Sallie Mae Bank has recently made a change which should appeal to some readers. The application now allows you to specify POD beneficiaries for the savings account and CDs. I was told by the CSR that the application allows up to 4 beneficiaries to be added. The FAQ includes instructions for how to do this:
To make a new account a Payable on Death (POD) account, click ‘yes’ to the question ‘Make this a Payable on Death account?’ during the account creation process. You will be prompted to select your beneficiaries. Once beneficiaries are selected, your account is a POD account. All beneficiaries are assigned equal beneficial interest.
The FAQ also states how PODs can provide extra FDIC insurance:
In many cases, funds in POD accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 for each qualified beneficiary. Please go to the FDIC insurance calculator for additional information.
I haven't confirmed if Sallie Mae Bank correctly titles the accounts so you'll have to verify this on your own. Please refer to this FDIC page for the details.
I also was informed of another change to the savings account. According to the CSR, the limit on the number of links for ACH transfers is six. Last March I was told it was unlimited. This means you can link up to six different accounts at other banks to your savings account. If you have been able to link more than six, please leave a comment.
One nice feature about Sallie Mae Bank's ACH transfers is that there is no dollar limit on the amount that can be transfered. Some banks have small limits especially on withdrawals.
The one downside is a long hold period for deposits. According to the FAQ, the hold on deposits after the initial deposit is 5 business days for $5K and under and 10 business days for over $5K. Note, you should still be earning interest during this time, but you just won't be able to withdraw it.
Top Rates Continue
I also asked the CSR if she had any idea how long the current rate will last (1.40% APY as of 9/03/2010). She did not know. The yield has held since May so hopefully it will continue for some time. It's currently one of the best savings account rates without a balance cap. In addition to having the best rate, there's also additional perks through the Upromise program.
In addition to a top savings account rate, Sallie Mae Bank also has some of best CD rates. As of 9/03/2010, these CD yields include:
- 1.55% APY 1-year CD
- 2.30% APY 3-year CD
- 3.00% APY 5-year CD
For more details about the savings account, Upromise program and the CDs, please refer to my Sallie Mae Bank savings account and CD review.
Sallie Mae Bank Financials
Sallie Mae Bank has an overall health score of 4 out of 5 at DepositAccounts.com based on 6/30/10 data (see our financial overview of Sallie Mae Bank). The bank has been a FDIC member since 2005 (FDIC Certificate # 58177).