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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending April 20, 2014


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for Week Ending April 20, 2014

Last week was another case of hopes dashed for savers thinking that interest rates might rise a little sooner than had been anticipated. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen strongly suggested in a speech last week that the Fed is prepared to keep rates low for a long time to support economic growth. It’s another sign of how slow the economy is recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. As described in this WSJ article:

Yet after almost five years, the recovery is proving to be one of the most lackluster in modern times. The nation's 6.7% jobless rate is the highest on record at this stage of recent expansions. Gross domestic product has grown 1.8% a year on average since the recession, half the pace of the previous three expansions.

That WSJ article mentioned a few possible explanations for this slow recovery, and the one which was most worrisome was "secular stagnation". This had me thinking of Japan’s economy and how long it has lived with a zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). The longer we live with ZIRP, the more I’m reminded of Japan and how long ZIRP could last.

We continue to see some improvements in the economy, and if we keep seeing improvements, the Fed may eventually take us away from ZIRP. Better-than-expected economic releases came out last week, and that helped push up Treasury yields. 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: 0.02% down from 0.04% last week
  • 6-month: 0.05% down from 0.06% last week
  • 2--year: 0.43% up from 0.37% last week
  • 5--year: 1.75% up from 1.58% last week
  • 10-year: 2.73% up from 2.63% last week
  • 30-year: 3.52% up from 3.48% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of rate hike by:

  • Jan 2015: 13% up from 12% last week
  • Apr 2015: 33% up from 30% last week
  • Jul 2015: 69% up from 61% last week
  • Oct 2015: 92% up from 86% last week

Savings & Checking Account Rates

Last week was another quiet week in the savings and money market accounts that I track below. There were no rate changes.

The number of institutions offering a non-promo 1% savings or money market account continues to be five. SFGI Direct is the latest one in this club with its 1.01% APY savings account. Three of those five are MySavingsDirect savings account, the 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. Note, I exclude EverBank and Salem Five Direct. Only new customers can earn over 1% at these banks.

Out of the above five, the accounts at Connexus Credit Union and SmartyPig have the longest history of top rates.

Reward Checking Accounts

Last week was also a quiet week for the nationally available reward checking accounts. None of the institutions that I track below changed their rates.

There was one removal. Peoples National Bank of Southern Illinois didn’t last long on the list. It had been allowing people in any state to apply. That changed last week. New customers who want to apply online must reside within the bank’s market area in specific counties within Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky. That’s not a big loss since the bank’s reward checking account was a little disappointing with a 2.01% APY for balances up to $10K.

Many of the best reward checking accounts are local deals, and I reviewed one of those last week. First Financial Bank’s Kasasa Cash and Saver accounts are available in six states. Its Kasasa Cash account with a 3% APY for balances up to $15K comes close to the best nationally available reward checking account. Its Kasasa Saver account makes it a better deal for those with large savings.

There continues to be six banks and credit unions in my table below offering reward checking yields of 2.00% or above for balances of at least $15,000.

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.


  • Peoples National Bank Kasasa Cash - 2.01% (up to $10K) 0.40% ($10K+)

Rate Hikes:

  • none

Rate/Balance Cap Cuts:

  • 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 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 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 April 21, 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
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
Salem Five Direct1.00%savings, for new customers only
First Trade Union Bank0.95% ($2.5K)FT High-Yield Savings, account review
GE Capital Retail Bank (formerly MetLife)0.95%Savings
Incredible Bank0.95% ($2.5K min)MMA account review
CIT Bank0.95% ($25K) 0.90% ($100)savings account, 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
Palladian Private Bank0.90% (min $10K)savings account
Ally Bank0.87%savings
Ally Bank0.85%MMA
Discover Bank0.85% (min $500)savings account, account review
Colorado Federal Savings Bank0.85% ($2.5K min)savings account, account review
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
Capital One 3600.80% ($100K) 0.75% ($50K)360 Checking
American Express Bank0.80%savings account, 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
Clear Sky Accounts0.70% (max $250K)savings account, account review
Alliant Credit Union0.70% (min $100)savings account, account review
Nationwide Bank0.66% (min $1K)MMA
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 Union4.09% (up to $10K) 0.20% ($10K-$25K) 0.10% ($25K+)Rewards Checking - with cc requirements
INOVA Federal Credit Union3.00% (up to $20K) 0.15% ($20K+)Ovation Checking (not available to PA residents)
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+)Kasasa Cash
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+)Kasasa Cash 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
First American Bank1.50% (up to $15K) 0.15% ($15K+)Everyday Rewards Checking
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
Redneck Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% (over $10K+)Redneck Rewards Checking
AmericaNet Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)AmericaNet Rewards Checking
Evantage Bank1.50% (up to $10K) 0.50% ($10K+)Evantage 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
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
First New England Federal Credit Union1.01% (up to $15K) 0.10% ($15K+)extra 1% w/relationship
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

