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Another High Yield Savings Account is Sold Out - Today's Best Choices?

POSTED ON BY

Less than two weeks after AmerciaNet Bank stopped accepting new applications, Evantage Bank has done the same thing. Both its Mega Money Market and Rewards Checking accounts are "sold out". The Mega Money Market account had been the best nationally available liquid account. By "best" I mean the highest rate for balances up to $35K that wasn't an intro special.

At least those who already have this account can enjoy the 1.75% APY. When banks start to attract too many deposits, they can either lower rates or stop accepting new applications. For existing customers, stopping new applications is definitely preferable. Hopefully, they'll be able to maintain the rates. At the very least, I hope they give the advanced notice like they did last year if they have to lower rates.

Today's Best Savings Accounts

For those who didn't open a Mega Money Market account, I thought it would be useful to review the remaining rate leaders. This excludes accounts that are not available nationwide. It also excludes intro rates and reward checking accounts that require debit card usage.

The problem with liquid accounts is that you never know how the rates will hold up. It's rare for any bank to be a rate leader for the long term. Once banks reach their deposit goals, there's going to be pressure to lower rates. That's one advantage of the larger banks. They should be able to better handle a nationwide customer base. So in the list below, I've noted the size of the bank in terms of deposits.

Rates Accurate as of 2/15/2011:

  • Morrill and Janes Bank & Trust (Deposits: $356M) - 1.51% APY Checking. One thing I like about this bank is they advertise that they have been paying 1.51% APY since April 2009. Of course it's a lot harder now for banks to offer this rate than in 2009 when Ally Bank was paying 2.25%. My first review of this account was last October.
  • SFGI Direct (Deposits: $1.04B) - 1.41% APY Savings. My first review of this internet bank was in July 2009. Instead of dropping rates, it twice stopped accepting new account applications. For most of 2010 the account was closed to new customers. It finally reopened the account in October.
  • SmartyPig (Deposits held by BBVA Compass: $64B) - 1.35% APY Savings up to $50K. SmartyPig has a history of top rates since it launched in early 2008. However, with deposits now held at BBVA Compass, there are concerns if they will continue to be a rate leader especially after their January rate cut.
  • Incredible Bank (Deposits: $849M) - 1.35% APY Checking up to $250K. My first review of this bank was in November 2009, and it has done a good job at keeping rates very competitive.
  • Capital One (Deposits: $124B) - 1.30% APY Savings. This is the Costco version InterestPlus account. The standard non-Costco rate is 0.05% lower. This account also has the advantage of a 10% quarterly bonus (adds about 0.13%) if you maintain a $10K balance. Capital One has kept these rates competitive since they launched this account in 2009.
  • American Express (Deposits: $15B) - 1.30% APY Savings. This rate has held since March 2010. As I described in my last Amex savings account review, two features that have impressed readers are an easy account opening process and a fast ACH bank-to-bank transfer service.

For the latest top rates, please refer to our tables of the best savings account rates and the best checking account rates. Also, if you don't mind debit card usage, reward checking accounts can offer higher rates. For these please refer to our table of the best reward checking accounts.

Hat tip to the reader tightwad who mentioned the sold-out status of Evantage Bank accounts in the discussion forum.

  Tags: savings account, checking account, The Morrill and Janes Bank and Trust Company, SFGI Direct, SmartyPig, Incredible Bank, Capital One Direct Banking, American Express Bank, FSB.

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Comments
10 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just sent my opening deposit to the M&J Bank to open my new account.  At least I don't have that that maximum balance stipulation like Evantage and AmericaNet.  I also got a $10 bonus for opening the account.  Time to move some of my money away from the 1% banking crowd.

3
Comment #2 by Rita (anonymous) posted on
Rita
Hi Anonymous - #1,.. How was the application process?  Hard pull or soft pull? share more info about this bank. may be  i also open an account with them.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hello Rita,

I am not sure if was a soft or hard pull.  I will get a copy of my credit report to see.  The bank is the first Kansas chartered bank back in 1871.  Someone called to verify the identity part of the application process since the application only covered the name and address information (this was for the savings account which is different than the checking account which uses Andera and I believe the identity questions are part of the checking account online application process).

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I can't find anything on their website regarding credit pulls.  I don't know my credit score, so just looking at my credit report may not provide the answer.  I will email the CSR about it tonight.

1
Comment #5 by O-Qua Tangin Wann (anonymous) posted on
O-Qua Tangin Wann
The good news is that M & J Bank does not do a hard credit pull. The bad news is that with M & J being a small bank, and with lots of new accounts going to be opened there now because Alliant and the other big ones have dropped so low, the odds of M & J keeping their current rate for very long are small.  

O-Qua Tangin Wann

3
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The bank does not have ACH external transfer ability so you have to do it via another online bank.  So it will not work as a hub account.  The bank's asset size is about 700 million and it is rated four stars on Bankrate.com  Checking account requires e-statement signup, but savings it is an option.  Paper checks are free.  They also participate in the Allpoint ATM network.

3
Comment #7 by compai (anonymous) posted on
compai
go with  perk street they are the best enyoyed lunch  yesterday at colombias  in armands circle life is so good

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've had an account with SFGI Direct for over a year and have been fairly happy. The online banking interface is kind of clunky, and it only allows one external link,  but the ACH transfers are fast, the customer service has been very friendly every time I have had to call, and the rates are excellent.

2
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"Hopefully, they'll be able to maintain the rates." - Unfortunately, Evantagebank already announced lowering their rates effective April 21. Mega Money Market goes down to 1.50% :(

3
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#9 & tightwad - How/where did you find this info on Evantage dropping their rates on April 21?  I can't find an announcement on their site (other than the accounts are "Sold Out"), and they haven't notified me.  Thanks for the info.

1
Comment #10 by tightwad posted on
tightwad
And for the rewards checking account...

"Effective April 21, 2011, the interest rate offered on Rewards Checking Accounts will be 3.25% APY* for average daily balances up to $10,000. Amounts over $10,000 will earn 1.00% APY*. If requirements are not met your interest rate will be .25% APY*."

I haven't checked, but you can count on the same being true for the others.

3