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Bank Deals Weekly Summary for February 27, 2010


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

I'm afraid there's still no sign of higher interest rates in the near term. Bernanke gave his semiannual testimony to Congress this week. According to the Washington Post:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that record-low interest rates are still needed to ensure that the economic recovery will last and to help cushion the sting of high unemployment.

Thomas Hoenig, the FOMC member most concerned with inflation, warned of a new possibility which could cause the Fed to keep rates low for a longer time. This WSJ article has an overview of Hoenig's interview:

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig reiterated his call for interest rates to go back to normal levels sooner rather than later, but warned that the U.S. government's budget deficit puts pressure on the Fed to keep rates low.

It seems likely that all the government spending will soon lead to high inflation and much higher interest rates, but it may not work out that way. Sol at BestCashCow described how the US could experience a long period of low rates just like Japan experienced in the last two decades.

Two bank failed on Friday which brings the year's total number of bank failures to 22. In addition to bank failures this week, there were two credit union failures. Both credit unions were tiny. This brings the year's total of credit union failures to 3.

The FDIC released its fourth quarter 2009 report on the banking industry. The number of banks on the problem list went up from 552 to 702. The FDIC keeps this list secret, but Calculated Risk Blog has an unofficial list of problem banks based on public enforcement actions. The number of banks on this list is 644.

Savings Account Rates

This was another week of rate cuts at several banks. Some of the better known internet banks to cut rates include UFB Direct, Nationwide and HSBC Advance. One of the past rate leaders, SFGI Direct, cut its savings account rate from 1.85% to 1.75% APY. SFGI Direct savings account continues to be closed to new customers.

This week I did another review of four top savings accounts that I've been tracking for the last year. In terms of rates, 3 of the 4 are no longer on the top of the list. However, one is still on top. It's Alliant Credit Union's savings account which is still at 2.00% APY, and reports are that it'll continue through March.

Rate Hikes:

  1. None

Rate Cuts:

  1. SFGI Direct Savings - 1.75% (was 1.85%)
  2. Connexus CU MMA - 1.75% $100K (was 2.00%)
  3. UFB Direct Savings - 1.45% (was 1.50%)
  4. Wings Financial CU MMA - 1.41% $5K (was 1.56%)
  5. Nationwide Bank - 1.40% (was 1.45%)
  6. Zions Bank MMA - 1.16% (was 1.25%)
  7. Univest Direct Savings - 1.15% (was 1.25%)
  8. HSBC Advance Savings - 1.10% (was 1.20%)
  9. E-LOAN Savings Plus - 1.05% $10K (was 1.10%)

Certificate of Deposit Rates

The best deal for a short-term CD used to be at Danversbank which had been offering a 1.75% APY 4-month CD. The rate fell to only 1.25% APY this week, and unfortunately, this is still very competitive for short-term CDs.

Northrop Grumman FCU leads the 6-month CD list with a 1.63% APY. The credit union also has some very good CD rates for longer terms but it's restricting these specials to existing members (see post).

For long-term CDs, there were a few banks that increased rates. The largest rate hike came from BankUnited which is offering a 3.25% APY 4-year CD and a 3.50% APY 5-year CD (see review).

With the new month starting on Monday, it's important to note that we may see many credit unions, such as PenFed, cutting rates.

Below are some of the best nationwide and local CD deals that are still active.

Best Nationwide CD Deals as of 2/27/10: Also listed are savings account promos with rate guarantee periods. The full list of nationwide CD rates is farther down.

  1. 2.25% 3-mo money market/checking promo at EverBank (account review)
  2. 1.77% 10-mo CD at EBSB Direct (account review)
  3. 2.10% 12-mo CD at Alliant CU (account review)
  4. 2.00% 14-mo CD at Digital CU (account review)
  5. 2.00% 15-mo CD at Country Bank for Savings (account review)
  6. 2.30% 21-mo CD at Stonebridge Bank (account review)
  7. 2.02% 24-mo Add-On CD at Northwest FCU (account review)
  8. 3.00% 36-mo CD at Pentagon FCU (may change in March) account review)
  9. 3.25% 48-mo CD at BankUnited (account review)
  10. 3.15% 48-mo CD at Hudson City Savings Bank (account review)
  11. 3.65% 60-mo CD at Melrose CU (account review)
  12. 3.60% 60-mo CD at Apple FCU (account review)
  13. 3.50% 60-mo CD at BankUnited (account review)
  14. 3.40% 60-mo CD at Hudson City Savings Bank (account review)
  15. 3.15% 60-mo Small-Penalty CD at Ally Bank (account review)
  16. 4.25% IRA-only 84-mo CD at Navy FCU - Limited Membership (account review)
  17. 4.06% 84-mo CD (min $175K) at USAA Bank (account review)

Best Local CD Deals as of 2/27/10: Some of the best CD deals are from banks and credit unions that don't offer accounts nationwide. Refer to the recap section and the state index section to find all the recent local deals. Here are some of the best deals to note.

