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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 February 9, 2013

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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending February 9, 2013

This was a light week for economic news. According to the CR summary for the week, "The key release was the December trade report showing a smaller than expected trade deficit, and suggesting upwards revisions to the Q4 GDP report." Other economic news was also slightly positive.

With good economic news, you would expect that it would drive Treasury yields higher. However, Treasury yields declined this week. According to Bloomberg, "Treasury 10-year note yields declined the most in 10 weeks". This was primarily driven by European economic concerns. The 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: 0.09% same as last week
  • 2--year: 0.25% same as last week
  • 5--year: 0.82% down from 0.86% last week
  • 10-year: 1.95% down from 2.02% last week
  • 30-year: 3.16% down from 3.22% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 56% down from 61% last week
  • Apr 2015: 68% down from 69% last week

This was yet another 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

We saw several rate cuts on February 1st as the month started. This week, however, was quiet. There were no rate changes on my list of nationally available savings and money market accounts.

We continue to 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 also a quiet week for reward checking accounts, at least for the nationally available accounts. In the reward checking subforum DA members have posted on several local ones that have cut rates and/or balance caps. One was Eagle Bank and Trust Company of Missouri which reduced its reward checking rate from 2.50% to 1.75% APY. The balance cap remains at $30K. Lake City Bank in Indiana announced that its reward checking balance cap will be falling from $50K to $25K effective March 16. The yield (1.51%) will remain unchanged.

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
  • No new posts this week
CD Deals/Resources - National Checking/Savings/CC Bonuses Reward Checking Accounts
  • No new posts this week
CD and Money Market Deals - Local
  • No new posts this week
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 February 9, 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
21 Comments.


Comment #2 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
Dear Mr. Tumin:

If you are going to list "Bank Account Alternatives - Not FDIC Insured", why don't you also list the current price and lease rates of gold silver and platinum?

Did you know that if you own a minimum of a 400 ounce bar of gold, 1,000 ounce bar of silver and/or 50 ounce bar of platinum, and you are willing to risk the chance of loss, all three can be leased to bullion banks like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Barclays etc. in London? You'd have to do some research and make a lot of phone calls to the bullion bankers in order to learn all the details, but there is an active market, and calls to England are now 2 cents per minute on Skype.

You can also deposit gold in government insured banks (different levels of insurance than in the USA) of the nation of Turkey and India, and earn a very high interest rate compared to the rates available on US accounts. I am not saying that Turkish government bank insurance scheme is equal to that of the USA's FDIC, but an account insured by the Turkish government is probably as safe as the notes of companies who have just had several divisions go bankrupt, like Ally Financial. Also, probably safer than Ford, Duke Energy, and insurer TIAA-CREF notes (especially given the sure bankruptcy of this insurer if the stock market were to turn heavily south...)

1
Comment #3 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
I should also note that if you lease your physical gold, silver or platinum to one of the big international banks, you might lose it in an insolvency. Although it is a deposit, and pays lease interest, it is not be covered under the terms of either the British bank insurance plan or the FDIC.

In Turkey, gold bank deposits are covered, but reimbursement in the event of bank insolvency is made only in a currency that nation can print (lira). Bank insurance schemes, all over the world, refund only currencies that governments can print, not metals, even if they insure the metals as deposits.

But, if US dollars are invested in Ally, Ford, Duke Energy and the like, they will not be covered by any bank insurance of any kind.

1
Comment #4 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
I should note one more thing. You can get something like 9 % interest on a government insured Russian bank account denominated in paper US dollars.

The negative about owning foreign bank accounts is that the respective governments could, possibly, impose foreign exchange rules that prevent you from withdrawing the money. This could also happen in the USA, but assuming the Federal Reserve Note does not die from QE, since the dollar is legal tender here, and your account is here, you would not notice it.

But, currency controls in England are as unlikely as in America, so leasing gold, silver and/or platinum, for interest, to bullion banks like JPM, GS, MS, etc., I think, would not carry much of that risk.

The big risk is possible insolvency of a mega-bank. But, if such mega-banks go insolvent, how will FDIC reimburse depositors (in dollars)? Eventually, an Act of Congress recapitalizes the FDIC will be needed, a line of credit to the Federal Reserve drawn up, and the money will be printed. However, that means deep devaluation of the money returned to you. So, you'd suffer a huge loss anyway, even with the supposed insurance.

