Friday's disappointing jobs report is another sign that economic growth remains sluggish. Other data released this week also showed similar weakness, but there were a few bright spots. According to Calculated Risk Blog's weekly summary:
The employment report was well below expectations with only 88,000 payroll jobs added, the ISM manufacturing and service indexes indicated slower growth in March, initial weekly unemployment claims increased sharply, and even auto sales were a little disappointing.
On the positive side, construction spending increased, and it appears the layoffs at the state and local government level are ending (two of the key reasons I'm more optimistic this year).
The weak employment report gives the Fed another reason to avoid even thinking about letting up on QE and its zero-interest rate policy. That was probably the main reason for the big drop this week in the Fed fund futures. It shows the probability of a rate hike at the Fed of only 45% by April 2015. That's down from 54% in the previous week. The employment report was also a big factor in driving Treasury yields lower this week. The Treasury yield changes over the last week and the expectation of future Fed funds rates are shown below. Numbers are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.
- 6-month: 0.10% down from 0.11% last week
- 2--year: 0.24% down from 0.25% last week
- 5--year: 0.68% down from 0.77% last week
- 10-year: 1.72% down from 1.87% last week
- 30-year: 2.87% down from 3.10% last week
Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:
- Jan 2015: 30% down from 41% last week
- Apr 2015: 45% down from 54% last week
One small Arizona bank failed on Friday. That was the first bank to fail since early March, and it was the fifth bank failure in the nation so far this year. At this time last year there had already been 16 bank failures, and at this time in 2011, there had been 26 bank failures.
Savings & Checking Account Rates
Only one bank on my list cut rates this week. That was Incredible Bank which cut its money market account yield from 1.01% to 0.96% for balances up to $250K.
On the plus side, I added a bank with a 1% savings account. That's BofI Federal Bank, the parent of Bank of Internet USA and UFB Direct. This rate is only available through affinity groups. However, some groups such as the American Seniors Association can be joined by anyone. Thus, I'm considering this a nationwide deal. Just beware that the rate may not last, just like what happened at UFB Direct.
The hot deal at Pacific Trust Bank in Southern California has been continued into April. It offers a 1.25% APY for balances of at least $250,000, and this yield is guaranteed to last through 2013. I first reviewed this deal a few weeks ago. Several readers have reported being allowed to open this account by mail. Please refer to the comments in this post for more details.
The best non-promo rate for large balances continues to be Connexus Credit Union's Y.E.S. Money Market. It has a 1.15% APY for balances over $100K and 1.00% APY for balances of $50K to under $100K. The downside is that it requires an active checking account with direct deposit.
The highest rate without a checking requirement and without balance caps continues to be MyBankingDirect's money market account. It still has a 1.05% APY. This APY has held since June 2012. Its rates have been remained near the top of my list since June 2011.
Reward Checking Accounts
There were rate cuts on several of the nationally available reward checking accounts. The most noteworthy was at ABCO Federal Credit Union. Its yield fell from 2.12% to 2.02% for balances up to $25K. Even with this cut, it remains the highest yield for a $25K balance cap.
There was also one removal from the list. First Financial Bank stopped offering its reward checking account nationwide. The bank restricted new accounts to just its market area in parts of Arkansas and Mississippi. Unfortunately, this has been a common occurrence for banks with good reward checking deals. They either restrict new accounts to their market area or cut rates and/or balance caps.
Just like the savings accounts, I added BofI Federal Bank's Rewards Checking account to the list. As I mentioned in the savings account section, this rate is only available through affinity groups. However, some groups such as the American Seniors Association can be joined by anyone. The Rewards Checking account is very similar to what Bank of Internet USA offers. The main advantage is its yield of 1.50% as compared to 1.25% at Bank of Internet USA. One downside is that the affinity groups' Reward Checking account requires more debit card usage.
There were also many rate and balance cap cuts on reward checking accounts that aren't nationally available. A noteworthy cut happened at Halliburton Employees FCU which had one of the nation's best reward checking account. Effective April 1st, its $mart Checking account yield fell from 3.55% to 3.05%, and its balance cap fell from $25K to $20K.
