If you want 2% on a savings or money market account, there are not many choices in today's interest rate environment. There continues to be four banks that offer 2%+ on their nationwide accounts as of 8/06/2010. All four have balance caps which limit the amount that will qualify for the 2%. There are also other conditions. EverBank's 2.25% is only a promo rate that lasts for 3 months (see review). SmartyPig's 2.15% APY requires setting up goals. For the other two banks, Evantage Bank and AmericaNet Bank, there are no other conditions for their Mega Money Market account besides a $35K balance cap for the 2% APY. For the portion of the balance over $35K, the yield falls to 1.00%. So if you had $70K in one of these accounts, your blended APY would still be very competitive at 1.50%.
Both Evantage Bank and AmericaNet Bank are internet divisions of two separate banks. Evantage Bank is an internet division of Southwest State Bank and AmericaNet Bank is an internet division of All America Bank. They are separate banks, and each have their own FDIC charter. However, they are related. Both are owned by the Huckabay family as was described in a 2009 Oklahoman news article. Another sister bank is the Bank of the Wichitas which operates Redneck Bank. Evantage Bank, AmericaNet Bank and Redneck Bank all offer the Mega Money Market account and the reward checking account that pays 4% on balances up to $10K. However, the marketing behind Redneck Bank was so successful, they had to stop offering new accounts at Redneck Bank. That leaves Evantage Bank and AmericaNet Bank.
Since they are separate banks, you can open accounts at both Evantage Bank and AmericaNet Bank. One reader recently left the following comment:
Well I was successful opening up an account at America Net. The rate is 2%. So I am receiving 2% at both this bank and Evantage with combined balances over $35k. Using my trusty Ally Bank account to facilitate ACH transfers in and out.
That's a good idea about using Ally Bank's transfer service to facilitate deposits and withdrawals. These banks offer bank-to-bank transfers, but they're limited and slow. According to the disclosure, there is a transfer limit of $2,500 per day. Readers have reported that the ACH transfers can take a week to complete.
There is one potential gotcha that you need to be aware of regarding the Mega Money Market account. There's a $10 per month inactivity fee if you account is inactive for a year or more. A reader described how he was charged in the AmericaNet Bank rates and review page:
Every quarter I'd go online and check my account. Well, come to find, after my one year anniversary with AmericaNet Bank they began to charge a $10/month fee. AmericaNet Bank did not provide any notice whatsoever when they started helping themselves to my money. It wasn't until I logged on recently for my quarterly account review I found $20 missing. After investigation I found that after one year, if you don't add more money, your account is considered dormant, and AmericaNet Bank starts penalizing your account $10/month every month until you add more money.
The main question about the Mega Money Market account is how long will they be able to maintain the 2.00% APY. Both Southwest State Bank and All America Bank are small. Their combined deposits are only $145.65 million. The 2.00% APY has held since May 2009.