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Update on Wachovia CD and Money Market Account Promotions


Wachovia Bank
Update 7/22/08: The Featured CDs have been extended. See this post for more details.

Wachovia is still offering very high rates on its Featured CDs. However, I just confirmed with a banking rep that these are scheduled to end at the end of day this Friday (7/18/08). The rep also confirmed that no checking account is required. The minimum deposit is $5,000. For more details about these CDs, please refer to my June post. Below is the list of the current yields:

Wachovia Featured CD Rates as of 7/15/08
(scheduled to end on 7/18/08)

Term APY
7-month 4.00%
12-month 4.25%
18-month 4.40%
24-month 4.50%
36-month 5.00%
48-month 5.15%
60-month 5.25%

Be sure to call your local branch to verify these rates. The banking rep made it appear these are available nationwide. However, some readers have mentioned that these weren't available at their branches.

Money Market Account Promotion

Wachovia is also having a money market promotion. However, unlike the CD promotion, this does seem to vary based on location. For Texas and California, I was told the yield is 3.50% APY for balances over $10,000 guaranteed for 90 days. Other states have a top yield of 3.25% APY. The money must come from outside of Wachovia, and this does require a checking account. According to the banking rep, this promotion ends on July 22, 2008.

Latest Wachovia News

Shares of Wachovia plummeted to a 17-year low today after an analyst downgraded the shares due to rising losses on home loans. However, shares did rebound some this afternoon. A Wachovia spokeswoman who was quoted in this Bloomberg article said that "Wachovia has $150 billion in liquidity. The bank attracted $800 million in deposits yesterday and remains well capitalized with more than $50 billion in Tier 1 capital." According to this AP article, Wachovia's option ARM portfolio has been especially hard hit. In preliminary quarterly results that were released last Wednesday, Wachovia said it lost between $2.6 billion and $2.8 billion.

With Wachovia being the fourth largest US bank by assets, it may be too large to fail in that the Fed wouldn't let it happen. Nevertheless, I would recommend staying below the FDIC limits. Wachovia describes how you can be FDIC insured on deposits above $100,000. I also have more info at this post. Wachovia's financials can be reviewed at their FDIC page.

  Tags: money market accounts, Wachovia Bank, CD rates, IRA rates

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
The manager at the NJ branch where I opened my 12 CD INSISTED that I open a checking account. He would not open the CD without opening a checking account.

$100 min. to open. I ordered no checks and no debit card.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
A branch in Roanoke, VA told me they require the opening of a checking account also.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
If you open an online CD, Wachovia cashes your checks and puts them in some kind of a bulk account. They cannot track your funds using the reference code that you get online. Be sure to keep copies of your cd opening documents.

Supposedly they will have account numbers for you within 10 business days. Let's just say I opened an account on July 1 and as of July 15 I have no accounts.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Regarding FDIC coverage over $100K - I had above that amount in a fully insured revocable trust account with family members as beneficiaries).

I went in today to close the account. I was give a check in the amount up to $100K which I immediately deposited at BancoPopular and it was placed on a 11 day hold. BancoPolular has never put a hold on any checks in that amount I have deposited in the past. Obviously the reason was it was coming from IndyMsac.

Regarding the remaining money, I have an appointment scheduled for a phone call from FDIC on August 1st which is the next step I must take to recover my remaining funds. In the meantime, I have no access to any of these funds. Access to these funds is not critical to me at this time; however, I will make it a point to never deposit over the $100K limit again. It isn't worth the aggravation.

Comment #5 by Sofa King Frustrated (anonymous) posted on
Sofa King Frustrated
Yes...and Banking Guy, I would urge you to make the following info abundantly clear to everyone.

FDIC clearly states on their site that only the first $100,000 is immediately available after a bank failure.

All monies over that $100,000, even if clearly insured due to legitimate beneficiaries and title, must be investigated by the FDIC. (Obviously, they must make sure the beneficiaries listed do indeed qualify, etc.)

This will always cause a delay. And that delay could be long depending on several factors, such as the size of the bank and number of depositors, etc.

So, while one will ultimately get their over $100K insured money, there will be a delay and worry and stress, and there will be no access to your money and perhaps no interest paid on that money during the investigation process. the poster above has stated, one must now make that extra consideration when deciding to go over the $100K limit.

If the FDIC paid immediately on the excess of $100K, there would be no issue.

But...who wants to wait perhaps a month? Who wants to go through the extra stress and worry?

