Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

WTDirect Savings Account Promotion - Up to $500 Bonus

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WTDirect

Update 5/24/10: The promotion has expired. Please refer to this post for more details.

WTDirect has started a new promotion with a bonus of up to $500. Here's the link to the promotion page. You'll get a $100 cash bonus, up to $500, for every $10,000 that you deposit. You have to fund the account by June 15th and maintain your initial deposit for 3 months to receive the cash bonus.

In the promo page, they have a graphical calculator that allows you to see how much you will earn with a certain deposit and after a certain time. If you select $50K and 3 months, the earnings are shown to be about $642. This combines the $500 bonus with the earnings from their current interest rate for balances over $10K (1.16% APY). This results in an effective interest rate for 3 months of about 5.14%.

Here's the important small print of the promotion:

This offer is available to new WTDirect clients only. Primary account holder must NOT have held a WTDirect account in the past 12 months. WTDirect account must be opened and funded via electronic (ACH) transfer received by 6/15/10. Bonus is based upon the lowest daily balance during the promotional period of 6/15/10 – 9/15/10. Bonuses will be paid approximately 2 weeks after the end of the promotional period to clients whose accounts are open and in good standing. Wilmington Trust employees and their family members are not eligible. WTDirect reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time without notice.

Note, it states that they may cancel the promo at any time without notice. This is what happened in 2008 when they offered a similar promotion. I first posted on it on 8/23 and it ended on 8/25. WTDirect did honor the bonus for those who applied before it ended. So you may not want to wait too long to apply. After the promo ended, several readers reported receiving retention bonuses. So that was a surprise perk.

Update 5/22/10: A reader noted an important point. A promo code should be automatically prefilled in the promo code field of the application.

WTDirect Savings Account Review

WT Direct's standard rates haven't been great, but they have been fairly competitive for balances of $10K and above. The current rates as of 5/20/2010 are 1.16% APY for $10K and above and 0.16% APY for under $10K. The first 60 days, the entire balance earns the top rate. There are no monthly fees regardless of your balance.

Even though they don't have a history of the best rates, WTDirect has many features that make it a useful hub account. So it might be a savings account you'll want to keep even after the promotion. If you have accounts at several banks and credit unions, it can be useful to have an internet bank account to serve as your hub. The hub makes it easy to transfer money to and from those other accounts. Some important features for a hub account that WTDirect has includes:

  • Maximum deposit transfer amount is $500K per transaction and per month
  • Maximum withdrawal transfer amount is $200K per transaction and per month
  • Maximum number of withdrawals per month is 6 with no deposit limits (withdrawals limited by federal regulation)
  • After the initial deposit, subsequent online transfers of funds from another financial institution are available immediately upon receipt of funds in your account
  • No limit on the number of accounts you can link to your WTDirect account
  • WTDirect continues to pay interest on your transfer amount until and including the day the funds leave WTDirect.

All of the above features are described in WTDirect's FAQs which is one of the best internet bank FAQs that I've seen. In addition to many online bank features, the FAQs go into depth on issues like beneficiaries (you can add up to 3 beneficiaries).

Readers have reported that WTDirect does not do a hard credit inquiry in the application. It has also been reported that the trial deposits are debited from your funding account.

Update 5/22/2010: I have some more details about the promo and the savings account in this new post.

Bank Overview

WTDirect is a division of Wilmington Trust FSB which has been a FDIC member since 1994 (FDIC Certificate # 33911). Deposits at WTDirect are FDIC-insured with Wilmington Trust FSB. Note, the web address, www.wtdirect.com, is listed at the FDIC page as the bank's primary internet web address.

Wilmington Trust FSB's ratings for safety and soundness are mixed: 3½ stars (good) at BauerFinancial and 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 12/31/09 financial data. The bank has $1.9 billion in assets and $1.3 billion in deposits based on 3/31/10 FDIC data.

Wilmington Trust FSB is under the bank holding company Wilmington Trust Corporation. Also under this bank holding company is Wilmington Trust Company which has $8.9 billion in assets and $6.8 in deposits.

  Tags: WTDirect, savings account

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Comments
25 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bonus is about 1% of deposit amount, over three months. Roughly 4% APR plus the ~1% interest. Not bad --- better than most reward checking a/c --- compared to reward checking a/c with no debit card transactions to make.

5
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The link is dead for me...anyone else?

 

I can't find the offer on WTDirect's web site...

 

BTW, I participated in WTDirect's offer a few years ago!  This is one of the best customer service banks I've ever dealt with.  Quick, Quick, Quick Phone Service too...

1
Comment #5 by Allen C (anonymous) posted on
Allen C
The bonus works out to an additional 1% over 12 months.  That's fantastic.  I'm in!

5
Comment #6 by FrankD posted on
FrankD
Great stuff!  Thanks, Ken. 

2
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thank for the link.

Ii is like 3 month CD.

I just opened it with $1 and will fund on 6/1/10

3
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Copying fine print for future reference:

* This offer is available to new WTDirect clients only. Primary account holder must NOT have held a WTDirect account in the past 12 months. WTDirect account must be opened and funded via electronic (ACH) transfer received by 6/15/10.  Bonus is based upon the lowest daily balance during the promotional period of 6/15/10 – 9/15/10.  Bonuses will be paid approximately 2 weeks after the end of the promotional period to clients whose accounts are open and in good standing.  Wilmington Trust employees and their family members are not eligible. WTDirect reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time without notice.

** Annual Percentage Yield. APY is variable and is effective as of 3/10/10. There is no minimum deposit required to open the account. For the first 60 days from the date the account is opened, regardless of the account balance, the account will earn our highest APY, which is variable and is currently 1.16%. After the first 60 days, the APY for the account will have two tiers: (a) a higher APY for accounts with balances of $10,000 or more (variable and currently 1.16% APY); and (b) a lower APY for accounts with balances of less than $10,000 (variable and currently 0.16% APY).

