Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Review of AmTrust Direct's Internet CDs - Available Nationwide

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AmTrust Direct is now part of New York Community Bank. AmTrust Bank failed on December 2009 and New York Community Bank assumed all deposits. It's common for acquiring banks to have some deposit deals at the failed bank branches (physical and virtual branches) to keep depositors.

AmTrust Direct doesn't have great deals, but it does offer some competitive CD rates as of 2/20/2010. These include:

  • 1.55% APY 9 month
  • 1.70% APY 12 month
  • 1.95% APY 18 month
  • 2.15% APY 24 month

Since I haven't done a review of AmTrust Direct since its failure, I thought it was a time for a new review. I looked at AmTrust Direct's FAQs and called the bank today for some additional details. Here are some important CD features:

  • Harsh early withdrawal penalties (worse than it used to be): 1) CD terms under 18 months: All interest that would be earned for the entire term 2) CD terms over 18 months: 18 months of interest. FAQ is here, and I received clarification from the CSR.
  • Only a soft credit inquiry for CD applications (per CSR).
  • Rate locks at the time of the application. You have 15 days for them to receive the funds (per CSR)
  • You can fund the CD with an ACH transfer or by mailing in a check (wire transfer is not an option for new customers per CSR)
  • When the CD matures, you can close the CD by phone or by sending a secure message and instruct them to mail check, deposit into another AmTrust account, or wire funds to another institution (fee applies) (per FAQ)

AmTrust Direct also offers savings accounts but the rates are nothing to get excited about. Before the failure, AmTrust Direct made it a practice to create new savings accounts with teaser rates while the rates on the old accounts went way down. I hope New York Community Bank changes this tactic.

It should also be noted that New York Community Bank also has its own internet bank at MyBankingDirect.com which has been around for more than four years. They offer a money market account and a couple of CDs with odd terms. I haven't covered this bank much in the last couple of years since its rates have been a little low.

New York Community Bank's ratings for safety and soundness are above average: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 9/30/09 financial data. It's a large bank with $12.9 billion in deposits. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1943 (FDIC Certificate # 16022).

Are CDs a Good Idea Now?

I was reviewing the comments of my 2008 AmTrustDirect CD posts, and I came across this June 2008 comment in which the reader gave his opinion about the 4.00% 12-month+ CDs:

In my opinion this is not the time to get in long term cd's. With M/M and savings accounts paying 3.50 to 3.75% I see no reason to get in 4% cd's unless you think rates are going down which I don't.

I just wanted to point out how difficult it is to predict future interest rates. That's one reason to use CD ladders so you don't have to try to guess about future interest rates.

  Tags: AmTrustDirect, New York Community Bank, CD rates

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Comments
3 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've been with AmTrust for about a year and more rude service I haven't have.

They will not tell you everything and from web site you can't get all info about your acounts that you need - like date of opening, min balance, expiration of "lock out" period to avoid early fee.

One way or another they will get your money as one or another fee - unless you read and follow all fine prints to the dot and read all updates about fee changes and etc.

 

CD might be easy, but make sure you know how to close CD at maturity that may take your signed letter that HAS TO BE DELIVERED AT RIGHT TIME!!!

They told me I can't FAX and has to mail the letter.

 

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Comment #2 by tresho posted on
tresho
I've been banking with Amtrust for years and haven't had a problem. However, I live less than a mile from a branch & so can do some things not available to depositors at a distance.  E.g., I had a CD scheduled to mature & left a note, written months ahead of time, with one of the people at the branch to simply redeem the CD on maturity and deposit it in my Amtrust checking account, which happened as I planned.

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Comment #3 by HealthcareGuru (anonymous) posted on
HealthcareGuru
HealthcareGuru   November 1, 2010

Wow everything I've read about Am Trust explains why they were failing. And now that they have switched hands and become New York Community Bank things have not gotten better. They were terrible as Am Trust apparently and now partied to an even bigger shadier bank (New York Community Bank) they are even worse. As for this rant I am a new home buyer with a very successful business, no debt and great credit as well as 20% down. They provided a loan approval commitment and prompted me to move forward with a new home build. I've since paid out expenses such as an appraisal and now after receiving a Truth In Lending there was a rejection to follow shortly after. Now 10 months later with the home now done I am declined. The underwriter put it in writing that m=being 2 months short of the 2 year at current job would not be a problem. Apparently they lied "in writing"   I am now focused on holding them accountable. I will soon find out  the ramifications of their actions in court. Perhaps with varied parties involved I can get a better understanding of why they ****ed me over and got away with it.

 

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