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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending December 15, 2013

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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending December 15, 2013

The FOMC meets on Tuesday and Wednesday for its last meeting of the year. In addition, the FOMC will be releasing its economic projections, and Chairman Bernanke will be holding what will likely be his last press conference. The analysts expect the Fed will delay the start of tapering. However, the Calculated Risk blog makes a good case why a small taper of QE may begin:

In September I wrote "It does seem odd that the FOMC would start reducing asset purchases while downgrading GDP, and also expressing concern about the downside risks from fiscal policy". In some ways the reverse is true now. GDP and unemployment will meet or exceed the FOMC's September projections, and core inflation will be close. And fiscal policies appear resolved for 2014.

Clearly the data is broadly consistent with the September FOMC projections, so a small taper should not be a surprise (even if most analysts think the FOMC will wait until early 2014).

CR got it right in September when most analysts got it wrong. It’ll be interesting to see if the same thing happens this week. Even if tapering does begin this week, it probably won’t mean much for deposit rates, at least for short-term rates. As CR mentioned "Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will probably make it clear that the Fed will not raise rates for a "considerable" time after the end of QE." I’m sure Janet Yellen will push for the same when she takes over as Fed Chairperson.

Treasury yield changes were mixed this week. Recent economic data on jobs and manufacturing has encouraged higher yields, but Friday’s inflation news pushed yields down slightly. 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: 0.02% down from 0.03% last week
  • 6-month: 0.09% down from 0.10% last week
  • 2--year: 0.34% up from 0.30% last week
  • 5--year: 1.55% up from 1.51% last week
  • 10-year: 2.88% same as last week
  • 30-year: 3.88% down from 3.90% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 18% up from 13% last week
  • Apr 2015: 36% up from 30% last week
  • Jul 2015: 61% up from 57% last week

After six weeks, we finally had a bank failure. One small Texas bank failed on Friday. That’s the 24th bank failure of this year. As a comparison, at this time last year there had been 51 bank failures for the year.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

This was a quiet week for rate changes. There were no rate changes for the banks in my list of top nationally available savings accounts. However, there was one addition. Seacoast Commerce Bank is offering a money market account with a 1.00% APY for balances of at least $50K. What’s nice about this account is that the 1.00% APY is guaranteed until 9/30/2014. The bank is currently allowing people from any state to open this account.

If we exclude Seacoast's promo money market account, we now have 5 institutions with non-promo rates at or above 1.00%. Four of those 5 are the new MySavingsDirect savings account, 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

Just like the savings accounts, this was a very quiet week for reward checking rate changes. There were no rate or balance cap changes on the nationally available reward checking accounts in the table below.

It wasn’t a nationwide reward checking account, but the Optimum Checking account at Old Florida National Bank was a good deal for those in Central Florida and for anyone who could travel to one of the bank’s branches. It had been offering a 3.04% APY for balances up to $25K for over four years. Unfortunately, the bank has decided to stop offering this account. Changes to the account for existing customers should be announced in 30 to 60 days. It seems likely we’ll see rate and/or balance cap cuts.

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.

New Additions

  • Seacoast Commerce Bank MMA - 1.00% ($50K) guaranteed until 9/30/14

Rate Hikes:

  • None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  • 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 Last Week's Posts

Banking News/Resources Savings/MMA - National
  • Nothing new this week
CD Deals/Resources - National Checking/Savings/CC Bonuses Reward Checking Accounts CD and Money Market Deals - Local
  • Nothing new 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 December 15, 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
Seacoast Commerce Bank1.00% ($50K)MMA, rate guaranteed until 9/30/14 - account review
MySavingsDirect1.00%savings account - 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
GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)0.90%Savings
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% ($10K)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
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
Avidia Bank1.06% (up to $25K) 0.05% ($25K+)eChecking
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
1 Comments.


Comment #2 by Joshua (anonymous) posted on
Joshua
Please avoid 1stConstitution Bank. My accountant just informed me they have been charging a monthly "dormant" fee of 5.00 for the past year.

2