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AmTrustDirect's 5.11% 3-Month Guarantee on its e-Savings Account

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AmTrustDirect
Update 2/01/08: The 5.11% 3-month promo has ended. Please check the bank's website for the latest e-Savings rate.

It may not last much longer, but as of this morning, AmTrustDirect is still listing a 5.11% APY promo rate guaranteed for 90 days on its e-Savings Account. I first reported on this in October when the promo rate was 5.36%. This is the best savings account promo that's avaiable now that UmbrellaBank ended its 3-month promo. EverBank is close behind with its 5.01% promo. With rates falling so drastically, this will be the only way you can ensure a decent savings account rate for at least a little bit of time. These give you the rate lock of a 3-month CD with the full liquidity of a savings account.

Here are some of the details of this e-Savings account and the promotion:
  • 5.11% APY for balances from $1 to $100K, 4.60% APY for over $100K
  • Guaranteed for the first 90 days
  • No minimum balance fees
  • Promotional rates available only for new accounts opened with funds not previously on deposit with AmTrust Bank
  • Limit of one e-savings account per customer.

They have a good FAQ page, but one thing not mentioned is that they do a hard credit inquiry when you first apply. A reader commented in the last post that he was told by AmTrustDirect that they do not do additional hard pulls if you are already a deposit customer. Another commenter mentioned that all ACH deposits initiated at AmTrust are placed on hold for 5 working days (up to 10 for new accounts).

To avoid loss of interest when you open this account, a commenter in the previous post had the good advice that you should open it with a small amount at first. After it's open, then you can do ACH transfers to increase the balance. After 3 months, you can easily transfer the money out.

They do have a decent ACH transfer 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.

Update 2/6/08: A reader has reported that AmTrustDirect still has a significant security hole in its ACH transfer system as described by this 8/22/07 comment. Please refer to this 2/6/08 comment for the update on this issue.

AmTrustDirect is a division of AmTrust Bank which is FDIC insured (Certificate # 29776). AmTrust has a 2 out of 5 star rating (below peer group) at Bankrate.com based on 9/30/07 data.

For more details on this e-Savings promotion and AmTrust, please refer to my e-Savings review post.

  Tags: AmTrustDirect, savings account

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Comments
14 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
There is a lot of Fatwallet info on a product called "AmTrust Direct e-Money Market", much of it negative. From everything I skimmed today (I emphasize, "skimmed") it seems to be a different product from this thread's topic which is the "Amtrust e-Savings" account. The CSR I spoke with confirmed that "Amtrust e-Savings" is a new product.

With rates dropping faster than Presidential candidates, I started an Amtrust e-Savings account with a very small initial deposit just to lock in today's guaranteed "5.11% APY for 90 days" (for < $100K) thing. I'd be very surprised if they lie about that since it's featured prominently in their ads, bylaws, etc. I confirmed with CSR that all subsequent funds added will get 5.11% for the first 90 days (that's also in their text). I'll probably soon do the major funding up to $99K via Countrywide & other places that I know do fast, honest ACH transfers, but I'll probably wait till someone else does it first so I can confirm Amtrust does not in some way put a delay even on "pushed" funds, which is theoretically possible.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
E*trade lowered the savings account to 4.60 Fnbo still holding at 5.05

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just to add - there is an early closing fee if account is closed in less than 180 days. With a min 1 dollar balance, this is easy to not worry about but just to be aware of.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Never had any problems with Amtrust. Good people to deal with on the phone as well in person. Too bad their CD's are not the best rate at this time.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is a good deal which I would have overlooked if it weren't for Banking Guy. Thank you again and again. It's amazing that we're still getting 5% action even for the next three months. Wow

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks so much, BG! I just locked it in! I'm sure I'll be needing to move my FNBO Direct 5.05% $$ soon . . .

You're the BEST!

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
FNBO just dropped like a rock (4.3%), so I'll also be opening an account here!

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Am Trust's e-Savings is now at 4.6 APY as of Fri., Feb. 1....

--John in Los Angeles

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Comment #9 by Roman (anonymous) posted on
Roman
I called CSR of Amtrust and he told that 6 ACH transfers initiated externally are allowed per month for e-savings = statement-savings account rather than 3 for old money-market account. Last 5.11% (I applied for on Jan 24) was for e-savings = statement-savings account. Ken, is this "6 external ACH" correct or "my" CSR was not right?

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Comment #10 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
6 ACH withdraws per statement seems correct based on their FAQ page.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
AmTrust's shocking transfer-security glitch, reported in a comment on the 8-22-07 post, has NOT been fixed, as an October comment claimed. Or at least if it was fixed, it's back. Who needs passwords if the transfer site (which has other account info, BTW), can be reached by bypassing the main account login page? It's not worth the risk even when their rates are high. It's especially surprising (or not surprising, depending on your perspective) that this bank is in Ohio, which has been hit by a rash of high-profile account hacks, including government sites, a major University, and private corporations. I'm taking all but $1 out today since the risk and concern don't justify the extra interest. And I may report this irresponsible lack of security to the Ohio Attirney General, especially since the state has claimed they want to clamp down on loose online security. Or should this be a fed issue?

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
AmTrustDirect is now 4.1% APY on e-savings. So, I have removed all but $1 from AmTrust.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened an AmTrust e-savings account on Feb 6th and the rate was 4.6%; today, Feb 13th it's 4.1%It's still a good rate, but I can't get into my account because they haven't set up access. I open the account on the 6th, they mail me a welcome letter dated the 7th, they take my money on the 8th and the evening of the 13th I can't log in. They promise set up within 2 business days. Nice guy at customer service, but he tells me "they" haven't set up my online account yet. In 5 years with ING I've never had one problem.

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
In my comment on this website dated Feb 13, 2008 I wrote that I'd opened an account with AmTrust Direct on Feb 6th and by the 13th my online access still wasn't available; I asked the rep to log the problem. Nine days later I finally tried to log in again and my online access has still never been activated according to their rep. Monday (in 3 days) after 1 pm is their new promised time. No supervisor on duty tonight, they're not permitted to give out their corporate officer's names but I can call back Monday and ask for an officer. Right! And sometime between the 13th and 22nd their interest rate dropped to
3.8%. Avoid them.

1