You can check out other rate and balance cap changes in the reward checking subforum.
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.
- BofI Federal Bank (affinity groups) Rewards Checking - 1.50% (up to $150K)
- BofI Federal Bank (affinity groups) Savings - 1.00%
- First Financial Bank Kasasa Cash (reward chk) - 3.00% (up to $15K) no longer nationally available
Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:
- ABCO FCU Reward Checking - 2.02% (up to $25K) 0.20% ($25K+) [was 2.12% / 0.30%]
- First Tech FCU reward checking - 1.58% (up to $10K) 0.16% ($10K+) [was 1.78% / 0.16%]
- Heritage Bank reward checking - 1.26% (up to $25K) 0.10% ($25K+) [was 1.31% / 0.10%]
- Incredible Bank MMA - 0.96% (up to $250K) [was 1.01%]
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 PostsBanking News/Resources
- Fifth Bank Failure of the Year: Gold Canyon Bank in Arizona
- Useful or Dangerous? No-Login Balance Access to Your Bank Account
- How the Recession Changed Retirement Planning
- Survey of the Best CD Rates for April 5, 2013
- Top 2-year CD Rates at Northwest Federal Credit Union - Easy Membership
- Top Oklahoma Reward Checking Account at ONB Bank and Trust
- Higher Savings, CD and Checking Rates at BofI Federal Bank's Affinity Groups
- Arizona Federal Credit Union's Monthly Membership Fee
- EverBank's Deposit Deals Also Available At Its Florida Branches
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.
Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:
- Best Savings Account Rates (Nationwide & by State)
- Best Money Market Rates (Nationwide & by State)
- Best Checking Account Rates (Nationwide & by State)
- Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
- EverBank - 1.25% MMA/Checking (6mo intro rate) 0.76% ongoing rate, account review
- Connexus Credit Union - 1.15% ($100K) 1.00% ($50K) 0.75% ($20K) active chk required
- Redneck Bank - 1.10% MMA (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)
- AmericaNet Bank - 1.10% MMA (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)
- Evantage Bank - 1.10% MMA (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)
- MyBankingDirect - 1.05% (min $5K)
- BofI Federal Bank (affinity groups) - 1.00% (min $100) Savings
- CIT Bank - 1.00% ($25K) 0.90% ($100) Savings, account review
- Barclays - 1.00% Savings account review
- SmartyPig - 1.00% ($50K max), account review
- Incredible Bank - 0.96% MMA ($2.5K min) account review
- Sallie Mae Bank - 0.95% MMA account review
- SFGI Direct - 0.94% account review
- TIAA Direct - 0.92% MMA/Savings (not accepting new customers) account review
- Union Federal Savings Bank - 0.90% MMA (min $2.5K) account review
- Salem Five Direct - 0.90% savings, for new customers only
- ableBanking - 0.85% MMA (min $1K)
- American Express Bank - 0.85%, account review
- Colorado Federal Savings Bank - 0.85% ($2.5K min) account review
- Capital One 360 - 0.85% ($100K) 0.80% ($50K) 360 Checking
- FNBO Direct - 0.85% Savings
- GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife) - 0.85% ($25K) 0.80% ($10K) Savings
- Sallie Mae Bank - 0.85% Savings account review
- AloStar Bank of Commerce - 0.85% ($50K) 0.50% ($0) MMA Advantage
- Ally Bank - 0.84% MMA/savings
- Incredible Bank - 0.81% Checking ($1K min) account review
- Clear Sky Accounts - 0.80% (max $250K) account review
- Discover Bank - 0.80% Savings (min $500) account review
- UFB Direct (BofI Federal) - 0.80% MMA/savings account review
- Nationwide Bank - 0.76% MMA (min $1K)
- Capital One 360 - 0.75% 360 Savings
- Alliant Credit Union - 0.70% (min $100) Savings account review