2
Comment #5 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
For the curious, here is a link to a big Turkish bank (Isbank) offering interest on gold deposits. The bank has been in continuous business since 1924, and has 1,184 branches worldwide, with 1 branch in London, Paris, and Switzerland, 2 branches in China, 11 in Germany. Total assets are $184 billion. Shares are listed on the Istanbul and London Stock Exchange. The branch in London, and the bigger branches in Istanbul have people who speak English, and there is an option to view their webpage in English, although not as much information is available compared to the Turkish language version of the website.

You can translate the website automaticaly if you use Google's Chrome browser, or you can do it at the Google translate page. The Turkish insurance scheme offers 50,000 liras worth of government insurance on gold accounts. I am not promoting this, and haven't done it myself, but it is an interesting option and, I think, a foretelling of the future of banking in the USA.

http://www.isbank.com.tr/content/TR/Yatirim_Hizmetleri/Altin/Vadeli_Altin_Mevduati-1362-7.aspx

1
Comment #6 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
Re: ytytytyt @  - #1, Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 7:57 PM

In reference to "the structured note with CUSIP# 1730T0RJ0"

The Notes Do Not Provide for Regular Interest Payments   The terms of the notes differ from those of ordinary debt securities in that they do not provide for regular fixed payments of interest.  Subject to our right to call the notes, interest, if any, will accrue during each quarterly accrual period at the relevant contingent interest rate, but only for each day during the applicable accrual period on which both (i) the LIBOR reference rate is within the LIBOR reference rate range and (ii) the closing level of the underlying index is greater than or equal to the index reference level.  If on each day for an entire accrual period either the LIBOR reference rate is outside the LIBOR reference rate range or the closing level of the underlying index is less than the index reference level, then no interest will accrue on the notes for that accrual period and you will not receive any interest payment on the related interest payment date.  Additionally, if either the LIBOR reference rate is outside the LIBOR reference rate range or the closing level of the underlying index is less than the index reference level on any elapsed day during a particular accrual period, the per annum interest payable for that accrual period, if any, will be less, and possibly significantly less, than the relevant contingent interest rate for that accrual period.  Thus, the notes are not a suitable investment for investors who require regular fixed income payments, since the interest payments are variable and may be zero.

4
Comment #7 by ytytytyt posted on
ytytytyt
.

.

Dear Shorebreak,

Correct ... that's why the words I used were 'contingent interest'.  There are conditions that need to be met for the note holder to earn the interest.

In a way, this is similar to high contingent interest that account holder of a Reward Checking account may earn.  If the conditions are not met, then the interest is significantly lower.  (The onus of meeting the conditions typically is upon the account holder for the Reward Checking account, and the conditions for this note are left to the market situation.)

Again, as I pointed out, there is no FDIC insurance, and the payment of both interest and principal is dependent upon the ability of Citigroup Inc to pay back. ... What you'be given are a few risks, the term sheet describes few more. ... so ... given this maybe for some this will be appropriate. One need to carefully consider and make a decesion if to buy or to pass.  Those whose primary criterion is FDIC insurance of course must pass this.

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

2
Comment #8 by ytytytyt posted on
ytytytyt
.

.

Dear Wanderer (anonymous) - #4,

Guggenheim used to offer an ETF for Russian Rubles.  They closed it sometime ago.  Since then the US traders have no currency ETF for trading Russian Ruble.  (Same situation for Mexican Peso.)  Please share if you know how does one go about trading currency? Details like Brokers, Commissions, trading hours.

Thanks.

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

1
Comment #9 by ytytytyt posted on
ytytytyt
.

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Dear Shorebreak,

To put the things in perspective, let me copy the text that's given by Duke on their web site.  (BTW, these notes are included in this thread by Mr Tumin.)

We can see a few common points between notes by Citi and by Duke.  (a) both lack FDIC insurance (b) both are dependent upon the ability of the issuer to payup interest/principal (c) both depend upon performance of something other than the note holder.  (Of course there are differences as well.)

