Western State Bank (Western) has been now offering its High Yield Money Market* (HYMM) on a nationwide basis for more than a year. The 1.85% APY applies to all balances up to $3 million, with no minimum balance requirement.
*I have included a link to the HYMM’s landing page because it has its own URL that cannot be found on Western’s main website.
When the HYMM became available on a nationwide basis in February 2019, its initial rate was 2.50% APY. In a series of four rate decreases between late August and the end of the year, the APY dropped 65 bps. The 1.85% APY has been in effect since the last week of 2019.
Since I last wrote about the HYMM, Western has changed its FAQs section, removing much of the important information it previously provided. The following facts were confirmed by CSR.
- There are no monthly maintenance fees applied to the account.
- Debit cards and checks will not be issued on this account.
- There is no access to the account through an ATM withdrawal.
- A $5.00 fee is imposed for each additional withdrawal or debit over six per month.
- If your balance plus accrued and credit interest exceeds $3,000,000.00, a representative from Western State Bank will contact you to reduce the balance in the account.
Funding and Accessing
The FAQ does answer the question, “How can I transfer funds into my account?”
There are five ways you can add money to your account:
1. Check: If you send a check to Western overnight, we’ll cover your delivery/shipping fees.
2. Wire transfer: When you wire the funds to Western State Bank, we'll cover the fee on both sides of the transaction. Western also allows one free outgoing wire per month.
3. "Pushing" funds via ACH: Your bank can initiate an ACH fund transfer to Western State Bank by providing them your Western account and routing number. The maximum amount you can send is determined by your bank
4. External transfers from Western State Bank Online Banking: After 60 days you will have access to External Transfer where you can add up to five external accounts and transfer money back and forth. The limits are $5,000 per day ($10,000 per 30-day period) transferred in and $10,000 per day ($20,000 per 30-day period) transferred out.
5. Bank visit: You can walk into any Western State Bank location (North Dakota or Arizona) and make a deposit.
You can also request that Western State Bank send a wire transfer to another bank by contacting the Wire Department at 701-499-6376 or [email protected] One outgoing wire fee per month per account is waived. The wire is only available to be sent to the external account in which the initial deposit was made from. Wire cut off time is 4 pm CT.
Contact Customer Care at 877-846-9345 and a cashier’s check can be mailed to you.
You can add as many beneficiaries as you like, but according to CSR, the Bank prefers an even number of beneficiaries. Social Security numbers are not required when naming a beneficiary.
Headquartered in Devils Lake, North Dakota, Western State Bank currently offers its High Yield Money Market on a nationwide basis to all US citizens (18 years of older) with a valid Social Security number. The rest of the product line is only available to residents of Arizona and North Dakota.
Opening a High Yield Money Market account can be done online. (According to CSR, a hard credit pull is not done when applying for a High Yield Money Market.)
As of March 23, 2020, all Western State Bank branch lobbies are temporarily closed to the public, but transactions can still be processed at the drive-through windows at three Arizona branches (Casa Grande, Chandler, and Sun City West) and three North Dakota branches (Devils Lake, Fargo, and North Fargo).
One of the questions in the FAQs is “What do I need to open an account?” The answer contains the usual personal identification documents, but the last item listed is a “recent phone bill.” I didn’t think much about that request until I read DA reader, endsuer’s description of his attempt to open a High Yield Money Market this week.
I applied online with this bank and was unable to complete the application process because they demand a cellphone bill statement. I explained to them that my cellphone is prepaid monthly, the only notice I get to pay is a text stating the amount to pay and the due date. I also told them that I have had the same number for over 14 years. They still demanded a copy of the cellphone bill.
I was able to create a login account with the cellphone carrier and get a copy of my last months statement. I submitted a copy of that statement and I was again declined this time because the cellphone can't be a prepaid number. No getting around this with this FI unless you have a contract with a wireless carrier.
Western State Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 7.47% (excellent) based on December 31, 2019 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its non-brokered deposits by $176.5 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 20.79%. Please refer to our financial overview of Western State Bank (FDIC Certificate # 39123) for more details.
In 1966, the Bank of Webster (established in 1902) was purchased by a group of investors, seeking to found a new bank. Two years later, the corporate name and headquarters were changed, and the Western State Bank of Devils Lake, North Dakota, opened its doors for business. Currently North Dakota’s eighth largest bank, Western State Bank has assets in excess of $1.2 billion and more than 27,000 customer accounts.
How the High Yield Money Market Compares
When compared to the Money Market accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide, Western State Bank’s High Yield Money Market APY currently ranks second,* regardless of minimum balance requirements.
The above rates are accurate as of 4/2/2020.
To search for the best MMA rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Money Market Accounts Rates Table page.
*While we are working diligently to keep our rates up-to-date, there are just too many rate cuts for us to process quickly. For the time being, please be aware that the rates listed at DepositAccounts may not reflect the latest rates published by the banks and credit unions.