- Alliant Credit Union - 0.65% Checking (req's elec. dep & e-stmts) account review
Reward Checking Accounts:
- Best Reward Checking Account Rates for a $10,000 Balance - Nationally Available
- Best Reward Checking Account Rates for a $25,000 Balance - Nationally Available
- Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
- Great Lakes Credit Union - 4.00% (up to $10K) 0.05% ($10K+) Ultimate Checking
- Belvoir FCU - 3.25% (up to $15K) 0.05% ($15K+) CUXcel Checking
- Consumers Credit Union - 3.09% (up to $5K) 0.20% ($5K-$25K) 0.10% ($25K+)
- Money One Federal Credit Union - 3.01% (up to $10K) 0.51% ($10K+)
- Lake Michigan Credit Union - 3.00% (up to $15K) 0.00% ($15K+)
- Capital Educators Federal Credit Union - 2.50% (up to $10K) 0.20% ($10K+)
- ABCO Federal Credit Union - 2.02% (up to $25K) 0.20% ($25K+)
- American Savings Bank, fsb - 2.00% (up to $15K) 0.25% ($15K+) Kasasa Cash
- Redneck Bank - 2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K)
- AmericaNet Bank - 2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K)
- Evantage Bank - 2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K)
- INOVA Federal Credit Union - 2.00% (up to $20K) 0.15% ($20K+)
- Provident Credit Union - 1.76% (up to $25K) 0.11% ($25K+)
- Connexus Credit Union - 1.75% (up to $25K) 0.50% ($25K+) Xtraordinary Checking
- Community Bank of Raymore - 1.75% (up to $10K) 0.35% ($10K+)
- Community Bank of Pleasant Hill - 1.75% (up to $10K) 0.35% ($10K+)
- Pacific Resource Credit Union - 1.75% (up to $15K) 0.50% ($15K+)
- First Tech Federal Credit Union - 1.58% (up to $10K) 0.16% ($10K+)
- BofI Federal Bank (affinity groups) - 1.50% (up to $150K) 0.00% ($150K+)
- BankFirst Financial Services - 1.50% (up to $50K) 0.25% ($50K+)
- Avidia Bank - 1.36% (up to $25K) 0.05% ($25K+)
- West Texas National Bank - 1.26% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)
- Heritage Bank - 1.26% (up to $25K) 0.10% ($25K+)
- First New England Federal Credit Union - 1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+) (extra 1% w/relationship)
- Bank of Blue Valley - 1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+), $1K/month debit card req (account review)
- Bank of Internet USA - 1.25% (up to $150K) 0.00% ($150K+)
- Legence Bank - 1.05% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)
- North Country Savings Bank - 1.05% (up to $25K) 0.75% ($25K+)
- State Bank of Toledo - 1.00% (up to $25K) 0.15% ($25K+)
Certificates of Deposit:
- Survey of the Best CD Rates for April 5, 2013 (Nationwide & Local)
Various Deposit Account Deals
- Bank Promotions
- Best IRA CD rates, local and nationwide deals
- Latest CD and Savings Account Deals with No Major Deposit Limitiations
Bank Account Alternatives - NOT FDIC Insured
- Duke Energy PremierNotes - 1.50% rate for $50K+, Duke Energy PremierNotes review
- Ally Financial Demand Notes - 1.50%, Ally Demand Notes review
- Ford Interest Advantage - 1.10% rate for $50k+, Ford Interest Advantage review
- GE Interest Plus - 1.10% rate for $50k+
- Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund - 0.01% 7-day yield
- Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund - 0.01% 7-day yield
- Fidelity Money Market Fund - 0.01% 7-day yield (reviews on Fatwallet)
- Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund - 0.01% 7-day yield
- TIAA-CREF Money Market Fund - 0.00% 7-day yield
- PayPal Money Market Fund has ended effective 7/29/11
- FW Thread on Treasury Bills
- Series I Savings Bond Purchases from Nov 2012 thru Apr 2013, I Bond Article, I Bonds as CD Alternatives