Clear Sky Accounts is a new internet bank that's offering several competitive products including an online savings account that pays 3.75% APY. According to the bank's savings account page as of 1/05/09, the 3.75% APY is guaranteed through 3/31/09 on new accounts. The minimum balance is $1, and there are no monthly fees. Maximum balance is $250,000.
There's also a tiered-rate checking account with no monthly fees. The yields are very competitive for a non-reward checking account. As of 1/05/09 the yield is 2.50% APY for balances up to $10K, 2.75% APY for balances between $10K and $25K, and 3.25% APY for balances over $25K. Unlike the savings account, I don't see any rate guarantee. It's a paperless checking account like ING Direct's Electric Orange. So you'll have to use their free online bill pay instead of writing paper checks. They reimburse up to $20/month on ATM fees.
And the other nice product offered by this bank is an online certificate of deposit. Their CD page lists some competitive rates as of 1/05/09. These include a 3.75% APY 19-month CD, a 3.51% APY 13-month CD and a 3.40% APY 7-month CD. Minimum deposit is $5,000. I was told by the CSR that the early withdrawal penalties are 90 days of interest for terms less than a year and 182 days of interest for terms of over one year. According to the CSR, the rates are set at the time of the application.
All of these accounts can be opened online, and according to the CSR, they're available to people in any state. Also, all of the accounts can be funded via an ACH transfer (what they call an interbank transfer). After the initial funding, you can continue to initiate free interbank transfers, but their ACH transfer system has some limitations. The CSR informed me of the following limitations:
- Update 2/3/09: Reader reported being told of new daily limits to replace the $10K/$50K per day limits. The limits are $100,000 daily deposit and $50,000 daily withdrawal.
- allows up to 3 links to different banks
- Interbank transfer cannot be done for a CD when it matures. They can either mail you a cashier's check or you can transfer funds to your Clear Sky checking or savings account
Clear Sky Accounts are FDIC insured through Chesapeake Bank of Virginia. There's a link to the Clear Sky website on the left side of Chesapeake Bank's front page. Chesapeake Bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 6862).
Chesapeake Bank's ratings for soundness are strong: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 9/30/08 data.
12/22/09: 1.60% APY, Checking 1.35% to 1.55% APY
11/30/09: 1.65% APY, Checking 1.45% to 1.65% APY
08/29/09: 1.75% APY, Checking 1.55% to 1.75% APY
08/06/09: 1.85% APY, Checking 1.65% to 1.85% APY
06/27/09: 1.95% APY
04/13/09: 2.05% APY
03/26/09: 2.15% APY
03/16/09: 2.50% APY (was 2.85% APY)
02/09/09: 3.05% APY
02/02/09: 3.15% APY with no more guarantee intro period
01/05/09: 3.75% APY with guarantee to 3/31/09
Update 2/13/2009: No new applications are being accepted and existing customers are temporarily not allowed to make additional deposits. Please refer to this post for more details.