>> An investment in PremierNotes allows individuals and institutions to benefit from the financial
>> strength of Duke Energy Corporation. PremierNotes are not money market accounts, which are
>> typically diversified funds consisting of short-term debt securities of many issuers, and therefore do
>> not meet the diversification and investment quality standards set forth for money market funds
>> by the Investment Company Act of 1940. Instead, PremierNotes are variable denomination,
>> floating rate demand notes that are unsecured debt obligations of Duke Energy Corporation and
>> are backed only by the assets of Duke Energy Corporation. Your investment in PremierNotes is
>> not equivalent to a deposit or other bank account and is not guaranteed, insured, or subject to
>> the protection of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

1
Comment #10 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
ytytytyt,

What I was suggesting, with respect to Russian bank accounts, is not currency trading, but, rather, a standard deposit in Moscow. VT Bank is one of the bigger Russian banks, and they pay about 9% on dollar deposits. Assuming they stay in business, and given Russia's oil wealth and the bank's ties to big government figures, they probably always will, you will get back US dollars, not Russian rubles, when the time deposit matures. You can also open an account denominated in Russian rubles, if you want, and it pays higher interest rates.

Billionaire and former partner of George Soros, Jim Rogers, who together "broke" the British pound back in the 1980s, recently touted the ruble, in a Yahoo Finance video, as a "better" currency than the dollar, for the coming decade. In any case, you would only "trade" the currency, when the time deposit came due, when, presumably, you would convert to dollars if you chose to go with a ruble denominated account.

Anyone interested in foreign bank deposits must file a declaration paper with the IRS. If you hold more than $10,000 in a foreign bank account, in our increasingly police-state oriented America, you must declare it a month or two before your 1040 form. If you don't, and Uncle Sam finds out, he can seize the money as "contraband", and may also heavily penalize you, even if it was an error of omission.

1
Comment #11 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
Correction. VTB Bank.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Please keep to the topic 'best bank account interest rates"!!!!

8
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
#12 - isn't a cash account paying 9% interest, or a gold deposit account that pays interest exactly on topic?  Neither option has FDIC insurance, but the alternatives listed in the primary post don't either. According to the commenter, there IS some type of national bank insurance for these foreign alternatives. That's better than Ford Motor Company or Ally Bank notes. With rates as low as they are, all alternatives need to be known!

3
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Good to see that there are some posters here that are aware of, & brave enough to point out that life & opportunities do exist outside FDIC insurance & outside these United States.  

4
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ytytytyt and wanderer

yada  yada yada !

5
Comment #16 by ytytytyt posted on
ytytytyt
.

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Dear Wanderer,

I was inquiring about trading Ruble rather than putting Dollars in a Russian bank.  Everbank offers few foreign currency CDs, but they don't offer Ruble.

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Why you would want to "trade" the Russian ruble, and recieve little or no interest? That's what you'd get in an ETF similar to the Wisdom Tree or CurrencyShares schemes. Instead, you can open a ruble denominated traditional bank CD, which they just call a "time deposit", for one year, be covered by a national bank insurance scheme similar to the FDIC, and get 15% per year interest. According to Jim Rogers, the ruble is going to go up a lot against the US dollar over the next 10 years, but, even if that doesn't happen, and it stays even or goes down a bit, such a high interest rate is likely to offset any potential loss. Or, you can have the same account denominated in dollars and get about 7-9% interest on it, depending on the bank. As an American citizen, you will need to file a required IRS disclosure form document each year. That's it.

1
Comment #18 by ytytytyt posted on
ytytytyt
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Dear 17,

For the usual reasons of course.  To get capital gains if/when they materialize, and to get out at a tolerable level of loss if there is one, rather than allowing it to become a an intolerable one.

The timed deposit covered by the scheme similar to FDIC will not insure against the currency flucuation.  Ultimately I'll like to get back the funds in US Dollars, so if there is a massive falls in Ruble against Dollar then any interest earned may be negligible or even be wiped out, and perhaps the dollar converted principal may even be lesser than what was put in.  This is the same reason why I intend to trade PPLT, PALL and SPPP.  And I always trade FXY, YCL, YCS ... BZF, ICN ... FXA, GDAY, CROC etc. 

I do follow the logic where one buys and holds for the duration of the timed-deposit in foreign currency to earn interest and possibly capital gains, or the logic where it is hoped that over long term Gold, Platinum, Palladium will go up, so the holder will get capital gain when s/he finally sells.  It is just that I am always on the lookout for an asset class that I perceive is oversold to buy, and an asset class that I perceive is overbought to short using technical analysis.  I lack the necessary conviction to firmly believe that this or that asset class - will go up, and then accordingly buy then keep holding till it really goes up.  Intead I've found it useful to place stop-loss at the opening, and then use trailing-stop, if the asset really moves up.

