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 19, 2013


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending January 19, 2013

There were a few positive economic reports this week. New housing starts had a strong jump and weekly unemployment claims fell sharply. However, the debt ceiling fears continue to be a headwind for the economy even with the latest plans to temporarily extend the debt limit. As explained in this WaPo article, "We have three chances within three months of somehow shutting down the government, having a default or having a fiscal contraction." Even if compromises are made in Washington this year, the best we can hope for is another year of sluggish growth and nothing to convince the Fed to change its zero-interest-rate policy (ZIRP).

Government inflation numbers are also making it easy for the Fed to maintain ZIRP. December inflation data was released on Wednesday, and the inflation numbers were below the Fed's target.

There is a chance that a U.S. default on its debt could cause interest rates to spike. However, as we learned in 2011, a debt ceiling showdown and a credit rating downgrade can cause rates to fall. As this Barrons article warns, "even if the U.S. credit rating is downgraded, don't expect a big jump in interest rates."

For another week the concerns over the debt ceiling contributed to slightly lower Treasury yields. The 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: 0.08% down from 0.09% last week
  • 2--year: 0.25% same as last week
  • 5--year: 0.76% down from 0.78% last week
  • 10-year: 1.84% down from 1.87% last week
  • 30-year: 3.03% down from 3.04% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 59% down from 62% last week
  • Apr 2015: 71% up from 65% last week

The second bank failure of the year occurred on Friday. 1st Regents Bank in Minnesota was closed by state regulators, and the FDIC arranged for First Minnesota Bank to assume all deposits.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

This was a slow week in savings account rate changes with no rate changes. I added two new banks to the list. The first is Silvergate Bank which recently started a nationwide online savings account with a competitive yield of 0.90%. As is typical when banks launch internet accounts, the ACH bank-to-bank transfer service is weak.

The other new bank added to the list is GE Capital Retail Bank. This bank completed its acquisition of MetLife Bank's online deposits business. The online savings account remains the same. I noticed that the savings account rate is now somewhat competitive with a 0.85% APY for balances of at leat $10K. So I decided to add it to the list.

With two additions, I thought it was a good time to do some pruning. I decided to remove One United Bank's E-Money Market account. Its top rate is now only 0.75%, and that requires a minimum balance of $100K. Balances under $25K only earn 0.65%.

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

This was the second week with no rate changes 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.

As I mentioned last week, I'm now highlighting the reward checking accounts that have balance caps of at least $25K. There are only 11 of these on the list. Nine have a $25K balance cap, one has a $50K cap and one has no balance cap. The one without a balance cap is the Rewards Checking account at Bank of Internet USA. Its 1.25% APY isn't much higher than the internet savings account APYs. On the positive side, this yield has held since July 2011.

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.


  1. Silvergate Bank Savings - 0.90% [min $1K]
  2. GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife) Savings - 0.85% [min $10K]


  1. One United Bank E-Money Market - 0.75% [min $100K], 0.70% [min $25K], 0.65% [min $1K]

Rate Hikes:

  1. None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  1. None

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 19, 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)
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Capital One Bank has been offering 1% on checking accounts for over a year.  Technically they offer 5 times the national average, which has been 1%.  Min $5k up to $100k.  They at least have physical banks in NJ where you can visit. You can write checks and do online banking as well.

No one on the internet pushes this and I wonder why.
RJM   |     |   Comment #2
Ally has just lowered their rate to .90% from .95% yesterday for both their money market & savings account.

Just noticed that right now when logging in.


I had just decided to send ING a message by removing my money.  I found a local credit union that I was eligible to join that pays 1.26% on their share account. Although I was eligible to join legally, I asked the teller if they verified info, had I just pretended to be am employee of an elgible company and she said they dont, that they just take the customers word for it.


Since I had been using ING as my primary checking and I kept 6 figures in there to get their .85% rate, I opened a checking at Ally which and I am going to switch to that account for paying my bills.


I guess I will pull all the money out of both ING accounts but leave them open just in case they come back with something more competitive.


Part of my move was based on a bad experience with Capital One 10 years or so ago. They "pretended" they didnt get my payment in time, charged me a late fee and wouldnt waive it. So I closed the account & have been badmouthing them ever since.


As much as I have enjoyed my ING account. Love the easy sign in and website, I cant stay with capital one for an inferior rate.


I considered keeping my primary checking with them and keep a low balance but the rate difference, as of yesterday for accounts under $5000 was .20% at ING and .4% at Ally.


I also considered doing the billpay from one of my reward checking accounts but I keep those maxed out and the rate over the max is only .05%.


The dollar amount is not significant but we, as customers have to vote with our feet or more banks will be like ING and think rates dont matter.
Robert   |     |   Comment #3
What's interesting is that Ally usually decides their savings (and CD) rates by having something just low enough that they are not in the top 5 according to BankRate.com.  But that does not appear to be the case this time.  Ally could have kept the Online Savings at 0.95% and still been out of the top 5.