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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for September 20, 2016


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for September 20, 2016

The FOMC meeting began today. At 2:00pm on Wednesday, the FOMC statement should be released along with the quarterly economic projections, which include the fed funds rate “dot plot” projections. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will then be holding a press briefing at 2:30.

I’m afraid most are expecting that the Fed will once again hold steady on interest rates. Here’s how economist Tim Duy summed up his expectations in this Bloomberg article:

The doves at the Federal Reserve will rule the roost again this week. But the hawks grow increasingly restless and their concerns will look more valid, assuming the economy gains further ground in the final months of the year. December remains on the table at this point

However, the chance of a surprise rate hike on Wednesday may be higher than many believe. The reason for this comes from the Fed’s “dot plot” which provides the Fed’s expectations for future rate hikes. The last one published in June suggested two rate hikes this year. If they choose not to raise rates on Wednesday and they adjust the dot plot to suggest only one rate hike this year, that would send a strong signal of a December rate hike. As Tim Duy described in his blog post, that creates some issues that could be eliminated by just hiking rates this Wednesday. However, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. As we have seen many times before, the Fed can easily find reasons to hold off on rate hikes.

The Fed funds futures show an 18% chance of a September rate hike which is up slightly from last week. The futures also show a slightly higher chance of rate hikes by December and February. On the downside, all Treasury yields fell from last week.The following Treasury yields and Fed funds future probabilities are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 1-month: 0.17% down from 0.25% last week
  • 6-month: 0.49% down from 0.54% last week
  • 2--year: 0.79% down from 0.80% last week
  • 5--year: 1.20% down from 1.26% last week
  • 10-year: 1.69% down from 1.73% last week
  • 30-year: 2.43% down from 2.47% last week

Fed funds futures' probability of at least one additional rate hike by:

  • Sep 2016: 18% up from 15% last week
  • Dec 2016: 60% up from 56% last week
  • Feb 2017: 62% up from 59% last week

Savings & Checking Account Rates

For the most part, banks continue to hold steady on their savings and money market account rates. If we don’t see a Fed rate hike on Wednesday, banks will likely continue to hold steady for the rest of 2016.

One positive change to my list of top nationally available savings and money market accounts is the addition of Northpointe Bank’s UltimateSavings account with a 1.12% APY for balances from $10k to $500k. The rate is guaranteed for 12 months from the time the account is opened. However, the account has some issues which are described in this account review.

One negative change to my list is the removal of PenFed’s Access America Checking. PenFed slashed the top rate from 1.01% to 0.50% for balances between $20k and $50k. The new rate is now too low for the list. This account was one of the few bright spots this year at PenFed. It has been a disappointing year with the only noteworthy PenFed CD being a 15-month special in January.

With the removal of PenFed’s Access America Checking account, the number of accounts in the 1% club falls to 20. Northpointe Bank’s UltimateSavings doesn’t qualify for the club since its 1.12% APY is promotional. The 1% club is the group of nationally available checking, savings and money market accounts that have rates of at least 1% APY. I exclude accounts that have promotional rates that are scheduled to fall after a certain amount of time. Also, I exclude accounts in which the 1%+ rate is available only for new customers. The ones on the promotional category include HSBC, EverBank, The Palladian PrivateBank, Northeast Bank, iGObanking.com’s MMA and Salem Five Direct.

Reward Checking Accounts

Banks and credit unions are also in a holding pattern with their reward checking accounts.

Like the savings and money market list, we have a new addition to the nationally available reward checking list. The new reward checking account is being offered by Bellco Credit Union. It’s called the Boost Interest Checking, and it pays 2.25% APY on balances up to $25k. Anyone can join Bellco Credit Union via an association membership.

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 reward checking, please refer to my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking.

Certificate of Deposit Rates

I’m now publishing my CD survey as a separate post. Please refer to my survey of the best CD rates. This recap will focus on banking news of the week and liquid accounts.

