About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending November 3, 2012


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending November 3, 2012

The big economic news this week was the encouraging October employment report. According to the Calculated Risk weekly summary, "With 171,000 payroll jobs added, and the upward revisions to the August and September reports, this was a solid report." Of course, the data is not nearly strong enough for the Fed to change policy. Also, it's not strong enough to change opinions on the election.

The upcoming election is adding uncertainty in the market. I found this excerpt from a MarketWatch article interesting about Treasury yield expectations after the election:

Analysts at Barclays Capital think that if Obama wins reelection, 10-year Treasury yields are likely to decline to 1.5% or lower “as fiscal-cliff related worries pick up.” If Romney wins the election, 10-year yields should rise to 2% on the perception of a relatively hawkish — or more concerned about inflation — Federal Reserve, they said in a note.

The end of the election will remove some uncertainty which should provide a little boost to the economy. Hopefully, an agreement will be reached regarding the fiscal cliff before that becomes a major headwind to the economy. All of this uncertainty was likely a factor contributing to lower Treasury yields this week. The summary of Treasury yield changes over the last week and the expectation of future Fed funds rates are shown below. Numbers are based on Yahoo bond rate data and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 6-month: 0.12% down from 0.13% last week
  • 2--year: 0.28% down from 0.29% last week
  • 5--year: 0.72% down from 0.76% last week
  • 10-year: 1.71% down from 1.75% last week
  • 30-year: 2.90% down from 2.91% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Sep 2014: 36% down from 41% last week
  • Jan 2015: 57% down from 62% last week

There were two bank failures this Friday which brings the total number of bank failures for the year to 49.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

For the top savings and money market accounts that I monitor in this weekly post, there were two that had rate cuts this week. The most noteworthy one was at UFB Direct which cut its money market account yield from 1.05% to 0.95%. Based on the history of UFB Direct, I think we may see more cuts.

After this UFB Direct rate cut, there are now 5 internet banks offering a savings or money market account with a 1.05% APY. As I mentioned last week, it's hard to say which has the best chance to remain a rate leader over the long term. The only one of the 5 that were rate leaders one and two years ago is Incredible Bank. However, it was Incredible Bank's checking account that was on top two years ago. It wasn't until May 2011 when the money market account was launched. Incredible Bank's checking account is now on the bottom half of my list with a yield of 0.88%.

One bank that was a rate leader two years ago may regain that spot once again. It's actually 3 banks which are owned by the same family and offer the same products. Those internet banks are AmericaNet, Evantage and Redneck Bank. They announced this week that they will be increasing their Mega Money Market yield from 1.00% to 1.10% effective November 22. That new rate will put these accounts near the top of the list. However, this top yield only applies to balances up to $35K. So for those with large balances, it's not much of a help. Unfortunately, not all of the news from these banks was good (see my reward checking news below).

The top non-promo rate that's available to new customers continues to be the Y.E.S Money Market Account at Connexus Credit Union. This is a tiered-rate account that has a top yield of 1.15% APY for balances of at least $100K. It also requires an active checking account (which can be the reward checking account).

Reward Checking Accounts

This was a bad week for reward checking accounts. It wasn't too bad for the few nationally available reward checking accounts in my list below. Only two had rate cuts. However, there were many other rate and balance cap cuts for reward checking accounts that are only locally available. Thanks to DA members who posted on these in the DA reward checking forum.

For many of these cases, rates are falling to around 2% or below. That was also the case for the two nationally available reward checking accounts that had rate cuts this week. ABCO Federal Credit Union cut its reward checking account yield from 2.52% to 2.12%. The balance cap remains the same at $25K. First Tech Federal Credit Union cut its reward checking yield from 2.57% to 1.78% for balances up to $10K. Since this had a small balance cap of $10K, I had hoped the 2.57% APY was going to hold.

The $10K balance cap is also not preventing a rate cut at AmericaNet, Evantage and Redneck Bank. All 3 banks announced this week that their reward checking yield will be falling from 2.50% to 2.00% on November 22. The $10K balance cap will remain the same. These are the banks that I mentioned above which are raising their money market rate at this same date. Unlike the money market account, the reward checking account is still not open to new customers at any of these 3 banks. Many DA readers opened this reward checking account a few years ago when it was nationally available and had top yields for balances up to $25K.

As I mentioned last week, we don't have many 2% reward checking accounts left on my list, and we lost one this week. There are now only 6, and only two have balance caps of $25K. ABCO Federal Credit Union is still one of these two, but it's now almost the same as Provident Credit Union with a top yield of around 2% for balances up to $25K.

To find the highest reward checking rates and balance caps in your state or nationwide, please refer to our reward checking rate table. If you're new to these tables, my rate table guide should be useful. If you're new to reward checking, please refer to my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking.

Rate Hikes:

  1. Evantage/AmericaNet/Redneck Bank Mega MMA - 1.10% up to $35K eff Nov 22 [now 1.00% up to $35K]

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  1. ABCO Federal Credit Union Reward Checking - 2.12% (up to $25K) 0.30% ($25K+) [was 2.52% / 0.50%]
  2. First Tech Federal Credit Union Reward Checking - 1.78% (up to $10K) 0.21% ($10K+) [was 2.57% / 0.21%]
  3. UFB Direct MMA - 0.95% [was 1.05%]
  4. One United Bank E-MMA - 0.75% ($100K+) 0.70% ($1K+) [was 0.85% / 0.80%]

Certificate of Deposit Rates

My recap of CD rate changes and the list of CD deals will now be in my survey of the best CD rates. This recap will now focus on banking news of the week and liquid accounts.

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

Banking News/Resources Savings/MMA - National CD Deals/Resources - National Checking/Savings/CC Bonuses Reward Checking Accounts
  • No new posts this week
CD and Money Market Deals - Local Posts from Previous Weeks 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. Previous weekly summaries are available at this page.

Rates as of November 3, 2012

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

Reward Checking Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:

Certificates of Deposit:

Various Deposit Account Deals

Bank Account Alternatives - NOT FDIC Insured

Historical Rates from the Federal Reserve (Federal funds, Treasury bills, CD's)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I'm disappointed to see Alliant Credit Union's rates so near the bottom of the heap -- after being near the top for so long. I had hoped they were above the bait and switch tactics. Maybe it's time for depositors to do the same -- switch, that is.