Comments welcome now about whether you will transfer your over $100K balances now that we know there would be a delay if a failure occurs.

Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
For the Anonymous above who had over $100K at Indymac, thanks for sharing your experience. I have added this info to my post Extending FDIC and NCUA Coverage Past $100K.

In that post I do have a section on Downsides of Using PODs for Added Coverage. One of the downsides included is the potential for delaying your access to your money. Before today I had not had a real example of this, just what seemed likely based on material from the FDIC. I added this latest info in this section as a real case example.

Comment #7 by scott (anonymous) posted on
I opened a 12 month CD over the phone yesterday, Rep suggested opening a checking account first so that the money could be wired to that and then used to fund the CD. I told her I was not interested in a checking. I have no branches in my State and needed to open under a trust. She was very helpful and had me overnight my trust doc and check yesterday. She just called and said she received and account will be open today.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Same here. Called the toll-free # and was told a checking account is not required. Went in to the branch, asked the receptionist and was told a checking account is not required. The person who opened the CD for me said a checking account is NOT required. However, with the checking account, you can get online and check your CDs etc.
With that, I opened a checking account with $100. I was told $0 balance is required. Hope that helps.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
In order for us to see the account online, I had to open up a checking account. I put no money in there and as this is a brand new branch, I really don't believe they are going to go under, but I also will not put more that the 100K into CDs there.

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
I opened a CD yesterday via the phone by Wire Transfer and no-one said anything about a Checking Account so I didn't open one. Everything went well. I do wish I could see it on line, so I may open one later just for the heck of it if it's free and there's no minimum balance.

Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
What type of money market account is it? Using the Wachovia web site, the yield on the "High Performance Money Market" is just 0.54% in Florida. The CD rates are as stated here. Thanks.

Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
@ 7:44 PM
It's a special promotional rate available only in TX and CA, apparently. Change your ZIP code to something within one of those two rates, and you should see different content come up on that shows the special rate.

Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Banking Guy, interesting to hear that you were told the 12-month 4.25 APY CD special would end on 7/18. About a week ago, after I had applied but not yet funded, a phone rep told me the promo was scheduled to last through 8/5. Mine was opened online, no checking account required (the issue never came up), and funded by telephone-initiated ACH.

Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
P.S. to last post: I happen to live in a good location for savings, a Chicago suburb that is less than ten minutes from the two institutions currently paying the nation's highest non-promo Savings/MM rates -- Alliant Credit Union and Corus Bank. There are also several Wachovia branches nearby. So, unless Alliant's rates plummet, on the Wachovia CD's maturity date I'll head over there for a check, then drive over to Alliant and deposit it the same day. Good 'ol Alliant starts paying interest immediately. Of course, the 10 miles' worth of gas required for this might cost me about $20 a year from now :)

Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
P.S. #2 - Strictly speaking, I guess Corus is #3, not #2. Failed IndyMac still has the nation's second-highest MM rate, as long as the balance is over $25k.

Comment #16 by bob (anonymous) posted on
Im about giving up on wachovia.

Spent about 20 minutes in their voice mail hell to finally get a person who of course put me back in the voicemail hell.

Called a local branch and the girl who answered the phone sounded like nobody had ever asked that before. Ended up in some guys voicemail.

Called back to another branch and it was busy for about 45 minutes, when I finally got through, nobody was available and I got sent to a voicemail box.

Funny thing, Im still waiting for a callback from THAT branch from about 3 weeks ago.

Its really amazing how incompetent folks at wachovia are.

Oh, in my voicemail hell session, it DID say a checking acccount is required for the high rates.

Ive got that so its no problem.

Its just I cant get an answer about exactly whats available.

The voice system and website only show the 7 and 12 month available at good rates.

Comment #17 by bob (anonymous) posted on
Finally got a natioanl rep online.

Said the rates are scheduled to last through August 5th although theres no guarantee.

Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Just talked to rep. at branch in South Florida today. She said 4.25% APY would still be available next week.

Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Banking Guy, re the 7/18 close that you reported for this promo, I wonder if you just happened to get hold of someone who was a bit too anxious to make sale? Or, more likely, the CSR just didn't know what they were talking about. Wachovia seems to have more than its share of those. But to be fair I also spoke to some CSR's who were very anxious to help out, even though the commission was going to go to someone else. And they apparently gave me more-accurate info re how long the CD promo would last.

Comment #20 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yes, it could have been any of those, but I should have noted that it's common for banks to keep extending expiration dates. There's nothing like an expiration date to spur a customer into action.