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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending December 30, 2012

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I would like to wish all of you an early happy new year. This last year was another tough one for savers. Hopefully, we will see improvements in 2013, but there remains significant headwinds. One path for higher deposit rates is a strengthening economy, and unfortunately, that isn't being helped by the fiscal cliff stalemate. The uncertainity around the fiscal cliff drove Treasury yields lower this week. We have seen record low Treasury yields all year. According to Bloomberg:

Treasury 10-year note yields were poised for the lowest annual average since at least World War II as investors spent 2012 seeking haven from Europe’s debt crisis, tepid global growth and a U.S. budget showdown.

Treasury yield changes over the last week and the expectation of future Fed funds rates are shown below. Numbers are based on Yahoo bond rate data and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 6-month: 0.08% down from 0.09% last week
  • 2--year: 0.24% down from 0.26% last week
  • 5--year: 0.71% down from 0.76% last week
  • 10-year: 1.70% down from 1.77% last week
  • 30-year: 2.86% down from 2.93% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 58% up from 57% last week
  • Apr 2015: 68% down from 69% last week

There were no bank failures this week, so it's safe to say we are done for the year. The total number of banks that failed in 2012 was 51, which is down from 92 in 2011 and 157 in 2010. There were only 8 failures in the fourth quarter of this year. In the fourth quarter of 2011, 18 banks failed. I'll have more information on 2012 bank failures in a blog post next week.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

This was another quiet week with no rate cuts on my list of the top nationally available savings and money market accounts.

This was another year with declining yields on internet savings accounts. However, there were a few bright spots. Last year at this time, savings and money market yield was 0.89% at Ally Bank and 1.00% at Sallie Mae Bank. Today, Ally is paying 0.95% and Sallie Mae is paying 1.05% on its money market account. Overall, there are more banks that cut rates this year. For example, ING DIRECT savings account yield fell from 0.85% to 0.75% and Discover Bank savings account yield fell from 1.00% to 0.80%.

Based on the history of internet savings accounts over the last year, savings accounts make more sense than short-term CDs. Since several money market yields match the best 1-year CD rates, the only reason to choose a 1-year CD is if you think savings and money market yields will be falling. We probably will see some more rate declines in 2013, but if it's similar to 2012, there will be several internet banks that will hold steady with their rates and some that may actually bump up their rates.

For today's rate leaders, I have 12 banks and credit unions on my list with non-promo savings or money market account yields of at least 1.00%.

For those with large balances, the best non-promo deal continues to be at Connexus Credit Union which has a money market account that pays 1.15% APY for balances of at least $100K. The next best are the four internet banks with money market accounts that continue to pay 1.05% APY.

Two internet banks are offering 1.25% APY, but these are promo rates. You can also get 1.10% APY at AmericaNet Bank and its two sister banks, but all three have a $35K balance cap.

Reward Checking Accounts

On my list of nationally available reward checking accounts, there were no rate cuts this week. However, that may change next week with the start of the new month. It was reported in the forum that Provident Credit Union will be cutting its Super Reward Checking yield by 25 basis points to 1.76%. That will leave ABCO Federal Credit Union as the only institution on my list with a reward checking account with a yield of at least 2% for balances up to $25K.

There are many more reward checking accounts that are only local deals. Unfortunately, several banks and credit unions offering these have been cutting rates. Readers have been reporting on these in the reward checking forum.

There are still many local deals with yields over 2.00%. To find the highest reward checking rates and balance caps in your state or nationwide, please refer to our reward checking rate table. If you're new to these tables, my rate table guide should be useful. If you're new to reward checking, please refer to my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking.

Rate Hikes:

  1. None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  1. None

Certificate of Deposit Rates

My recap of CD rate changes and the list of CD deals will now be in my survey of the best CD rates. This recap will now focus on banking news of the week and liquid accounts.

Recap for the Week - Links to This Week's Posts

Banking News/Resources Savings/MMA - National CD Deals/Resources - National Checking/Savings/CC Bonuses
  • No new posts this week
Reward Checking Accounts
  • No new posts this week
CD and Money Market Deals - Local Posts from Previous Weeks The rates listed below are based on Annual Percentage Yield (APY). No minimum balances are required unless noted. MMA next to the rates indicate a money market account. Most MMAs have check writing and ATM cards. Online savings accounts usually lack both of these. Previous weekly summaries are available at this page.

Rates as of December 30, 2012

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

Reward Checking Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

Certificates of Deposit:

Various Deposit Account Deals

Bank Account Alternatives - NOT FDIC Insured

Historical Rates from the Federal Reserve (Federal funds, Treasury bills, CD's)


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