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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending March 2, 2014

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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending March 2, 2014

Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen in the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday said that there is uncertainty about how much of the recent economic weakness is weather related. If the Fed determines that the weather isn’t the only factor in the slowdown, the Fed could cut back on the tapering, and that could delay when we see rate hikes. However, Chairwoman Yellen did say that it would take a "significant change in the outlook" for a change to be made to the pace of tapering.

One thing the Fed may have overlooked is that the risks of market chaos has grown as the Fed let the Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) go on for so long. As the Fed ends ZIRP, the chance of a stock market crash and economic disruption is significant. As described in this WaPo article:

a major paper by a quartet of top economists suggests that confidence in the Fed's ability to taper without causing market chaos may be misplaced.

This could put pressure on the Fed to slow the exit from ZIRP.

Some weak economic reports continue to push down yields. The change in Treasury yields and Fed funds futures in the last week are shown below. The following numbers are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 1-month: 0.04% up from 0.02% last week
  • 6-month: 0.08% same as last week
  • 2--year: 0.33% same as last week
  • 5--year: 1.51% down from 1.56% last week
  • 10-year: 2.66% down from 2.73% last week
  • 30-year: 3.59% down from 3.69% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 15% down from 16% last week
  • Apr 2015: 35% same as last week
  • Jul 2015: 58% down from 60% last week
  • Oct 2015: 81% down from 82% last week

Savings & Checking Account Rates

Three internet banks made rate changes last week.

On the positive side, GE Capital Retail Bank increased its savings account rate from 0.90% to 0.95% APY.

On the negative side, American Express Bank reduced its savings account rate from 0.85% to 0.80%. Also, Nationwide Bank reduced its money market rate from 0.71% to 0.66%.

GE Capital Retail Bank’s new savings account rate came close to 1%, but until it reaches 1%, it’s not a top rate. The number of institutions offering a non-promo 1% savings or money market account remains at six (I consider Salem’s rate a promo for new customers). SFGI Direct is the latest one in this club with its 1.01% APY savings account. Four of those six are First Trade Union Bank savings account, MySavingsDirect savings account, the new iGObanking.com money market account and the SmartyPig savings account. All of these are offering 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

The most interesting change last week was at Consumers Credit Union. Its Rewards Checking Account now has two new rate tiers. If you do the typical reward checking requirements, you’ll qualify for 3.09% APY for balances up to $10K. This used to be 3.09% APY for balances up to $5K. So that’s a nice increase in the balance cap. The interesting aspect is that you can earn 4.09% APY for balances up to $10K for performing the typical reward checking requirements and in addition completing 12 VISA Credit Card purchases. There’s no minimum purchase requirement. You can earn 5.09% APY for balances up to $10K by performing the typical reward checking requirements and in addition spending $1K or more in VISA purchases. I doubt the requirement for earning 5.09% will appeal to most reward checking customers. Thus, I’m only listing 4.09% in the table below.

The other change is a disappointment. Redneck Bank and its two sister banks (AmericaNet and Evantage) announced that they will be cutting their Rewards Checking top rate from 2.00% to 1.50% APY. The balance cap remains the same at $10K. The change is scheduled to take effect on March 20.

There continues to be only six banks and credit unions in my table below offering reward checking yields of over 2.00% for balances of at least $15K.

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:

  • Consumers Credit Union Rewards Checking - 4.09% (up to $10K) w/new req [was 3.09% (up to $10K)]
  • GE Capital Retail Bank Savings - 0.95% [was 0.90%]

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  • Redneck Bank Rewards Checking - 1.50% (up to $35K) effective March 20 [currently 2% (up to $35K)]
  • AmericaNet Bank Rewards Checking - 1.50% (up to $35K) effective March 20 [currently 2% (up to $35K)]
  • Evantage Bank Rewards Checking - 1.50% (up to $35K) effective March 20 [currently 2% (up to $35K)]
  • American Express Savings - 0.80% [was 0.85%]
  • Nationwide Bank MMA - 0.66% [was 0.71%]

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 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 March 2, 2014

