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Drastic Rate Drop Pending!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 4:46 PMThe Berkshire Bank - Details
I received the following letter today from The Berkshire Bank (emphasis is in the original):

"Your money works harder for you with the Power NOW Checking Account. Power NOW is The Berkshire Bank advantage in action. This account has had the very best rate available since we began offering it in March 2010. As the Bank that puts your interest first, we continually evaluate the marketplace and the rate environment. Our most recent review has led us to an enhancement we know that you will enjoy. We are increasing the maximum balance to earn our best rate from $25,000 to $50,000. The APY of 1.20% [was 2.50% - bracketed comment added] will be effective April 1, 2010 and is guaranteed to remain in effect at least until September 30, 2011. We are confident that you will find this continuing offer very attractive as compared to other accounts of this type. The more you bank with us the more you earn. These and a host of other benefits are available to you as our valued customer. Stop in and ask your local branch manager how much more you can benefit with The Berkshire Bank. As a full-service commercial institution, The Berkshire Bank can be the bank for all your financial needs. The Berkshire Bank is the Bank that puts your interest first! We look forward to your next visit."

I certainly DO NOT enjoy this "enhancement" and BB's confidence is misplaced if it thinks I find this offer "very attractive" compared to other accounts of this type. Putting my interest "first" would mean something other than cutting the rate by more than half. My evaluation of this: Power NOW Checking's new rate is no better than the leading national internet savings accounts, which don't have debit card usage requirements and often don't even require a minimum balance (Power NOW Checking has a minimum balance of $1,500 to avoid fees). The only encouraging thing I find in this letter is the rate guarantee, but should interest rates stabilize, even that wouldn't mean very much. I'm certainly disappointed by a 130 basis point rate reduction, but I'll keep the account in the hope that when interest rates begin to rise that its rate will become more competitive in the future.
4
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
1. Saturday, October 1, 2011 - 9:02 PM
UPDATE: On 9/27 I went to Teaneck branch to make a deposit, and in speaking with the branch manager, was told that the rate guarantee on the Power NOW Checking is extended another 2 months.
1
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
2. Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 3:53 PM
NEW UPDATE: Power NOW Checking is R.I.P. as of tomorrow. Replacing it is Super Power NOW Checking, with entirely different qualification requirements (in particular, monthly direct deposit, and billpay instead of debit card usage). Rate for Super Power NOW is 1.20% APY guaranteed to April 30, 2012. Existing Power NOW customers who choose not to switch to Super Power NOW (i.e., such as myself) will have their accounts changed to the regular NOW account (with a paltry interest rate). I'm closing my account on Friday. At least the branch manager in Teaneck called to tell me about it.
2
WilWil242 posts since
Feb 26, 2010
Rep Points: 1,285
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