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.