April has started with more cuts to savings and checking rates. ETRADE made a large cut of 44 basis points to its Complete Savings Account rate. Its new rate is 3.01% APY. Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking had its rate slashed from 3.01% to 2.26% APY. If a bank can't keep a rate above 3%, it shouldn't call it a high yield account in my opinion.
Reward checking accounts are also seeing rate cuts. Both Provident Credit Union and Connexus Credit Union slashed the rate of their reward checking from 5.01% to 4.01% APY. These two are in my nationwide reward checking account list since both have easy membership qualifications. Both have a $25K cap, so even reward checking accounts with small caps aren't immune to large rate cuts. Another thing to note about these accounts is that they've been around for much of last year. This might be a sign that these reward checking accounts aren't as profitable as the banks had hoped. But with most online savings account rates dropping to 3% and below, 4.01% isn't bad if it can last.
The next Fed meeting is at the end of April. Bernanke testified before Congress today (see article), and he painted a gloomy economic picture for 2008. Regarding another rate cut: "Economists at Bear Stearns noted Bernanke 'downplayed risks [of] inflation,' which they interpreted as 'leaving the door open to a further rate cut on Apr. 30.' They speculated that it would be only a quarter-percentage-point cut, however." So maybe we're nearing a bottom for rates.
Below is a summary of the recent bank rate cuts since my weekly rate recap on Saturday:
- UmbrellaBank MMA: 3.50% APY (was 3.75%)
- Charles Schwab Checking: 2.26% APY (was 3.01%)
- ETRADE Complete Savings: 3.01% APY (was 3.45%)
- Zions Deseret MMA: 3.05% APY $1K-$50K, 3.46% APY $50K+ (was 3.41%/3.51%)
- Citibank Ultimate Money: 2.80% APY (was 3.20%)
- Provident CU Reward Checking: 4.01% APY (was 5.01%)
- Connexus CU Reward Checking: 4.01% APY (was 5.01%)