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

2
Comment #20 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
OK. I have a different strategy. I use the transactional bank accounts I find here for my trading. Whenever there is a margin call on my accounts, I will immediately wire cash from my liquid MMs or checking accounts. I identify a commodity or stock that is undervalued, and invest in it. I keep enough cash in the bank, at all times, to back up my investments dollar for dollar, and I doubt let the manipulators "stop" me out. That's why this site is so useful to me because I find the best transactional accounts here.

I also look for underbought assets, like platinum at $1,400 last December. Knowing that it cost an average of close to $1,650 (last year) to take it from the ground, it was a no-lose proposition. But, it was also a long term bet, because the manipulators had artificially crashed the price. Given that it costs 10-15% more every year to finish an ounce of pure platinum, I knew the price must rise. But, I didn't expect that in a week or month. Indeed, immediately after I bought in, the price dipped into the $1,300s range. But, I didn't care, because that usually happens. I ignore the short term manipulations and, like Jim Rogers, I am invested long term.

But, when I do put away cash, a CD paying 1-2% seems ridiculous and not worthy of my attention. In contrast, a 9% dollar-based time deposit in a foreign bank seems reasonable. It needs, of course, to be a deposit in a major bank in a big petroleum/gas/agricultural exporter (like Russia) so that there will always be enough US dollars to repay me. Since I also see the US dollar as losing buying power value faster than the Russian ruble, over the long run, I would consider a ruble denominated account. The thing I don't like about American banks are artificial ultra-low interest rates created by the Federal Reserve. Overseas, the same criteria don't apply, since they don't have Fed Mandarins and their games.

1
Comment #21 by ytytytyt posted on
ytytytyt
.

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Dear Wanderer,

Sure ... different strokes for different folks ... Whatever generates satisfactory reward for one given his/her tolerance for the associated risk, ought to be good enough him/her!

The unknowns are simply too many, and I believe in general humans lack the capability to predict the future with any degree of accuracy, especially when the time frame goes in years/decades.  Therefore, I do what I guestimate will generate profit for me, but always provide for a stop-loss to become active, when my guestimate is wrong.

Our central bank's dual mandate makes it unique.  In my opinion it is an extraordinary wise mechanism of 'stop-loss' designed to help those among us who are probably the most needy. I know that perhaps many will disagree. Many will believe that central bank must not be shackled with 'employment', that they must solely focus on 'money'.  ... But as long as the existing law stands, the stop-loss stays in place!

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

2
Comment #22 by Wanderer (anonymous) posted on
Wanderer
ytytytyt,

As a Libertarian, I am very anti-Federal Reserve as a matter of principle. I think it is one of the worst institutions ever created in the USA.

I am very comfortable buying both foreign assets and putting money in overseas bank accounts. I have done both and not been sorry for either. The further from Federal Reserve mischief my wealth is, the more wealth I seem to be able to make for myself. Many nations are more prosperous than the USA now, including, for example, Singapore, where the average income is 50% higher than in the USA.


Russia is another rising star of a nation. A Phoenix from the ashes, if you will. But, then, my frequent business trips allow me to come into physical contact with alternatives, which is not necessarily the case for a lot of Americans.


Sincerely,

Wanderer

1
Comment #23 by ytytyt posted on
ytytyt
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Dear Wanderer (anonymous) - #22,

This is the point where I strongly disagree.  Besides the reason I gave already, another reason is practical.  We do not have sufficient physical gold to reverse the action President Nixon took on August 15, 1971.

A small good news.  Today onwards Schwab brokerage is allowing commission-free trading of the following ETFs.



  Description Symbol
  ETFS Physical Precious Metals Basket GLTR
  ETFS Physical Palladium Shares PALL
  ETFS Physical Platinum Shares PPLT
  ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares SGOL
  ETFS Physical Silver Shares SIVR
  ETFS Physical White Metals Basket S... WITE
  United States Commodity Index Fund, USCI
  United States Gasoline Fund UGA
  United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund UNL
  United States 12 Month Oil Fund USL
 

Yours Truly,
Anonymous

1