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Update on My Short List of Top Savings Accounts


Last year I started compiling a short list of the top savings accounts. The intent was to identify the savings accounts that you'll want to keep for the long term. In addition to top rates, I considered financial health and account features like ACH bank-to-bank transfer service. My last list was in August. Here's a quick summary of where these accounts stand today:

Bank/Credit Union 8/02/09 12/22/09 12/22/09
APY APY Bankrate Rating
1st Constitution Direct 2.25% 1.50% 4 stars
Alliant Credit Union 2.00% 2.00% 3 stars
CNB BankDirect 2.00% 1.70% 4 stars
Discover Bank Savings 2.00% 1.75% 4 stars

1st Constitution Direct's rate has dropped the most since August. On the plus side, they still have a 3-month promo which guarantees 1.50% APY for the first three months (see review).

Alliant Credit Union is the only one that is still maintaining a 2% APY. The reader ichaelm mentioned in the comments that he received an email from Alliant that said the savings account rate will remain at 2% in January. Alliant's board of directors typically meets around the middle of the month to approve next month's rates (see review).

CNB BankDirect has been on my short list since last year. They have fallen from the top spot, but they have kept their rates very competitive, and the bank continues to be financially strong. It's a small bank with $578 million in assets as of 9/30/09. This shows that small banks can maintain competitive rates on a nationwide savings account (see review).

Discover Bank's Online Savings Account is fairly new. I first reported on it in July. The rate has held up fairly well. They have long offered a money market account, but the rates are lower (see review).

Full List of Nationwide Online Savings Accounts

Refer to the money market account and savings account sections of DepositAccounts.com for other competitive options that are available locally and nationwide. I also have top accounts listed in my hot deals and nationwide savings account sections of my weekly summary.

If you want rates higher than 2% from a liquid account, your only option is a reward checking account. Unlike savings accounts, it'll require some work. To find reward checking accounts in other areas of the nation, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com. To learn more about reward checking, please refer to this reward checking overview.
Related Pages: 1st Constitution Bank, New York, Philadelphia, Discover Bank, Salisbury, CNB Bank Direct, Fort Wayne, Dayton, Toledo, Lima, savings account, Alliant Credit Union, Washington, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
$7 billion dollar profit this past year. I was tempted to buy some of the battered bank stocks. I didn't think that they would all shut down as some doomsayers were talking at the end of 2008.


"Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve's series of rate cuts left the returns of money market funds well below the levels consistent with long-term investor's expectations. Even now, money market funds' returns are low by historical standards."

The above statement was made by my money market account manager back in the summer of 2004. Rates swung from over 6% in 2000 down to 0.8% by 2004. And this was during a different administration and a different Fed chairman..
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Who says "We learn from history"
The Fed is repeating it's mistakes all over again by holding interests artificially low for too long.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
How about Incredible Bank?

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