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Bank Deals Weekly Summary for January 27, 2007


HSBC added some excitement this week with its new 6% savings account promo. New deposits at HSBC's Online Savings Account will earn 6% APY until April 30th. All other deposits will continue to earn the regular yield of 5.05% APY. It's very similiar to what ING Direct did last year with its Winter Save Up Sale. Perhaps we'll see other banks try to match this promo. It has been awhile since we've seen anything new at EmigrantDirect. We probably won't see any new savings account promo at ING since they'll be publicly launching their new Electric Orange Checking Account on February 1st (see post). For more info on this HSBC promo, please refer to my HSBC 6% post.

For those with a GMAC money market account, the HSBC deal may look extra nice. GMAC Bank dropped the rate again this week on its money market savings account. The yield is now 5.00% APY (down from 5.10%). However, GMAC's CD rates held steady. There were several banks that raised their CD rates this week. The CD rate hike seemed to be most common for 1-year terms. AmTrustDirect raised the 1-year CD rate to 5.41% APY. ETrade Bank and Netbank raised their 1-year CD rates to 5.40% APY.

Next week the Fed will meet again. Expectations are that they'll hold steady. Last year, most expected the Fed to start cutting rates by middle this year. Now some economists think the Fed may actually start hiking rates again. This MarketWatch article has a good discussion on future rates.

With future rates possibly heading up and with a 6% savings account promo, long-term CDs no longer look as appealing, although Penfed's 6.25% APY is hard not to like. This rate continues to be available for terms from 3 to 7 years. New rates will be posted on February 1st, and the rumor is that they'll drop to 6% APY. So time may be running out for this deal. Please refer to my 6.25% CD Penfed post for more info.

If Penfed's 6.25% CDs end next week, you'll still be able to get a 6.25% CD at Navy FCU (NFCU) which just started a 6.25% APY 7-year CD this week. Unlike Penfed, they don't offer this rate for any shorter terms. For those who prefer short term CDs, NFCU's CSRs have mentioned that NFCU is planning to launch a 6% APY 15-month CD promo starting February 5th. The only bad thing about NFCU is that not everyone can join. You must have some connection to the Navy. Please refer to my Navy FCU 6% CD post for more info.

For local CD deals, please refer to the local CD list. I've reviewed many of them and removed those no longer available. However, I can't go through all of them. Please check with the bank or credit union's website to confirm availability. If you find any that are out-of-date, a comment would be appreciated.

Thanks to all who have helped by leaving comments or sending emails on rate updates. Sorry I can't post on all of your suggestions.

The rates listed below are based on Annual Percentage Yield (APY). No minimum balances are required unless noted. MMA next to the rates indicate a money market account. Most MMAs have check writing and ATM cards. Online savings accounts usually lack both of these. The top lists include banks and credit unions with broad availability and with minimums around $10K or less. Previous weekly summaries are available for Jan 20th, Jan 13th, Jan 6th, Dec 30th, Dec 23rd (short version), Dec 16th, Dec 9th and Dec 2nd.

As of January 27, 2007

Savings Accounts/Money Market Accounts:

3-Month Certificates of Deposit:

6-Month Certificates of Deposit:

9-Month Certificates of Deposit:

12-Month Certificates of Deposit:

14/15-Month Certificates of Deposit:

18-Month Certificates of Deposit:

36-Month Certificate of Deposit:

48-Month Certificate of Deposit:

60-Month Certificate of Deposit:

84-Month Certificate of Deposit:

High Rates with Conditions / Large Balances - Open to All

Checking and Saving Accounts at Local Banks/Credit Unions

CD Specials at Local Credit Unions/Banks Over the Last Two Months

Terms of 60 Months and Over

Terms of 24 Months to Under 60 Months

Terms of 12 Months to Under 24 Months

Terms of Under 12 Months

Bank Account Alternatives
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I feel like I already know the answer to my question, but I gotta ask anyway: is it really worthwhile to "shop around" for the best rates? My thing is, after you shop around, sign up for an account and get approved, set up external accounts for transfer, etc.. the difference between 5.30% and 5.00%, for example, doesn't seem all that lucrative anymore. I was just wondering what you think about this.

I've kept my savings account at ING despite their seemingly-low rate because they transfer money to my checking account a lot faster than Etrade, which has a higher rate, does. I figure that's a more important feature to have.
SVG   |     |   Comment #2
Banking Guy,

>>For those with a GMAC money market account, the HSBC deal may look extra nice.

Indeed. GMAC once was such a nice account. All the facilities they offer are outstanding. However what matters the most to me is the interest and GMAC has not kept up.

Looks like E-Loan also has started lagging behind.

SVG   |     |   Comment #3

>>I feel like I already know the answer to my question, but I gotta ask anyway: is it really worthwhile to "shop around" for the best rates?

One size does not fit all. :-)

There is no single right answer for the question you're asking. If someone has a CD/cerfificate maturing soon then perhaps taking advantage of this offer makes sense till s/he waits for next good deal to come along.

OTOH if someone has no time/inclination to 'shop around', then s/he can lock-in 6.25% for 7 years with Penfed !

For lot of others who have time/inclination (e.g. the type of folks who read this blog) splitting monies here-n-there and chasing the 'best' deal given their specific situation/goal/time-frame may work-out.

Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #4
Anonymous, the reply from SVG pretty much sums it up: One size does not fit all (Thanks SVG)

For some people, it may not make sense to switch every month. But switching to a better savings account once a year may be reasonable for many. The history of posts that I keep can help you see which one has remained competitive.