Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

New High-Yield Online Savings Account at Bank of American Fork - Nationally Available

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Bank of American Fork
Update 9/05/09: Rate for balances of $1K to $250K has fallen from 1.75% to 1.60% APY. Over $250K, the rate has fallen from 1.80% to 1.70% APY.

Bank of American Fork has started an online savings account called SaveSmart Direct. The rates are fairly competitive. As of 5/11/09, it has the following tiered interest rates:
  • 0.50% APY for $10 to under $1,000
  • 2.20% APY for $1,000 to under $250,000
  • 2.30% APY for $250,000+
Unlike some other recent new internet bank launches, there's no intro period. So these rates are subject to change weekly. The rates aren't exceptional, but it's always nice to see a new internet bank. The more competition, the better it'll be for savers.

The FAQ and disclosure have some of the account details, but as usual, there are few details describing the ACH bank-to-bank transfer system. I received some of these details from a bank representative today. One issue with their ACH system is that withdrawals are limited to $10,000 per day. However, this limit can be temporarily increased if you call.

Below are some of the important features of the account as describe in the bank's FAQ, in the bank's disclosures and from info I received from the bank's rep:
  • Account Opening:
  • Consumer accounts available nationwide. Business accounts only available to applicants with Utah business license (Rep)
  • $10 minimum opening deposit (Disc)
  • Can be opened online and funded with ACH transfer from an existing account (FAQ)
  • Application allows for up to 6 beneficiaries (FAQ)
  • No hard credit inquiry, just a soft pull via Equifax for ID verification purposes (Rep)
  • ChexSystem is used. Past ChexSystem inquiries should not cause application from being rejected (Rep)
  • Account Fees/Limitations:
  • $1.50 monthly fee if balance is under $10 on the last day of the statement cycle (Disc)
  • $1 fee for each outbound transfer that exceeds 3 per month (Disc)
  • Maximum number of outbound transfers is 6 per month (Disc)
  • No limit on number of deposits (Rep)
  • Account Features:
  • Interest compounded and credited monthly (Disc)
  • If you close your account before interest is credited, you will receive the accrued interest (Disc)
  • Interest rates may change weekly (Disc)
  • Paper statements are mailed by default, but eStatements can be selected when you're logged into online banking (FAQ)
  • ACH Bank-to-Bank Transfer Service:
  • ACH transfer for initial funding done without trial-deposit verification (Rep)
  • Once account is opened, the funding account is not automatically linked for future transfers (Rep)
  • Up to 3 linked accounts are allowed (Rep)
  • Links can be added through an online-only process that involves the typical trial-deposit method (Rep)
  • By default, inbound transfers are limited to $100,000 per day. Outbound transfers are limited to $10,000 per day. Customer service can temporarily increase limits on request. (Rep)
  • Transfers can take 2 to 4 business days depending on the time of day the transfer is initiated (FAQ)
Bank of American Fork has average ratings for safety and soundness: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 12/31/08 financial data.

The bank is based in Utah with 12 offices. It's a small bank with less than a billion in assets. As of 12/31/08, it has $877.8 million in assets and $785.5 million in deposits. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 12773).

For other high-yield savings accounts, refer to my weekly rate summary.

Edit 5/12/09: Corrections made to the ACH in/out limits.

Account History:
Update 9/05/09: Rate for balances of $1K to $250K has fallen from 1.75% to 1.60% APY. Over $250K, the rate has fallen from 1.80% to 1.70% APY.
Update 7/11/09: Rate for balances of $1K to $250K has fallen from 1.95% to 1.75% APY. Over $250K, the rate has fallen from 2.00% to 1.80% APY.
Update 6/04/09: Rate for balances of $1K to $250K has fallen from 2.20% to 1.95% APY. Over $250K, the rate has fallen from 2.30% to 2.00% APY.
  Tags: Utah, Bank of American Fork, savings account

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Comments
11 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Sorry, but the name, terms, and rates just plain suck!

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Since when 2% interest is called HIGH YIELD?
What do you call interest of 4% or 6%?
To me 2% is an insult and I would not even read the rest of the story (article) !!!!

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You guys are just plain tacky. If you know where there's a nationally available savings account paying 4% or 6% -- tell us!

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I refuse to deal with a bank with such low limits on ACH service.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hmmm, reading the FAQ I find that you cannot initially fund the account by online ACH; must be "wire transfer" (which they note might cost you) or credit card. Once you have initial funding (which can be for very small amount), THEN you have access to online ACH transfers.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This bank is nothing more than a cruel joke, stay away!

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is for you wacky tacky, there have been two recent accounts paying 3% and 3.25%, is that close enough?

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Unless you have over $250,000 in the bank, their rates are lower than GMAC. Why bother!

1
Comment #9 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
@ Anonymous 8:40 AM, May 12, 2009

You're right about that FAQ being confusing. I forwarded your question, and they updated the FAQ removing the info on the wire transfer. For a new customer, you can either fund it with an ACH or a credit card.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
No forking way with this bank!

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am not seeing anything outside of term based CDs and high-yield checking account with all sorts of requirement in 3-4% area. This seems pretty solid if you need a home for more than a $1,000. Have you seen ING and Emigrants rates? I cried when I looked at my last statement.

1