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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending December 8, 2013

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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending December 8, 2013

Last week’s better-than-expected economic data raised expectations that the Fed will soon begin tapering its bond buying program. However, according to this New York Times article:

[I]nfluential Fed officials see little harm in postponing the decision, particularly compared with the risks of pulling back too soon. Significant details of the eventual retreat also remain the subjects of unresolved debates, according to the public statements and interviews. And some officials argue that the slow pace of inflation is itself a reason for the Fed to maintain its stimulus campaign.

Even when the Fed finally decides to begin tapering, the Fed will still be committed to the zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). The unemployment rate needs to keep falling and the inflation rate needs to rise before the Fed will even consider ending ZIRP, and based on Janet Yellen’s history, she won’t be in a hurry to end ZIRP when she takes over as the next Fed chairperson in February (assuming the Senate confirms her).

Treasury yields increased last week from better-than-expected economic data. 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: 0.03% down from 0.05% last week
  • 6-month: 0.10% down from 0.11% last week
  • 2--year: 0.30% up from 0.28% last week
  • 5--year: 1.51% up from 1.37% last week
  • 10-year: 2.88% up from 2.75% last week
  • 30-year: 3.90% up from 3.82% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 13% down from 15% two weeks ago
  • Apr 2015: 30% down from 32% two weeks ago
  • Jul 2015: 57% up from 53% two weeks ago

For the fifth 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

This was a quiet week for rate changes. Only one bank increased its savings account rate. GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife Bank) increased the top rate from 0.85% to 0.90%. In addition, it removed the balance requirement to qualify for the top rate. Previously, a $25,000 minimum balance was required to qualify for the top rate. It’s interesting to note that this savings account rate and the lack of rate tiers now matches GE Capital Bank’s savings account. These two banks are sister banks that are both part of the General Electric Company. It’s nice to have banks that are part of the same company competing against each other.

We continue to 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

There were no rate or balance cap changes on the nationally available reward checking accounts in the table below.

I just reported on one new reward checking account last week. It’s a new Kasasa Cash account that’s being offered by RepublicBankAz, N.A. The rate and balance cap are a little low compared to what’s nationally available. It currently pays 2.50% APY on balances up to $15K, and the bank is only accepting applications from people in Arizona.

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:

  • GE Capital Retail Bank Savings - 0.90% on all balances [was 0.85% ($25K+)]

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 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 December 8, 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
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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