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Bank Deals Weekly Summary for April 5, 2008


Quick Link for Rates, Recap of this week's posts

Two big disappointments in rate cuts this week were at E*TRADE and Charles Schwab. E*TRADE cut its Complete savings account yield from 3.45% to 3.01% APY, and Charles Schwab cut its High Yield Investor Checking from 3.01% to 2.26% APY. E*TRADE's savings account rate is now close to the rates of other major online banks like ING Direct and HSBC. The 3% yield looks like the rate where online savings accounts may hold at least until the next Fed rate cut.

Regarding the next Fed rate cut, it appears likely we'll see at least a quarter-percentage point cut at the end of April. With yesterday's news on job numbers, the odds of a half-percentage point cut increased. But as argued in this CNN commentary, there are many reasons why this would be a mistake. Hopefully, the Fed will agree.

Alliant Credit Union remains the savings account rate leader with a yield of 4.35% APY. From my conversation with Alliant's customer service rep, this should at least hold for April. I wrote a new Alliant post this week with more details on their electronic funds transfer (ACH) service.

I added SmartyPig as the new second place savings account rate leader. This is a special type of savings account designed to help people save for specific goals. It has several deposit and withdrawal restrictions so I was hesitant to include it on the my list. I decided to include it with the restriction note. Please see my SmartyPig account review for more details.

Reward Checking Update

This was a bad week for reward checking accounts. Many credit unions and banks cut their reward checking rates as the month began. Two credit unions with easy membership, Provident and Connexus, cut their rates by a full percentage point from 5.01% to 4.01% APY. Both have a $25K cap, so a small cap is no assurance of a high rate. I still have five reward checking accounts with yields around 6% on my nationwide list below. I removed Air Academy FCU from this list after I was notified by the credit union that their online application had wrongly provided an association membership as an eligibility option (see post). They still offer a 6.01% APY reward checking account with a $50K cap which makes this one of the best reward checking accounts in the nation.

This week I launched a website called HighYieldCheckingDeals.com which is designed to help you find local reward checking accounts. I have all of the reward checking accounts that I've reviewed here included in a table organized by state.

Best CD Deals

The best short term CD deal continues to be at Xerox FCU with a 5% APY 5-month CD with a maximum deposit cap of $25K. I just noticed that they've changed their name to Xceed Financial Credit Union. This makes sense since there are many ways to be eligible to join in addition to being a Xerox employee. A reader reported that this special is scheduled to end on April 15th, so you don't have much time (see post).

For a one year term the best deal for those with $25K is still at Alliant Credit Union with their 4.40% APY CD. You can also get this for terms up to 17 months (see post). For those with smaller balances, Patelco Credit Union came out this week with a nice 12-month CD special with a yield of 4.07% APY and a minimum deposit of $1,000 (see post).

For terms of 24 months and 48 months, National City still has the best CD deals with rates of up to 4.25% APY for the 24-month CD and 5.00% APY for the 48-month CD. These require a $10K minimum deposit and a National City checking account. Without the checking, the rates are 25 basis points lower (see post).

For a 7-year term, Capital One Bank is offering a yield of 5.00% APY. If you do decide to go with a longer term, be sure to check on the early withdrawal penalties. With inflation risks continuing, rates could shoot up sometime in the next couple of years. If they do, you'll want to break these long term CDs. The higher the penalties, the more costly this will be.

Rates will likely continue to fall so please check with the institutions to make sure the rates that I've posted are still available. If they're not, please leave a comment.

Recap for the Week

Savings Accounts - National

CD Deals - National

Checking/Savings Account Bonuses

Credit Card Deals

Reward Checking Accounts

CD and Money Market Deals - Local

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 Mar 29th, Mar 22nd, Mar 15th, Mar 8th, Mar 1st, Feb 23rd, Feb 16th, Feb 9th and Feb 2nd.

Quick Links: Refer to the following links for the savings accounts and CDs that interest you: Liquid Account Rates: Savings Accounts, Special rates, Local checking/savings, Bank alternatives CD Rates: 3 Mo CDs, 6 Mo CDs, 9 Mo CDs, 12 Mo CDs, 18 Mo CDs, 24 Mo CDs, 36 Mo CDs, 48 Mo CDs, 60 Mo CDs, 84 Mo CDs, CDs by state Comments: read and discuss

As of April 5, 2008

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

3-Month Certificates of Deposit:

6-Month Certificates of Deposit:

9-Month Certificates of Deposit:

12-Month Certificates of Deposit:

18-Month Certificates of Deposit:

24-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 Yield Reward Checking Accounts - Open to All

