Update 8/30/08: The current yield is now 2.50% APY.
Update 5/21/08: The current yield is now 3.01% APY.
Update 3/14/08: The yield has fallen from 4.00% to 3.85% APY.
Update 1/27/08: The yield has fallen to 4.50% APY.
Update 1/16/08: The yield has fallen to 5.00% APY.
Update 1/9/08: The yield has fallen to 5.12% APY.
UFB Direct's Absolute Savings Account is still holding at 5.31% APY. UFB Direct is one of the few banks which have left their savings account yields unchanged since the big Fed rate cut last month. So I thought it would be useful to highlight this account. I hope I don't jinx this high yield trend by doing this report.
The Absolute Savings Account currently has the highest non-promo yield for a no-minimum savings account. Countrywide is higher at 5.50% APY but you need $10K for this yield. Both UmbrellaBank and AmTrustDirect's savings accounts have higher yields, but both of these are just 3-month intro rates.
UFB Direct used to be owned by Sky Bank, but in late September it was acquired by Huntington National Bank (see news release). Huntington also offers an online savings account called Direct Huntington. Since this online savings account only pays 4.60% APY, you have to wonder if UFB Direct will be able to keep this Absolute Savings Account yield so high.
UFB Direct's rate history with this Absolute Savings Account isn't too long unless you include its old High Yield Money Market Savings Account (HYMMSA). In June, UFB Direct closed the HYMMSA for new customers and added this Absolute Savings Account. UFB Direct also did a large rate cut to the HYMMSA for current customers, but at least they made it relatively easy for current customer to switch to the Absolute Savings Account. The Absolute Savings started as a tiered account with the highest rates for balances over $10K. In July, the 5.31% APY was added to all tiers. Since July, the yield has remained the same.
The main downside to this Absolute Savings Account in my opinion is that there's no free ACH transfer system. They have a service called MoneyHQ in which you can initiate electronic funds transfers, but it costs $2 for both deposits and withdrawals. Besides this one downside, the account has many nice features. Below is a list of many of them.
- No minimum opening deposit or minimum balance
- Readers have reported account opening is very fast and is all online except mailing in the signature card.
- ATM card with $4.50/mo in reimbursements
- Allows beneficiaries
- Allows custodial accounts
- Wire transfers: free incoming, $30 outgoing (increased from $20 on 1/1/09)
- ACH transfers cost $2 via MoneyHQ service for incoming and outgoing
- Allows ACH deposits and withdrawals initiated from your external account
- Postage paid envelopes provided for mailing deposits
- Deposits can be sent free via Mail Boxes Etc and The UPS Store
- Readers have reported a hard credit inquiry. The CSR told me it's only a soft pull.
- Statements mailed by default but can request online only
Deposits held at UFB Direct are FDIC insured through Huntington National Bank (FDIC Certificate # 6560). Huntington National Bank has a 3 out of 5 star rating (performing) at Bankrate based on 6/30/07 data.
UPDATE 11/29/07: Deposits at UFB Direct may be FDIC insured through either Huntington or Countrywide Bank (FDIC Certificate # 33143). Please refer to this post for more details.
Update 6/22/09: Accounts may be insured through other banks including Waterfield, Bank of America and Citibank. Refer to UFB Direct's FDIC page for details.