If you are a regular reader of DA, you may remember my March 2016 blog post about the "Bread or Toast" new checking account bonus at Bankwell Bank (Bankwell). I still smile when I think about having to choose between $150 in cash or a toaster.
While Bankwell isn’t handing out toasters any more, the Bank has raised the rate on its Smart Savings (1.15% APY), which seems to be more like a Rewards Checking Account (RCA) than a traditional savings account. When I saw that the Smart Savings account had a checking relationship requirement, I assumed it would be a traditional checking account. Then I read the fine print.
APY for Smart Savings is 1.15% and interest rate is 1.14% when you have an active Smart Checking account with one of the following electronic transactions: direct deposit or ACH
debit or point of sale transactions that post and clear in the current statement cycle. If
these conditions are not met during a statement cycle, the Smart Savings account will
earn 0.30% APY. A minimum of $100 is required to open a Smart Savings account.
If you don’t want to deal with direct deposits or debit card purchases, Bankwell’s Smart Money Market earns 1.15% APY on balances of $75k or greater. Balances less than $75k earn 0.30% APY. The Smart Money Market has no monthly service fee, but does require a $100 minimum opening deposit.
Headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut, Bankwell Bank’s footprint reaches from Stamford to North Haven.
Opening a Smart Savings or a Smart Money Market account requires a in-person visit to any of ten Connecticut branches located in Fairfield (2), Hamden, New Canaan (2), North Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, and Wilton (2). Currently, Bankwell's online banking platform is devoted to account management and bill payment services.
Bankwell Bank has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 1.59% (excellent) based on December 31, 2016 data. In the past year, Bankwell Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $239.7 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 24.57%. Please refer to our financial overview of Bankwell Bank (FDIC Certificate # 57368) for more details.
Established in 2002 as The Bank of New Canaan, Bankwell Bank has grown in 15 years to be the seventh largest bank in Connecticut, with assets in excess of $1.6 billion. The Bank re-branded as Bankwell Bank in 2013, as it began an expansion that included the acquisition of three Connecticut banks (The Bank of Fairfield, The Wilton Bank, and Quinnipiac Bank & Trust Company). This past March, Bankwell was named one of the “Top 100 Best-Performing Community Banks” nationwide (and the only Connecticut bank on the list) by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
How the Smart Savings Compares
When compared to the 287 Personal Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available in the Bank’s market area, Bankwell Bank’s Smart Savings APY currently ranks fourth.
How the Smart Money Market Compares
When compared to the 245 Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available in the Bank’s market area, Bankwell Bank’s Smart Money Market APY currently ranks third, regardless of minimum balance.
The above rates are accurate as of 5/19/2017.