Ally Financial Demand Notes1.35%Ally Demand Notes review
Duke Energy PremierNotes1.25% rate for $50K+Duke Energy PremierNotes review
Ford Interest Advantage1.10% rate for $50k+Ford Interest Advantage review
GE Interest Plus1.05% 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
Slow recovery?  I believe the so-called "recovery" is over.  This is as good as it's going to get.  The present state is the "NEW NORMAL" for the economic conditions in our country.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
I'm afraid we may be looking at Tokyo today, Tokyo tomorrow and , after that, who knows?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
A nation with over $20 trillions in debt can not afford anything more than 3% for as long as we run deficits and the democrats create more and more debt every day. We all are going to feel poorer and poorer in the future.
BillFlap SLATE
BillFlap SLATE   |     |   Comment #4
All of you that are waiting for interest rates to rise are Charlie Brown thinking he is finally going to to kick the football........and the Fed is Lucy pulling the ball away.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
the real problem exists as the attached historical recount of the tax brackets throughout the  20th century-to present show:                                                     http://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-tax-rates?op=1 , that whenever we go into bad years its due to the lower of tax brackets on the very rich. When the republicans are in office as they were in the 1921-1933 , 1981-1993, and 2001-2009, they lower the tax brackets on the rich and then we wind up in depressions, and recessions. If the tax brackets in 1980 and 2000 were not changed we might have never suffered through all the bad years that came later on and be in the pickle with these lower rates and deficits right now.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Cut regulation, cut taxes and, domestically and internationally, stay out of other people's business.  This is the best way to prosperity.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #14
#6, say or address that to the democrats, they believe in centralized government, the rest of us already know that.
Roush   |     |   Comment #7
Sorry, #5, but the "real problem" today is not so much the tax brackets but rather the food stamp mentality. Several years ago, you may have been spot on but not now....things are a changin'. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Low interest rates are actually retarding the recovery.
QED   |     |   Comment #9
Statists like Anon. #5 will never be able to confront reality and are irrevocably lost.  Such individuals are growing in number today in America.  Beware.  A once mighty country is in process of falling off the cliff.  
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
I agree.  And add to cuts in regulation and in taxes, cuts in spending.  Add these to keeping government out of people's lives, and things will get better.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #15
Anon #5 - you are absolutely correct!  It is unfortunate that many people are fooled by the rich who want to keep everyone else subjugated and poor.  And, the rich pull the strings of the republicans who fight for the rich.  No one else matters to them.  Certainly not the middle class nor lower income population.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #16
The problem with your analysis is that the rich pull the strings of the Dems also.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #17
whomever is pulling whomevers strings doesn't really matter its in everyones best interest or mostly for the rich to succed
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #18
Cutting spending, cutting taxes, raising interest rates and staying out of other people's business, domestically and internationally, will help everybody, rich and poor. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #19
#18- so far that has never happened, instead cutting taxes has always led to huge deficits and recessions.  Hopefully where the tax brackets are now will close the deficits for good in a few years and if no they will need to be raises on all incomes over $300,000 and up.
Hoody   |     |   Comment #20
Amazingly NFCU has kept its rates the same since that last drop from 3.1 to 2.80 on the 7yr, I assume what will happen is they may not drop but they won't go any higher either for a while.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #21
What's the best deal in CDs right now?
CC in CA
CC in CA   |     |   Comment #22
I keep watching the NFCU rates every week.  I've been transferring money from PenFed to NFCU as my CDs at PenFed mature (sadly, since PenFed has been my primary acct for several years now).  I'll continue to send the money to NFCU from PenFed (and other places) as long as NFCU's rates beat the others.  NFCU is great, including their savings account (at 0.25%) for temporary cash parking.  Sure wish PenFed would raise their rates again so I can keep all of my CD $ there (as I have a ton of them maturing this summer).

I sure do miss the days when I was able to say "I won't put money anywhere long-term for less than 5.5%!"  Now I'm settling for 2.7% or 2.8%.  Not happy, but settling.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #23
Its  called adjusting to the times and adopting to the present circumstances. Nuttin too much to worry about if your at peak savings, its the younger ones starting to try and save that are looking at a long haul at these rates, or the older saver that had a major hit on income and needs the monthly $ to just go month to month.

Those that saved for years, lived low, and kept at it, paid off the house and cars, and didn't get hit with a major loss should be able to weather the storm, one way or another.
Hoody   |     |   Comment #24
That was my reply, I posted from my other computer that I wasn't signed in on and forgot my PW
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #27
#24 is just proof of how some people post comments here under more than one fictitious name or anonymous.  Even give themselves extra "thumbs up".
Hoody   |     |   Comment #28
I assume what you meant was that its possible for people to use other means to re-post stuff, but that can be done several times as anonymous anyway. I just wanted to add comment #24 when I got back on my usual machine that it was I, Hoody, that posted #23, However had I remembered my PW I could have done it on the old Vista machine, that was my fault. BTW I don't bother giving myself thumbs, that's for others to decide on, I just post what I have on my mind.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #25
Navy is certainly one of the best.  I'm maxed out there and looking for other places to buy CDs.  Any ideas?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #26
Contribute to obama's economy recovery.  Put it in a zero return greedy bank!