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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending February 2, 2014


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending February 2, 2014

The Bernanke era at the Fed is now officially over. Janet Yellen is now the Fed chairperson. She has been known to be more of an inflation dove than Bernanke. However, many think she’ll closely follow Bernanke’s policies. That’s probably the best savers can hope for. If the economy continues to improve, Yellen and the Fed should continue to slowly unwind its extraordinary loose monetary policy. We’ll have to wait and see how long it’ll take for the Fed to unwind. If Yellen’s inflation dove tendencies take hold, she may push the Fed to delay tightening to avoid disrupting the markets.

The Fed held its first FOMC meeting of the year last Tuesday and Wednesday. As expected, the tapering continues with a reduction of $10 billion in the Fed’s bond buying program (aka Quantitative Easing). Not only were there no surprises, the FOMC statement was very similar to the December statement. The primary change was in the description of the state of the economy. The Fed sounds a little more optimistic regarding economic growth, and the Fed was optimistic enough to continue to taper. The improving economy was also seen in Thursday’s GDP numbers. The US economy grew at a 3.2% annual rate in the Fourth quarter. Much of this growth was driven by strong consumer spending.

Even though there were signs of economic growth, the markets focused more on a slowdown in the economy of the emerging markets. That caused long-term Treasury yields to decline last week. The 10-year yield fell to 2.67% which is the lowest that it has been since November.

The change in Treasury yields and Fed funds futures in the last week are shown below. The following numbers are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 1-month: 0.03% down from 0.04% last week
  • 6-month: 0.06% same as last week
  • 2--year: 0.34% down from 0.37% last week
  • 5--year: 1.49% down from 1.58% last week
  • 10-year: 2.67% down from 2.75% last week
  • 30-year: 3.61% down from 3.64% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 15% down from 24% last week
  • Apr 2015: 35% down from 44% last week
  • Jul 2015: 59% down from 69% last week
  • Oct 2015: 83% down from 87% last week

Savings & Checking Account Rates

This was another quiet week for savings and money market rate changes. There were no rate changes in my table below.

There was one noteworthy rate change on an account that I don’t include in the tables below. Ally Bank reduced the rates of its checking account. I don’t include this account in the tables since I include Ally Bank’s savings and money market accounts which have higher rates. Ally’s checking account rate fell from 0.40% to 0.25% for balances under $15K. The rate fell from 0.75% to 0 .65% for balances of $15K and above. This is more reason to minimize the amount you keep in this checking account. At the very least, it makes sense to have an Ally’ savings or money market account.

The number of institutions offering a non-promo 1% savings or money market account remains at six. SFGI Direct is the latest one in this club with its 1.01% APY savings account. Four of those six 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 are offering 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

This was also quiet week for reward checking accounts with no rate changes in the table below. The best nationally available reward checking account continues to be the Max Checking account at Lake Michigan Credit Union with a 3.00% APY on balances up to $15K. This 3% APY has held since October 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.

Rate Hikes:

  • None

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  • Ally Bank Checking - 0.65% ($15K+) 0.25% (under $15K) [was 0.75%/0.40%]

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
  • Nothing new this week
CD Deals/Resources - National Checking/Savings/CC Bonuses Reward Checking Accounts
  • Nothing new 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 February 2, 2014

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
SFGI Direct1.01%savings account, account review
First Trade Union Bank1.00% ($2.5K)FT High-Yield Savings, account review
MySavingsDirect1.00%savings account - account review
iGObanking.com1.00% ($100K) 0.75% ($75K) 0.50% ($25K)savings account (no check writing) account review
SmartyPig1.00%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
Salem Five Direct0.90%savings, for new customers only
Ally Bank0.87%savings
Ally Bank0.85%MMA
Discover Bank0.85% (min $500)savings account, account review
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
MyBankingDirect0.80% (min $5K)MMA
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
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)

harrysit   |     |   Comment #1
Shouldn't the best nationally available reward checking accountbe the Ovation Checking account at INOVA Federal Credit Union with a 3.00% APY on balances up to $20K? It's missing in your table in this post, but it's listed in the main RCA table.
gregk   |     |   Comment #2
Yes, - I opened an Ovation Checking account early last month.  Did they possibly impose restrictions effective February 1rst?
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #3
One reader was informed by INOVA management that they are no longer able to offer membership to Pennsylvania residents. So it appears to no longer be nationally available (I have more details in last week's recap) I'm trying to get more information from INOVA to see if this applies to all states where they don't have branches.
harrysit   |     |   Comment #4
Thank you Ken. I missed last week's recap.