Update 12/13/2010: The promotion has ended early.
WTDirect has started a new promotion with a bonus of up to $350. Here's the link to the promotion page. This is an exclusive promotion for the readers of DepositAccounts.com.
Just like the previous promotions, this new one is based on your balance that you maintain for 3 months. It's a little bit better than the one they offered in October. Here are the new bonus levels:
- $100 bonus for a $10,000 balance
- $150 bonus for a $25,000 balance
- $350 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 December 17, 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 + $350 bonus on $50K = 4.01% 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 12/17/10. Eligibility for bonus is based upon maintaining a minimum daily balance of $10,000 during the promotional period of 12/17/10 - 3/17/11. 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 12/06/2010), but it has held up fairly well. For example, it's now above the savings account rates at Ally Bank, CNB Bank Direct and Dollar Savings Direct. It also 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.
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. There's no guarantee that they will repeat this, but this is an example of the effort they have made to keep customers.
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 33 who responded, 15 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 28.03% (above average) based on 9/30/10 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Wilmington Trust FSB for more details.
On November 1st, Wilmington Trust announced that it will merge with M&T Bank Corporation which is a large regional bank that covers much of the Mid-Atlantic Region.