Update 11/15/2010: The promotion has been extended to 11/30/2010.
WTDirect has started a new promotion with a bonus of up to $300. The promotion page is at www.wtdirect.com/cash-bonus. Just like the last one, it's based on your balance that you maintain for 3 months. It's not quite as good as the last one in which you could get a $500 bonus for a $50K balance. Here are the new bonus levels:
- $100 bonus for a $10,000 balance
- $150 bonus for a $25,000 balance
- $300 bonus for a $50,000 balance
And here are the requirements to receive this bonus:
- Open and fund your savings account with $10,000 or more by October 31, 2010
- Maintain your balance for three months
- Receive a cash bonus directly in your WTDirect account
If the standard yield remains at 1.21% APY during these 3 months, you can calculate the effective yields if you factor in the bonuses. Note, these yields are annualized just like the APY of a 3-month CD.
- 1.21% APY + $100 bonus on $10K = 5.21% APY for 3 months
- 1.21% APY + $150 bonus on $25K = 3.61% APY for 3 months
- 1.21% APY + $300 bonus on $50K = 3.61% APY for 3 months
Below is the offer's small print:
This offer is available to new WTDirect clients only. First 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 10/31/10. Eligibility for bonus is based upon maintaining a minimum daily balance of $10,000 during the promotional period of 10/31/10 - 1/31/11. Bonuses will be paid approximately 2 weeks after the end of the promotional period to clients whose accounts remain 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 last May and in 2008 with similar promotions. This one isn't quite as good as those past ones, so it will hopefully last longer.
Internet Savings Account Features
WTDirect's standard interest rate isn't the best (1.21% APY for $10K+ as of 10/18/2010), but it has some features that can make it a good choice for the long-term. First, 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.
Extra Perk for Bonus Customers
One thing nice that this bank has done for those who have participated in these past promotions is to offer them a higher interest rate around the time that the 3-month bonus period ends. For the May promo, WTDirect offered the bonus customers an extra 0.20% on top of WTDirect's standard savings account rate for six months.
In my September WTDirect poll I asked how many WTDirect bonus customers planned to keep their money at WTDirect after the 3-month promo ended. Out of the 30 who responded, 13 said they planned to keep all of their money that they had deposited for the May promo at WTDirect. The extra interest rate was one reason, but high-quality customer service was another important factor. Here is what one reader said in the comments:
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.
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.