It has been just over one year since GE Capital Bank began offering its online savings account and CDs on the internet. I first reported on this internet bank on June 21, 2013. The bank didn’t offer any hot deals, but the online savings account and CD rates were competitive, and it’s nice to see that the rates have remained competitive over the last year.
The online savings account rate has held steady at 0.90% APY for the last year. The CD rates have actually gone up, with most of the increases on the longer terms. Over the last year the 1-year CD APY has increased by 5 basis points to 1.10% APY. The 5-year CD APY had a much larger increase. That has gone up by 65 basis points to 2.25% APY. All three of these rates are now very competitive.
Those competitive rates have helped the bank attract deposits. According to my GE Capital Bank contact, during the first year, the bank has gained 75,000 accounts. The average balance of those accounts is $50,000, and the ratio of savings accounts to CDs is 75/25.
In addition to competitive rates, the account features have been friendly with a savings account that has no monthly service fees and that has reasonable ACH bank-to-bank transfer limits that are clearly listed ($125K per outgoing transfer which may be increased by request.) You can also request wire transfers. According to GE Capital’s FAQs "both inbound and outbound wire transfers are free."
The CDs also have some nice features like a 10-day rate guarantee that ensures a CD customer gets the highest rate within 10 days of opening the CD. This prevents you from missing out on a rate hike right after you open your CD or getting a lower rate because the rate fell right after you applied. One downside with the CDs is an early withdrawal penalty that’s on the high side (270 days of interest for terms 12 to 60 months and 365 days for over 60 months.)
Another nice feature of GE Capital Bank is a solid internet banking interface for account opening and account management. The bank’s website also works well on mobile phones. According to my GE Capital Bank contact, the website was designed to be responsive allowing mobile account opening without the need to download an app.
Don’t confuse GE Capital Bank with the old GE Capital Retail Bank. The latter recently changed its name to Synchrony Bank so that should eliminate the confusion. GE Capital Bank was established with FDIC insurance in 1993 (FDIC Certificate # 33778), and its primary federal regulator is the FDIC. In 2012 the bank changed its name from GE Capital Financial Inc. to GE Capital Bank. According to GE Capital Bank’s About page, they are a "Utah state-chartered industrial bank owned by General Electric Capital Corporation" and they "act as a multi-product commercial finance bank, and use deposit accounts to fund [their] commercial loans and leases."
GE Capital Bank is sizable with almost $18 billion in assets. It has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of an A+ with a Texas ratio of 0.97% (excellent) based on March 2014 data. Please refer to our financial overview of GE Capital Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1993 (FDIC Certificate # 33778).