Update 6/7/2012: Amboy Direct has changed the promotion so that the 1% APY is now guaranteed for balances up to $50K for the first 12 months (used to be $25K). Balances between $50K and $100K earn an interest rate of 0.75%. Also, it's now limited to New Jersey residents.
Amboy Direct is offering a new-customer bonus on its eSavings account. New customers will receive 1.00% APY guaranteed to last one year from account opening. However, this APY is only guaranteed on the first $50,000. The interest rate is only 0.75% for the portion of the balance between $50K and $100K, and this isn't guaranteed to last. This promotion is listed on the left side of the Amboy Direct's eSavings page as of 6/7/2012. To see the details, click on the "Learn More" link. You then have to enter your email address.
The standard eSavings account rate is 0.75% (as of 6/7/2012) for balances of $300 to $100,000. The eSavings account has no monthly balance minimums or fees.
Amboy Direct had some popularity back in 2006 when it was offering a savings account with a 5.15% APY. In the last couple of years, its rates have been a little low for internet savings accounts. Also, its online banking features are weak compared to Ally, ING Direct and Discover.
The rate guarantee is nice, but guaranteeing 1.00% for 12 months doesn't amount to much especially when there's a $25K balance cap. If you assume your current savings account will keep a 0.75% APY for 12 months, you will only gain $62.50 with this Amboy Direct promotion if you keep a $25K balance.
Amboy Direct is a division of Amboy Bank, a New Jersey based bank founded in 1888. Amboy Bank isn't in the best financial shape. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 2 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 94.92% (poor) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Amboy Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 6423).
How This Offer Compares
Two other banks offer similar promotions. Flagstar Bank is guaranteeing 1.15% APY for 4 months for balances up to $250K. EverBank is guaranteeing 1.05% APY for 6 months for balances up to $100K (checking) and $50K (money market). I have more details in my EverBank promo review.
You can get a higher rate of 1.25% APY at TIAA Direct, but there's no guarantee about how long this rate will last.