As 2010 comes to a close I thought it would be interesting to look back at how rates have changed this year on popular savings accounts and reward checking accounts. As we all know, this was another year of across-the-board rate cuts on deposit accounts. The intent of the post isn't to remind everyone of this, but just to compare rate cuts and other changes that have occurred in the different accounts.
I looked at 10 accounts from banks and credit unions: 5 savings accounts and 5 reward checking accounts. One of the 5 savings accounts is Incredible Bank's checking account. I grouped it with the savings accounts since customers can use it just like a savings account. I picked what I thought were popular savings accounts that maintained top rates during the year.
For the reward checking accounts, I picked the accounts that made my February list of top reward checking accounts with at least 2 years of history.
One thing that makes reward checking comparisons difficult is that rates are not the only thing that change. In addition to rate cuts, many banks have reduced balance caps (the balance that qualifies for the top rate). I noted these types of changes in the table.
I wish I could say the worst is over in terms of rate cuts, but there are many unknowns for next year. The Fed's ultra low interest rate policy will likely continue for much of next year. Also, the Fed's new debit card interchange rules may have significant effects on reward checking accounts.
Sample of Savings & Reward Checking Rate Changes in 2010
|Savings/Chk Accounts||APYs on Jan 1, 2010||APYs on Dec 29, 2010||Percent Drop|
|Incredible Bank Checking||2.02%||1.35%||33.2%|
|Alliant CU Savings||2.00%||1.35% (1)||32.5% (1)|
|CNB Bank Direct Savings||1.70%||1.20%||29.4%|
|CapOne InterestPlus Savings||1.60%||1.25%||21.9%|
|Ally Bank Savings||1.50%||1.09%||27.3%|
|Consumers CU||4.09% up to $25K||3.09% up to $10K||24.4% (2)|
|First New England FCU||4.10% up to $15K||3.51% up to $15K (3)||14.4% (3)|
|Danversbank||4.01% up to $25K||3.01% up to $25K||24.9%|
|Capital Bank||4.01% up to $25K||4.01% up to $10K (4)||0% (4)|
|Southern Community Bank & Trust||4.00% up to $25K||3.00% up to $25K||25.0%|
|Note 1 - Alliant CU: Rate is scheduled to fall to 1.15% APY effective 1/1/2011.
Note 2 - Consumers CU: Balance cap reduction not factored into change.
Note 3 - First New England FCU: Top rate now requires relationship status.
Note 4 - Capital Bank: Balance cap reduction not factored into change. Account went from nationally available to available only to NC residents.