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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 January 26, 2013

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Will we see a big rise in interest rates this year? Based on what the Fed has said and the continued sluggish economic growth, it seems unlikely. However, there are some signs of changes. In a CNBC interview, George Soros told CNBC that he "expects interest rates to jump this year as soon as there are clear signs the economy is on the mend." Of course "experts" have been wrong before in predicting Treasury yield spikes. The most famous example was in 2011 from Bill Gross, the fund manager of the world's largest bond fund.

George Soro's interview wasn't the only sign that we may see changes this year. There were signs this week that both the U.S. and Global economy are improving. According to Bloomberg:

Treasury 10-year note yields rose the most since the first week of the year as the European Central Bank said banks will repay more of its loans than forecast and a strengthening housing market reduced the haven appeal of U.S. government debt.

We may see more signs next week. The employment report for January is scheduled for release on Friday. Also, the Fed is having its first FOMC meeting of 2013 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Although no significant Fed announcement is expected, any changes in the FOMC statement that suggest better-than-expected conditions could pull in expectations of future rate hikes.

I don't want to sound pessimistic, but let's not forget many of the false alarms over the last three years that raised our hopes that rate hikes were within a year away. As I mentioned last week, there are many risks this year to economic growth, with many coming from Washington. Even with the House vote to suspend the debt limit last week, there are still risks of a government shutdown and a large fiscal contraction that will come later this year.

As mentioned above, there were big gains this week in Treasury yields. The 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: 0.09% up from 0.08% last week
  • 2--year: 0.27% up from 0.25% last week
  • 5--year: 0.85% up from 0.76% last week
  • 10-year: 1.95% up from 1.84% last week
  • 30-year: 3.13% up from 3.03% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 59% same as last week
  • Apr 2015: 73% up from 71% last week

This was a quiet week for both the FDIC and the NCUA. No banks or credit unions failed this week. So far this year there have been two bank closures and one credit union liquidation.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

This was a busy week for savings and money market rate cuts. Ally, Sallie Mae and Incredible Bank reduced the rates on their savings and money market accounts. None of these, however, had the largest cut. That came from Acacia Federal Savings Bank which slashed the yield of its Metro Checking and money market account from 1.00% to 0.80%. This 1.00% yield had lasted for over eight months. As I mentioned when I first reported on this 1.00% yield, Acacia Federal doesn't have a history of being a long-term rate leader. Also, it was announced last year that Customers Bancorp was going to acquire Acacia Federal. Acquisitions have rarely been good news for savers. Let's hope Capital One's acquisition of ING DIRECT will be the exception.

With this week's rate cuts, we now have only two banks on top of the list with non-promo yields of 1.05% without small balance caps. Those two are MyBankingDirect and Union Federal Savings Bank. Only Connexus Credit Union's money market account has a higher yield (1.15%), but this requires a $100K minimum balance and an active checking account.

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

This was the third straight week with no rate changes on my list of nationally available reward checking accounts. However, there was one positive change to the list. I added First Financial Bank's Kasasa Cash account. The bank has an online application that the bank says can be used by people in any state. Thanks to DA member 51hh for reporting on this in the forum. This Kasasa Cash account currently pays 3.00% APY for balances up to $15K. It matches Lake Michigan Credit Union's Max Checking account with the same top rate and balance cap.

If you want larger balance caps, you'll probably have to settle for lower rates. I did an updated review of one reward checking account that still has a $50K balance cap. It's Harborstone Credit Union, and its reward checking account, called BreakFree Checking, offers 2.02% APY for balances up to $50K. It's not nationally available, but everyone in Washington State, in the military and in the civil service are eligible to join. I have more info about this credit union in my blog post. Readers also commented in that post about their experiences with this credit union.

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.

Additions:

  1. First Financial Bank Reward Checking (Kasasa Cash) - 3.00% (up to $15K) 0.25% (over $15K)

Rate Hikes:

  1. None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  1. Incredible Bank MMA - 1.01% [was 1.05%]
  2. Sallie Mae Bank MMA - 0.95% [was 1.05%]
  3. Ally Bank MMA/Savings - 0.90% [was 0.95%]
  4. Acacia Federal Metro Checking - 0.80% [was 1.00%]
  5. Acacia Federal MMA - 0.80% [was 1.00%]

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 Reward Checking Accounts 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 January 26, 2013

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)


Related Posts

Comments
7 Comments.
Comment #1 by Robert (anonymous) posted on
Robert
What's interesting is that Ally usually decides their savings (and CD) rates by having something just low enough that they are not in the top 5 according to BankRate.com.  But that does not appear to be the case this time.  Ally could have kept the Online Savings at 0.95% and still been out of the top 5. 

 

4
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
SOme facts about Ally:

 

About 75% owned by US gov't

May lose relationship swith Chrysler (Expires in March 2012)

 

May lose relationship with GN which expires at the end of the year

 

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yours Truly..............I just took a quick look. Are those reverse convertible structured notes? 

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.

.

Dear Anonymous - #4,

These are commonly refrred to as "BARES" or Buffered Accelerated Return Equity Securities.

Reverse Convertibles Notes (RCN) are typically tied to a single common stock.  At maturity the note converts either to cash or to the common stock that it is tied to.  In the interim one gets interest!  Examples of Reverse Convertibles Notes are below.  The risks (and rewards) associated with RCNs are somewhat different than those associated with BARES, which in turn are different that Notes cited above by Mr Tumin issued by Ally and Duke Energy!

RCNs below are by JP Morgan Chase. They are tied to common stocks of Wynn Resorts Limited (WYNN), Cummins Inc. (CMI), and Bank of America Corporation (BAC) with CUSIPs 48126DUK3, 48126DUE7 and 48126DUL1 respectively. 

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/19617/000095010313000395/crt_dp35586-fwp.pdf

Similarly document at link below shows details of RCNs by Royal Bank of Canada.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1000275/000121465913000311/f118132fwp.htm

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

3
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yours Truly.............Thanks for all the additional info & links

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Acacia Federal readjusted their rates on 01/28/2103.  Metro Checking rate is 0.5% and Money Market savings rate is now 0.7%.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Typo.  I meant 01/28/2013.  Acacia Federal advertised in the newspapers quite a bit recently in trying to get more deposit money in the past few months in order to build up their cash reserves.  The bank's rating has not been stellar.

1