It has been a while since I last took a look at AmTrustDirect. With the top rate of its Premium e-Money Market Account, I thought it was worth another look. AmTrustDirect has been around for a while, but there have been several changes. I first reviewed the internet bank in 2006. Its parent, AmTrust Bank, failed in 2009, and New York Community Bank assumed all deposits. AmTrustDirect continues to operate as a division of New York Community Bank.
AmTrustDirect offers both internet CDs and a money market account called the Premium e-Money Market Account. It has a 1.15% APY for balances over $5,000 (0.25% for under $5,000) as of 2/3/2012.
The Premium e-Money Market yield has been very competitive since I first reported on it in April 2011 when the yield was 1.25%. The yield fell to 1.15% on October 20th. According to the bank's CSR, the rate could change at anytime.
Important details of the account are listed in AmTrustDirect's FAQs. Some important features mentioned in the FAQs include:
- minimum average balance requirement of $1,000. A minimum balance fee of $10 will be imposed each month that the average daily balance for the month falls below $1,000.
- After making your initial deposit by electronic transfer or check, you can link your Premium e-Money Market or e-Savings account with up to six accounts that you hold at other institutions.
- electronic transfers out of a Premium e-Money Market or e-Savings account are limited to $100,000 per day and $2,500,000 per month.
- ATM transactions are not available for these accounts.
- AmTrust Direct verifies identification and submits new account applications to a Credit Bureau background check. By applying for a new account, each account applicant consents to AmTrust Direct obtaining a credit report and verifying his or her background information.
I was told by the bank CSR that they don't offer checks, but you can order third party checks. As with any money market account, federal regulations limit the number of checks or electronic withdrawals to six per statement cycle.
A few readers who had AmTrustDirect CDs have reported issues with customer service. One reader described the problems he had when he tried to close an AmTrustDirect CD.
Before acquiring AmTrust, New York Community Bank had its own internet division called MyBankingDirect. This continues to operate, and it also has its own money market account with the same rates and tiers as the AmTrustDirect account. There used to be a few differences between these two accounts, but I can't see any significant differences. I reviewed the MyBankingDirect money market account last June. When I contacted the MyBankingDirect in June I was told bank-to-bank ACH transfers were done through MoneyHQ, and there were some fees. This might be one reason to go with AmTrustDirect instead of MyBankingDirect. If you have experience using the ACH transfer services at these banks, please leave a comment.
New York Community Bank Overview
New York Community Bank is a sizable bank with $39.47 billion in assets. It has an overall health rating at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 16.79% (average) based on September 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of New York Community Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1943 (FDIC Certificate # 16022).
How the Money Market Rate Compares?
Currently, these two money market accounts have the highest rate of any nationally available savings, money market and checking accounts that doesn't have a balance cap and doesn't have monthly requirements. It's tied with the savings account at Flagstar Bank. However, that 1.15% APY is an intro rate that's only guaranteed for the first 4 months. After that time, the rate goes way down.
The highest liquid account rate that's nationally available is Bank of Internet USA's rewards checking account. It has a 1.25% APY on all balances if certain monthly requirements are met (see my review). Like any reward checking accounts, there are monthly requirements to qualify for this 1.25% APY. Several reward checking accounts offer higher rates, but there are balance caps (typically from $10K to $50K).
Searching for The Highest Savings Account Rates
The best rates can be from savings accounts, money market accounts or checking accounts. You can use our tables to find the best rates: