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 December 22, 2013


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending December 22, 2013

The Fed surprised most analysts in last week’s FOMC meeting by announcing the start of tapering. The tapering will take effect in January when the Fed reduces its bond buying from $85 billion to $75 billion. That’s just the early start of a long tightening process that will eventually lead to higher deposit rates. However, the Fed also added language to the statement saying that it intends to keep rates low for an even longer time after the unemployment rate threshold is reached. That will likely keep short-term rates low for at least a couple of more years.

The best hope for savers to see higher deposit rates is a growing economy. The data showing an improving economy was probably the main reason the Fed decided to start tapering. We received more signs of an improving economy on Friday with the report showing that GDP was revised up to 4.1% for Q3. There was also good news this week with the Senate passing the bipartisan budget bill. With this budget, the economy should face fewer fiscal headwinds next year which should help the economy grow faster in 2014.

The start of tapering and the good economic news contributed to higher Treasury yields and higher rate hike probabilities in 2015. However, the higher yields and the higher probabilities were probably held back by the Fed’s insistence that it will keep rates low for a long time. Last week’s change in Treasury yields and Fed funds futures are shown below. The following numbers are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 1-month: 0.02% same as last week
  • 6-month: 0.09% same as last week
  • 2--year: 0.37% up from 0.34% last week
  • 5--year: 1.66% up from 1.55% last week
  • 10-year: 2.89% up from 2.88% last week
  • 30-year: 3.82% down from 3.88% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 25% up from 18% last week
  • Apr 2015: 44% up from 36% last week
  • Jul 2015: 65% up from 61% last week

There were no bank failures last week so the total number of bank failures for this year remains at 24. With the holidays near, we probably will end the year with a total of 24 bank failures. As a comparison, there were 51 bank failures for all of 2012.

Savings & Checking Account Rates

Only one bank on my list of top nationally available savings and money market accounts changed its rate this week. Palladian Private Bank reduced its savings account yield from 1.00% to 0.90% for balances of at least $10K.

On the positive side, I added a new 1% savings account. First Trade Union Bank increased the yield of its FT High-Yield Savings account from 0.70% to 1.00% for balances of at least $2,500. Before this change, the rate had held at 0.70% since May 2012. Hopefully, the 1% will hold for at least that long.

With one loss and one gain, the number of institutions offering a non-promo 1% savings or money market account held steady this week. We continue to have 5 institutions with non-promo rates at or above 1%. Four of those 5 are First Trade Union Bank savings account, MySavingsDirect savings account, the new iGObanking.com money market account and the SmartyPig savings account. All of these now offer a 1.00% APY. The highest rate continues to be at Connexus Y.E.S. Money Market Account which has a top-tier APY of 1.15% for a $100K minimum balance. An important downside of this account is that it requires an active checking account and direct deposit.

Reward Checking Accounts

Two reward checking accounts on my list of nationally available accounts had rate cuts last week. The two sister banks Community Bank of Raymore and Community Bank of Pleasant Hill cut their reward checking yield from 1.75% to 1.50% for balances up to $10K. They also cut the rate on balances above $10K from 0.25% to 0.10%.

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.

New Additions

  • First Trade Union Bank savings account - 1.00% ($2.5K+) [was 0.70% ($2.5K+)]

Rate Hikes:

  • None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  • Community Bank of Raymore reward checking - 1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+) [was 1.75% (up to $10K) 0.25% ($10K+)]
  • Community Bank of Pleasant Hill reward checking - 1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+) [was 1.75% (up to $10K) 0.25% ($10K+)]
  • Palladian Private Bank savings account - 0.90% ($10K+) [was 1.00% ($10K+)]

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 Last Week's Posts

Banking News/Resources Savings/MMA - National CD Deals/Resources - National Checking/Savings/CC Bonuses
  • Nothing new this week
Reward Checking Accounts
  • Nothing new this week
CD and Money Market Deals - Local
  • Nothing new this week
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 December 22, 2013

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
Connexus Credit Union1.15% ($100K) 1.00% ($50K) 0.75% ($20K)MMA - active chk required
EverBank1.10% (6mo intro rate) 0.61% ongoing rateMMA/Checking - account review
First Trade Union Bank1.00% ($2.5K)FT High-Yield Savings, account review
Seacoast Commerce Bank1.00% ($50K)MMA, rate guaranteed until 9/30/14 - account review
MySavingsDirect1.00%savings account - account review
iGObanking.com1.00% ($100K) 0.75% ($75K) 0.50% ($25K)money market account - account review
SmartyPig1.00%savings account - account review
SFGI Direct0.91%savings account, account review
Incredible Bank0.91% ($2.5K min)MMA account review
Bank5 Connect0.90% (min $100)online savings account (not available for MA and RI residents)
GE Capital Bank0.90%online savings account
Sallie Mae Bank0.90%MMA account review
Union Federal Savings Bank0.90% (min $2.5K)MMA account review
Barclays0.90%Savings account review
Redneck Bank0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)MMA
AmericaNet Bank0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)MMA
Evantage Bank0.90% (up to $35K) 0.50% (over $35K)MMA
CIT Bank0.90% ($25K) 0.85% ($100)savings account, account review
GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)0.90%Savings
Palladian Private Bank0.90% (min $10K)savings account
Ally Bank0.85%MMA/savings
American Express Bank0.85%savings account, account review
Colorado Federal Savings Bank0.85% ($2.5K min)savings account, account review
Capital One 3600.85% ($100K) 0.80% ($50K)360 Checking
FNBO Direct0.85%savings account
GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)0.85% ($10K)MMA
Mutual of Omaha Bank0.85% (min $25)MMA, account review
Sallie Mae Bank0.80%savings account, account review
Salem Five Direct0.80%savings, for new customers only
MyBankingDirect0.80% (min $5K)MMA
Discover Bank0.80% (min $500)savings account, account review
ableBanking0.80% (min $1K)MMA
Bank5 Connect0.76% (min $100)checking account (not available for MA and RI residents)
Bank of Internet USA0.75%MMA
Capital One 3600.75%360 savings account
Nationwide Bank0.71% (min $1K)MMA
Clear Sky Accounts0.70% (max $250K)savings account, account review
Alliant Credit Union0.70% (min $100)savings account, account review
Incredible Bank0.66% ($1K min)checking, account review
Alliant Credit Union0.65%Checking (req's elec. dep & e-stmts) account review

