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Bank Deals Weekly Summary for February 6, 2010


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

We had some good news on Friday when the Labor Department released January's unemployment rate showing an unexpected decline from 10% to 9.7%. The more the economy strengthens and unemployment falls, the sooner we'll see higher interest rates. However, as this AP article reported, it's likely to take a long time before unemployment returns to normal levels:

Still, the government now estimates 8.4 million jobs vanished in the Great Recession. And economists say the nation will be lucky to get back 1.5 million of them this year. They also warn it will take until the middle of the decade for the job market to return to normal.

This Calculated Risk Blog post showed the historical relationship of the unemployment rate with the Fed funds rate:

In the early '90s, the Fed waited more than a 1 1/2 years after the unemployment rate peaked before raising rates. The unemployment rate had fallen from 7.8% to 6.6% before the Fed raised rates.

Higher inflation could force the Fed to hike rates in the next year. However, if history repeats, it's quite possible that it could take many years before we see rate hikes.

There was another major newspaper that published an article showing the impact to savers and retirees from this ultra-low interest rate environment. It was published today by the Boston Globe, and I especially like the title: For savers, low rates are matter of high interest. The article pointed out what we all have seen:

Record-low interest rates that have been a boon for borrowers are hurting savers, especially seniors who depend on bank account interest to supplement their incomes.

These articles may not help make it any easier for us, but at least this news is being reported.

After 15 bank failures in Janauary, I was worried my February Fridays would be especially busy. However, only one bank failed yesterday. The failed bank was just a tiny Minnesota bank (see review). I have a feeling we won't see many more quiet Fridays this year. This MarketWatch article reported on what we may see for 2010. The article described the Texas Ratio as a guide to identify at-risk banks, and it noted that there are 388 banks as of 9/30/09 with Texas Ratios of over 100%. That compares to 552 that the FDIC has on its 9/30/09 secret problem list and 605 that's on Calculated Risk's unofficial problem bank list.

Savings Account Rates

Savings account rates had another bad week. Several banks cut their rates including Discover Bank, Capital One and ING Direct.

Alliant Credit Union continues another month maintaining 2.00% APY on its savings account (see my Alliant review). This 2% APY has held since July 2009. Another nice surprise is the continued 2.02% APY being offered by Incredible Bank. It has been almost 3 months since I first reviewed this internet checking account.

Rate Hikes:

  1. OneWest Bank e-Money Market - 1.25% (was 1.15%)

Rate Cuts:

  1. Peoples Bank E-Savings - 1.60% (was 1.81%)
  2. Wings Financial CU MMA - 1.56% $5K (was 1.71%)
  3. Clear Sky Savings Account - 1.55% (was 1.60%)
  4. Bank of Internet MMA - 1.55% (was 1.60%)
  5. Capital One/Costco InterestPlus Savings - 1.50% (was 1.60%)
  6. Bank of Internet Advantage Savings - 1.50% (was 1.55%)
  7. Savings Square Savings - 1.45% (was 1.55%)
  8. Capital One InterestPlus Savings - 1.45% (was 1.55%)
  9. Nationwide Bank MMA - 1.45% (was 1.50%)
  10. Discover Bank MMA - 1.40% $10K-$100K (was 1.50%)
  11. Discover Bank Savings - 1.35% (was 1.60%)
  12. Capital One/Costco MMA - 1.35% (was 1.40%)
  13. Bank of American Fork - 1.35% (was 1.40%)
  14. 1st Constitution Direct Savings 3mo promo - 1.25% (was 1.50%)
  15. Southern Community Bank & Trust MM Special - 1.20% (was 1.80%)
  16. ING Direct Savings - 1.20% (was 1.25%)
  17. Capital One MMA - 1.15% (was 1.20%)
  18. Charles Schwab Savings - 0.75% (was 1.05%)
  19. Charles Schwab Checking - 0.60% (was 0.75%)

Certificate of Deposit Rates

I'm afraid it was also a bad week for CD rates, especially short- and mid-term rates. There are no longer any banks offering nationally available 2% 1-year CD rates. There are a few credit unions such as Alliant. Also, there are two banks offering nationally available 15-month CDs with yields at or above 2%. One is Country Bank for Savings in MA which has a 2.00% APY (see review). The other one is First City Bank in Florida which has a 2.25% APY (see review).

Long-term CD rates mostly held steady. One bright spot was at EverBank which raised its 5-year CD rate from 3.37% to 3.45% APY. The best nationally available 5-year CD rate at a bank continues to be at Flushing Savings's internet bank, iGObanking.com (see review).

If you're concerned about locking into a long-term CD when there's a chance we'll see high inflation and much higher rates in the next couple of years, make sure you pay attention to the early withdrawal penalties. The bank that currently has the smallest penalty for long-term CDs is Ally Bank which recently cut its penalty to only 60 days of interest (see review).

No one knows how soon we'll see higher rates. That's one reason CD ladders are so useful. It takes away the guessing. We published an article with a neat infographic this week on how to build a CD ladder. I included some of my own tips in this blog post.

