Zions Bank Raises the Yield on its Deseret Money Market Account

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Update 7/11/09: Zions Bank's Internet Money Market has replaced the Deseret MMA. Rates have fallen over the last year. For the latest rate cut the APY fell from 1.87% to 1.51% for balances of $2,500 and above. Refer to the bank's website for the latest rates and latest account features.

Zions Bank increased the rate again on its Deseret Money Market Account. The yield is now 3.53% APY for all balances of $2,500 and higher (it had been 3.31% APY). Until last April, this money market account had maintained competitive rates. But in April this changed, and the rates plummeted to 2.53% APY for the bottom tier. Higher tiers were a little better (3.05% APY $50K+ and 3.25% APY $100K+). I'm not sure why the rates nose-dived in April and then shot back up in June. Perhaps the money market customers withdrew more of their deposits than Zions had anticipated.

The one nice thing about this money market account is that it has limited check writing. The main downside is that it has no real ACH service that allows easy electronic funds transfers to and from your other banks. A reader just recently commented that he is able to use his online accounts at Countrywide and GMAC Bank to link to his Zions account. Then he can initiate ACH transfers from Countrywide to make deposits or withdrawals in his Zions account.

Below are a few of the features of the Deseret MMA. Some of these are based on my conservation with the CSR from last year. Let me know in the comments if there have been any changes.
  • No monthly fees, but no interest for balances under $2,500
  • Offers Check writing (first 10 checks are free)
  • Wire transfers cost $15 for outgoing, $10 for incoming
  • ATM card comes with it but no debit card
  • Very restrictive ACH service. $500/day limit in or out. Must mail in a form and have overdraft protection or credit card
  • Allowed to push/pull funds using another bank's ACH service
  • No hard credit inquiries
  • Not available to Utah residents

Zions Bank just recently began offering some competitive short-term Online CDs. For more details, please refer to my Tuesday's post.

Zions Bank has been known as a solid bank with good customer service. However, it has slipped a little on its financial ratings. It has a 3.5 star rating (good) at BauerFinancial based on 3/31/08 data. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 2270). It has 155 branches in Utah and Idaho with over 2,600 employees.

Thanks to the reader Gary who mentioned this new rate in the comments.
Comments
gary
gary (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
Banking Guy-- you may be right about the quick turnaround by Zions. I had quite a bit in Zions--it didn't have the the highest rate but it was stable. I pulled all my money out when they dropped the rate. I will probably put some back in now, as I do like the bank and have had good experineces with customer service. They do not have a meaningful ACH, but like your other commenter, I use other accounts to initiate ACH in/out (Cap1 and AMTRUST). They allow these.
gary
gary (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #2
Zions upped the ante on their Internet Money Market account (www.zionsbank.com-- clikc money market). The IMM used to be their main internet account with a fairly competitive rate at the time. Then they dropped rates and introduced the Deseret account (only for non-residents of UT) at a good rate. Then they dropped rates dramatically on the Deseret account and introduced a tier system. Finally, rates went up to respectable (3.56%), but only with a min $2,500. Now they have resurrected the IMM, and it is better than the Deseret-- same interest (3.56%) but with only a $1K minimum. The nice thing about both accounts is that while they have a minimum for the interest rate, there are not fees for falling below that minimum. The bank is also doing OK (three stars with Brankrate-- was much higher but they, too got clobbered by mortgage issues-- mostly commerical though, not subprime.)
gary
gary (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
Apparently, the Deseret Money Market account is now gone-- replaced by the Internet Money Market account (My Deseret Account disappeared and was replaced). The Internet Money Market account is not at the same point as the Deseret was (3.56% with a min of $2.5K). Their new Internet Savings has the same percentage with a $1K min.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
Zions Bank has improved their ACH service. You can now add external accounts online. Transfers are limited to $10,000 per day and they place a four-day hold on incoming transfers.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
I tried to open an account online at this bank. The account was not immediately approved and I got a letter later asking to send a copy of my driver's license and some other form of ID (like a credit card). Since their rate wasn't that much better than others, I decided to cancel out.
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