  1. 2.30% Money Market Account (min $100K) at Georgia Primary Bank in Atlanta (account review)
  2. 2.02% Money Market Account at South Florida FCU (account review)
  3. 2.29% 6-mo CD at American Pride Bank in GA (account review)
  4. 2.00% 6-mo CD at Vision Bank in Dallas (account review)
  5. 2.25% 12-mo CD at Workmen's Circle CU in Georgia (account review)
  6. 2.22% 12-mo CD at Cornerstone Bank & Trust in IL (account review)
  7. 2.06% 12-mo CD w/chk at Chartway FCU in VA, GA, RI, NC, TX, FL & NJ (account review)
  8. 2.00% 12-mo CD at Premier American Bank, NA in Miami, FL (account review)
  9. 2.01% 15-mo CD at Aspire FCU in NY, NJ, NH & VA (account review)
  10. 2.18% 18-mo CD w/chk at Greater Western Bank in AZ, CO, KS, NE, SD, IA & MO (account review)
  11. 2.20% 18-mo CD & 3.20% 44-mo CD at Crescent Bank & Trust in Louisiana (account review)
  12. 3.00% 26-mo/49-mo CD Combo at SunTrust Bank in Several States (account review)
  13. 3.35% 48-mo CD at Fidelity Bank of FL (account review)
  14. 4.00% 60-mo CD at PFFCU in Philadelphia (account review)
  15. 3.56% 72-mo CD at Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles (account review)
  16. 4.25% 10-year Flex-CD at First Choice CU in Florida (account review)

Reward Checking Accounts

I reported on three new reward checking accounts this week with yields from 3% to 3.50% APY. Last Monday I reviewed my old reward checking posts and identified five reward checking accounts that are still paying at least 5% APY after more than a year. Unfortunately, these all are local deals. The best nationwide reward checking account yields top out at around 4% APY.

The best reward checking accounts are offered by small banks and credit unions. There are a few sizable banks offering reward checking, but as I showed today, rates tend to be lower.

To see all of the high yield reward checking accounts available throughout the nation, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com.

Don't Forget to Check the Notices Section

As I mentioned before, lots of my posts are now in the Notices Section. Notices are very short posts that are intended to alert you to rate changes or point you to some interesting banking news or deals on the web. This allows me to post more often on news and deals. I'll continue the blog posts in the same format that you're used to. You can get to the Notices Section from the top menu. You can also see the recent Notices on the front page. Just select the Notices tab which is next to the Blog Posts tab. If you want to subscribe to both blog posts and Notices, just click on the RSS icon at the top of either the Blog or Notices section.

Recap for the Week - Links to This Week's Posts

Banking News

CD Deals - National

Savings/Checking Accounts - Nationwide

Checking/Savings Bonuses

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 under $100,000. Previous weekly summaries are available at this page. Quick Links: Refer to the following links for the savings accounts and CDs that interest you: Liquid Account Rates: Savings Accounts, Reward Checking, 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 February 27, 2010

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

3-Month Certificates of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

6-Month Certificates of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

9-Month Certificates of Deposit:

12-Month Certificates of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

18-Month Certificates of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

24-Month Certificates of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

36-Month Certificate of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

48-Month Certificate of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

60-Month Certificate of Deposit:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

84-Month Certificate of Deposit:

Various Deposit Account Deals

High Yield Reward Checking Accounts - Open to All

Recent CD Specials at Local Credit Unions and Banks

Bank Account Alternatives

Historical Rates from the Federal Reserve (Federal funds, Treasury bills, CD's)

Snippy   |     |   Comment #1
I don't know whether you have already posted this, but I just noticed that ClearSkyAccounts.com (the on-line division of Chesapeake Bank) has cut its rates. Their Clear Sky Savings Account is now down to 1.50% APY; the rates for their electronic checking account are also down, with balances below $10K earning only 1.25% APY.