This is another nice surprise. Sallie Mae Bank increased the rate of its online savings account from 1.25% to 1.40% APY. This applies to all balances. This rate may seem low, but in today's rate environment, it's near the top of the nationwide savings accounts table.
I reviewed Sallie Mae Bank in this March review. The account opening is entirely online, and it appears to have a solid ACH bank-to-bank transfer service with no limits on ACH transfer size and the number of links to external institutions. Please refer to my March review for the full details.
The one unique thing about the Sallie Mae savings account is its link with the Upromise program. I haven't used this program, but it appears that you can make some extra cash back on your purchases on top of what you get from your credit or debit cards. I have more details in my March review. A reader who had experience with Upromise provided the following comment:
As for the upromise rewards they aren't very much if you don't have the Upromise Credit Card, however they do add up over time. And if you use their webisite to make purchases instead of a direct discount at the merchant you'll get a deposit into your Upromise account. You link upto 10 credit cards as well as your Grocery membership cards. You get some money back when you use your cards at participating retailers.
The bank also raised some of its CD rates. The rates as of 5/1/2010 are 1.55% APY for 12 months, 2.40% APY for 36 months and 3.00% APY for 60 months. Like the savings account, there is no minimum initial deposit. I have more details about these in my March review.
Sallie Mae Bank Financial Overview
Sallie Mae Bank is sizable with $6.3 billion in deposits. Its ratings for safety and soundness are above average: 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com and 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial. Both ratings are based on 12/31/09 financial data. Note, this is one of the rare times that Bankrate has a higher star rating than BauerFinancial. At DepositAccounts.com we have a health score for Sallie Mae Bank of 5 out of 5 based on 12/31/09 data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2005 (FDIC Certificate # 58177).