Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

UFB Direct's No-Min Absolute Savings Account Still Holding at 5.31%

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Update 6/22/09: Rates have gone down. Please check with UFB Direct for the latest rates.
Update 8/30/08: The current yield is now 2.50% APY.
Update 5/21/08: The current yield is now 3.01% APY.
Update 3/14/08: The yield has fallen from 4.00% to 3.85% APY.
Update 1/27/08: The yield has fallen to 4.50% APY.
Update 1/16/08: The yield has fallen to 5.00% APY.
Update 1/9/08: The yield has fallen to 5.12% APY.

UFB Direct's Absolute Savings Account is still holding at 5.31% APY. UFB Direct is one of the few banks which have left their savings account yields unchanged since the big Fed rate cut last month. So I thought it would be useful to highlight this account. I hope I don't jinx this high yield trend by doing this report.

The Absolute Savings Account currently has the highest non-promo yield for a no-minimum savings account. Countrywide is higher at 5.50% APY but you need $10K for this yield. Both UmbrellaBank and AmTrustDirect's savings accounts have higher yields, but both of these are just 3-month intro rates.

UFB Direct used to be owned by Sky Bank, but in late September it was acquired by Huntington National Bank (see news release). Huntington also offers an online savings account called Direct Huntington. Since this online savings account only pays 4.60% APY, you have to wonder if UFB Direct will be able to keep this Absolute Savings Account yield so high.

UFB Direct's rate history with this Absolute Savings Account isn't too long unless you include its old High Yield Money Market Savings Account (HYMMSA). In June, UFB Direct closed the HYMMSA for new customers and added this Absolute Savings Account. UFB Direct also did a large rate cut to the HYMMSA for current customers, but at least they made it relatively easy for current customer to switch to the Absolute Savings Account. The Absolute Savings started as a tiered account with the highest rates for balances over $10K. In July, the 5.31% APY was added to all tiers. Since July, the yield has remained the same.

Account Features:

The main downside to this Absolute Savings Account in my opinion is that there's no free ACH transfer system. They have a service called MoneyHQ in which you can initiate electronic funds transfers, but it costs $2 for both deposits and withdrawals. Besides this one downside, the account has many nice features. Below is a list of many of them.
  • No minimum opening deposit or minimum balance
  • Readers have reported account opening is very fast and is all online except mailing in the signature card.
  • ATM card with $4.50/mo in reimbursements
  • Allows beneficiaries
  • Allows custodial accounts
  • Wire transfers: free incoming, $30 outgoing (increased from $20 on 1/1/09)
  • ACH transfers cost $2 via MoneyHQ service for incoming and outgoing
  • Allows ACH deposits and withdrawals initiated from your external account
  • Postage paid envelopes provided for mailing deposits
  • Deposits can be sent free via Mail Boxes Etc and The UPS Store
  • Readers have reported a hard credit inquiry. The CSR told me it's only a soft pull.
  • Statements mailed by default but can request online only

Deposits held at UFB Direct are FDIC insured through Huntington National Bank (FDIC Certificate # 6560). Huntington National Bank has a 3 out of 5 star rating (performing) at Bankrate based on 6/30/07 data.

UPDATE 11/29/07: Deposits at UFB Direct may be FDIC insured through either Huntington or Countrywide Bank (FDIC Certificate # 33143). Please refer to this post for more details.

Update 6/22/09: Accounts may be insured through other banks including Waterfield, Bank of America and Citibank. Refer to UFB Direct's FDIC page for details.

  Tags: savings account

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Comments
Comment #1 by Joe (anonymous) posted on
Joe
The application isnt quite entirely over the internet. To complete the process you have to sign and return the signature card...

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The ACH transfers initiated from GMAC Bank are 1 day both ways, as it is with GMAC for any other account I have. I moved to UFB from FNBO.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just opened an account on UFB. They don't allow you to change the ATM pin number. When you call them, the cs ask your full SSN. Their online server asks only one password. Most updated online banks have rotated security questions.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
One excellent feature not mentioned by you, is the ability to write unlimited check via a linked free checking account.

