Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Update #2 on the 4% Online Savings Account at CNBBankDirect


CNB Bank Direct
It took about 3 weeks, but I finally got through the account opening process of CNBBankDirect. For those who apply now, the 6-month guarantee of 4% is no longer available. However, they're still offering 4% APY so the rate may stay competitive even without the guarantee. When it first launched last summer, the yield was 3.30% APY.

My Experience Opening the Account and Initiating Transfers

The account opening process is slow, but it should have been faster for my case. The first initial trial deposits never went through. I had to call the bank to get them to re-initiate the deposits. Here's a quick overview of the process:
  • Applied online. Instructed to wait for email.
  • Next day received email instructions to electronically sign their legal documents. I had to use Internet Explorer browser for this since I had problems with Firefox.
  • Next day received email with account number and instructions about the trial deposits. The instructions stated that the trial deposits should appear in 2-3 business days. However, I received no deposits after 10 business days. The trial deposits finally showed up after I called and they re-initiated the deposits (I should have called earlier). Note: The 2 trial deposits are followed by corresponding debits so keep this in mind if you link to a savings account.
  • On Sunday night, I was able to confirmed the trial deposits. On Wednesday I received an email with a temporary password and instructions to log in. The initial deposit had already been made and was available for withdrawal.

So far I've been happy with the speed of the ACH transfers. Once I was able to log in, I initiated a deposit on a Wednesday night. The deposit was credited and available on Friday. It was also debited at my funding account on Friday so there was no loss of interest. In another test, I initiated a withdrawal on a Sunday night. It was debited from the account on Tuesday and credited to my linked account on Tuesday.

As I mentioned in my account review, it only allows one linked account at a time. I was told to change the linked account, you have to send them a secure message (see the contact link on the home page). In the message you'll need to include the new acocunt number, routing number and whether it's a checking or savings account. Trial deposits (and debits) will be done to verify account.

The online account page is very basic. It's not as nice as the account interfaces provided by GMAC, HSBC or ING Direct. Also, a reader mentioned he had problems accessing the website with his Apple Mac computer. He said that he had to use the Firefox browser to be able to get access.

One nice feature of the account interface is that it does show the current rate which is 3.93% (4% is the APY).

General Bank Info

In addition to a 4% APY savings account and fast ACH transfers, Citizens National Bank has some solid financial ratings for soundness: 4 stars (sound) at and 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial. Both are based on 6/30/08 data.

The only potential problem is that Citizens National Bank is a small bank (133 employees and $503.8 million in assets based on FDIC data as of 6/30/08). Their staff for this online bank appears to be small. However, in my experience they have provided good customer service, and several readers have also mentioned this. The only other problem with a small bank is that they can quickly reach their deposit goals, so once they take in enough deposits, they may not keep a top rate.

Note, CNBBankDirect is a division of Citizens National Bank. To confirm this you can see the link at Citizens National Bank's website pointing to Citizens National Bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 6531).

For more details, please refer to my CNBBankDirect account review. To see all of my previous posts and readers' comments, please refer to this page.

  Tags: CNB Bank Direct, savings account

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Time and effort spent to open the account and then close it after the rates drop, it is not worth to me.

There so many 6-12 month CD that pay 4%-4.5% and are available locally or over the internet, that can be opened in few minutes.

Thanks for your input, it may help us in future should CNB has any other special rates.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
The absolute easiest online account to open in 5 minutes is the new Dollar Direct! Its currently paying 4% and my trial deposits and ACH transfer both appeared the next day. Some online banks just don't get it. If you waste our time and have slow ACH, your old news.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Maybe I should check out Dollar Direct FNBO just dropped their savings account rate to 3.25%. Do you know if they do a hard credit pull?

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Thanks again for all that you do Banking Guy!

Regarding your statement "As I mentioned in my account review, it only allows one linked account at a time."... that is true for linking from CNBdirect, but, I was able to link my CNBdirect account from another bank. Per the rep I spoke to, you can make ACH deposits from a linked outside bank, but you can not make a withdrawal from CNBdirect to that linked account. (only to the original linked bank) I am in process of moving funds in, so I will post another message if it doesn't happen.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
I posted at 12:19. Just checked my CNBdirect account, and the ACH from my linked, outside bank (not original linked account) has hit my CNBdirect account. Mission accomplished. I did not experience the issues that you did. It took a little while to get the account opened, but, no glitches for me.

Comment #6 by gaelicwench (anonymous) posted on
I'm 100% in agreement with Poster #4. I come to BankerGuy's blog everyday and check it several times throughout the day for current info.

I use FNBO for my Emergency Fund, but have to admit that altho it's got a solid rating from Bauer and Bankrate, it's rather disconcerting to see the rates yoyo up and down. I'm also not overly fond of the slow ACH.

Maybe once I have $1500 (is it?) to open the account, I'll have to look into Dollar Direct.

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
I have an account with CNB and so far it is okay. I think I got in while the guarantee was in effect. Took a little more than a week to open. Did e-mail them a couple of times in order to get it open. Also have a Dollar Direct account and it was much easier to open but no guarantee there. Different subject, but HSBC lowered their savings rate to 3% so am moving money out of there to CNB.

Comment #8 by Brian F (anonymous) posted on
Brian F
Do you mean Dollar Savings Direct? I have seen where you have to physically mail your initial deposit to them.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Dollar Savings Direct is correct. You can mail a deposit but thats the hard way. The easy way is to mate your local checking account and transfer back and forth. Another way that I have found, I transferred money from my Country Wide 3.5% account and it posted the next day at Dollar. Also, there was no hold on the ACH funds from Country Wide which is fantastic. Lets just hope that 4% holds for a while.

Comment #10 by Brian F (anonymous) posted on
Brian F
Did anyone have any issues with the Dollar Savings Direct opening? I was going to open an account and wondered if the account can link to HSBC? Also wondering if the blurb about no restrictions in w/d if its linked to an external checking account. Someone please confirm....

Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
I have opened several accounts with CNB Bank Direct and had problems with each one. They were opened at different times with several weeks in between so it appears that the bank is not addressing the issues with their process.

The problems I had varried between the different accounts I opened. This process shouldn't be as difficult as they make it. Now that I have the accounts open I'll likely keep them open to take advantage of high rates in the future.