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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending November 17, 2013

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As I mentioned on Friday, the big news for rates last week came from the Senate confirmation hearing of Janet Yellen. It’s expected that she’ll be confirmed easily. She’ll then replace Ben Bernanke as the next Fed Chair on February 2014.

In this WSJ report of the hearing, Yellen’s answers to the Senators’ questions reminded me of what Bernanke said in past Congressional hearings. Here’s what she said about savers:

In Yellen’s mind, the Fed’s easy-money policies are improving the economy and reducing unemployment. That supposedly is making it easier for retirees to find part-time work and for their children to find work. Just like Bernanke, savers who depend on decent interest rates for their income are taking a backseat to borrowers and spenders.

With Yellen as the Fed Chair, it may be a long time before tapering begins and a much longer time before the Fed starts to raise rates. The markets generally shared this view, and that put downward pressure on Treasury yields. Last 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:

  • 1-month: 0.06% up from 0.04% last week
  • 6-month: 0.10% up from 0.09% last week
  • 2--year: 0.31% down from 0.32% last week
  • 5--year: 1.36% down from 1.42% last week
  • 10-year: 2.71% down from 2.77% last week
  • 30-year: 3.80% down from 3.84% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 21% down from 31% last week
  • Apr 2015: 37% down from 50% last week
  • Jul 2015: 57% down from 69% last week

For the second straight week, no banks failed so the total number of bank failures for the year remains at 23. As a comparison, at this time last year there had been 50 bank failures for the year.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

Like the previous four weeks, there was just one bank that changed its rate. This time it was Ally Bank which reduced its savings and money market rate by 1 basis point to 0.85%. The 0.86% rate only lasted for less than three weeks. Before the 0.86% rate, Ally held steady with a 0.84% rate for over seven months.

It has been a long time since Ally has been a savings account rate leader. Today, there continues to be 11 internet banks with savings or money market accounts with rates of either 0.90% or 0.91%. Unfortunately, this competition wasn’t enough to prevent Ally from cutting its rate.

We currently have only four institutions with non-promo rates at or above 1.00%. Three of those four are the new iGObanking.com money market account, the SmartyPig savings account and Palladian Private Bank savings account. All of these now offer a 1.00% APY. The highest rate continues to be at Connexus Y.E.S. Money Market Account which has 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.

Reward Checking Accounts

Last week was another quiet for reward checking. There were no rate cuts or balance cap cuts last week in my list of nationally available reward checking accounts.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a reward checking account from a local bank or credit union with rates higher than what’s nationally available. I reported on one local reward checking account that’s available to the Austin metro area. It’s from R Bank, and it offers a 3.25% APY on balances up to $15,000.

The highest rate on balances up to $15,000 on a reward checking account that’s available nationwide is 3% APY. That’s available at the all-access credit unions INOVA FCU ($20K balance cap) and Lake Michigan Credit Union ($15K balance cap).

The highest rate on balances up to $15K for any reward checking regardless of availability is 4.11% APY. That’s at Gibsland Bank & Trust in Louisiana, and a branch visit is required to open the account.

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:

  • Ally Bank Savings/MMA - 0.85% [was 0.86%]

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 Last 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 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 November 17, 2013

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
InstitutionRatesNotes
Connexus Credit Union1.15% ($100K) 1.00% ($50K) 0.75% ($20K)MMA - active chk required
EverBank1.10% (6mo intro rate) 0.61% ongoing rateMMA/Checking - account review
iGObanking.com1.00% ($100K) 0.75% ($75K) 0.50% ($25K)money market account - account review
SmartyPig1.00%savings account - account review
Palladian Private Bank1.00% (min $10K)savings account
SFGI Direct0.91%savings account, account review
Incredible Bank0.91% ($2.5K min)MMA account review
Bank5 Connect0.90% (min $100)online savings account (not available for MA and RI residents)
GE Capital Bank0.90%online savings account
Sallie Mae Bank0.90%MMA account review
Union Federal Savings Bank0.90% (min $2.5K)MMA account review
Barclays0.90%Savings account review
Redneck Bank0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)MMA
AmericaNet Bank0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)MMA
Evantage Bank0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)MMA
CIT Bank0.90% ($25K) 0.85% ($100)savings account, account review
Ally Bank0.85%MMA/savings
American Express Bank0.85%savings account, account review
Colorado Federal Savings Bank0.85% ($2.5K min)savings account, account review
Capital One 3600.85% ($100K) 0.80% ($50K)360 Checking
FNBO Direct0.85%savings account
GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)0.85% ($25K) 0.80% ($10K)Savings/MMA
Mutual of Omaha Bank0.85% (min $25)MMA, account review
Sallie Mae Bank0.80%savings account, account review
Salem Five Direct0.80%savings, for new customers only
MyBankingDirect0.80% (min $5K)MMA
Discover Bank0.80% (min $500)savings account, account review
ableBanking0.80% (min $1K)MMA
Bank5 Connect0.76% (min $100)checking account (not available for MA and RI residents)
Bank of Internet USA0.75%MMA
Capital One 3600.75%360 savings account
Nationwide Bank0.71% (min $1K)MMA
Clear Sky Accounts0.70% (max $250K)savings account, account review
Alliant Credit Union0.70% (min $100)savings account, account review
Incredible Bank0.66% ($1K min)checking, account review
Alliant Credit Union0.65%Checking (req's elec. dep & e-stmts) account review

