Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

5.00% Checking and 5.00% 9-Month CD at Ebank

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Update 9/13/2008: The ePremium Checking Account yield has fallen from 5% to 3% APY for balances over $10,000. Readers have reported that the 5% should be guaranteed for 3 months for those who opened the account while the yield was 5%.

Update 9/09/2008: The 5% 9-month CD is no longer listed at the ebank's rate table. It's now a 4.06% APY 9-month CD. The 5% checking is still listed, and the 5-year CD now has a yield of 5% APY.

Ebank just came out with two attractive promotions. The first is a promotional 5.00% APY on its ePremium Checking Account. The 5% requires a minimum balance of $10,000. Balances under $10,000 earn 1%. Ebank had a similar 5% checking account promotion in January 2007. That one lasted about 8 months. After it ended, the rate fell to 3%, and eventually it fell to 1.5%. So I wouldn't expect it to remain a long-term high yield checking account.

This ebank checking page lists the details of the ePremium account. There's a $10/month fee for minimum daily balances under $2,500. The two nice features include free checks and free ATM usage. According to the CSR, they do a hard credit pull with Equifax when opening the checking account.

In last year's posts, I've received comments that were both positive and negative on ebank. Here are a few of them:

Would NOT recommend ebank. They received my significant deposit and paperwork, and PROMISED to call back to set up internet acccess to my account as well as email me directions on how to do so. Amazing that this can't be done without their control. To date no info or call backs received. Disappointing and stressful to think they've got my money and I cannot get at it.
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I have been using ebank for over a year now, and I am quite happy with them. ... Customer service has always been helpful in sending as many prepaid check envelopes as I request. Free ATM use and check deposits through mail have worked without a problem.
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Just to add a comment about the ATM rebates. eBank never hits you with the ATM fee, it is deducted before the transaction posts to your account.
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I have been using ebank checking for a long time. While they lack ACH capability, their customer service is EXCELLENT! I deal with the same CSR each time I have an issue of any substance. This seems to help.

5.00% APY 9-Month CD

If you want to guarantee 5% APY for 9 months, this special CD is an excellent deal. The minimum deposit is $1,000, and it's available in an IRA.

Ebank doesn't have the best application process for an internet bank. You have to mail or fax your application. You can fund the CD by either check or wire transfer (inbound wires are free). According to the CSR, the rate will be locked at the time of the postmark of the application. The CSR also said that there's no hard credit inquiry for CD applications.

At maturity, the grace period is 10 calendar days. You can choose to close the CD and receive the funds by check or wire transfer ($25 outgoing fee). You can also choose to have the funds transfered to another ebank account. According to the CSR, they require written instructions which can be faxed or mailed.

There are no beneficiary fields in the application, but the CSR said you can write them in on the second page. They require their names, date of birth and social security number. You can list as many as you want. The CSR seemed to be know about the FDIC requirements to allow for additional FDIC coverage (see post). I recommend confirming this with ebank and the FDIC.

Financial Health

Ebank has the lowest financial ratings: 0 star at BauerFinancial and 1 star at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 3/31/08 data. Ebank is also on the list of the Weakest Banks and Thrifts at Weiss Ratings. I've also found this Cease and Desist Order from the Office of Thrift Supervision that was issued in June 2007.

As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay under the FDIC limits. If you're thinking about extending your FDIC coverage over $100K, please refer to my post on extending FDIC coverage. Many readers who had over $100K at IndyMac reported delays in getting back their insured deposits so that is one of the risks for going over $100K. There's also an issue regarding making sure the bank does the account title correctly. I described this issue in this post.

Ebank has been FDIC insured since 1998 (FDIC Certificate # 34682). It's a small bank that's based in Atlanta, Georgia. From the FDIC records from 6/30/08, it has 20 employees and $137.8 million in assets.

Thanks to the reader who mentioned these new rates in the finding deals post.

  Tags: Georgia, CD rates, IRA rates, checking account

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Comments
22 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
eBank ePremier Money Market Account page does not list current rate. Am I missing something

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Need to click Current Rates box (right side).

The rate is very high for a Checking account with no requirements as Reward checking types.

What are the risks if deposit is under 100k?

1
Comment #3 by Mike Donovan (anonymous) posted on
Mike Donovan
I have read a bank suddenly offering great CD rates or great rates for HIGH DEPOSIT checking/savings accounts are trying to raise cash fast in an effort to stay afloat.

Could that be what's happening here?

1
Comment #4 by Geoff (anonymous) posted on
Geoff
Ironic that "Ebank" has one of the worst online-friendly account set-ups I have ever seen!

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
so as long as to stay under FDIC $100k for individual, there is no risk, Right? Just want to be cautious

1
Comment #6 by cjdtech (anonymous) posted on
cjdtech
I was with ebank until other checking options came along such as Electric Orange and Schwab. I never had a problem with their customer service and actually made a couple in-person transactions at their office in Atlanta. If it weren't for their minimums on the EPremier account, I and probably many others would go beating down their door to open one. It's unfortunate to see their poor financial health, however.

