. The yield of the e-Money Market remains at 1.75% APY for balances under $25K.
Update 5/25/08: The e-Savings yield has fallen to 2.75% APY for balances under $100K. The yield of the e-Money Market has fallen to 1.75% APY for balances under $25K.
Update 3/14/08: The e-Savings yield has fallen from 3.75% to 3.50% APY. The yield of the low tier of the e-Money Market has fallen from 3.00% to 2.75% APY.
Update 2/22/08: The e-Savings yield has fallen to 3.80% APY.
Update 2/4/08: The e-Savings 3-month intro rate has ended. It now has a standard yield of 4.60% APY for balances from $1 to $100K. There's a new bonus for setting up automated transfers. Please see this post for more details.
Update 1/24/08: The e-Savings promo rate has declined to 5.11% APY.
  Tags: AmTrustDirect, savings account

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Comments
26 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It is not worth all the hassle since UFB still pays 5.31%

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Since it requires opening a new account, current customers can just move out their fund and move back to the new account.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You will loose more money transferring out than in than wait to be available again, holds, weekends,
and your time for just few extra dollars. What happens after the 3 months are over? Repeat the whole
process all over again?
No thanks.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It only takes one dollar to open an account. After it's open, Do an internal transfer and no days lost. After 3 months, You can do an internal transfer of your choice.

1
Comment #5 by ShraZZy (anonymous) posted on
ShraZZy
Are you sure the transfer is direct? I know that on my e*trade checking to e*trade savings are instant. Is it the samething?

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have a money market account with them at 5.06% I opened the new savings account by phone for one dollar of new money. When I get conformation by mail I was told by them I can do an instant transfer of my funds from the money market at 5.06% to my new savings account and earn 5.36%. I will leave one dollar in the money market in case I want to transfer back at a latter date,

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The e-Savings 5.36% requires new fundings that's not currently on deposit with Amtrust Direct or Amtrust Bank. So the instant internal transfer from money market is not going to help.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
According to a CSR internal transfer will not work if the money are coming from other AmTrust accounts.
You must send the money out to other banks first than pull or push them in. When you open E-Savings account all of your other accounts balances are recorded and do not qualify.
(Remember Ing Direct couple of years ago) they recorded the current balances and only the balance above the current balance counts).
Good luck trying to fool AmTrust.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
All ACH deposits initiated at AmTrust are placed on hold for five working days. On new accounts can be up to
ten days. Not worthed to me.....

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the guy of 2:57 PM.
That will not work. I have tried it before. Sure you can transfer the money but at the end of the month you will shoot yourself when there will be no interest posted to your account.
Free money given to AmTrust.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
People be careful when sending money out then immediately in from the same external account. It may be declared
as fraudulent transfer by the bank
even if it is your money. You may be
reported to credit agency or chexsystem as an abuser of banking
regulations. It happen to me, now I
can not open bank account for three years.

1
Comment #12 by ShraZZy (anonymous) posted on
ShraZZy
I saw an ad for Amtrust CD for 5.61% on Monday and I found it again on Tuesday. I believe it is to make people click their banner because their 6M CD is 5% and not 5.61%. Can anyone call to check?

screenshot:
http://img148.imageshack.us/
img148/8463/amtrustba2.jpg

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is the guy of 2:57 PM. I checked with CSR at Amtrust and he checked with his Superviser to make sure that their wouldn't be any complications in doing an internal transfer. He said it was ok, and they also recommend their customers to do so.

1
Comment #14 by Cole (anonymous) posted on
Cole
Avoid AmTrust. Their online banking interface is old and archaic and they have bad hold policies. Not worth the hassle.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have a CD with them
that will mature very soon. Does anyone know if i'll be allowed to internally transfer this to the their new e-checking account?
thanks

1
Comment #16 by ShraZZy (anonymous) posted on
ShraZZy
I am not sure but I would probably think as for the e-mma it worked fine. Just give them a call when your CD matures.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Very annoying how they lowered rates on the old account and then created a new promo. I decided to just move my money out.

