Savings Account Special With Guaranteed Rates at PacTrust Bank in SoCal


Pacific Trust Bank is offering a savings account special with rates guaranteed through 2013. The competitive rates require a large balance. The special is for the PacTrust One account, and it has the following rate tiers:

  • 1.25% APY for balances of $250,000 and over
  • 1.00% APY for balances of $100,000 to under $250,000
  • 0.50% APY for balances of $25,000 to under $100,000

These rates are guaranteed to last until 12/31/2013, and new money is required. Minimum balance to open is $25,000. No interest is paid on balances under $25,000. This special is listed in the bank's promotions page on 3/6/2013.

Thanks to the DA reader who emailed me news of this promotion.

Update 3/8/13: Some readers have commented that the bank is letting them open the account without a branch visit. Refer to the comments for more details.

A branch visit is required to open an account. PacTrust Bank branches are located in several Southern California cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Marcos and Riverside. Its newest branches are in Tustin and Santa Monica.

Pacific Trust Bank Overview

PacTrust Bank used to be a credit union. According to the bank's About page, the credit union was converted to a mutually owned federal savings bank in 2000. Then in 2002 it was converted from mutual to stock form of ownership.

The bank has an overall health score at of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 13.69% (above average) based on September 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Pacific Trust Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2000 (FDIC Certificate # 35498).

How This Rate Compares

The only nationally available money market account with a promotional 1.25% rate is at EverBank. However, this rate is only for the first six months. Then it returns to the ongoing rate (currently 0.76%). Also, the 1.25% rate is capped to the first $50K for the money market account and the first $100K for the checking account. These rates are accurate as of 3/6/2013.

Searching for the Best Money Market and Savings Account Rates

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Any idea if this account can be opened online?  I live in California but Pacific Trust Bank locations are not nearby.  I realize they say a branch visit is required to open the account, but maybe......
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #2
I'm not 100% that a branch visit is required. There's always a chance that they can make an exception. I recommend giving them a call at 877.441.BANK. If you call, please leave a comment about how it went.
OldGuy   |     |   Comment #3
I just finished speaking with a CSR in the bank's Santa Monica branch.  She said a branch visit is required, with two forms of ID (driver's license/credit card).  She confirmed that the account could be opened (and entitled to the special rate until 12/31) without any other relationship, like a checking account.  She said, however, that an "active" checking account is required if you are to get "preferred" rates after 12/31, because "new money" is required for that status.  I live 80 miles from the nearest branch, but am in Santa Monica once a month so I made an appointment to see her next week.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I contacted the bank, and they said that they would be willing to open an account without a branch visit, but would require notarized signatures on application forms.
OldGuy   |     |   Comment #5
I guess one advantage to "bare bones" advertising is that it gets us talking about the bank.  First, Union Bank.  Now Pacific Trust Bank.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
I just talked to an officer at the NewPort Beach Branch and he is opening my account without the branch visit.  He took all my info over the phone & will be e-mailing the signature form which I will need to have notarized & mailed back with my deposit check.  Very easy.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I called 877.441.BANK and was told it could be done by mail.  They transferred me to Sandra in the Riverside branch.  She said she would email me an application which I could fill out and return along with a copy of my drivers' license.

To get the 1.25% rate, a minimum balance of $250,000 is required.  Of course, the FDIC only insures up to $250,000, so presumably if you want full protection you will need to transfer out any substantial amount above the limit.  

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
As far as FDIC limits, the insurance is $250K per depositor.  You can also increase this by using a Pay On Death (POD) registration.  So for example, an account registered as a Joint Account with 2 beneficiearies could qualify for $1M FDIC insurance.  For full details, see
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
Thank you for that info.  I used the EDIE calculator on the link you sent.  Interestingly, when I inputted it as a single account with one beneficiary, it said there was just 250k of insurance.  But when I added a second beneficiary, it said that I had 500k of coverage.  Added a third beneficiary, 750k.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
Done!  I applied for the Savings Acct on Fri 3/8, by e-mail without the branch visit.  Monday, 3/11, I had the forms & signature notorized & snail mailed to the Newport Branch. I had the acct number so I set in motion an ACH (small deposit)  from my bank to Pacific Trust Bank.  Wednesday, 3/11, all forms were received and the online acct set up.  Today I was able to ACH a larger amt of money to pactrust. In a matter of Friday to Friday everything complete without a branch vist.  I am completly satisfied.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
Could an account holder post the ACH limits for transfers originating at PacTrust?


Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
I was advised there are no dollar limits on ACH transfers.  Maximum of 6 transfers per month.
NJSaver   |     |   Comment #13
I just completed the account opening process also via the Newport Beach branch (I'm located outside of CA).  Entire process was VERY smooth!  Representatives very friendly and helpful.  All forms were Emailed to me.  I returned forms with my original notarized signature and initial deposit.  The day they received the check and application PacTrust also set up my access for online banking and mobile banking.  So far, I'm 100% satisfied!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
I also just set up an account at the Newport Beach branch [ Phone: (877) 441-BANK or (949) 219-0842 ].  The representative I worked with, Michael Godett, was very helpful with all aspects of setting up the account.  I opened the special One Account, along with a free checking account to facilitate transfers.  No problem being outside of CA.
DollarBill (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #15
I don't live in CA but was able to open the One account by phone via the Riverside branch. The necessary documents were emailed to me and the only things I had to snail mail back were a notarized signature card and a deposit check.  Pretty smooth account setup.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
The One Account may turn out to be the best rate (1.25%) around.  I have started moving money by ACH transfer into the acct.  I've now managed to move over the $250K, which will gain that interest rate through 12/31/13.  Of course when I must use some of the funds for Bill Pay, the interest rate will drop down to 1.0%.  Even this rate is as good as you can get for liquid money accts.  My income tax return came through, so I moved it into the One Acct very rapidly.  Very satisfied with Pactrust Bank and I didn't have to make personal visit to open the account.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
Please speak to Georgia Satin. She is very helpful and professional. 949-219-0842
O-Qua Tangin Wann
O-Qua Tangin Wann (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #18
Well, I too opened up an account at PacTrust. I was told they are being inundated with money. Just like with TIAA-Cref, I would expect it is only a matter of time before they stop allowing new accounts at this rate. They cannot afford to pay 1.25% interest on a ton of money.


And another negative thing: Look at this bank's normal interest rates for their accounts. They are very low. What does that mean? That means come Jan. 1, 2014, would you expect the rate for their "One" account will be lowered to match?


So, if you do open a PacTrust account, enjoy the higher interest rate for 7 months.


~O-Qua Tanginn Wann
O-Qua Tanginn Wann
O-Qua Tanginn Wann (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #19
Important to note that if you close your account within 6 months of opening, there will be a charge. Also, if you close you account before the monthly interest posts, you will lose any interest earned for that month.

~O-Qua Tangin Wann
mikek753   |     |   Comment #20
what document has to be notarized? And where to get the form?

How much is the notarized service for this matter?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
The application form needs to be notarized, they will email it to you if you call, then find a notary and send the notarized form (along with copy of driver's license and second ID) back via snail email.  It is easy to find a notary, they are at UPS Stores, law offices, Kinkis, banks, title companies, city hall.  If you have an account your bank will probably notarize the document for free, otherwise you will have to pay a few dollars, not more than $10, probably closer to $5.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #22
all that work to get interest until 12/31/13, after which the rate will plummet to their normal rates, which are very, very low.

Is "Kinkis" the adult store version of Kinkos?
mikek753   |     |   Comment #23
How did you ACH into pactrust?

I asked rep and answer was ACH can be from another bank to pactrust only and pactrust can't request ACH in.
mikek753   |     |   Comment #24
one more thing - open Checking at the same time as you open Savings. I didn't know that Savings account has no bill pay (ACH) nether checks like MM.

Andy S.
Andy S. (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #25
Mike, you have to push or pull an ACH transfer from an outside bank.  That being said, the ability to move unlimited funds to and from PacTrust through ACH is worth its weight in gold.  I've found this bank to be very accomodating.  The website is clean, logical, and easy to navigate.  There are no limitations on the number of accounts you can open (many institutions limit one per SS#).  Just know your FDIC safe harbor limits.  Speaking of which - if you have a living trust, and if you're doing business with PacTrust to take advantage of the 250K interest rate you probably should, then just add a beneficiary to your trust (leave the benny $1 if you want) to get another 250K of protection. 

I moved a lot of money from my multiple pain in the butt Reward Checking accounts over here just to get a break from the 100 transactions I have to manage each month.  I'm leaving some money on the table by doing that, but what the feels like taking a vacation!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
Andy #25,  How do you get an additional 250,000 FDIC coverage by adding $1.00 to Benny?
mikek753   |     |   Comment #27


I don't have another bank account that allows to transfer over ACH unlimitted ammount.

I asked about PacTrust if it allows pull from another bank my money in?

For example my primary account where I have my direct deposit has $10k/day limit and $25k/month only.
Shane (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #28
I recently opened this account in person at their LA branch.  Friendly bank.  Easy process.  If you have 2 beneficiaries, you will recieve $500k in FDIC insurance, so you don't have to worry about the $250k min.  All ACH transfers must be initiated by another bank.  No problem for me, I have a bunch that I can do this from.

Still 7 months remaining to get this rate. Will earn me ~$700 extra in interest (over TIAA Direct, where I swapped my money from).  Def worth an hour of my time to open.
mikek753   |     |   Comment #29
Pactrust was sold to AmericanWest and the sale will close Oct 4 2013

What does it mean for us who opened savings account to have guaranteed 1.25% till 2014?

unmesh   |     |   Comment #30
My latest statement shows that the rate has been reduced to 1.09%
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #31
If you have more than 1 account (such as checking + savings), ask to be converted from the One Account to the Preferred Account, and you will be eligible for the 1.25% rate.
unmesh   |     |   Comment #32
I have two savings accounts from the PacTrust days and will look into eligibility for the Preferred Account.
unmesh   |     |   Comment #33
Just finished talking to them. Since my money is only parked with them and since they are too far away to be my primary bank, they don't want to convert me to the Preferred Account
Money Market Promotion at Pacific Trust Bank in SoCal - Local Only

Pacific Trust Bank is offering a money market promotion with a 1.00% APY guaranteed until 3/31/2012. It's called the Choice Money Market Account. It has a $2,500 minimum deposit, and a checking account is required. This special rate is listed on the bank's rate sheet as of 12/13/2011. More details are provided in this online ad.

In addition to this money market promotion, there's a checking account promotion with a bonus of up to $60. Customers will receive a credit of $5 per statement period during which a debit card purchase...

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