Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

2.25% Savings Account Guaranteed to 9/30/09 at Acacia Federal Savings Bank - Nationally Available

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Acacia Federal Savings Bank
Update 5/18/09: The 2.25% APY is still avaiable. Their home page lists the promo with a 2.50% APY as of 5/18/09 which conflicts with the promo page. According to the CSR, this 2.50% APY is incorrect.

For those used to 3-percent-plus savings accounts, this might be a let down, but in today's interest rate environment, 2.25% APY is not too bad. Add in a rate guarantee to 9/30/09, and it's a decent deal. Acacia Federal Savings Bank is offering this special on their new Saver's Choice Account as of 3/26/09. Here's a summary of the deal:
  • 2.25% APY guaranteed through 9/30/09
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • free electronic transfers (but there are several limitations)
  • Visa Check Card for use at ATMs
After 9/30/09, the rate may change at the bank's discretion. I don't remember Acacia having a history of competitive savings account or money market rates, so you may be disappointed after the intro period. Currently, all of their money market and savings accounts have standard rates under 2%. However, this Saver's Choice Account promo compares favorably with 6-month CDs. The rate is just a little lower than the top 6-month CD rates, but it gives you the liquidity of a savings account. According to the CSR, there's no maximum balance limit on this promo.

The bank has an online application, and I confirmed with the bank that people in any state are free to open an account. Initial deposit can be done by check or wire transfer (incoming wires are free).

Update 5/17/09: A reader has reported being told by an Acacia CSR and supervisor that they do a hard credit pull in addition to using the ChexSystem when opening this account even if you do not want the Visa Check card.

Acacia's Bank-to-Bank Transfers service appears to be a little disappointing based on their documentation, and the CSR wasn't much help in understanding more details. Below is what is mentioned on their website.

Before being eligible for standard transfers, you must wait 30 days after you open the account. The main issue is that the transfer amount is limited to $2,000 per day and $5,000 per months (in and out). They do offer a premium online bank-to-bank funds transfer, but it requires being a customer for 3 months before you're eligible. Another downside to the transfer service is that only the first 2 outgoing transfers are free per month. After that there's a $2 fee. Many online banks allow 6 free outgoing transfers a month (6 is the maximum ACH withdrawals allowed by regulation for savings accounts).

Other options to transfer money include wire transfers (incoming wires are free at Acacia, outgoing cost $12) and initiating an ACH transfer from another bank.

Competitive Certificate of Deposit Rates

Acacia continues to offer competitive CD rates. They've fallen a bit since my last post. The most competitive CDs include the special 15-month CD with a 2.65% APY and the longer term CDs. The long-term CD rates range from 3% APY for a 30-month term to 3.80% APY for a 60-month term. These rates are listed at the bank's rate table as of 3/26/09.

The bank has some fair ratings for soundness: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/08 data) and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/08 data).

Acacia Federal Savings is based in Virginia. It has $1.53 billion in assets and $1.03 billion in deposits as of 12/31/08. It has been FDIC insured since 1985 (FDIC Certificate # 32266).
  Tags: Acacia Federal Savings Bank, savings account

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