Update 1/28/10: The eLink Savings Account rate has fallen from 1.50% to 1.25% APY.
Update 8/17/09: The eLink Savings Account rate has fallen from 2.00% to 1.75% APY.
Update 8/14/09: The eLink Savings Account rate has fallen from 2.25% to 2.00% APY.
Update 6/17/09: A reader has reported being told by a bank rep that the 2.80% MMA special has ended.
Update 6/08/09: Rates have fallen: eLink Savings rate fell from 2.75% to 2.25% APY. Rainbow Savings account rates fell. New rates range from 3.82% to 4.34% APY. However, I just confirmed today that their 2.80% APY money market account special continues with the rate guaranteed until 1/1/2010. Note, it requires a minimum balance of $100,000. Refer to this post for more details.
Wilshire State Bank is offering an installment savings account called Rainbow Savings. If you set up automatic transfers from a Wilshire State Bank deposit account, the rates range from 4.60% APY for a 12-month term to 5.12% APY for a 36-month term. These rates are listed at the Rainbow Savings Page as of 4/10/09. Without such an automatic transfer, the rates range from 4.08% APY to 4.86% APY. The maturity contract amount has a range of $1,000 to $100,000. The installment savings account requires that you make monthly deposits during the term. The deposits earn a guaranteed interest rate, and you'll receive the contract amount at maturity if you maintain the monthly deposits.
Update 5/30/09: For more info on installment savings accounts and how to maximize your return, refer to this post.
In addition to competitive rates on this installment savings account, Wilshire State Bank is also offering competitive rates on an internet savings account and CDs.
eLink Savings Account
The bank's eLink Savings Account has a 2.75% APY on all balances. There's a $500 minimum balance requirement to avoid a $5 per month service fee. The account must be opened online, and it must be linked to one of the bank's checking accounts. The 2.75% APY is listed at the bank's eLink Savings Page as of 4/10/09.
The competitive CD rates include 2.27% APY for a 90-day term and 2.53% APY for a 6-month and 12-month term. Minimum deposit is $1,000. You can choose to have interest credited monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or at maturity. These rates are listed in the bank's CD Page as of 4/10/09.
All of the product pages have links to an online application. The only restrictions listed in the application are that you must be a US resident at least 18 years of age with a social security number and a state ID. So it appears to be available to people in any state. The application must be printed and mailed with your initial deposit check. From the look of the website, I wouldn't expect service like you get from a mature internet bank.
Branches are located in Southern California, New York, New Jersey and Dallas, Texas.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are strong: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/08 data) and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/08 data). The bank has been FDIC insured since 1980 (FDIC Certificate # 23301).
Update 1:30PM PDT, 4/10/09: I called this afternoon for more details. I used the Telebanking Service number listed on their contact page (866-886-2265, Note the two eights after the area code), and I was connected to a CSR quickly after pressing zero. The CSR was easy to understand. Here are some details that I was told:
- People from any state can apply online
- After you submit the application online, you have to print and mail the form. They'll send you a signature card to complete
- Rates listed on the website are accurate even though the dates are old
- Rates are subject to change at anytime
- Regarding a hard pull, they typically only do a ChexSystem verification, but they maintain the right to run a credit report
Rainbow Savings Account:
- Rate locks at the time the application is submitted online
- Interest is posted quarterly
- They don't seem to have an online ACH transfer system
- You have to mail in a form and a voided check to originate ACH transfers to/from another bank
- They'll accept ACH transfer requests originated from your other banks
FW member mh83 provides some useful additional details regarding his conversation with the CSR at this section of the FW Wilshire thread.
Other High-Yield Installment Savings Accounts
This is yet another Korean-American bank offering a high-yield installment savings account. I've set up a installment savings account label where you can see all of the installment savings accounts that I've posted. Credit for this latest find goes to FW member elektronic who posted it at this FW thread.