AmTrustDirect just increased the rates on many of its online CDs. A yield of 4.00% APY is now available on all terms from 12 months to 60 months. The previous 12-month yield was 3.77% APY. The yields for the shorter terms remain the same: 3.51% APY 6-month and 3.76% APY 9-month. The minimum deposit is $1,000.
It's nice to see another online bank getting back to yields of 4% for one year terms. In the last few weeks, only Indymac Bank has been offering a 4%+ CD for terms of around one year (4.05% APY 10-month CD).
Certificate of Deposit Details
AmTrustDirect's FAQ does a good job of providing most of the details. Some of the important details regarding the CDs include:
- Online application allows for funding by ACH transfer or check
- IRA CDs are not available online
- The early withdrawal penalty is 3 months of interest for terms 11 months or less, 6 months for terms of 12 to 23 months, 9 months for terms 24 to 47 months and 12 months for terms of 48 months or more
- Accounts can be opened with up to two beneficiaries
- When CD matures, you can request closure of the CD by either mail or online by a secure message.
- No hard pull for opening CDs. A hard pull is still done for opening their savings account.
- They do not accept wire transfers to fund the CD. Funding can be done by ACH transfer from your account of another bank or by mailing in a check.
- Interest disbursements can be done monthly or every 6 months. Checks sent by mail will cost $2.50. ACH transfers to another bank can be done for free.
- When the CD matures, you can instruct them to mail you a check, wire transfer the money out ($20 fee) or transfer the money to your AmTrustDirect liquid account (e-Savings or e-Money Market account).
- When the CD matures, they accept instructions by phone for transfers to your AmTrustdirect liquid account (e-Savings or e-Money Market account).
- When the CD matures, an ACH transfer of the money to another bank is not an option.
Savings Account Update
The only problem with their savings account is that their rates have gone way down lately. But there are no minimum balance fees, so you can just keep a small amount in the account. One good thing about the savings account is a fast ACH transfer system. I just tested the transfer out on my e-Money Market Account. I requested the transfer on Sunday. It was debited from the e-Money Market account on Monday, and it was credited to my external checking account on Tuesday.
Another note regarding their ACH transfer service is that last year they had a security hole in their ACH transfer system that allowed access to the transfer system with only your account number and social security number. This seems to be fixed now.
The money I transfered out included the $50 bonus I received from their Smart Save-Up Plan promotion. The bonus was awarded as promised.
AmTrustDirect is an internet division of AmTrust Bank. Like many banks offering high rates these days, AmTrust Bank has been hit by the mortgage mess. Two years ago they had a Bankrate rating of 4 stars. Bankrate now gives AmTrust Bank a rating of 2 stars (below peer group) based on 12/31/07 data. BauerFinancial also has a 2 star rating (problematic). This is based on 3/31/08 data. As always, be sure to stay under the FDIC limits (AmTrust FDIC Certificate # 29776).
Thanks to the reader who mentioned these new CD rates in the Finding the Best Deals post.