*** Earnings are based on rates published on the websites of each institution as of 5/19/10.  WTDirect earnings include interest based on 1.16% APY and the cash bonus based on deposit amount.

4
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#8, no it does not mean you have to keep your highest balance two weeks past 9/15/10, you only have to keep your account open and in good standing - per the fine print at the bottom of the sign-up page at

https://www.wtdirect.com/cash-bonus/index.html

 

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
RE: #8,

Does it mean you have to keep $50k two week after 9/15/2010 to collect $500 and therefore reducing your yield calculation?

0
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Make sure you fund to your intended amount before 6/15.  Otherwise any future deposits will not get the bonus.

2
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
it took me almost 3 hours to finish application

web site went down multiple times and then long wait for response and lost my sessions

have to continue in 2 hours to finish.

finally got confirmation page ;-)

however, I don't see any promo info at confirmation page

while applaing I saw promo code applied at 1st page - that was it.

now have to wait for deposits verification.

 

How did you get confirmation of the $500 promo?

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The promo page says: "Just open and fund your account by June 15th, maintain your initial deposit for three months, and you’ll receive a cash bonus."

I don't get the "maintain your initial deposit for three months" part. So if I just open the account now with $100, but then add $10k by 6/15/10, is my initial deposit $100 or $10,100 for purposes of this promotion?

2
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#12, common sense tells me that the initial deposit here means the balance you are using to earn the bonus.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#12, very good you observe the wording so carefully - much marketing today takes advantage of customers by tricks like this.  However, in this case the fine print at the bottom of the sign-up page says 

"Bonus is based upon the lowest daily balance during the promotional period of 6/15/10 – 9/15/10."

5
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
IS there any reason why I do not see this promotion offered directly from WTDirect?? Do you get any commission(s) for people who complete the application and open up an account using the link mentioned here??? The link source does not initially go to WTDirect!?!?

3
Comment #15 by glxpass posted on
glxpass
Before taking advantage of this deal, remember that the 1.16% APY is variable.  There's no telling what the APY will be from 6/15/2010 through 9/15/2010, so the interest rate (including bonus) over those 3 months could end up under 5%.

Is there a hard credit inquiry when applying for the account?

Apparently, you can set up linked external accounts for ACH transfers.  The ACH transfer amounts are high, inbound $500K per day (also per month), oubound: $200K per day (also per month).  Standard transfers take up to 4 business days to complete.

Next-day transfers are available for $2 inbound and $10 outbound, but the limits are really low, inbound: $2.5K per transfer, $5K daily limit, $20K limit per 30-day period; outbound: $2.5K per transfer, $2.5K daily limit, $20K limit per 30-day period.

The WTDirect Savings Account Agreement and Disclosures and Arbitration Agreement is here:

https://www.wtdirect.com/wtdirect/index.jsp?fileid=1252432442876.

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm a wtdirect customer already (I signed up in another deal). They are fantastic, I'm never going to leave them!

1
Comment #21 by steve (anonymous) posted on
steve
I just opened 2 accounts ---one for wife and 1 for me --- with $1.00 each, will ACH $50,000.00 each before 6/15. Easy Process to open.

Sept. 16, will move Back to RCA's that are at 4.1%.

That's an easy $500.00 MORE than i would have earned and no debit cards to fool with for 3 months.

THANKS FOR THE HEADS-UP

2
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Unable to open an account. I have tried to open an account several times using IE and Firefox. Here is what I got so far. Anyone has the same problems???

Processing Error

We apologize, but there was a communication error in our systems while processing your application. Your application has not been submitted.

We have saved your incomplete application. Please return to WTDirect.com and retrieve your application to continue where you left off. We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have questions or would like to speak with a Client Care Representative, please email us ClientCare@WTDirect.com or call 1-800-WTDIRECT (1-800-983-4732) Mon-Fri 7am-11pm, Sat 8am-1pm, and Sun 5pm-11pm ET.

2
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am getting the same error late Saturday night/Sunday morning.  Bummer - attempted IE and Chrome several times.  Looks like an issue on their side or is failing to reach some external data site to look up credit info.

2
Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thank you for contacting WTDirect.  We will be happy to assist you
with your request.

We have received your email regarding our recent promotion.  You will
be able to open the account with an initial deposit of as little as
$1.00.  Please make sure that you have the qualifying balance of
$10,000 to $50,000 (depending on how large of a cash bonus you would
like to receive) in the account by June 15.  Please maintain that
balance until September 15.  As long as the qualifying balance is in
the account from June 15 through September 15, it does not matter
what your initial deposit is.

5
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
PROMOTION HAS EXPIRED

1
Comment #27 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened the Bonus $500. account on Friday 5/21, and was approved.  I mailed my check on Saturday after talking to a Rep about the mailing address for the check.  After thinking the situation over I decided to open a second account for my husband.  I called this morning to ask a couple questions and I was told the Internet Bonus had expired today.  Sure glad I got in on the deal as soon as I saw the advertisement.

 

1
Comment #28 by CTM posted on
CTM
If you have not fully funded your account, to receive the 1% bonus, you need to do so almost immediately.

I did a test transfer on 6/2, my checking account was debited on 6/3, and the funds were available on 6/7 (although they did not appear on-line until 6/8).  I scheduled the full transfer on 6/3, my account was debited on 6/4, and the credit should appear on 6/9.

If you initiate a transfer tomorrow, 6/9, the funds should be available on 6/14, giving you 1 day of slack.

0