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Comment #5 by Cassie P Chou (anonymous) posted on
Cassie P Chou
I've been reading money blogs on bank accounts, and I'm really curious to know why EverBank is never mentioned? Their MMA offers a 6.01% promo rate, which then steps down to 5.01% - not the highest out there, but still deserving to be on *some* list. I'm confused as to why it hasn't been mentioned at all (and therefore hesitant to open up an account with them). Please email me if you have an answer to this!!

Also, admittedly, I haven't browsed too much around your website, so if you've already covered this kindly give me the link?

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Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yup, it has been awhile since I did a post on Everbank. My last one on this 6% deal was in late May. I do highlight the 6.01% promo in weekly summaries. I list the standard MMA rate of 5.01% along with the promo 6.01%. It might be time for another post on this 6% deal before Everbank ends it.

1
Comment #7 by Laura (anonymous) posted on
Laura
In response to Cassie, I just recently opened an Everbank Account. That is where I went after FNBO ended their 6% promo. I have no complaints, yet. Their account opening process took about two weeks total. Plan to not have complete access to your total account balance for about three weeks from starting the application process. Definitely a good place to go for the three month 6% promo rate.

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Comment #8 by tba02 (anonymous) posted on
tba02
Fat Wallet indicates a hard pull too.

1
Comment #9 by Alex G. (anonymous) posted on
Alex G.
I just opened a UFB Direct account and funded it. The account detail section says that the interest rate is "5.190%" and the APY is "5.24%." Yet the UFBdirect.com home page still says "5.31%." Bankrate.com also says "5.31%." I just called a CSR and he said this is a mistake, there was no rate change, and he will notify IT. He says I will get paid 5.31% APY despite what it says.

Does anyone else who has an Absolute Savings account see a rate other than 5.31% APY, or is it just me?

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Comment #10 by Alex G. (anonymous) posted on
Alex G.
P.S. - I mailed them a signature card with my deposit and the online banking says I didn't do that. CSR says the office never received it and there are no notes on the case. Now I have to wait for another signature card due to their error. Bad, bad UFBdirect.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
same thing happened to me: had to send signature card twice.

UFB Direct agreement is kind of funny - they are FDIC insured through Huntington, but this means if Huntington goes under, UFB will get the money right away. But it doesn't say that you will (unlike for example Amtrust or Wamu, who are directly insured, so if they go under, you get money from FDIC right away).

I tried asking CSR about this, but they just kept repeating 'see our web site' which doesn't say much in this regard.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does anyone have evidence of a hard credit pull?

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
note to Alex G. - I just opened a UFB Direct Savings, and had a similar experience. My rate showed 5.19/5.24. I called the CSR, who seemed puzzled by that and put in an order to investigate.

I notice today my rate reads 5.19/5.30 - not quite up to 5.31 yet!

1
Comment #14 by Kinetic (anonymous) posted on
Kinetic
I opened an account with UFB, CSR's were not very knowledgeable - they told me FDIC limit was $100k per S.S. number (which is NOT true). After ME telling THEM the FDIC rules they said they needed to check & would call back. When they called back they had the correct answer - which is... it depends on account registration as to FDIC limits. Make sure you go to the FDIC website & know/understand the rules yourself as there is MUCH misinformation being given by ALL banks!!!

Be aware ACH transfers through Money HQ are limited to $5k into your acct. per month and $25k out of your acct. per month!!

Also, rate drop to 5.22% APY

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Good luck trying to obtain written confirmation that your deposit is insured with Huntington rather than Countrywide. At the request of customer service, I have now sent 2 faxes and a bankmail message over the last 3 weeks asking for written confirmation. I have received NO response whatsoever. I guess I'll leave a $1 in the account so they can keep mailing me a monthly statement as payback for their terrible service.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
to the above anonymous poster, did the bank ever get back to you about the FDIC info?

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
APY now is only 4.5%

http://www.ufbdirect.com/ufbdirect/

1
Comment #18 by Kate (anonymous) posted on
Kate
Down to only 3.85% APY today
http://www.ufbdirect.com/ufbdirect/rates.asp
Still better than any other bank account I have though.

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
UFB: Useless Fake Bank!

1