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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending March 30, 2014

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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending March 30, 2014

When will interest rates rise? A lot depends on the economy. Many economists including those at the Fed expect that the economy will strengthen over the next couple of years. That will allow the Fed to hike rates as soon as 2015. In fact, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen suggested after the 19th FOMC meeting that rate hikes could happen as soon as the first half of 2015. That’s probably the best case scenario. As new economics reports come out (like next Friday’s March jobs report), we’ll see if the economy is strengthening. Over the last five years, we have yet to see a long period of sustained and strong economic growth. The Fed has used this fact to justify its Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP). There is a chance that this might not change anytime soon. This WaPo opinion piece reviews the possibility that we are in a permanent economic slowdown:

Since the Great Recession, the bland (often unstated) premise has been that the economy would ultimately recover in full. Now, some economists question this and argue that the economic crisis created — or exposed — enduring weaknesses.

If there is a permanent economic slowdown, higher interest rates could be a very long way off. Let’s hope we see better economic news starting this week.

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: 0.03% down from 0.05% last week
  • 6-month: 0.06% down from 0.08% last week
  • 2--year: 0.45% same as last week
  • 5--year: 1.74% up from 1.73% last week
  • 10-year: 2.73% down from 2.75% last week
  • 30-year: 3.55% down from 3.61% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 18% down from 25% last week
  • Apr 2015: 49% down from 52% last week
  • Jul 2015: 82% up from 81% last week
  • Oct 2015: 97% up from 96% last week

Savings & Checking Account Rates

Last week was another quiet week in the savings and money market accounts that I track below. There were no rate changes.

The number of institutions offering a non-promo 1% savings or money market account continues to be five. SFGI Direct is the latest one in this club with its 1.01% APY savings account. Three of those five are MySavingsDirect savings account, the 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. Note, I exclude EverBank and Salem Five Direct. Only new customers can earn over 1% at these banks.

Out of the above five, the accounts at Connexus Credit Union and SmartyPig have the longest history of top rates.

Reward Checking Accounts

The only rate change this week for the nationally available reward checking accounts was at First American Bank. It lowered the top rate of its Everyday Rewards Checking account from 2.00% to 1.50% APY for balances up to $15,000. This is a fairly new account. My first post on this account was in February. This is one example when it pays not to jump quickly on new competitive reward checking accounts.

After this change at First American Bank, there is now only six banks and credit unions in my table below offering reward checking yields of 2.00% or above for balances of at least $15,000.

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:

  • First American Bank Everyday Rewards Checking - 1.50% (up to $15K) [was 2.00%]

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
  • Nothing new this week
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 30, 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
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
First Trade Union Bank0.95% ($2.5K)FT High-Yield Savings, account review
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
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
First American Bank1.50% (up to $15K) 0.15% ($15K+)Everyday Rewards Checking
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+)Redneck Rewards Checking
AmericaNet Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)AmericaNet Rewards Checking
Evantage Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)Evantage 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
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
First New England Federal Credit Union1.01% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)extra 1% w/relationship
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)



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