Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

5% Savings Accounts and 7% CDs? Yes, but with Catches


Wachovia Bank
There a few banks and credit unions that offer very high rates on special savings accounts and CDs. As you might expect, there are catches. The most important one is that they limit how much you can deposit.

One example is Wachovia's Way2Save account which offers 5% APY in its Way2Save savings account combined with a 5% first-year bonus. This is still available nationwide. However, they limit how much you can deposit. They allow you to make a maximum monthly transfer of $100 from your Wachovia checking account. Other ways to get money into this account require more work. They'll transfer $1 from your Wachovia checking into the Way2Save for each debit card purchase, online bill payment or automatic debit transaction. The maximum year-end bonus is $300. But if you just do the $100 monthly transfers, you'll receive about $78 more in a year than you would if you had just put that money into a savings account earning 2%. With today's low interest rates, these special savings accounts and CDs are better deals than they used to be.

I described these special high-yield, low-cap accounts in this April post. Below is a summary of the nationwide deals that are still available. I have some additional local ones in that post that may also still be available. For each account I list the extra amount that you would earn compared to just keeping your money in a 2% savings account.
  • 5% 12-mo Way2Save with 5% year-end bonus (extra $78) at Wachovia (the only bank on the list). This is more of a savings account than a CD. By setting up 12 monthly automatic transfers of $100, you can easily make an extra $78 over the first year (my account review)
  • 7% 12-mo CD $1K Max (extra $50) at Patelco CU. In CA, but with easy membership (my account review)
  • 8% Youth Savings thru 1/1/10 $1K Max (extra $40) at Patelco CU. In CA, but with easy membership (my account review)
  • 5% 5-mo CD $5K Max (extra $62) at People's Trust FCU. In TX, but with easy membership (my account review)

  Tags: Wachovia Bank, CD rates

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
About the patelco new member and youth savings accounts..
I was a member of Calstate9, which was acquired by patelco later
Just before this acquisition(during few months of transition) Calstate9 started offering the same products as patelco. So, I opened the youth savings account with Calstate9 and opened a new membership(with 7% CD & Youth savings account with 8%). So, after the final merger, they gave me an option to merge all of my calstate9 and patelco accounts (by losing one of the youth savings account) OR leave them as such.. I left them as such :-)
So, now I got one new member promo, two youth savings accounts at patelco :-)

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
I opened a Way2save and another for my husband last year (and closed both this year)
After Anthony Kim won with 13 under par at PGA Wachovia Championship, Wachovia gave 13%APY for 3 motnhs.
We wanted to maximize the 1st year bonus since we learned Wachovia was not in great shape. What we did was divide online payment and set up multiple payment with more than $1 everyday. For example, you have $100 due on a credit card, you will pay $1.00, $1.01, $1.02 and so on every single day before due date.
Our bonus became about $250 for my account and $300 for my husband.

However, Wachovia/WellsFargo sent us letter that they would like to close the accounts. They cannot afford paying bonus for customers like us.
Setting up each payment takes 10 minutes and might need to update once a month depending on how much your bills are. But they are looking over Way2Save customers and find more benefited people and why/how. Good luck.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Wachovia closed our accounts but paid all the bonus and interests.