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Money Market Account with Guaranteed 4.50% until 3/31/09 at Washington Federal in Chicago

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Washington Federal Bank for Savings has just started a very attractive money market account special at its Taylor branch in Chicago. They're offering a 4.50% APY guaranteed through 3/31/09. The minimum deposit is $1,000.

Update 10/31/08: The money market promotion is now listed at the bank's website. It appears to be available at both of the bank's branches. A reader has informed me that a branch visit is required, and it's only for Illinois residents.

This promotion doesn't seem to be listed at the bank's website. A reader mentioned this in the comments, and I just called the Taylor branch for more details. According to the CSR, it's only being offered at their Taylor branch. There is no maximum deposit, and there is no checking account requirement. New money is required. The promotion's official launch is Friday (10/31/08), so it should last for a while, but there is no guarantee.

My last post on this bank was on October 15th, and it covered the bank's special 4.10% 6-month CD which is still available (see rate table).

The bank has some solid financial ratings for soundness: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 6/30/08 data. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1961 (FDIC Certificate # 30570).

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this money market account promotion in the Finding the Best Deals post.

Edit 10/31/08: Fixed promo launch date.

Related Pages: money market accounts, Washington Federal Bank for Savings, Chicago

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Comments
Cyclone
Cyclone (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
BankingGuy, you have it listed as starting a year from tomorrow "10/31/09"!
Matthew
Matthew (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #2
You mentioned that this is only available through the Taylor branch, but it is not explicitly clear - is a branch visit required?
SyZyGy
SyZyGy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
Be careful. After the promo rate ends, your rate will be approx. 1.25% (which is what the rate is today).

Yikes!
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #4
Cyclone, thanks for the catch. I fixed the typo.

Matthew, I didn't ask that exact question, but it appears very likely that it does.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
I asked. Response was "Unless you are an established customer of the bank, you have to physically come in to that particular location to start the account. No exceptions."
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
I just opened one of these. As a point of clarification, it's a savings, not checking, type account. To take out money, you must do a withdrawal at the bank; there are no checks to write.

My observations: It's an old-fashion, conservative community bank. On several occasions, the manager proudly referenced their longstanding roots in the area which supposedly go back 95 years. They still rely on the passbook as primary mode of documentation and are not yet able to offer any kind of services online.

Outside of this promo, their best rates are 4% APY for a 5 year CD ($1K minimum) and 3.95% APY for a special 11 month CD ($1K minimum).
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #7
Thanks for sharing your experience with this account.