Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Bank Deals Weekly Summary for February 16, 2008

POSTED ON BY

Quick Link for Rates, Recap of this week's posts

This was yet another week of widespread cuts in savings account and CD rates by the banks. The next Fed meeting is March 18th, and it seems likely that we'll see another 50-basis-point rate cut. Instead of making one or two large cuts, many of the online banks are spreading out the cuts over several weeks.

Savings Accounts

OneUnited's savings account yield of 5.15% APY is now far ahead of the other online banks. Countrywide Bank had been in second place last week, but yesterday they lowered their savingslink rate from 4.75% to 4.50% APY. It has been almost 2 weeks since OneUnited's first rate cut (15 basis points). So if OneUnited has decided on the slow-drop strategy, they seem intent to go slowly. It'll be interesting to see if they continue 15-basis-point rate cuts.

Some of the other online banks that cut rates this week include E*TRADE, WaMu, E-LOAN, Grand Yield Direct, Zions, WTDirect, Amboy Direct, and iGOBanking. Many banks also dropped their CD rates. I'm afraid in a few weeks, there may be very few 4-percent-plus savings accounts and CDs left.

Even through Amboy Direct lowered the yield on its Premium Savings Account from 4.00% to 3.75% APY this week, they still offer 4.25% APY on its eSavings Account for balances over $3K. Plus, they have a $50 bonus for this account (see post).

Savings and Checking Account Bonuses

New account bonuses can help soften the blow of these lower rates. In addition to Amboy, I posted on new bonuses from E*TRADE, Chase, Discover Bank and several other smaller banks. Be sure to check carefully with the bank for the promotion details. I often contact the bank's customer service for the details, but sometimes I may miss a detail or receive the wrong info from the banking rep. Please see the recap section below for the full list of these new promotions.

CD Rates

Credit unions continue to offer the best CD rates. This week all the top CD rates for terms of 9 months and longer are from credit unions. The only exception is for a 84-month term in which KeyDirect matches Pentagon FCU's yield of 5.00% APY. Part of this reason is likely due to the fact that many credit unions normally only change their rates once a month. So I'm sure we'll see much lower rates in March. So you still have some time to lock in a decent rate that's close to 5%.

Two good CD deals continue at Alliant Credit Union (4.90% APY for 12-to-17 month terms for $25K minimum) and at Pentagon FCU (4.50% to 5.00% APY for 36 to 84 month terms). Joining an association open to all can qualify you in joining both to these. I consider these credit unions as having easy membership, and I include these in my main CD lists below.

I added two more easy membership credit unions this week. The first is Mountain America Credit Union which is based in Utah. Like many Utah credit unions, it has very competitive CD rates. Currently, their best CD deal is a 4.65% APY 15-month CD special (see post). The second easy membership credit union that I added this week is Air Academy FCU which is based in Colorado. They just ended a 5% 12-month CD special yesterday. However, their standard CD rates are very competitive with yields as high as 4.80% APY for a 60-month term. Also, they offer a high yield reward checking account with a yield of 6.01% APY for balances up to $50K (see post).

High Yield Reward Checking

Reward checking accounts continue to be holding rates better than the online savings accounts. Plus, new reward checking accounts are popping up each week. I posted on 3 new ones this week (see recap section below). These only have yields in the 5 percent range instead of six percent, so this is a sign that reward checking isn't immune to the rate environment. But 5% is now much better than all the online savings account rates except at OneUnited. I don't know if this will last. As I mentioned before, I think the best we can hope for are reward checking yields that are one percent higher than the online savings account yields. That's probably more of a hope than an educated prediction. The nice thing about most of these reward checking accounts is that they have no maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. So if the rates do fall too much, just use your online bank account to transfer out the money.

Savings and CD rates are dropping fast. So please check with the bank or credit union to make sure the deals that I've posted are still available. If they're not, please leave a comment.

Recap for the Week

Savings Accounts - National

CD Deals - National

Checking/Savings Account Bonuses

Reward Checking Accounts

CD and Money Market Deals - Local

The rates listed below are based on Annual Percentage Yield (APY). No minimum balances are required unless noted. MMA next to the rates indicate a money market account. Most MMAs have check writing and ATM cards. Online savings accounts usually lack both of these. The top lists include banks and credit unions with broad availability and with minimums around $10K or less. Previous weekly summaries are available for Feb 9th, Feb 2nd, Jan 26th, Jan 19th, Jan 12th, Jan 5th, Dec 29th, Dec 22nd and Dec 15th.

Quick Links: Refer to the following links for the savings accounts and CDs that interest you: Liquid Account Rates: Savings Accounts, Special rates, Local checking/savings, Bank alternatives CD Rates: 3 Mo CDs, 6 Mo CDs, 9 Mo CDs, 12 Mo CDs, 18 Mo CDs, 24 Mo CDs, 36 Mo CDs, 48 Mo CDs, 60 Mo CDs, 84 Mo CDs, CDs by state Comments: read and discuss

As of February 16, 2008

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:


3-Month Certificates of Deposit:

6-Month Certificates of Deposit:

9-Month Certificates of Deposit:

12-Month Certificates of Deposit:

18-Month Certificates of Deposit:

24-Month Certificates of Deposit:

36-Month Certificate of Deposit:

48-Month Certificate of Deposit:

60-Month Certificate of Deposit:

84-Month Certificate of Deposit:

High Yield Reward Checking Accounts - Open to All

Checking and Saving Accounts at Local Banks/Credit Unions

CD Specials at Local Credit Unions/Banks Over the Last Month


Terms of 60 Months and Over

Terms of 24 Months to Under 60 Months

Terms of 12 Months to Under 24 Months

Terms of Under 12 Months

Bank Account Alternatives


Historical Rates from the Federal Reserve (Federal funds, Treasury bills, CD's)

Related Posts

Comments
4 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Principal Bank's website shows a 7 mo CD (min $5M) with a 4.60 APY and a 14 mo CD at 4.85 APY.

1
Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info! I just did a new post on this. Apparently, they just increased these rates today which is a very nice surprise.

1
Comment #3 by Chris (anonymous) posted on
Chris
Online bank, venturebankdirect.com is now offering 3.8% APY with no minimum balance on their savings accounts.

1
Comment #4 by Marcus (anonymous) posted on
Marcus
Thanks for the tip Chris. I checked out Venture Bank Direct and have been happy so far. They just launched their online checking which is a big plus for access.

1