Update 3/16/09: The yield has fallen to 2.25% APY. Note, OneUnited Bank's website only clearly shows the rate for their new E-CD (2.50% APY). I can only find the savings account rate in the Truth and Savings Disclosure. See bottom of post for the rate history.
Update 11/29/08: OneUnited received a Cease and Desist Order from FDIC (see post).
OneUnited Bank is one of the very few banks that have yet to cut the yield on their online savings account since the Fed started cutting rates in September. The yield remains at 5.30% APY. My last report on this account was December 2006 when they changed the minimum of the account from $10 to $1,000. So it's time for another review of this account. I hope I don't jinx the rate.
Below is a summary of the features based on their FAQ page, their Savings Disclosure, their learn more page, and from my Monday conservation with their customer service rep (CSR). Note, there are a few things mentioned in the disclosure (like a $1 fee for ACH withdrawal) that the CSR said did not apply to this account. I've noted in bold those features that may be an issue with some.
- $1,000 minimum to open and earn interest (FAQ)
- No monthly maintenance fees (FAQ)
- Must be a US citizen (learn more)
- Can be funded by ACH transfer or by mailing in a check (learn more)
- 9 day hold before your initial deposited funds are available (learn more)
- Online application with nothing to mail in for most cases (CSR)
- After the application, an email will be sent with instructions allowing you to register for Online Banking (CSR)
- No hard credit inquiry - just a soft pull (CSR)
- ATM card - Maximum withdrawal is $300/day (CSR)
- Typical limit of 6 electronic withdrawals per month - no limits on deposit (CSR)
- ACH capability for electronically transfering funds to and from your other banks (FAQ)
- Unlimited ACH links to other bank accounts can be set up (CSR)
- ACH links don't require voided checks. Trial deposits used to verify accounts. (CSR)
- Standard ACH transfers are free and take 3 business days (CSR)
- Standard ACH transfer limits: outbound: $20k/day, $40k/month, inbound: $20k/day, $100k/month (CSR)
- Premium ACH transfers take one day and cost $10 - dollar limits are lower (CSR)
- Interest is credited and compounded quarterly (Disclosure)
- Accrued interest will not be paid if you close an account before the accrued interest has been credited (Disclosure)
I haven't opened this account, so I don't have first hand experience with this bank. In previous posts, many readers complained of a slow account opening process, a poor ACH transfer system, and bad customer service. However, it seems they made a major improvement in the ACH system late last year. So this may no longer be an issue. If you're a customer, a comment about your experience would be much appreciated.
The rates have remained very competitive since OneUnited launched this savings account in April of 2006. Here's a summary of the rate changes:
During 2006 and the first half of 2007, their rates were good but nothing great compared to other online savings accounts. But now with them continuing to hold the rate steady since the Fed rate cuts, they're way above most other savings accounts. From my weekly rate summary, the only competitors are accounts with intro rates or accounts with $5K or $10K minimums. UFB Direct is the only one with a comparable rate and with no minimum, but it has other issues to consider (see post).
This online savings account account was originally called the UNITY Internet Savings Account and only required a minimum balance of $10 to open and earn interest. Late in 2006, they created the UNITY Gold E-Savings Account with the $1,000 minimum. According to some readers who had the old account, they were able to keep that account with the old minimums. But new customers can only open the UNITY Gold with the $1,000 minimum.
OneUnited Bank has been FDIC insured since 1982 (Certificate # 23966). The bank has $632 million in assets and $358 million in deposits. Bankrate gives the bank 3 out of 5 stars (performing) based on 6/30/07 data. This is down from 4 stars when I reported on this bank in June 2006.
Update 03/16/09: Yield has fallen to 2.25% APY
Update 02/14/09: Yield has fallen to 2.75% APY
Update 12/23/08: The yield fell to 3.00% APY.
Update 12/13/08: The yield fell to 3.35% APY.
Update 10/3/08: The yield has gone up to 3.75% APY.
Update 7/14/08: The yield fell to 3.26% APY.
Update 4/07/08: The yield fell to 3.60% APY.
Update 3/07/08: The yield fell to 4.00% APY.
Update 2/22/08: The yield fell to 4.60% APY.
Update 2/4/08: The yield fell to 5.15% APY.
Top yield had been 5.30% APY.