Update 9/09/2008: The 5% 9-month CD is no longer listed at the ebank's rate table. It's now a 4.06% APY 9-month CD. The 5% checking is still listed, and the 5-year CD now has a yield of 5% APY.
Ebank just came out with two attractive promotions. The first is a promotional 5.00% APY on its ePremium Checking Account. The 5% requires a minimum balance of $10,000. Balances under $10,000 earn 1%. Ebank had a similar 5% checking account promotion in January 2007. That one lasted about 8 months. After it ended, the rate fell to 3%, and eventually it fell to 1.5%. So I wouldn't expect it to remain a long-term high yield checking account.
This ebank checking page lists the details of the ePremium account. There's a $10/month fee for minimum daily balances under $2,500. The two nice features include free checks and free ATM usage. According to the CSR, they do a hard credit pull with Equifax when opening the checking account.
In last year's posts, I've received comments that were both positive and negative on ebank. Here are a few of them:
Would NOT recommend ebank. They received my significant deposit and paperwork, and PROMISED to call back to set up internet acccess to my account as well as email me directions on how to do so. Amazing that this can't be done without their control. To date no info or call backs received. Disappointing and stressful to think they've got my money and I cannot get at it.
I have been using ebank for over a year now, and I am quite happy with them. ... Customer service has always been helpful in sending as many prepaid check envelopes as I request. Free ATM use and check deposits through mail have worked without a problem.
Just to add a comment about the ATM rebates. eBank never hits you with the ATM fee, it is deducted before the transaction posts to your account.
I have been using ebank checking for a long time. While they lack ACH capability, their customer service is EXCELLENT! I deal with the same CSR each time I have an issue of any substance. This seems to help.
5.00% APY 9-Month CD
If you want to guarantee 5% APY for 9 months, this special CD is an excellent deal. The minimum deposit is $1,000, and it's available in an IRA.
Ebank doesn't have the best application process for an internet bank. You have to mail or fax your application. You can fund the CD by either check or wire transfer (inbound wires are free). According to the CSR, the rate will be locked at the time of the postmark of the application. The CSR also said that there's no hard credit inquiry for CD applications.
At maturity, the grace period is 10 calendar days. You can choose to close the CD and receive the funds by check or wire transfer ($25 outgoing fee). You can also choose to have the funds transfered to another ebank account. According to the CSR, they require written instructions which can be faxed or mailed.
There are no beneficiary fields in the application, but the CSR said you can write them in on the second page. They require their names, date of birth and social security number. You can list as many as you want. The CSR seemed to be know about the FDIC requirements to allow for additional FDIC coverage (see post). I recommend confirming this with ebank and the FDIC.
Ebank has the lowest financial ratings: 0 star at BauerFinancial and 1 star at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 3/31/08 data. Ebank is also on the list of the Weakest Banks and Thrifts at Weiss Ratings. I've also found this Cease and Desist Order from the Office of Thrift Supervision that was issued in June 2007.
As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay under the FDIC limits. If you're thinking about extending your FDIC coverage over $100K, please refer to my post on extending FDIC coverage. Many readers who had over $100K at IndyMac reported delays in getting back their insured deposits so that is one of the risks for going over $100K. There's also an issue regarding making sure the bank does the account title correctly. I described this issue in this post.
Ebank has been FDIC insured since 1998 (FDIC Certificate # 34682). It's a small bank that's based in Atlanta, Georgia. From the FDIC records from 6/30/08, it has 20 employees and $137.8 million in assets.
Thanks to the reader who mentioned these new rates in the finding deals post.