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 January 12, 2013


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending January 12, 2013

This was a slow week in economic news. Attention is starting to turn to the debt ceiling which has the potential of damaging the economy. This is just one of several downside risks for the economy this year. Calculated Risk blog has an interesting review of the economic risks along with forecasts for 2013. In summary, even if there are some compromises in Washington, the economy is likely to look a lot like 2012. In addition, the Fed will almost surely continue its ultra easy policies.

The concerns over the debt ceiling contributed to lower Treasury yields this week. But yields weren't much lower than last week. 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: 0.09% same as last week
  • 2--year: 0.25% down from 0.26% last week
  • 5--year: 0.78% down from 0.81% last week
  • 10-year: 1.87% down from 1.90% last week
  • 30-year: 3.04% down from 3.10% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 62% up from 61% last week
  • Apr 2015: 65% down from 74% last week

We had our first 2013 bank and credit union failure this week. A tiny Wisconsin credit union failed on Monday, and a small Washington State bank failed on Friday. There were a total of 51 bank failures and 15 credit union failures in 2012. I have more details in my review of the 2012 bank failures.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

This was a slow week in savings account rate changes. Only one bank on my list cut rates, and that was TIAA Direct which lowered its savings and money market yield from 1.25% to 1.00% APY. TIAA Direct also announced a change that's more worrisome. Effective February 9th, it's limiting ACH withdrawals intiated at TIAA Direct to $5,000 per day. I have more details in this blog post.

I did a review of 2012 rate trends this week. I found it interesting that we saw little decline in the average rate of internet savings and money market accounts. There were a few internet banks that had big cuts (like HSBC and CNB Bank Direct), but there were also some banks that raised rates. As I described in the review, internet savings and money market accounts are starting to look more attractive than many CDs.

For those with large balances, the best non-promo deal continues to be at Connexus Credit Union which has a money market account that pays 1.15% APY for balances of at least $100K. The next best are the four internet banks with money market accounts that continue to pay 1.05% APY.

Two internet banks are offering 1.25% APY, but these are promo rates. You can also get 1.10% APY at AmericaNet Bank and its two sister banks, but all three have a $35K balance cap.

Reward Checking Accounts

There were no changes this week on my list of nationally available reward checking accounts. However, there continues to be several reward checking accounts that are only local deals that had cuts in their rates and/or balance caps. Thanks to the readers who have reported on these in the reward checking forum.

We may see more rate and balance cap cuts this year. It's not only the awful interest rate environment, but lower debit card interchange revenue may also push down rates. This week I posted about news of lower interchange revenue in the third quarter of 2012.

One new thing I did to the list this week is highlighting the reward checking accounts that have balance caps of at least $25K. As you can see, there aren't many with decent rates. However, there are still many local deals with balance caps of $25K and yields over 2.00%. 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. None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  1. TIAA Direct Savings/MMA - 1.00% [was 1.25%]

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 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 January 12, 2013

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)