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WTDirect's Savings Account Rate Bonus for the May Promo Customers

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Several readers have been notified by WTDirect that they will be receiving an additional 0.20% interest on top of WTDirect's standard savings account rate for six months starting on October 15, 2010. I called WTDirect and asked about the criteria for this bonus. According to the CSR, it is targetted to those who participated in the May promo in which customers could have earned up to $500.

This is a nice perk, and it's something that WTDirect has done before. WTDirect had a similar promo back in 2008. When the time period required for the bonus ended, they bumped up the interest rate for 4 months by another half percent for those customers.

In this new interest rate bonus, the extra 0.20% increases the current 1.21% APY to 1.41% for the 6 months (assuming the standard yield remains at 1.21%). That's around the level of the top internet savings accounts (those without a cap). I'm sure WTDirect hopes this will prevent a mass exodus of these customers.

Retaining Customers

Any banks that offer new-account bonuses or special CD rates always have to figure out how to retain those customers after the bonus requirements are met and the special CD matures. I'm sure a certain percentage of those customers will keep their money at the bank if the account has some level of competitive features and/or rates. For the bank there's a trade-off between the cost of keeping the accounts competitive vs. the cost of losing the customers.

Poll Question: Will You Stay?

For those who participated in the May promo and received this new offer, do you plan to keep your money in the account? Or is the extra rate not good enough? Please let us know your plans in the poll and in the comments.

Internet Savings Account Features

In addition to interest rates, the internet account features at WTDirect may encourage some to stay. It has a solid ACH bank-to-bank transfer service that can act as a useful hub account to transfer funds to and from other banks. I described many of these features in my May review. WTDirect's FAQs describes all of these bank-to-bank transfer features better than I've seen any other internet bank describe them. So if you're looking for a good internet bank account hub, you might want to open a WTDirect savings account even when there's no bonus.

WTDirect's Twitter Apple iPod Giveaway

WTDirect has a simple iPad sweepstakes. All you have to do is follow them on Twitter and keep an eye for a direct message around the 10th of each month. Details are available at

www.wtdirect.com/twittercontest

And while you're following WTDirect on Twitter, please consider following DepositAccounts.com at

twitter.com/bankdealsblog

Financial Overview

WTDirect is a division of Wilmington Trust FSB. You can confirm this at Wilmington Trust's FDIC page which lists www.wtdirect.com as the bank's primary internet web address. The bank has an overall health score of 3 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 20.57% (above average) based on 6/30/10 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Wilmington Trust FSB for more details.


  Tags: WTDirect, savings account

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Comments
18 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I admit I opened a WTDirect account back in May simply for the $500 bonus, but I plan to stay for the incredible customer service and competive interest rates.  Every bank advertises "great customer service" but it's been my experience that very few actually provide it.  WTDirect is one of the few:  Every time I've called the bank, I've been connected to a live CSR, not a voicemail menu.  Moreover, it's CSRs are immeasurably polite, very well trained, and extraordinarily helpful. 

BTW, this is second time WTDirect has raised my rate.  A 1.41 rate on top of a $500 bonus is not bad, especially when you consider today's ultra-low interest savings rate environment.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I also opened an account for the bonus. I agree their customer service has been superior. I will stay but I will always have my eyes open for a better deal.

2
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Not only will I keep my original deposit, I'll be moving more money there.   The few times I've called Customer Service, the phone was answered on the first ring.   This tells me that they're keeping their staffing levels high, and not cutting staff to the bone in order to free up cash for executive high salaries, perks, and bonuses.  Even if their rates drop, this means more to me than a few measly basis points. 

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened the account for the bonus. The interest rate bonus will keep me there.   I have only needed customer service once, and the CSR was very courteous and knowledgable.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm staying.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Beaware. The parent company was identified as possible takeover targets. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100909/ap_on_bi_ge/us_bank_takeover_targets_analyst_note_1

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Comment #7 by Bob (anonymous) posted on
Bob
The cash bonus feature ends 9/15/10.  The additional interest (0.2%) starts on 10/15/10.  That's 30 days of no bonus and no additional interest rate.   

2
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Have been through 6 take overs, my bank buying and being sold in the 57 years I have been  a bank or credit unions customer. Everytime it was a smooth transition. No problems with over the limit CD's until after the CD matured. Think you had 6 months to take it out or retitle accounts if you were in both institutions. The most disturbing thing to me with the transistions was when they changed the 800 number for telephone banking. It still is very irritating to me

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Minimum balance $10,000 for the higher rate regardless of the promos.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'll be staying too for now - that rate is better than most these days, but after it's over a few months from now....I'll move somewhere else if the base rate is just 1.21% - most friendly bank CS people I have ever spoken to as well, but making money is more important to me than friendly staff.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"Just 1.21%"?  A rate of 1.21% isn't too bad.  Look at what money market accounts are paying, or other bank accounts.  There aren't too many places that can beat even WTDirect's base rate.

2
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does getting the rate bonus require keeping the funds deposited from the May promo in their savings accounts from 9/16 - 10/14?

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"Just 1.21%", isn't bad, but isn't good either. If they didn't have the bonus for another 6 months, I would have moved my money to Capital one costco account that has 1.39% with 10%(.13%) quarterly bonus - but no CS.

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Comment #16 by Bob (anonymous) posted on
Bob
To #13: When a I spoke to a CSR yesterday I was told that: The bonus period requirement is met by 9/15/10.  That after that date the principal and credited interest can be withdrawn.  That the account can be left opened with a zero balance.  The bonus will be credited to the account within 7 to 10 days after 9/15/10, and that the interest for the first 15 days of September will be posted to the account. I not sure wheither the CRS said that it was at the account closing or at the end of the month.  Call for confirmation.

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Comment #17 by king3344 posted on
king3344
Of course I'll keep my account at WTDirect.  Good service, a regular rate that's close to the highest around, and a .20% bonus.  Can't think of a good reason not to stay and not to add more funds which are currently elsewhere at a lower rate. I participated in their earlier bonus and will be getting my $500 in a week or so.  FYI I am here quoting from the email I just received from them....

"In recognition of your dedication to saving and to WTDirect, we're increasing your interest rate! For the six-month period from 10/15/10 - 4/15/11, you'll earn an additional 0.20% interest on top of WTDirect's regular high savings rate........"Currently, you earn a 1.20% interest rate, which equates to a 1.21% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). During the six-month promotional period, we're offering you 0.20% more, so your new interest rate would be 1.41%, equating to a 1.30% full-year blended APY*."

 

 

 

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am movng my money to my RCA's on 9/16.

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just FYI, I received the $500 bonus today.

1
Comment #21 by vladimir posted on
vladimir
I am keeping the cash bonus ($500) and staying for the interest bonus.  I called and asked for it and they gave it to me.  Thanks for these posts I knew to ask. 

1