Checking and Saving Accounts at Local Banks/Credit Unions

CD Specials at Local Credit Unions/Banks Over the Last Month

  • Alabama deals and CD rates
  • Alaska deals and CD rates
  • Arizona deals and CD rates
  • Arkansas deals and CD rates
  • California deals and CD rates
  • Colorado deals and CD rates
  • Connecticut deals and CD rates
  • Delaware deals and CD rates
  • District of Columbia deals and CD rates
  • Florida deals and CD rates
  • Georgia deals and CD rates
  • Hawaii deals and CD rates
  • Idaho deals and CD rates
  • Illinois deals and CD rates
  • Indiana deals and CD rates
  • Iowa deals and CD rates
  • Kansas deals and CD rates
  • Kentucky deals and CD rates
  • Louisiana deals and CD rates
  • Maine deals and CD rates
  • Maryland deals and CD rates
  • Massachusetts deals and CD rates
  • Michigan deals and CD rates
  • Minnesota deals and CD rates
  • Mississippi deals and CD rates
  • Missouri deals and CD rates
  • Montana deals and CD rates
  • Nebraska deals and CD rates
  • Nevada deals and CD rates
  • New Hampshire deals and CD rates
  • New Jersey deals and CD rates
  • New Mexico deals and CD rates
  • New York deals and CD rates
  • North Carolina deals and CD rates
  • North Dakota deals and CD rates
  • Ohio deals and CD rates
  • Oklahoma deals and CD rates
  • Oregon deals and CD rates
  • Pennsylvania deals and CD rates
  • Rhode Island deals and CD rates
  • South Carolina deals and CD rates
  • South Dakota deals and CD rates
  • Tennessee deals and CD rates
  • Texas deals and CD rates
  • Utah deals and CD rates
  • Vermont deals and CD rates
  • Virginia deals and CD rates
  • Washington State deals and CD rates
  • West Virginia deals and CD rates
  • Wisconsin deals and CD rates
  • Wyoming deals and CD rates

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

Historical Rates from the Federal Reserve (Federal funds, Treasury bills, CD's)
The Bank Hopper
The Bank Hopper   |     |   Comment #1
Thank you, Banking Guy, for yet another detailed and helpful weekly summary.

Regarding Alliant Credit Union: One has to imagine that once Alliant realizes that they are paying the highest rate by far, compared to every other credit union (and nearly every bank, for that matter) for a savings account, Alliant will lower their rate into the 3% range.

As Banking Guy posted, Alliant has billions in assets, so they are not desperate for deposits, like Countrywide was late last year after the mortgage crisis came to light.

But, even armed with that knowledge, I am going to put my money with Alliant since it seems to be the best bet right now when it comes to Government Insured Accounts.

It's just so frustrating, since this will be my fourth bank transfer of my money (due to the fact that all the other banks dropped their rates shortly after I opened up accounts). I imagine many others have been bank hopping a lot lately.

Just call me "The Bank Hopper."
Michael   |     |   Comment #2
Hi Bank Hopper,

I agree with you. And I'd like to see posts of readers listing all the banks they have hopped to this year due to the rates falling.

My list:

ING Direct Electric Orange
Wachovia Super Yield Checking (after World Savings Takeover)
WaMu Online Savings
Southland Credit Union Reward Checking

I am now with Alliant Credit Union.

So, I am beating you with 5 institutions. I am more of a "Bank Hopper" than you.

Let's see if anyone can top 5 for the year so far.
singlepap@gmail.com   |     |   Comment #3
7% or slightly more from TDAmeritrade. Thing is, it's not on their website and even 95% of their personnel has no idea of the offer. A few dozen people got the deal since I'd first posted - others just reply here that it doesn't exist, that's it's spam, all kinds of nonsense. One thing for sure - it's slightly past deadline; but I think I know how to do it right
Micky   |     |   Comment #4
SinglePap, your postings about this TDAmeritrade 7% crap are not wanted on this blog.

If your information was legit, you would contact Banking Guy personally via email (I know for a fact that Banking Guy answers every personal email), and then he would post about it.

Banking Guy did a whole report on SmartyPig because a poster brought it up.

Any postings where it is required that we email the poster is a red flag. How can you not know this?

I know I am not alone with the way I feel. Yes, freedom of speech allows you to post, but you are posting in the wrong venue.

Please stop posting about this. No one cares about your information. Please just go away. You have already mentioned this crap too many times now.
singlepap@gmail   |     |   Comment #5
micky, it is not me who does disservice - but those who post conjecture about this. A number on this website already locked-in four percent additional on their insured deposit; but you want 4% on something advertised, and that's it. Disbelief in this season's best APY deal shouldn't be a cause to post conjecture. Posters who were making statements like yours helped others fall late. It is still possible, though... Please don't take it personally; I have no reason to think that you're incompetent or ill-intentioned. This is not a huge matter, overall; do not diminish its merit or importance of what BG does. Those who didn't think like you - know I was approaching it right in this case. I do not deserve the grief
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6

Do you really think anyone believes you? I don't think so.

Micky has you pegged right. Why don't you just give it up already?
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #7
Here's a FW thread on the potential TDAmeritrade deal. Sorry I haven't looked into it. I don't usually cover brokerage deals unless they have some bank ties.
singlepap@gmail.com   |     |   Comment #8
absolutely everything I've posted is true, unequivocally. Done by quite a few since I mentioned; I opted against reminders, because of irresponsible posts. Complete it, then post what you believe is cool to post. This is the only right way about it. I can't emphasize enough: this is not off-topic: this is absolutely in line with all insured deposits in this thread. There are no risks to yield slightly over 7% - just has to be done right. No catches. Anyone posting negatively, or posting info obtained from me - does disservice to people completing the offer. This is not posted offer, do not think of it as such - do it right, and then take pride in posting your result. Which, by the way, reminds me: why am I the only one on this website confirming the rate? It has been confirmed by many on other sites
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization   |     |   Comment #9
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