Reward Checking Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
Consumers Credit Union3.09% (up to $5K) 0.20% ($5K-$25K) 0.10% ($25K+)Rewards Checking
Money One Federal Credit Union3.01% (up to $10K) 0.51% ($10K+)Kasasa Cash
INOVA Federal Credit Union3.00% (up to $20K) 0.15% ($20K+)Ovation Checking
Lake Michigan Credit Union3.00% (up to $15K) 0.00% ($15K+)Max Checking
Great Lakes Credit Union3.00% (up to $10K) 0.05% ($10K+)Ultimate Checking
Belvoir FCU2.53% (up to $15K) 0.05% ($15K+)CUXcel Checking
Lee Bank2.50% (up to $15K) 0.50% ($15K+)CACHEChecking
Capital Educators Federal Credit Union2.50% (up to $10K) 0.20% ($10K+)High Yield Checking
Security Bank2.05% (up to $25K) 0.30% ($25K+)Security Bonus Checking
XCEL Federal Credit Union2.01% (up to $15K) 0.30% ($15K+)Redneck Rewards Checking
Redneck Bank2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K)Redneck Rewards Checking
AmericaNet Bank2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)AmericaNet Rewards Checking
Evantage Bank2.00% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)Evantage Rewards Checking
ABCO Federal Credit Union1.76% (up to $25K) 0.20% ($25K+)Premiere Checking
Provident Credit Union1.76% (up to $25K) 0.11% ($25K+)Super Reward Checking
Connexus Credit Union1.75% (up to $25K) 0.31% ($25K+)Xtraordinary Checking
First Tech Federal Credit Union1.58% (up to $10K) 0.16% ($10K+)Dividend Rewards Checking
Aspire Federal Credit Union1.51% (up to $10K) 0.25% ($10K+)Kasasa Cash
Community Bank of Raymore1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+)Rewards Checking
Community Bank of Pleasant Hill1.50% (up to $10K) 0.10% ($10K+)Rewards Checking
West Texas National Bank1.26% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)Ultimate Checking
Heritage Bank1.26% (up to $25K) 0.10% ($25K+)eCentive Account
First New England Federal Credit Union1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)extra 1% w/relationship
Bank of Blue Valley1.25% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)$1K/month debit card req (account review)
Bank of Internet USA1.25% (up to $150K) 0.00% ($150K+)Rewards Checking
BankFirst Financial Services1.25% (up to $25K) 0.15% ($25K+)Kasasa Cash
Avidia Bank1.06% (up to $25K) 0.05% ($25K+)eChecking
Legence Bank1.05% (up to $25K) 0.25% ($25K+)Kasasa Cash
North Country Savings Bank1.05% (up to $25K) 0.75% ($25K+)Advantage Checking
State Bank of Toledo1.00% (up to $25K) 0.15% ($25K+)Hometown Rewards Checking

Certificates of Deposit:

Various Deposit Account Deals

Bank Account Alternatives - NOT FDIC Insured

Duke Energy PremierNotes1.40% rate for $50K+Duke Energy PremierNotes review
Ally Financial Demand Notes1.35%Ally Demand Notes review
Ford Interest Advantage1.10% rate for $50k+Ford Interest Advantage review
GE Interest Plus1.10% rate for $50k+
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yield
Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yield
Fidelity Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yieldreviews on Fatwallet
Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund0.01% 7-day yield
TIAA-CREF Money Market Fund0.00% 7-day yield

Historical Rates from the Federal Reserve (Federal funds, Treasury bills, CD's)

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Probability of rate hike, I think needs a revision, it is close to 0% for the next 3 years according to WSJ.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Bernanke explicitkly said that the cut is conditional for the rates to stay very low for a foreseeable future.
The definition for foreseeable future has been timed before from his speeches to mean 3 years minimum.
In other words, should the rates jump unexpectetly, he will reverse the QE3 and or create another one via Janette Yellen as current puppet.
Who will pay the national debt or with what money, should the interest rates jump, any knowledgeable people out there?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Bernanke claims not to be a politician, but sure does talk like a true one!  He, like Obama can justify just about anything.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
To #3. Please elaborate of who is going to pay the interest on the national debt if not the FED, should the interest rates jump over 3%.?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
#2 The Chinese are the biggest purchasers of US Debt and control our national debt more than  Bernanke/Yellen. If the Chinese start buying more from other governments and less from us, interest rates will skyrocket, regardless of what Bernanke/Yellen do, and the economy tanks again. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
#4, please read response to #3 above and elaborate.