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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending September 7, 2013

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Friday’s employment report was weak, and that has raised doubts that the Fed will start tapering in its September 17-18th meeting. The Calculated Risk blog provided this summary of the report:

Overall this was a weak employment report. Although the headline number of 169,000 jobs added was just a little below the consensus forecast, the downward revisions to the June and July estimates were significant (74,000 fewer jobs than previously reported). Disappointing.

Even though the report was below expectations, many economists still think tapering will begin this month. Here’s what one said in the New York Times:

“There’s just barely enough in that report and in other forward-looking indicators we’ve seen to give Fed governors the confidence they need on the 18th to taper,”

Even CR is thinking that the start of tapering may come sooner rather than later:

A few months ago I thought the Fed would wait until December, but the upward revisions to GDP and the decline in the unemployment rate has made it less clear. I don't know how much the Fed will weigh the decline in the participation rate.

The weak jobs report did cause Treasury yields to fall on Friday, but the yields are up for the week. This week’s change in Treasury yields and Fed funds futures are shown below. The following numbers are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 6-month: 0.05% same as last week
  • 2--year: 0.46% up from 0.39% last week
  • 5--year: 1.77% up from 1.62% last week
  • 10-year: 2.94% up from 2.78% last week
  • 30-year: 3.87% up from 3.70% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 85% up from 74% last week
  • Apr 2015: 95% up from 88% last week

No banks failed this week so the total number of bank failures for the year remains at 20. As a comparison, at this time last year there had been 41 bank failures for the year.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

Higher Treasury yields may be helping to increase some long-term CD rates, but they’re not having an effect on savings and money market rates. The only rate change this week was a big rate cut at Bank X, a division of BofI Federal Bank. Bank X savings account rate fell from 0.95% to 0.60%. Due to the new low rate, I removed it from the list. Rate cuts like this have been common at the divisions of BofI Federal Bank. I’m sure many remember UFB Direct.

As I first reported a few weeks ago, Evantage Bank and its two sister banks (Redneck Bank and AmericaNet Bank) are scheduled to lower their Mega Money Market yields from 1.10% to 0.90% on September 19th. The balance cap remains at $35,000. One thing nice about these banks is that they’re informing customers before the rate cut takes effect.

Connexus Y.E.S. Money Market Account continues to hold the top spot with a top-tier APY of 1.15% for a $100K minimum balance. An important downside of this account is that it requires an active checking account and direct deposit.

Second place is a tie between the savings accounts of Palladian Private Bank and SmartyPig. Both offer 1.00% APY with no balance cap. SmartyPig has held steady with a 1.00% APY since June 2012.

Reward Checking Accounts

In the list of nationally available reward checking accounts, there was just one bank that made a change to its reward checking rate this week, and it was the same bank that made a savings account rate change. BofI Federal Bank was offering higher rates on several products through its affinity groups. One of those was the Rewards Checking account which had a rate premium of 25 bps. That premium ended this week, and now there’s no difference between the affinity group rate and the standard rate of Bank of Internet’s Reward Checking rate. With a 1.25% APY for balances up to $150K, it’s still a good deal. Also, this has held for more than two years. However, after the big rate cuts at Bank X and UFB Direct, it’s hard to trust this bank.

In addition to cuts to the first-tier rates, some banks and credit unions have cut their second-tier rates. Many times this is a non-issue since the second-tier rates are so low. But a few institutions have offered respectable second-tier rates that make the accounts a very good alternative to internet savings accounts even for those with large savings balances. One of those institutions was NavyArmy Community Credit Union which had been offering a reward checking account with a 3.51% APY for balances up to $25K and 1.01% APY for the portion of the balance over $25K. That second-tier rate has recently fallen to 0.50%. Thanks to DA member 51hh who reported this news in the forum.

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:

  • None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  • BofI Federal Bank (affinity groups) Rewards Checking - 1.25% (up to $150K) [was 1.50%] (removed from list)
  • Bank X (BofI Federal) Savings Account - 0.60% [was 0.95%] (removed from list)
  • Redneck Bank MMA - 0.90% up to $35K (scheduled for 9/19) [currently 1.10%]
  • AmericaNet Bank MMA - 0.90% up to $35K (scheduled for 9/19) [currently 1.10%]
  • Evantage Bank MMA - 0.90% up to $35K (scheduled for 9/19) [currently 1.10%]

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 for this week
Reward Checking Accounts CD and Money Market Deals - Local
  • No new posts for 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 September 7, 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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Comments
3 Comments.


Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
H & R Block Bank is exiting the banking business as of October 22 and will be closing any of the traditional bank product accounts on that date.  With the competitive business from tax filing software and the elimination of refund anticipation loans, they probably no longer wanted to keep running a FSB anymore.

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