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
SFGI Direct1.01%savings account, account review
First Trade Union Bank1.00% ($2.5K)FT High-Yield Savings, account review
MySavingsDirect1.00%savings account - account review
iGObanking.com1.00% ($100K) 0.75% ($75K) 0.50% ($25K)savings account (no check writing) account review
SmartyPig1.00%savings account - account review
Salem Five Direct1.00%savings, for new customers only
GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)0.95%Savings
Incredible Bank0.95% ($2.5K min)MMA account review
CIT Bank0.95% ($25K) 0.90% ($100)savings account, 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
Palladian Private Bank0.90% (min $10K)savings account
Ally Bank0.87%savings
Ally Bank0.85%MMA
Discover Bank0.85% (min $500)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
American Express Bank0.80%savings account, account review
Sallie Mae Bank0.80%savings account, account review
MyBankingDirect0.80% (min $5K)MMA
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
Clear Sky Accounts0.70% (max $250K)savings account, account review
Alliant Credit Union0.70% (min $100)savings account, account review
Nationwide Bank0.66% (min $1K)MMA
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 Union4.09% (up to $10K) 0.20% ($10K-$25K) 0.10% ($25K+)Rewards Checking - with cc requirements
INOVA Federal Credit Union3.00% (up to $20K) 0.15% ($20K+)Ovation Checking (not available to PA residents)
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+)Kasasa Cash Checking
First American Bank2.00% (up to $15K) 0.15% ($15K+)Everyday 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
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
Community Bank of Raymore1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+)Rewards Checking
Community Bank of Pleasant Hill1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+)Rewards Checking
Redneck Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K) effective March 20Redneck Rewards Checking
AmericaNet Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+) effective March 20AmericaNet Rewards Checking
Evantage Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+) effective March 20Evantage Rewards Checking
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
Ally Financial Demand Notes1.35%Ally Demand Notes review
Duke Energy PremierNotes1.25% rate for $50K+Duke Energy PremierNotes review
Ford Interest Advantage1.10% rate for $50k+Ford Interest Advantage review
GE Interest Plus1.05% 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)



Related Posts

Comments
6 Comments.
Comment #1 by Hoody posted on
Hoody
 The rates at NFCU  did drop but not as bad as PF. Only the 4-7yr changed

                                        
  $1k min. APY* $10k min. APY* $20k min. APY* $50k min. APY* $100k min. APY*

Short-Term Certificate Rates

3 Month .45% .45% .50% .50% .55%
6 Month .55% .55% .60% .60% .65%
9 Month .75% .75% .80% .80% .85%
12 Month .75% .75% .80% .80% .85%
18 Month .85% .85% .90% .90% .95%
24 Month .95% .95% 1.00% 1.00% 1.05%

Long-Term Certificate Rates

3 Year 1.45% 1.45% 1.50% 1.50% 1.55%
4 Year 1.70% 1.70% 1.76% 1.76% 1.80%
5 Year 2.20% 2.20% 2.25% 2.25% 2.30%
6 Year 2.35% 2.35% 2.40% 2.40% 2.45%
7 Year 2.70% 2.70% 2.75% 2.75% 2.80%

5
Comment #2 by gli (anonymous) posted on
gli
Consumer's Credit Union is back up to 10,000 at 3.09% APY or 4.09% APY - or even 5.09%  - they have three tiers/requirement options - that looks interesting:

http://www.myconsumers.org/personal/checking/free-rewards-checking.html

4
Comment #3 by Hoody posted on
Hoody
That ain't CD rates. the Jumbo (100K) is only 1.85 for 5yrs

http://www.myconsumers.org/rates.html#cert

2
Comment #4 by gli (anonymous) posted on
gli
Correct - my reply was not meant to be to your post Hoody - it was a comment about Ken's comments in his post above about Consumer's Credit Union. The reviews of CCU on this website make me cautious - especially the comments about denial due to too many Chex inquirires.

2
Comment #5 by Hoody posted on
Hoody
Hy no sweat, those rates did catch my eye though lolol,

I don't have use for those type of accounts myself, I don't use CC or DC that much, I pay cash for most of what I do, except for large bills I write the old paper check. Only if I'm buying On-Line do I ever use a CC, and thats very seldom. Besides here in VA we have to claim anything we buy on line over 100 bucks and pay state tax, so I try to keep it below that lol.

3
Comment #6 by gli (anonymous) posted on
gli
If 3% rewards checking accounts were not so lucrative, I would pay in cash as well - I find it worth the 20 minutes or so of effort each month to complete the transaction requirements (utility bills, phone, internet online payment) to earn the money. YMMV

5