Last Friday SFGI Direct increased the rate on its Savings Account by 10 bps to 1.91% APY. While the 1.91% APY applies to all balances of $1+, the account must be opened with a minimum deposit of $500.
SFGI Direct’s last rate increase was on June 1st. In the last year, SFGI Direct’s rate hikes have been gradual with increases between 5 and 20 bps. The rate hikes began in June 2017 when the rate increased from 1.06% to 1.16% APY. Since that time, there have been an additional seven rate hikes that have added a total of 75 bps to the rate.
Long Track Record of Competitive Rates
With several internet banks raising their savings account rates to 2%+, it’s difficult to get excited about 1.91% APY. However, I always like to highlight SFGI Direct’s long track record of maintaining one competitive savings account. After more than nine years of operation, SFGI Direct has always kept its savings account rate competitive as compared to online savings accounts at other banks. Also, the Bank doesn’t create new internet banks or new savings accounts or money market accounts that leave existing customers in low-rate accounts.
Here are examples of SFGI Direct Savings Account long history of maintaining a competitive rate. Between June 2015 and June 2017, the Savings Account’s APY remained static at 1.06%. During that time, this was one of the top online savings accounts that wasn’t a promotional rate and that didn’t have any large deposit requirements. In its history since 2009, the lowest rate ever seen on this account was 0.86% during part of 2013. This was still in the upper half for the top savings accounts, and it exceeded the savings account rates at Ally, Discover and Capital One 360.
SFGI Direct Savings Account Overview
The SFGI Direct Savings Account has some nice features, such as no monthly fees and no maximum dollar limit on external transfers. The transactional requirements and limitations haven’t changed much since I began writing about the Savings Account. The following feature list is from my September 2017 blog post.
I did make one small change from my 2017 post. The FAQs no longer say that you can initiate ACH transfers from another institution. However, I called SFGI Direct today and confirmed that they still allow you to push and pull funds using the ACH transfer system of another bank. That is important since SFGI Direct allows only one link to another institution.
- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements (opening deposit ranges from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $25k).
- Online account application and funding (per FAQ).
- You can initiate external transfers (ACH).
- Initiating ACH transfers through another institution is allowed (per CSR).
- Fast external transfers (readers have reported one day delays).
- No maximum dollar limit on external transfers (per FAQ).
- Only one external link for ACH transfers allowed (per FAQ), but the linked account can be changed 90 days after account opening.
- Five business days hold for the initial ACH deposit and a two-day hold for ongoing ACH deposits (per account disclosure).
- Online application now allows up to four named beneficiaries. In addition to the usual name/address/birthdate information, SFGI Direct requires a Social Security number for each beneficiary.
Thanks again to DA reader, Maecl, for his Forum post about this latest rate increase.
SFGI Direct is the online division of Summit Community Bank, which is headquartered in Moorefield, West Virginia. U.S. citizens and resident aliens, 18 years or older, can open a SFGI Direct Savings Account through the Bank’s online application.
SFGI Direct has quite a detailed FAQs page that answers almost any question you might have about the Savings Account. If you need additional information, CSR can be contacted at 877.776.9722.
As the online division of Summit Community Bank, SFGI Direct operates under Summit’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history.
SFGI Direct/Summit Community Bank has an overall health grade of "B" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 15.87% (above average), based on June 30, 2018 data. In the past year, the Bank has slightly decreased non-brokered deposits by $639k, a decline of 0.05%. This change in deposits is average for banks. Please refer to our financial overview of SFGI Direct/Summit Community Bank (FDIC Certificate # 34102) for more details.
Summit Community Bank (Summit) is currently West Virginia’s third largest bank, with assets in excess of $2.1 billion and more than 79,000 customer accounts. Summit’s history traces back to the South Branch Valley National Bank, which was chartered in 1883. Summit extended its market area into Virginia in 2000 and today has 30 full-service branches in West Virginia (18) and Virginia (12).
How the Savings Account Compares
When compared to 213 Savings Accounts and 183 Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally with similar minimum balance requirements (minimum balance of under $10k), ten savings accounts and two money market accounts have higher rates than SFGI Direct Savings Account's rate.
The above rates are accurate as of 9/8/2018.