Reward Checking Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
InstitutionRatesNotes
Consumers Credit Union3.09% (up to $5K) 0.20% ($5K-$25K) 0.10% ($25K+)Rewards Checking
Money One Federal Credit Union3.01% (up to $10K) 0.51% ($10K+)Kasasa Cash
INOVA Federal Credit Union3.00% (up to $20K) 0.15% ($20K+)Ovation Checking
Lake Michigan Credit Union3.00% (up to $15K) 0.00% ($15K+)Max Checking
Great Lakes Credit Union3.00% (up to $10K) 0.05% ($10K+)Ultimate Checking
Belvoir FCU2.53% (up to $15K) 0.05% ($15K+)CUXcel Checking
Lee Bank2.50% (up to $15K) 0.50% ($15K+)CACHEChecking
Capital Educators Federal Credit Union2.50% (up to $10K) 0.20% ($10K+)High Yield Checking
Security Bank2.05% (up to $25K) 0.30% ($25K+)Security Bonus Checking
XCEL Federal Credit Union2.01% (up to $15K) 0.30% ($15K+)Redneck Rewards Checking
Redneck Bank2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K)Redneck Rewards Checking
AmericaNet Bank2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)AmericaNet Rewards Checking
Evantage Bank2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)Evantage Rewards Checking
ABCO Federal Credit Union1.76% (up to $25K) 0.20% ($25K+)Premiere Checking
Provident Credit Union1.76% (up to $25K) 0.11% ($25K+)Super Reward Checking
Connexus Credit Union1.75% (up to $25K) 0.31% ($25K+)Xtraordinary Checking
Community Bank of Raymore1.75% (up to $10K) 0.25% ($10K+)Rewards Checking
Community Bank of Pleasant Hill1.75% (up to $10K) 0.25% ($10K+)Rewards Checking
First Tech Federal Credit Union1.58% (up to $10K) 0.16% ($10K+)Dividend Rewards Checking
Aspire Federal Credit Union1.51% (up to $10K) 0.25% ($10K+)Kasasa Cash
Avidia Bank1.36% (up to $25K) 0.05% ($25K+)eChecking
West Texas National Bank1.26% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)Ultimate Checking
Heritage Bank1.26% (up to $25K) 0.10% ($25K+)eCentive Account
First New England Federal Credit Union1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)extra 1% w/relationship
Bank of Blue Valley1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)$1K/month debit card req (account review)
Bank of Internet USA1.25% (up to $150K) 0.00% ($150K+)Rewards Checking
BankFirst Financial Services1.25% (up to $25K) 0.15% ($25K+)Kasasa Cash
Legence Bank1.05% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)Kasasa Cash
North Country Savings Bank1.05% (up to $25K) 0.75% ($25K+)Advantage Checking
State Bank of Toledo1.00% (up to $25K) 0.15% ($25K+)Hometown Rewards Checking

Certificates of Deposit:

Various Deposit Account Deals

Bank Account Alternatives - NOT FDIC Insured

InstitutionRatesNotes
Duke Energy PremierNotes1.40% rate for $50K+Duke Energy PremierNotes review
Ally Financial Demand Notes1.35%Ally Demand Notes review
Ford Interest Advantage1.10% rate for $50k+Ford Interest Advantage review
GE Interest Plus1.10% rate for $50k+
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yield
Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yield
Fidelity Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yieldreviews on Fatwallet
Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yield
TIAA-CREF Money Market Fund0.00% 7-day yield

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


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Comments
Comment #1 by QED posted on
QED
A catastrophe waiting to happen?  No.  Yellen is a catastrophe that's already happened.  She is a death shroud across the body of America.  And worse, do not forget that even in the unlikely event we elect, in 2016, a competent President, Yellen's term will run a full year into that new President's term, making his or her job nearly impossible.  With Yellen's brand of insanity at the Fed's helm you can stick a fork into the USA.  We're done!!

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