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.
Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:
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.
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.
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.
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
|Connexus Credit Union||1.15% ($100K) 1.00% ($50K) 0.75% ($20K)||MMA - active chk required|
|EverBank||1.10% (6mo intro rate) 0.61% ongoing rate||MMA/Checking - account review|
|SFGI Direct||1.01%||savings account, account review|
|First Trade Union Bank||1.00% ($2.5K)||FT High-Yield Savings, account review|
|MySavingsDirect||1.00%||savings account - account review|
|iGObanking.com||1.00% ($100K) 0.75% ($75K) 0.50% ($25K)||savings account (no check writing) account review|
|SmartyPig||1.00%||savings account - account review|
|Salem Five Direct||1.00%||savings, for new customers only|
|GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)||0.95%||Savings|
|Incredible Bank||0.95% ($2.5K min)||MMA account review|
|CIT Bank||0.95% ($25K) 0.90% ($100)||savings account, account review|
|Bank5 Connect||0.90% (min $100)||online savings account (not available for MA and RI residents)|
|GE Capital Bank||0.90%||online savings account|
|Sallie Mae Bank||0.90%||MMA account review|
|Union Federal Savings Bank||0.90% (min $2.5K)||MMA account review|
|Barclays||0.90%||Savings account review|
|Redneck Bank||0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)||MMA|
|AmericaNet Bank||0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)||MMA|
|Evantage Bank||0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)||MMA|
|Palladian Private Bank||0.90% (min $10K)||savings account|
|Discover Bank||0.85% (min $500)||savings account, account review|
|Colorado Federal Savings Bank||0.85% ($2.5K min)||savings account, account review|
|Capital One 360||0.85% ($100K) 0.80% ($50K)||360 Checking|
|FNBO Direct||0.85%||savings account|
|GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)||0.85% ($10K)||MMA|
|Mutual of Omaha Bank||0.85% (min $25)||MMA, account review|
|American Express Bank||0.80%||savings account, account review|
|Sallie Mae Bank||0.80%||savings account, account review|
|MyBankingDirect||0.80% (min $5K)||MMA|
|ableBanking||0.80% (min $1K)||MMA|
|Bank5 Connect||0.76% (min $100)||checking account (not available for MA and RI residents)|
|Bank of Internet USA||0.75%||MMA|
|Capital One 360||0.75%||360 savings account|
|Clear Sky Accounts||0.70% (max $250K)||savings account, account review|
|Alliant Credit Union||0.70% (min $100)||savings account, account review|
|Nationwide Bank||0.66% (min $1K)||MMA|
|Incredible Bank||0.66% ($1K min)||checking, account review|
|Alliant Credit Union||0.65%||Checking (req's elec. dep & e-stmts) account review|
|Consumers Credit Union||4.09% (up to $10K) 0.20% ($10K-$25K) 0.10% ($25K+)||Rewards Checking - with cc requirements|
|INOVA Federal Credit Union||3.00% (up to $20K) 0.15% ($20K+)||Ovation Checking (not available to PA residents)|
|Lake Michigan Credit Union||3.00% (up to $15K) 0.00% ($15K+)||Max Checking|
|Great Lakes Credit Union||3.00% (up to $10K) 0.05% ($10K+)||Ultimate Checking|
|Belvoir FCU||2.53% (up to $15K) 0.05% ($15K+)||CUXcel Checking|
|Lee Bank||2.50% (up to $15K) 0.50% ($15K+)||CACHEChecking|
|Capital Educators Federal Credit Union||2.50% (up to $10K) 0.20% ($10K+)||High Yield Checking|
|Security Bank||2.05% (up to $25K) 0.30% ($25K+)||Security Bonus Checking|
|XCEL Federal Credit Union||2.01% (up to $15K) 0.30% ($15K+)||Kasasa Cash Checking|
|First American Bank||2.00% (up to $15K) 0.15% ($15K+)||Everyday Rewards Checking|
|ABCO Federal Credit Union||1.76% (up to $25K) 0.20% ($25K+)||Premiere Checking|
|Provident Credit Union||1.76% (up to $25K) 0.11% ($25K+)||Super Reward Checking|
|Connexus Credit Union||1.75% (up to $25K) 0.31% ($25K+)||Xtraordinary Checking|
|First Tech Federal Credit Union||1.58% (up to $10K) 0.16% ($10K+)||Dividend Rewards Checking|
|Aspire Federal Credit Union||1.51% (up to $10K) 0.25% ($10K+)||Kasasa Cash|
|Community Bank of Raymore||1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+)||Rewards Checking|
|Community Bank of Pleasant Hill||1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+)||Rewards Checking|
|Redneck Bank||1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K) effective March 20||Redneck Rewards Checking|
|AmericaNet Bank||1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+) effective March 20||AmericaNet Rewards Checking|
|Evantage Bank||1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+) effective March 20||Evantage Rewards Checking|
|West Texas National Bank||1.26% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)||Ultimate Checking|
|Heritage Bank||1.26% (up to $25K) 0.10% ($25K+)||eCentive Account|
|First New England Federal Credit Union||1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)||extra 1% w/relationship|
|Bank of Blue Valley||1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)||$1K/month debit card req (account review)|
|Bank of Internet USA||1.25% (up to $150K) 0.00% ($150K+)||Rewards Checking|
|BankFirst Financial Services||1.25% (up to $25K) 0.15% ($25K+)||Kasasa Cash|
|Avidia Bank||1.06% (up to $25K) 0.05% ($25K+)||eChecking|
|Legence Bank||1.05% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)||Kasasa Cash|
|North Country Savings Bank||1.05% (up to $25K) 0.75% ($25K+)||Advantage Checking|
|State Bank of Toledo||1.00% (up to $25K) 0.15% ($25K+)||Hometown Rewards Checking|
|Ally Financial Demand Notes||1.35%||Ally Demand Notes review|
|Duke Energy PremierNotes||1.25% rate for $50K+||Duke Energy PremierNotes review|
|Ford Interest Advantage||1.10% rate for $50k+||Ford Interest Advantage review|
|GE Interest Plus||1.05% rate for $50k+|
|Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund||0.01% 7-day yield|
|Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund||0.01% 7-day yield|
|Fidelity Money Market Fund||0.01% 7-day yield||reviews on Fatwallet|
|Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund||0.01% 7-day yield|
|TIAA-CREF Money Market Fund||0.00% 7-day yield|