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CD and Savings Account Specials at Washington Mutual

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Washington Mutual has a few decent short term CD specials. I also have an update for WaMu's 7% Savings for Success account. Unfortunately, their online savings yield has recently fallen from 5% to 4.75% APY. One nice change is that WaMu customers who already have a WaMu checking account can now link this checking account to the online savings account and still qualify for this high yield and the waiver for the monthly service charge. Previously, you had to open a new checking account at the same time that the online savings account is opened.

5.10% 9-Month CD Special

For those in certain states, WaMu is offering a 5.10% APY 9-month CD with an add-on feature. The minimum deposit is $1,000. Funds must be new to WaMu. The add-on feature allows you to make additional deposits during the term of at least $100 up to the amount of the initial balance. This special isn't listed at WaMu's website. It has been advertised in several newspapers. The ad is available online here. Offer available in CA, CT, FL, GA, IL, NJ, NY, TX.

5.00% 6-Month Online CD Special

If you're not in one of those states, WaMu has a special rate of 5% APY on its 6-month online CD. The minimum deposit is $1,000.

Savings for Success Program

Update 1/16/08: The 7.01% APY has been reduced. The new yield is 6.5% APY in Illinois, Georgia and Texas and 5.5% APY in Washington State. It's still not being offered outside these 4 states.

Update 1/17/08: WaMu now has a Savings for Success webpage. Note, it may not show for states outside of TX, IL, GA and WA.

There's also a special savings account at WaMu. It's called Savings for Success, and I first reported on it in July. I just called and confirmed with WaMu that this account still pays 7.01% APY. But there's a catch. The maximum initial deposit is $500. Additional deposits (maximum $500) can only be made once a month for a year. A reader had calculated that the gain over a 5% account for one year would be about $67. In July I was told that it was only starting in certain states (Texas and Illinois with a lower 6% yield in Georgia and Washington State). It was suppose to branch out to other states in September. I'm not sure if that happened. This Savings for Success doesn't seem to be listed at WaMu's website. Last month I picked up a pamphlet at WaMu that described the product. Here are some of the details:
How it works: First, open a WaMu checking account; next, open a WaMu Savings for Success account, and link them together. Then set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking to savings for the rest of the year (11 transfers). Do not make withdrawals during the first year. After 12 months, your funds will automatically sweep to a linked savings or money market account (also set up at account opening - no fees while linked) and you have the option to renew at new interest rate or close the account without paying a penalty fee.

Minimum/Maximum opening balance: $1 (Note: Your opening balance counts as your first month of savings) The maximum opening deposit is $500.

Monthly service charge: None

Term: 12 months

Balance tiers: None

Interest rate/APY: Fixed for 12 months (I was told today that it's 7.01% APY in Texas)

Minimum and maximum monthly transfers: Minimum - $25/month, Maximum - $500/month, One automatic transfer will be made each month. You can change the amount from month-to-month as long as your transfer hasn't been made yet.

Withdrawals: At end of account term, death, or disability; otherwise, you have to pay a penalty fee if a withdrawal is made before the 12-month anniversary date.

Renewal: Funds sweep to sweep account and automatic renewal of Savings for Success after 12-months.

Grace Period: You have 10 days after anniversary date to close account without penalty

A reader in my previous post mentioned that he was told by WaMu that you can open as many of these accounts as you want (your miles may vary). And you should be able to link it to a WaMu online savings account. He said that he was able to set up the automatic transfers from the online savings account to the checking account to occur a couple of days before the $500 is transfered out of the checking account into the Savings for Success Account. This does seem like a good way to minimize the time the money is sitting in the checking account without earning interest.

Update 11/15/07: Make sure to call your local WaMu branch to find out if this Savings for Success is being offered in your state. A reader reported being told the wrong info by a CSR at WaMu's national number. Currently, Savings for Success is only available in TX, IL, GA and WA.

Thanks to the readers who sent me info on the new WaMu CDs.
  Tags: CD rates, savings account

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Comments
5 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anyone know if this is available outside Texas?

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yeah, I'd like to know about California-

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The CSR at Washington Mutual's main phone number told me the account was available in California but I had to go to the branch to open it. When I drove to the branch in Roseville, CA, they told me the account is not available in CA. It is only available in IL, TX, WA & GA. I was advised it would be best if I call the local branch to find out if these types of accounts are availabe instead of the main number...

1
Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. Sorry to read how WaMu wasted your time. I've added this info to the post.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
WaMu CD rates just went up as of Aug 13. 12 and 13 month are now 4.50% APY. See rates at http://www.wamu.com/personal/certificate_deposit/online_cd/default.asp

1