About six months ago, earn.bank made its internet banking world debut, offering a Money Market Account (MMA) and two CDs. The MMA offered an initial (and respectable at the time) 2.02% APY on all balances. Within one month, the rate jumped to 2.31% APY, making it the top-rated nationally available money market account. The rate was raised to 2.41% APY on all balances in January and as of last week, nudged its way up to 2.46% APY.
While the earn.bank brand is new to most of us, California-based Silvergate Bank had been developing earn.bank for about two years before it was launched. This independently operating online division of Silvergate Bank is the natural outgrowth of the Bank’s online banking platform.
Funding and Accessing the Money Market Account
The MMA requires a minimum $10k opening deposit, a substantial increase from the $100 minimum deposit required only a few months ago. According to the online application, “You can fund this new account with a credit card, a checking account, or savings account.” (FYI – in January, funding by credit card was limited to $500, which worked when the minimum opening deposit was $100. I will confirm the credit card limit and update this blog post later today.)
UPDATE 4/26/2019: The credit card funding is still limited to $500. CSR stated that the initial deposit can come from different sources, as long as it totals $10k. For example, a deposit of $500 from a credit card and $9,500 from a checking/savings account is acceptable.
Once the MMA is established, deposits can be made through checks (including mobile deposits limited to $2.5k per each deposit), ACH and wire transfers, and online transfers. Unlimited external bank accounts can be linked, and transactions to/from those accounts can be done via earn.bank’s online banking platform.
There is no check writing ability, ATM/debit card, or Bill Pay services offered on earn.bank’s MMA. According to the Disclosure of Products document,
You may request a withdrawal via phone, email, mail or courier.
While there is a $1k per day limit on outgoing ACH transfers initiated through earn.bank’s online banking platform to unlinked accounts, outgoing ACH transfers to the original funding and/or linked accounts have no dollar limit.
The following restriction applies to newly opened MMAs:
Requests to withdraw funds within the first 90 days will be completed
by returning funds by the method in which they were received.
Multiple payable-on-death (POD) beneficiaries are allowed and Social Security numbers are NOT required for beneficiaries. While there is no set limit on the number of beneficiaries permitted, the online application can only accommodate up to five beneficiaries being named.
In-trust-for (ITF) accounts are also allowed, with the “Deposit Account Certification of Trust” form available as a download.
Headquartered in La Jolla, in Southern California, earn.bank is a “pure” internet bank with no brick-and-mortar branches.
To open any type of account at earn.bank, you must be a US citizen or full-time resident with a valid Social Security number. A link to the online application can be found on Money Market account page.
As an online division of Silvergate Bank, earn.bank operates under Silvergate Bank’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history. “Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum allowed by law, with earn.bank and Silvergate Bank treated as the same entity for the purposes of calculating FDIC insurance limits on deposits.”
earn.bank/Silvergate Bank has an overall health rating of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.48% (excellent), based on December 31, 2018 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $20.13 million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.13%. Please refer to our financial overview of earn.bank/Silvergate Bank (FDIC Certificate # 27330) for more details.
Headquartered in San Diego, Silvergate Bank opened in 1988, specializing in meeting the needs of small businesses. A subsidiary of Silvergate Capital Corporation, Silvergate Bank’s charter was changed from an industrial bank to a commercial bank in 2009, allowing the Bank to offer demand deposit accounts. Silvergate Bank is known as a “crypto-friendly” bank, and according to a November 2018 CCN.com article,
California-based financial institution Silvergate Capital, the parent company of Silvergate Bank, is preparing to go public to raise $50 million in an initial public offering (IPO), according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
As the filing states, Silvergate’s focus has moved away from that of a traditional lender to providing non-interest bearing deposits for digital currency businesses. The financial institution estimates the market for cryptocurrency banking services to be between $30 billion and $40 billion.
How the Money Market Account Compares
When compared to 186 Money Market accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are available nationwide and have a small minimum deposit requirement, earn.bank’s Money Market Account APY currently ranks second.
The above rates are accurate as of 4/26/2019.
Looking for the best MMA rates, either nationwide or in your state? Please refer to our Money Market Accounts rates table page.