Chicago-based Gold Coast Bank (GCB) is offering its Money Market Account (MMA)
on a nationwide basis to all Illinois residents and existing customers. The MMA has seven tiered APYs, ranging from a high of 1.01% APY ($50k+) to a low of 0.25% APY (up to $5k). The MMA requires a minimum $5k opening deposit.
Unfortunately, there is no rate guarantee. In the past ten months, GCB’s MMA top rate tier has lost 76 bps in three rate drops (occurring in December, June, and July).
The following was taken from the online application.
Interest will be compounded daily and credit to your account once per month under a rate tier structure based on account balance.
This account requires a $5,000.00 minimum balance during the statement cycle, and includes free online banking.
A monthly maintenance fee of $15 is imposed if the daily minimum balance falls below $5,000.00.
In addition to debt activity and bill-pay fees imposed for activity exceeding monthly limits, additional fees may be imposed for non-compliance with transaction limitations.
According to CSR, checking is available, with free checks provided. There is a $10 fee for each withdrawal/transaction beyond the standard six allowed per month. If you exceed the six withdrawals/transactions twice, the account will be closed. A warning letter will be issued following the first occurrence.
According to CSR, there is a $5k daily ACH transfer limit that applies to ALL incoming and outgoing transactions, whether initiated from GCB or from an external bank. GCB is willing to make an exception on a case-by-case basis for a large incoming transfer.
This small ACH transfer limit is a downside with banks that are new to offering online accounts. Few seem to put much thought into their ACH transfer systems. Limits are often small, and details of the ACH transfer system along with the limits are rarely documented. You would think that a bank that offers higher rates for large balances would make it easy to transfer large amounts.
UPDATE 3/8/2021 - Headquartered in Chicago, Gold Coast Bank currently offers its Money Market Account to U.S. citizens/resident aliens who live in Illinois through an online application.
As the online application does not state who can or cannot apply for a Money Market Account, I contacted GCB; CSR confirmed the nationwide availability. GCB is a relatively small bank (assets of $401+ million) and smaller banks have been known to change nationwide availability if demand for a product is overwhelming. Caveat emptor.
According to GCB’s home page,
As coronavirus continues to impact our lives and communities, we want you to know that Gold Coast Bank is prepared and here for you during this time. We are taking precautionary measures to protect the health of our customers and employees, while ensuring you continue to receive the same high level of service from us.
Gold Coast Bank is prepared to assist customers with their questions or concerns. Representatives are available at 312.587.3200 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or email [email protected]
Gold Coast Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 7.23% (excellent) based on June 30, 2020 data. In the past year, GCB has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $13.6 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 4.76%. Please refer to our financial overview of Gold Coast Bank (FDIC Certificate # 58556) for more details.
Gold Coast Bank is a relatively young bank, having been founded in 2007. The driving force behind GCB is Peter Argianas, Chairman, President, and CEO. Argianas worked at the FDIC for ten years, eventually becoming a commissioned examiner of financial institutions. According to a DePaul University press release (announcing Argianas’ appointment to the school’s Board of Trustees),
During the second half of his 10-year tenure with the FDIC, Argianas was assigned to the Chicago Regional Office, where he was responsible for deposit insurance applications and supervision of de novo banks—state banks that have been in operation for under three years. Argianas also supervised merger and acquisition applications, and safety and soundness oversight for hundreds of banks and thrifts located within the multi-state FDIC Chicago Region.
Combining his FDIC experience and entrepreneurial spirit, Argianas expanded his scope and operated a private income tax and financial consulting practice. Upon leaving the FDIC, he founded several successful financial service companies, including his most recent, Gold Coast Bank, which was chartered in 2007.
How the Money Market Account Compares
When compared to the nationally available Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, Gold Coast Bank’s Money Market Account highest APY currently ranks third, regardless of minimum deposit requirements.
The above rates are accurate as of 10/15/2020.
To look for the best Money Market Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Money Market Account Rates Table page.