Review of Intervest National Bank's Money Market Account - Nationally Available


Update 11/28/09: The MMA has new rate tiers: 1.40% APY $2.5K-$25K, 1.45% APY $25K-$50K, 1.55% $50K-$100K, 1.60% APY $100K+

Intervest National Bank has a money market account that has offered competitive rates for a while. It lacks some of the features that other internet accounts provide such as an ACH bank-to-bank transfer service, but with competitive rates along with limited check writing, I thought it was worthy of a review.

The current rate as listed at the bank's rate table as of 4/27/09 is 2.10% APY for balances of $2,500 and above. This rate had been 2.15% before last Friday. The bank's money market account page has a good overview of the features. Additional details are in the disclosure. Some of the important features include:
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
  • $2,500 minimum average balance required to avoid a $12/month maintenance fee
  • To earn the top rate, a $2,500 minimum balance is required
  • Interest is compounded daily and credited to account monthly
  • Limited check writing allowed (typical limit of 3 checks per month apply)
  • ATM card provided, but they charge a fee for using non-Intervest Bank ATMs
I called the bank last week, and was told they don't have an ACH bank-to-bank transfer service. However, they do allow ACH debits or deposits that you initiate from another bank. You can also mail in deposits and initiate wire transfers ($10 for incoming/$15 for outgoing). And you can always withdraw money with a check. They don't provide any free checks unless you're 55 or over. In that case, they offer a senior account with 2 free check orders per year.

Their online application must be printed and mailed along with copies of two forms of ID. In the application, you're allowed to list up to four POD beneficiaries.

Intervest also offers an interest checking account with some competitive rates. The rates range from 1.25% APY for a minimum balance of $2,500 to 2.25% APY for a minimum of $100K. The 1.25% may seem low, but remember that many other non-reward checking accounts have lower rates (Charles Schwab 1%, ETrade 0.50%).

I first reported on Intervest due to their high rate CDs. They still have competitive CD rates, but the big downside is a harsh early withdrawal penalty which equals half of the interest for the entire term of the CD (see disclosure).

To open an account you can also vist one of their branches in New York, New York and in Clearwater and South Pasadena, Florida.

Intervest National Bank has some fair ratings for safety and soundness: 3.5 stars (good) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Both ratings are based on 12/31/08 financial data. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1999 (FDIC Certificate # 35011).

Rate History:
Update 11/28/09: The MMA has new rate tiers: 1.40% APY $2.5K-$25K, 1.45% APY $25K-$50K, 1.55% $50K-$100K, 1.60% APY $100K+
Update 11/14/09: The MMA has new rate tiers: 1.50% APY $2.5K-$25K, 1.55% APY $25K-$50K, 1.60% $50K-$100K, 1.65% APY $100K+
Update 7/11/09: The MMA has new rate tiers: 1.65% APY $2.5K-$25K, 1.70% APY $25K-$50K, 1.75% $50K-$100K, 1.80% APY $100K+
Update 6/13/09: The MMA has new rate tiers: 1.75% APY $2.5K-$25K, 1.80% APY $25K-$50K, 1.85% $50K-$100K, 1.88% APY $100K+
Update 5/30/09: The MMA has new rate tiers: 1.80% APY $2.5K-$25K, 1.85% APY $25K-$50K, 1.87% $50K-$100K, 1.90% APY $100K+
Update 5/15/09: The rate has fallen to 1.90% APY.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
For a interest bearing checking acccount at a comparable rate to Intervest, but with a lower minimum, Banco Popular N.A. has the "Popular Investor Checking."
As of my last statement, it had an APY of 1.25% and a minimum balance of $1000 is required to avoid fees.
High Rates on Long Term CDs at Intervest National Bank
Intervest National Bank has some very competitive rates on its long term CDs. The yields range from 5.50% APY for a 5 year term to 5.55% APY for a 10 year term.

The details of these certificate of deposit can be found in the account disclosure. One important consideration is the early withdrawal penalty which is more severe than typical CDs. For accounts of more than one year the penalty equals half of the interest for the entire term of the CD. If this penalty is greater than the interest you...

Continue Reading