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

Best Nationwide CD Deals as of 2/06/10: 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. 2.50% 9-mo ($50K max) at Dime Savings Bank (account review)
  3. 1.77% 10-mo CD at EBSB Direct (account review)
  4. 2.10% 12-mo CD at Alliant CU (account review)
  5. 2.25% 15-mo CD at First City Bank (account review)
  6. 2.00% 15-mo CD at Country Bank for Savings (account review)
  7. 2.17% 24-mo Add-On CD at Northwest FCU (account review)
  8. 2.75% IRA-only 30-mo CD at Navy FCU - Limited Membership (account review)
  9. 2.50% 30-mo CD at Astoria Federal Savings (account review)
  10. 3.00% 36-mo CD at Pentagon FCU (may change in Feb) (account review)
  11. 3.25% 48-mo CD at Pentagon FCU (may change in Feb) (account review)
  12. 3.15% 48-mo CD at Hudson City Savings Bank (account review)
  13. 3.65% 60-mo CD at Melrose CU (account review)
  14. 3.60% 60-mo CD at Apple FCU (account review)
  15. 3.55% 60-mo CD at iGObanking (account review)
  16. 3.50% 60-mo CD at Pentagon FCU (may change in Feb) (account review)
  17. 3.40% 60-mo CD at Hudson City Savings Bank (account review)
  18. 3.15% 60-mo Small-Penalty CD at Ally Bank (account review)
  19. 4.25% IRA-only 84-mo CD at Navy FCU - Limited Membership (account review)
  20. 4.06% 84-mo CD (min $175K) at USAA Bank (account review)

Best Local CD Deals as of 2/06/10: 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. 1.90% Savings Account (5% for 1st $1K) at OMNIBANK in TX (account review)
  4. 2.00% 6-mo CD at Vision Bank in Dallas (account review)
  5. 2.00% 6-mo CD at United Financial Bank of Florida (account review)
  6. 3.00% 7-mo CD at NIH FCU in MD & DC - Limited Membership (account review)
  7. 2.25% 12-mo & under CD at Cecil Bank in MD (account review)
  8. 2.22% 12-mo CD at Cornerstone Bank & Trust in IL (account review)
  9. 2.50% 12-mo CD at Danversbank in MA (account review)
  10. 2.06% 12-mo CD w/chk at Chartway FCU in VA, GA, RI, NC, TX, FL & NJ (account review
  11. 2.00% 12-mo CD at Premier American Bank, NA in Miami, FL (account review)
  12. 2.01% 15-mo CD at Aspire FCU in NY, NJ, NH & VA (account review)
  13. 2.20% 16-mo Jumbo CD at Teachers FCU in NY (account review)
  14. 2.35% 17-mo CD at Community Bank of Broward in FL (not verified since 1/27) (account review)
  15. 2.18% 18-mo CD w/chk at Greater Western Bank in AZ, CO, KS, NE, SD, IA & MO (account review)
  16. 2.20% 18-mo CD & 3.20% 44-mo CD at Crescent Bank & Trust in Louisiana (account review)
  17. 4.06% 48-mo CD & 2.52% 24-mo CD at Founders FCU in SC/NC (account review)
  18. 4.00% 60-mo CD at PFFCU in Philadelphia (account review)
  19. 3.75% 60-mo & 3.45% 48-mo CD at Fidelity Bank of FL (account review)
  20. 3.60% 60-mo Jumbo CD at CEFCU in CA & IL (account review)
  21. 3.56% 72-mo CD at Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles (account review)

Reward Checking Accounts

I reported on two new reward checking accounts last week with yields of 3.56% and 4.25%. Just like savings account rates, reward checking rates are also falling. However, it should be noted that the average reward checking rate continues to be 1% to 2% higher than the average savings account rate. It should also be noted that reward checking is no longer a new product. I reported on 83 reward checking accounts in 2007.

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

Changes in the Rate Lists

I've done some pruning of the rate lists. A reader had the good suggestion to remove banks offering "high-yield" savings accounts with rates under 1%. I hope we never get to the point that we have to consider 1% competitive. I also removed some low-rate CDs from the lists. If you want to see a more comprehensive list, refer to our DepositAccount rate tables. I've included links to these tables under each category.

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

Banking News

CD Deals - National

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 6, 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)

Edit 2/7/2010: Clarified the Capital One Savings Accout as the InterestPlus Savings Account.

KenKrock   |     |   Comment #1
The Weekly Summary shows Melrose Credit Union having the highest 5 yr CD rate with an APY of 3.65%.  But I don't  see Melrose listed on the DepositAccounts.com list of Certificate of Deposits (5 yr).  Am I missing something, or should I have a concern about Melrose because they are not listed on the main site? 
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #2
Thanks for catching this. We should be able to add this to the DepositAccount tables soon.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
The M & I Bank Cash Back Checking Account offer thru 2/12/10 of $100. bonus requires a PROMO CODE according to bank reps, if anyone has this please share/post.  Thanks. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
Incorrect on Capital One Savings lowering the rate:


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1:
Rates effective
2/4/10 - 2/10/10 0.05% on balances of $0 - $2,499.99

1.55% on balances of $2,500

This rate is still in effect on the Capital One Simple Savings account.  It is still 1.55% and rates are from 2/4/10 to 2/10/10.

Not sure if this is the same Capital One account since they have multiple accounts with lower rate tiers or not.  But the Simple Savings is 1.55% APY and has not been changed.  The new rate if adjusted will come out on 2/11/10.

Thank you.
KenBDG   |     |   Comment #5
Thanks for the note about Capital One. I should have specified the savings account as the InterestPlus Savings. I just updated the post with this fix.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
That post for M&I Bank offering $100. to open a Cash Back checking account til 2/12 should be removed as it is misleading. There is no such offer available except if you receive a direct mailer w/a promo code, it is not available to the public at large. So people don't waste your time!!!