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DETAILSINSTITUTIONAPYMINMAXPRODUCT
Ally Bank0.87%--Online Savings Account
Start SavingSponsored Note: "Best Online Bank", Money® magazine 2011, 2012 & 2013
Discover Bank0.85%$500-Discover Bank Online Savings
FNBO Direct0.85%-$1mOnline Savings
American Express Bank, FSB.0.80%--High Yield Savings Account
Start SavingSponsored Note: Member FDIC. No Fees And Competitive Rates.
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of April 16, 2014

How Rates Have Held up at the Largest Internet Banks

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I thought it would be interesting to review the recent rate history of the internet savings accounts from the largest banks. I only included the banks with at least $10 billion in deposits. They didn't have to be pure internet banks like ING Direct. However, I only included those which have maintained competitive online savings accounts. Thus, I didn't include some banks like Citibank or HSBC.

The best rates often don't come from these large banks. The larger banks tend to be a little more consistent with their rates. However, there have been cases in which large banks have given up on their online savings accounts. Two examples are ETrade Bank and M&T Bank.

A small advantage of having an account at one of these larger banks is that they're big enough to handle a nationwide customer base. Small banks can often become overwhelmed especially if they start to offer top rates.

Below is the short list with these largest banks sorted by deposit size. Rates are accurate as of 2/7/2011.

  • Capital One Bank - Deposits: $124B - InterestPlus Online Savings Yield: 1.25% APY for $1K+ (was 1.45% a year ago). As I described in my last InterestPlus review, you can get a little better yield if you're a Costco member. There's also a quarterly bonus that can add a little to the yield. Capital One has almost 1,000 branches in the Northeast, Louisiana and in Texas. Note, deposit size includes deposits at both Capital One Banks (Capital One N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.)
  • ING Direct - Deposits: $77B - Orange Savings Account Yield: 1.10% APY on all balances (was 1.20% a year ago). ING Direct is the largest pure internet bank. The rates have never been the best. For those with large balances, the Electric Orange Checking account has better rates (up to 1.25% for $100K+)
  • Discover Bank - Deposits: $35B - Online Savings Yield: 1.20% APY on all balances (was 1.35% a year ago). Discover put new emphasis in their internet bank last year when they launched a new online account center with better transfer capabilities.
  • Ally Bank - Deposits: $34B - Online Savings Account Yield: 1.09% APY on all balances (was 1.49% a year ago). It seems like Ally has been advertising more than any of the other internet banks. The recent changes to their online banking has been disappointing, but I've heard we may see improvements soon.
  • American Express Bank - Deposits: $15B - High Yield Savings Yield: 1.30% APY on all balances (was 1.50% a year ago). 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.
  • Zions Bank - Deposits: $14B - Internet Money Market Yield: 1.11% APY for $2.5K+ (was 1.25% a year ago). Like Capital One, Zions Bank has a large branch network. It has branches in Utah and Idaho.
  • First National Bank of Omaha - Deposits: $10B - Online Savings Account Yield: 1.10% APY on all balances (was 1.40% a year ago). First National launched FNBO Direct and this online savings account in 2007. It became popular for its 6.00% promo, but it also become infamous for its employment history verification troubles. FNBO Direct has expanded to include an internet checking and a cashback credit card.

If you just want the best rates regardless of the size of the bank or credit union, please refer to our savings account rates table.

  Tags: Capital One Direct Banking, ING DIRECT, Discover Bank, Ally Bank, American Express Bank, FSB., Zions Bank, FNBO Direct, savings account

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Comments
7 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I used to have a large amount of my deposits at the banks listed (Capital One, Ally, and ING Direct).  Now I have moved them to smaller banks because the rates are little better than the big ones.  I get about $1000 more in interest over the year.

2
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Since the yield has increased recently on Treasuries, such the 10 year Treasury, you would think that savings and CD rates would begin to increase also, at least in a few instances. So far though, I have not noted any such increases. Any thoughts on when we might begin to see some increases in the rates?

6
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Rates probably will not go up until unemployment numbers drop significantly.  And even if they did, there is no telling if the banks will take their time raising rates.  From what I have seen, banks tend to lower rates much faster than raising them.  Most likely because lowering them saves them money like raising them increases their losses.

1
Comment #4 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
On Nov 5, 2010, the 7 year treasury yield was 1.73%. Today, it's over 3%. I haven't seen any corresponding movement (or, for that matter, any movement at all) in 7 year CDs. I've always felt CD rates were a lagging indicator and bond rates a leading indicator, but I must admit I have to go back to late 2006 - early 2008 (a period of about 16 months) to find a similar "stickiness". Money market funds yields started dropping in August, 2006, and it was quite some time before CD rates started to tumble. As late as January, 2008, you could still get a 5.75% 10 year CD from KeyDirect (I remember because I did). The Treasury movement lately, however, has all been at the longer maturities (until today, when the 3 year auction stumbled badly). So, it may be that bankers are waiting to see if this steepening of the yield curve (and the recovering economy it portends) is/are for real before they offer to borrow your money at a higher rate. If history is any guide, they'll stay behind the curve (literally and figuratively) until their big depositors start to move maturing money to other, better-yielding risk-free products. However, the 3 year auction today may have set off alarm bells. When I now can buy a 7 year T-bill from Treasury Direct yielding more than a PenFed or USAA 7 year CD, and pay no state taxes on the interest to boot, well, you get the picture.

Bozo

3
Comment #6 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
CD Rates will not go up until the Fed rasies the discount and other related rates that are internal to the United States.  The bond market rates are set by the global marketplace and are based (at least in the current environment) on the believe in the U.S. economy is starting to expand and that eventually internal Fed rates will HAVE to rise.  Some people also say the global market is factoring in our high debt as a "risk factor" in treasuries.  In short....CD and other bank rates WILL NOT RISE until the Fed raises rates in our country.  That's just the way it works.  Maybe later this year, but I doubt it will be much, if any.  2011 may be a different story.  We can't keep up the artifical low rates forever.  Eventually the maket forces an upward move.

 

Hope that helps.

1