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
We have had Amtrust for awhile now and have had no problems. Their rate is still one of the best around!

1
Comment #19 by a_rog (anonymous) posted on
a_rog
banking guy:

fyi -

I was at BankRate.com checking something else, but I just happened to notice a lower rate for AmTrust's e-Savings account. I went to AmTrust's site & sure enough, they have already lowered the introductory rate.

New introductory rate is 5.14%/5.26%APY.

They still guarantee it for 90 days, albeit at the lower rate.

I just opened this account on Nov 7 & it still showed 5.36%APY, although I am still waiting for the mail package. However, I can see the account online already since I have an e-Money Savings Account with AmTrust. The original introductory rate shows for my e-Savings so it looks like I got in just under the wire.

1
Comment #20 by Alex G. (anonymous) posted on
Alex G.
For anyone considering Amtrust Direct:

UFB Direct seems to be better. During the last rate decrease, they did NOT lower their rate - it's still 5.31% APY, and that's NOT introductory. However, UFB Direct does not have an ACH system - at least not a free one - so depositing and withdrawing is either more cumbersome, or must be done from another bank's ACH.

UFB Direct Blogspot entry here.

1
Comment #21 by tresho (anonymous) posted on
tresho
Amtrust Direct does allow holders of its maturing CD's to transfer that money into a new e-Savings account with the extra interest for 90 days.
They do not make this easy, however. You can't open the account directly from your online account window, but must fill out all the forms all over again. When you get to the funding option, there is a check box for using a maturing Amtrust CD to fund the new e-savings account. If you check this, all the choices on that web page change, and your only option is to enter your CD's account # and the entire balance of the CD will be then transferred to the new e-Savings account.
After you get through the pages & pages of notification & accept the application, you will later get an email saying
"Congratulations on successfully completing your online application for your new AmTrust Direct e-Savings account!

Thank you for choosing AmTrust Bank for your financial needs. We appreciate your business and value your trust.


What's Next
Once we verify your information and process your funding deposit, you will receive a letter within 5 - 7 business days verifying the account has been opened. The letter also will provide important information about your account, including:

= e-Savings account number.
= Instructions on how to login to online banking to view account information, including account history
and account detail.
= Instructions on how to transfer funds between your AmTrust Direct e-Savings account and accounts at other financial institutions
with our FREE external transfer service.
= If we have questions about your application or need additional information to process your request we
will contact you."
A possible CATCH-22 -- if there is a problem with opening this new e-Savings account, you could be facing the expiration of your CD renewal grace period & forced to pay a penalty if you then close your CD (which would be automatically renewed within 7 days of its maturing, a shorter period than the email indicates Amtrust might take to verify the new e-Savings account.)
Another catch is that the new e-savings account may not appear linked to your original online account. I have had this happen with other Amtrust CD's, savings & checking accounts, which I have had to resolve by walking into my local office.

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I wrote them to ask if they do a hard credit pull since I already have a money market account. I received this response, which I thought would be helpful to those with accounts at the bank:

Thank you for your online inquiry. Since you are already a deposit customer, your credit will not be checked again when you open other deposit type accounts. This includes checking, savings, and CD accounts.

1
Comment #23 by Alex G. (anonymous) posted on
Alex G.
Breaking news here -

Amtrust Direct decided to raise their e-Savings APY to 4%! It's been several months since I have seen online savings accounts back up to 4%. Here is the page from Amtrust's site:

Amtrust Direct e-Savings

1
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I submitted online application for eSavings on Aug 2nd got confirm email and moved $ to my Checking in my bank for ACH, but so far after 10 days no transfer for a while.
Is it suppose to be so slow?

1
Comment #25 by tresho (anonymous) posted on
tresho
I have an existing eSavings account & had to call customer service to get my interest rate at 4% for the next 90 days.

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
One thing worth noting that they recently changed is that they now take back trial deposits (in one withdrawal). This can make a difference for people who are trying to link external savings accounts that have withdrawal limitations.

1