1
Comment #7 by MrFrugality (anonymous) posted on
MrFrugality
Something to be aware of with the e
Premium checking account:

One of the features of the account is listed as: "Free debit card and no annual fee credit card".

So essentially, the application is not just for a checking account but also for a credit card.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This eBank 5% Premium checking seems to be much better than most of the Rewards Checking IMHO. Unless eBank drops the rate in a month or less.

1
Comment #9 by cjdtech (anonymous) posted on
cjdtech
mrfrugality,

That's not the case. I did not apply for a credit card when I applied for the checking account, and none was offered to me (although this was three years ago).

1
Comment #10 by mrfrugality (anonymous) posted on
mrfrugality
cjdtech:

This was a quote off the current eBank website features for the ePremium checking account:

"Free debit card and no annual fee credit card".

It appears a credit card is an integral part of this ePremium checking account now, unless it can be denied.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Do they allow externally-initiated ACH pushes/pulls?

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Sorry for the beginner question, but is FDIC insurance per person per bank, or per account per person per bank? Basically if I open both the Checking and CD accounts with no POD, is total insured for $100K or $200K?

Thanks in advance!

1
Comment #13 by O-Qua Tangin Wann (anonymous) posted on
O-Qua Tangin Wann
Come on, ladies and gentlemen. Please don't tell me even one of you is considering opening up their 5% checking account.

Think about it. The only reason this bank is offering 5% checking is because they are on the brink of failure.

Let's say they raise a ton of cash with their 5% offer and then succeed in staving off the failure. They will most certainly lower that checking rate immediately. Why? Because they couldn't stay profitable paying that high rate.

So...while there is no risk if you stay insured, why bother? You will just be sorry in the end that you did some more bank hopping and went to a bank that quickly lowered your checking rate, while dinging your credit file with a hard pull. (Anyone remember AARP Savings 4.75% rate? It was lowered within 2 months.)

(Their 5% CD is a different story.)

~O-Qua Tangin Wann

1
Comment #14 by Sofa King Frustrated (anonymous) posted on
Sofa King Frustrated
I agree with O-Qua Tangin Wann. Don't do the 5% checking. Don't do it!

To answer the FDIC question:

It is per person, per bank. (Or per social security number per bank, regarding solo-titled accounts, if you want to look at it in another way.)

If you are solo (without beneficiaries), FDIC will look at your total money in the bank, no matter that you have a separate CD and checking account.

If you are solo, the coverage will be $100,000 total no matter how many accounts you have.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just called ebank to inquire as to how long this, 5% 9Mo CD would last, and was told, "it ends today".
She said, if I got the application post marked today, they would honor the rate.
I mailed the application today, so we will see. I didn't mail a check because I'm waiting for a call from them.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I faxed my application last night for the ePremium checking and received the approval email this morning. Called the 800 # and CSR confirmed the 5% is good for 3 mo.

It seems the effort to get the 5% is less compare to those Reward Checing accounts.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
RE:" ePremium checking and received the approval email this morning. Called the 800 # and CSR confirmed the 5% is good for 3 mo.
"

any reason why the 3mo guarantee is not posted online???

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Re adding beneficiaries to an account at eBank, I had problems.

eBank, unlike any other bank I have come across in decades of adding beneficiaries, REQUIRES that you provide the beneficiary's Social Security number.

I don't have my beneficiaries' Social Security numbers and can't ask. My beneficiaries are my niece and nephew -- and I do NOT want them to know they are beneficiaries.

I have NEVER had to provide a Social Security number for a beneficiary before.

eBank refused to waive their rule -- although there is NO reason why they need the Social Security number of the beneficiary. The beneficiary is NOT an account holder.

Because of this, I am not taking my account to eBank.

1
Comment #19 by iweepforthefuture (anonymous) posted on
iweepforthefuture
Hi, nieces and nephews ARE NOT "qualifying beneficiaries" and ARE NOT afforded FDIC insurance coverage. Please go to the FDIC website and READ.

1
Comment #20 by Akshai (anonymous) posted on
Akshai
I called eBank today to see how long the 9-month 5.00% CD was going to last and she said that it was going to end this afternoon. I guess this should be taken with a grain of salt because a previous poster was told that it would end last Friday. She did say that if I fax my application before they close they would honor the rate.

1
Comment #21 by jackcrawfish (anonymous) posted on
jackcrawfish
I applied via fax @3PM CST for the 9 month CD... Hoping they'll accept a fax of my D. License and added beneficiary on page 2 of pdf.

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
No 5% checking anymore either. I hope those who jumped into their checking get the rate grandfathered for a while.

1