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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 April 6, 2013

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Friday's disappointing jobs report is another sign that economic growth remains sluggish. Other data released this week also showed similar weakness, but there were a few bright spots. According to Calculated Risk Blog's weekly summary:

The employment report was well below expectations with only 88,000 payroll jobs added, the ISM manufacturing and service indexes indicated slower growth in March, initial weekly unemployment claims increased sharply, and even auto sales were a little disappointing.

On the positive side, construction spending increased, and it appears the layoffs at the state and local government level are ending (two of the key reasons I'm more optimistic this year).

The weak employment report gives the Fed another reason to avoid even thinking about letting up on QE and its zero-interest rate policy. That was probably the main reason for the big drop this week in the Fed fund futures. It shows the probability of a rate hike at the Fed of only 45% by April 2015. That's down from 54% in the previous week. The employment report was also a big factor in driving Treasury yields lower this week. The Treasury yield changes over the last week and the expectation of future Fed funds rates are shown below. Numbers are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 6-month: 0.10% down from 0.11% last week
  • 2--year: 0.24% down from 0.25% last week
  • 5--year: 0.68% down from 0.77% last week
  • 10-year: 1.72% down from 1.87% last week
  • 30-year: 2.87% down from 3.10% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 30% down from 41% last week
  • Apr 2015: 45% down from 54% last week

One small Arizona bank failed on Friday. That was the first bank to fail since early March, and it was the fifth bank failure in the nation so far this year. At this time last year there had already been 16 bank failures, and at this time in 2011, there had been 26 bank failures.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

Only one bank on my list cut rates this week. That was Incredible Bank which cut its money market account yield from 1.01% to 0.96% for balances up to $250K.

On the plus side, I added a bank with a 1% savings account. That's BofI Federal Bank, the parent of Bank of Internet USA and UFB Direct. This rate is only available through affinity groups. However, some groups such as the American Seniors Association can be joined by anyone. Thus, I'm considering this a nationwide deal. Just beware that the rate may not last, just like what happened at UFB Direct.

The hot deal at Pacific Trust Bank in Southern California has been continued into April. It offers a 1.25% APY for balances of at least $250,000, and this yield is guaranteed to last through 2013. I first reviewed this deal a few weeks ago. Several readers have reported being allowed to open this account by mail. Please refer to the comments in this post for more details.

The best non-promo rate for large balances continues to be Connexus Credit Union's Y.E.S. Money Market. It has a 1.15% APY for balances over $100K and 1.00% APY for balances of $50K to under $100K. The downside is that it requires an active checking account with direct deposit.

The highest rate without a checking requirement and without balance caps continues to be MyBankingDirect's money market account. It still has a 1.05% APY. This APY has held since June 2012. Its rates have been remained near the top of my list since June 2011.

Reward Checking Accounts

There were rate cuts on several of the nationally available reward checking accounts. The most noteworthy was at ABCO Federal Credit Union. Its yield fell from 2.12% to 2.02% for balances up to $25K. Even with this cut, it remains the highest yield for a $25K balance cap.

There was also one removal from the list. First Financial Bank stopped offering its reward checking account nationwide. The bank restricted new accounts to just its market area in parts of Arkansas and Mississippi. Unfortunately, this has been a common occurrence for banks with good reward checking deals. They either restrict new accounts to their market area or cut rates and/or balance caps.

Just like the savings accounts, I added BofI Federal Bank's Rewards Checking account to the list. As I mentioned in the savings account section, this rate is only available through affinity groups. However, some groups such as the American Seniors Association can be joined by anyone. The Rewards Checking account is very similar to what Bank of Internet USA offers. The main advantage is its yield of 1.50% as compared to 1.25% at Bank of Internet USA. One downside is that the affinity groups' Reward Checking account requires more debit card usage.

There were also many rate and balance cap cuts on reward checking accounts that aren't nationally available. A noteworthy cut happened at Halliburton Employees FCU which had one of the nation's best reward checking account. Effective April 1st, its $mart Checking account yield fell from 3.55% to 3.05%, and its balance cap fell from $25K to $20K.

You can check out other rate and balance cap changes in the reward checking subforum.

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. BofI Federal Bank (affinity groups) Rewards Checking - 1.50% (up to $150K)
  2. BofI Federal Bank (affinity groups) Savings - 1.00%

Removals:

  1. First Financial Bank Kasasa Cash (reward chk) - 3.00% (up to $15K) no longer nationally available

Rate Hikes:

  1. None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  1. ABCO FCU Reward Checking - 2.02% (up to $25K) 0.20% ($25K+) [was 2.12% / 0.30%]
  2. First Tech FCU reward checking - 1.58% (up to $10K) 0.16% ($10K+) [was 1.78% / 0.16%]
  3. Heritage Bank reward checking - 1.26% (up to $25K) 0.10% ($25K+) [was 1.31% / 0.10%]
  4. Incredible Bank MMA - 0.96% (up to $250K) [was 1.01%]

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 April 6, 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)


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