In February Rockland Trust launched the internet division Rockland Direct with a competitive money market account. It has a yield of 1.00% APY for balances of $2,500 to $1 million as of 5/17/2012. A $2,500 minimum balance is required to earn interest and to avoid a $15 monthly fee. There's no guarantee about how long the rate will last, but I was told it's not an intro rate, and it will probably remain the same for some time to come.
There's an online application via andera.com which allows funding via an ACH transfer from your existing checking account. The application currently doesn't provide an option for designating beneficiaries. However, I was told the customer can call or email the customer service department after the account is opened to add POD beneficiaries. If a customer wants to deposit more than $250,000 with multiple POD beneficiaries, they would need to open multiple accounts to ensure proper reporting is done.
In the application the customer can select an option to receive an ATM card which gives the customer access to surcharge-free ATMs through the SUM Program and MoneyPass network. Also, an option can be selected to receive an initial order of checks for free. The option for receiving e-statements is selected by default and can't be unselected.
ACH Bank-To-Bank Transfers
Once the account is opened, you can use the bank's ACH bank-to-bank transfer service to deposit funds and make withdrawals. Initiating ACH transfers are free. I was told there is no limit on the number of links that a customer can set up to external bank accounts. There's an ACH transfer limit of $10,000 per transaction. This is small, but I was told that once the customer is established, they can request the limit be increased.
Customers have access to free mobile banking with the capability of depositing checks with an iPhone via the bank's mDeposit app.
Rockland Direct is currently only accepting applications from residents of New England states (MA, RI, CT, NH, ME and VT).
Rockland Trust Overview
Deposits opened through Rockland Direct are held at Rockland Trust. Rockland Trust is a sizable bank with almost $5 billion in assets as of December 2011. Branches are located throughout eastern Massachusetts.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas ratio of 6.31% (excellent) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Rockland Trust Company for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 9712).
How This Money Market Account Compares
Rockland Direct reminds me of EBSB Direct which like Rockland Direct is an internet division of a MA-based bank, East Boston Savings Bank. Like Rockland Direct, EBSB Direct has limited new applications to New England residents (although EBSB Direct also accepts NY residents). Rockland Direct offers the more competitive money market account. EBSB Direct's savings account rate is only 0.80%. However, EBSB Direct still has a very competitive 3-year internet CD with a 1.80% APY. These rates are accurate as of 5/17/2012.
If you're a New England resident who doesn't mind banking at an internet bank that's based in another region of the nation, you can get higher rates. The best money market rate that's available nationwide is 1.25% APY at TIAA Direct.
Searching for the Best Rates
To find the best rates on liquid accounts, please refer to the following rate tables. You can use these tables to search for both accounts available nationwide and accounts local to your state.