In early November, Sallie Mae Bank raised the rates on its Money Market, High-Yield Savings, and several CDs, keeping the APYs within striking distance of the rate leaders. Since that time, Sallie Mae Bank hasn’t raised any rates, and in fact, it actually lowered its 12-month and 24-month CD rates in early February. Consequently, Sallie Mae Bank has fallen behind as competitor banks have been increasing rates.
Yesterday saw Sallie Mae Bank’s first rate increase in almost four months: the Money Market Account (MMA) now earns 2.30% APY on all balances, up by 10 bps. In the past year, the MMA has had eight rate increases, adding a total of 80 bps.
There is no monthly service fee for the MMA and it can be opened with as little as $1. While there is no minimum or maximum balance requirement,
if you open an Account that remains dormant, with a balance of $100 or less
with no activity for the past 12 months, we reserve the right to close the Account.
Sallie Mae Bank’s MMA offers limited check writing, unlike other so-called MMAs, like Capital One's 360 Money Market (2.00% APY) or CIT Bank's Money Market Account (1.85% APY). Checks are provided at no cost if they are ordered when the MMA is opened, but will cost $5 if the check order is placed after account opening. A $10 Excessive Transaction Fee will be incurred for each transaction beyond the six allowed per month.
If you repeatedly exceed this limit, we’re required to close your account(s).
Sallie Mae Bank’s product line is atypical, as its high-rate account is the MMA (2.30% APY), rather than the High-Yield Savings account (2.10% APY). While the MMA and High-Yield Savings are similarly structured with no tiers or fees, the MMA's check writing ability gives it a distinct edge: when withdrawing a large amount, the money will keep earning a top rate until the check has posted and settled. To quote a DA colleague, “that’s often a reason banks offer higher rates on their savings account, rather than on their MMAs.”
Complete details about the MMA (including POD account information) are available on Deposit Account Terms and Conditions Agreement page, including information on Sallie Mae Bank’s ACH transfer service. While the ACH transfer service has several nice features, such as the ability to handle large transfers, the one downside is long hold times. When an ACH deposit of over $5k is made via Sallie Mae Bank's transfer service, the hold time for the amount over $5k is 10 business days.
Thanks to DA reader, the eagle-eyed buckeye61, for another timely Forum post about Sallie Mae Bank.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sallie Mae Bank is a “pure” internet bank, with no brick-and-mortar branches. Accounts may be opened by individuals who have a Taxpayer Identification Number (usually a Social Security Number) and a physical address in the United States.
Opening any type of Sallie Mae Bank account, including CDs, Money Market, and Savings accounts, must be done online.
Sallie Mae Bank has an overall health rating of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.28% (excellent) based on December 30, 2018 data. In the past year, Sallie Mae Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $1.23 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 15.79%. Please refer to our financial overview of Sallie Mae Bank (FDIC Certificate # 58177) for more details.
The "Sallie Mae" brand is most often associated with private student loans. The Student Loan Marketing Association (aka Sallie Mae) opened its doors as a Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), designed to support the guaranteed student loan program created by the Higher Education Act of 1965. Chartered in 2005, the internet-only Sallie Mae Bank has expanded its product line beyond student loans to include CDs, Savings Accounts, Money Market Accounts, Insurance, and Credit Cards. Currently the 64th largest bank in the country, Sallie Mae Bank has assets in excess of $25.6 billion, with more than $18 billion in deposits.
How the Money Market Account Compares
When compared to the Money Market accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and have a similar minimum deposit requirement, Sallie Mae Bank’s Money Market Account APY currently ranks sixth.
The above rates are accurate as of 3/5/2019.
Looking for the best MMA rates, either nationwide or in your state? Please refer to our Money Market Accounts rates table page.