Update 5/04/09: The intro yield is now 2.54% APY (2.51% rate). The ongoing yield for the money market account is now 1.65% APY. See bottom of post for the rate history.
EverBank continues to hold on to its 6.01% APY 3-month intro rate for both its FreeNet Checking and its Yield Pledge Money Market Account. With rates continuing to decline, this 6.01% APY is looking better each day. Since it has been awhile since my last review of this promotion, I thought it would be a good time for another review.
If Intro Rate Drops after Mailing in the Application?
EverBank still has a slow application process which requires you to mail in the application. I was told by EverBank's customer service rep that the intro rate will be guaranteed based on the postmark day of your mailed application.
When rates were rising, EverBank bumped this promo rate up by 50 basis points every 3 to 6 months. So it's possible the same thing will happen but in reverse.
Can You Do Both the Checking and Money Market 6.01% Promo?
I've been told several times by EverBank's customer service that you have to be a new EverBank customer to qualify for this intro rate. Several readers have found out that they were not eligible due to prior EverBank accounts that had long been closed. One reader commented that he was told his EverBank credit card that he closed 6 years ago disqualified him.
So once you open an EverBank account, you're officially disqualified for doing this intro rate again. I've read about others who have had better luck on this, but it's a case of your-miles-may-vary. So I wouldn't plan on doing both the checking and money market promos back-to-back. However, the EverBank rep said you can do both the Checking and Money Market intro rate at the same time. This would only be helpful if you want to earn the high yield for balances over $100K. The intro rate for the checking is limited to $100K and money market is limited to $50K. So a new customer could have $150K in both the checking and money market earning 6.01% APY for the first 3 months.
Slow Application Process with Questionable Security
Many of my readers have been frustrated by EverBank's application process. After you fill out the online form, you then have to print it out and mail it in along with your opening deposit. I was told by the EverBank rep that it should take within 3 days of them receiving your application for them to approve it and mail your welcome package which will allow you to log in. However, readers have said that this process takes at least 3 weeks during which time you don't have account access. One reader commented:
Should be called "forever" bank...that's how long you should expect to wait for them to set up your account after application (3 weeks and I still can't log in).
There also has been concerns over the security of this application process. In the application, you have to provide a security code which seems like a password. A reader who went through this application process commented about how he considered this a significant security problem. In my interview with an EverBank VP, I asked about this and he replied:
From the perspective of the site we maintain a secure environment; but I do understand their angst about the US Mail. We have many enhancements scheduled for our account application process that will be rolling out progressively over the next several quarters. I think you and your readers will be very pleased with all the changes being made including a more one step process.
So things may improve, but for those who want to take advantage of the high yield now, you'll have to live with their current process.
Both the checking and the money market account have features that may convince you they're worth keeping for the long term. So far their interest rates have held up better than many other online banks in the last two months, but besides interest rates, there are many other issues to consider:
Yield Pledge Money Market Account Features:
- 6.01% APY 3-month intro rate on first $50K for new customers
- Competitive ongoing rates on all balances: 5.01% APY since 3/2007, 4.61% APY before this
- Check writing privileges: 3-check per month limitation per federal regulation
- $1,500 balance required to avoid $4.95/mo fee Update 5/04/09: EverBank has sent customers notice that effective 6/01/09, there will be a $8.95 monthly fee for average monthly balances below $5,000.
FreeNet Checking Account Features:
- 6.01% APY 3-month intro rate on first $100K for new customers
- Tiered interest rates fairly competitive for checking (3% to 5%), but ING and others are higher
- No minimum balance or monthly fees if you do not select Online Bill Pay
- If Online Bill Pay is used, there's a $4.95/mo fee if balance is under $1,500
- First 50 checks are free
- Reimburses you for up to $6.00 a month in surcharges levied by ATM operators
- Thank-you check of $50 if you're not satisfied and close the account within 30 days of your 3-month anniversary (see details)
Shared Features of FreeNet Checking and Yield Pledge Money Market
- $1,500 minimum opening deposit
- Several types of accounts allowed: custodial, non-profit and trust accounts
- Up to 4 beneficiaries can be included in application
- Several readers reported receiving a hard credit inquiry. Update 7/3/08: A reader has confirmed that they no longer do hard pulls.
Shared Features - ACH and Wire Transfers
- Slow ACH transfers. Readers have reported a transfer time from 4 to 6 days with at least 2 days of lost interest.
- Limits on EverBank initiated ACH transfers: $10K/day and $50K/month
- No blocks on ACH transfers initiated on your non-EverBank accounts
- no limit on number of ACH links to your external bank accounts
- Free incoming wire transfers
- $25 outgoing wire transfers (domestic)
EverBank also has a history of competitive CD rates, and unlike most other online banks, it has some non-conventional type of products such as World Currency CDs. For more info on this, please see my EverBank World Currency CD post.
EverBank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 34775). The bank has a 4 out of 5 star rating (sound) at Bankrate.com based on 6/30/07 data.
Update 05/04/09: Intro rate: 2.51%. Ongoing MMA yield: 1.65% APY
Update 11/01/08: Intro yield: 4.00% APY. Ongoing yield: 3.21% APY
Update 7/01/08: Intro yield: 4.76% APY. Ongoing yield: 3.51% APY
Update 6/14/08: The intro yield is now 4.01% APY. The ongoing yield for the money market account is now 3.06% APY.
Update 2/2/08: The intro yield has fallen to 4.51% APY. The ongoing yield for the money market has fallen to 3.51% APY.
Update 1/2/2008: EverBank lowered the intro rate to 5.01% APY from 5.51%. The standard Money Market rate dropped to 4.26% APY.
Update 11/01/2007: EverBank lowered the rate today on this promo from 6.01% to 5.51% APY. The standard rate on the Money Market Account also dropped by 50 basis points to 4.51% APY.