Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

BankUnited Raises Online Savings Account Yield

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BankUnited
Update 10/03/2009: The online savings account appears to no longer be listed on the BankUnited's website.

Update 02/06/2009: The yield has fallen from 3.00% to 2.05% APY.
Update 11/01/2008: The yield has fallen from 3.75% to 3.55% APY.

BankUnited raised the yield on its online savings account from 3.55% to 3.75% APY. The minimum deposit to open is $5,000. This account has a decent history of high rates (see post), however, both the bank and this account have several issues that hurt this deal. I first started reporting on this account back in 2006, and ever since there have been discrepancies in the documentation and the info I received from the banking reps. Several readers have commented about the lack of knowledge that the CSRs have on this online account. This continues. In the account features listed below, I note the discrepancies between the documentation and what I was told by the CSR today. Some features that make this account unappealing include the requirement that the signature card be notarized, quarterly crediting of interest and monthly fees for balances under $2,500. The account has recently added the ACH capability to allow bank-to-bank transfers. However, according to the CSR, the outbound limit is $10K/day and $30K/month.

Below is the latest overview of this savings account based on the website, the savings disclosure (pdf) and my discussion with the customers service rep.
  • Minimum deposit to open is $5,000
  • 3.75% APY for balances over $5K as of 8/29/08
  • 2.65% APY for balances under $5K (per CSR, 3.75% APY per disclosure)
  • $8/month fee for balances under $2.5K (per disclosure, $15/month fee per CSR)
  • Requires a notarized signature card in the application
  • Interest is credited quarterly
  • If you close the account before interest is credited you will not receive the accrued interest (per disclosure)
  • $15 closing fee if closed within first 6 months
  • They only do a ChexSystem verify on savings account opening. Appears to be no hard pull.
  • First 3 transfers out are free per month. $10 fee for additional transfers (per CSR)
  • Transfer limitations: $10K/day, $30K/mo outbound, no inbound limits (per CSR)
  • Links to other bank accounts can be set up online (per CSR)
  • No limits to the number of links (per CSR)
BankUnited has some good deals on its CDs that are available online. These include a 4.60% APY 15-month CD and a 4.40% APY 12-month CD. Refer to this post for more details.

BankUnited has been hit hard by the mortgage crisis. Earlier in the month, the bank's holding company, BankUnited Financial Corp, posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss. This Reuters article reports that two brokerages have raised concerns about BankUnited Financial Corp's capital position.

As I recommend with any bank, make sure you stay below the FDIC limits. BankUnited has been FDIC insured since it was established in 1984 (FDIC Certificate # 32247). Its main office is in Coral Gables, Florida.
  Tags: BankUnited, savings account

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