Rates as of September 20, 2016

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
The Palladian PrivateBank1.30% (6mo intro rate) 1.10% blended APYSavings Account - Account review
Popular Direct1.26% ($5k min)Popular Direct Savings - Account review
Redneck Bank1.25% (up to $35k), 0.50% ($35k+)Mega Money Market Account
State Bank of Texas1.25% ($100k min)Jumbo Money Market Deposit Account - Account review
Connexus Credit Union1.15% ($100k) 1.00% ($50k) 0.75% ($20k)MMA - active chk required
Northpointe Bank1.12% ($10k min, 12 month rate guarantee)UltimateSavings - Account review
EverBank1.11% (1yr intro rate) 0.61% ongoing rateMMA/Checking - Account review
Incredible Bank1.11% ($2.5k), 0.05% ($250k+)IncredibleBank Savings - Account review
Northeast Bank1.10%Pearl Money Market Promo, new customers - Account review
Dime Savings Bank1.10% Dime Direct Money Market, new money - Account review
iGObanking.com1.10% ($25k min) MMA, New accounts and new money only, Account review
Salem Five Direct1.10% (Rate guarantee through January 1, 2017)eOne Savings, for new customers only Account review
EBSB Direct1.08% ($10k min/$2m max)Money Market Special 2 - Account review
SFGI Direct1.06%Savings account - Account review
AloStar Bank of Commerce1.05%Savings account - Account review
GS Bank1.05%Online savings account
Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bk) 1.05%High Yield Savings
ableBanking1.00%Money Market Savings
iGObanking.com1.00%Savings account - Account review
Barclays1.00%Savings - Account review
Ally Bank1.00%Online Savings
Alliant Credit Union1.00% ($100 min)Savings account - Account review
Quorum Federal Credit Union1.00%HighQ Savings Account
Radius Bank1.00% ($2.5k min)Radius High-Yield Savings - Account review
Capital One 3601.00% ($10k+), 0.60% (up to $10k)360 Money Market - Account review
UFB Direct1.00% ($25k min)UFB Savings - Account review
MyBankingDirect1.00% ($25k min), 0.80% ($5k min) Earn More Money Market
FNBO Direct0.95%Savings account
Discover Bank0.95% ($500 min) Savings account - Account review
Incredible Bank0.95% ($2.5k min) MMA - Account review
CIT Bank0.95%Savings account - Account review
Sallie Mae Bank0.90%MMA
Bank5 Connect0.90% ($100 min) Online savings account (not available for MA and RI residents)
Capital One 3600.90% ($100k) 0.75% ($50k)360 Checking
TIAA Direct0.90% ($100k)MMA
American Express Bank0.90%Savings account - Account review
Clear Sky Accounts0.90% ($250k max) Savings account - Account review
Ally Bank0.85%MMA
MySavingsDirect0.85%MySavings account - Account review
Colorado Federal Savings Bank0.85% ($2.5k min)Savings account - Account review
Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bk)0.85%MMA
Sallie Mae Bank0.85%Upromise GoalSaver Account
Discover Bank0.85% ($100k min) 0.80% ($2.5k) MMA - Account review
Digital Credit Union0.80% ($100k) 0.65% ($50k)MMA
Bank5 Connect0.76% ($100 min) Checking account (not available for MA and RI residents)
SmartyPig0.75%Savings account - Account review
Bank of Internet USA0.75%MMA
Capital One 3600.75%360 Savings account
California First National Bank0.75% ($15k min)Money Market Checking
TIAA Direct0.70%High yield savings account
MyCBB0.65%MyCBB Money Market - Account review
FNBO Direct0.65%Checking account
Alliant Credit Union0.65%Checking (req's elec. dep & e-stmts) Account review
Elements Financial (formerly Eli Lilly Credit Union)0.65% ($10k min) Helium Savings - Account review
Incredible Bank0.59% ($1k min) Checking - Account review
Nationwide Bank0.50% ($1k min) MMA
Citizens State Bank (FL)0.50% ($50k) 0.25% ($10k)Internet Savings

Reward Checking Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
Consumers Credit Union4.59% (up to $20k) Rewards Checking - debit card and $1k credit card requirements
Consumers Credit Union3.59% (up to $15k)Rewards Checking - debit card and credit card requirements
One American Bank3.50% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
Consumers Credit Union3.09% (up to $10k)Rewards Checking - debit card with NO credit card requirements
Destinations Credit Union3.01% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
Lake Michigan Credit Union3.00% (up to $15k), 0.00% ($15k+)Max Checking
Great Lakes Credit Union3.00% (up to $10k), 0.10% ($10k+)Ultimate Checking
American Bank & Trust2.51% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
Mid-Illini Credit Union2.50% (up to $25k), 0.15% ($25k+)Cash Rewards High Interest Checking - Account review
Capital Educators Federal Credit Union2.50% (up to $10k), 0.20% ($10k+)High Yield Checking
Bellco Credit Union2.25% (up to $25k), 0.25% ($25k+)Boost Interest Checking - Account review
Main Street Bank2.25% (up to $25k), 0.25% ($25k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
Altra Federal Credit Union2.25% (up to $15k), 0.50% ($15k+)A+ Checking
BankFirst2.02% (up to $10k), 0.15% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
Finex2.018% (up to $25k), 0.20% ($25k+)Axcess Rewards Checking, Premier Account (formerly First New England Federal Credit Union)
XCEL Federal Credit Union2.01% (up to $25k), 0.30% ($25k+)Kasasa Cash Checking
Legence Bank2.01% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
Bay State Savings Bank2.01% (up to $20k), 0.25% ($20k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
Elements Financial2.00% (up to $20k), 0.10% ($20k+)High Interest Checking - Account review
MainStreet Bank2.00% (up to $15k), 0.25% ($15k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
KS StateBank1.95% (up to $25k), 0.50% ($25k+)Check PLUS - Account review
Connexus Credit Union1.75% (up to $25k), 0.25% ($25k+)Xtraordinary Checking
First Tech Federal Credit Union1.58% (up to $10k), 0.16% ($10k+)Dividend Rewards Checking
ABCO Federal Credit Union1.51% (up to $25k), 0.20% ($25k+)Premiere Checking
Aspire Federal Credit Union1.51% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
All America Bank1.50% (up to $10k), 0.50% ($10k+)Ultimate Rewards Checking
Heritage Bank1.26% (up to $25k), 0.10% ($25k+)eCentive Account
Bank of Internet USA1.25% (up to $150k), 0.00% ($150k+)Rewards Checking
North Country Savings Bank1.25% (up to $25k), 0.35% ($25k+)Kasasa Cash
Avidia Bank1.06% (up to $25k), 0.05% ($25k+)eChecking
Community Bank of Raymore1.01% (up to $10k), 0.20% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
Community Bank of Pleasant Hill1.01% (up to $10k), 0.20% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
First American Bank1.00% (up to $15k), 0.13% ($15k+)Everyday Rewards Checking
Bank of Blue Valley1.00% (up to $10k), 0.10% ($10k+)$1k/month debit card req (formerly Ultimate Checking)

Certificates of Deposit:

Bank Account Alternatives - NOT FDIC Insured

Ally Financial Demand Notes1.15% rate for $50k+
Duke Energy PremierNotes1.05% rate for $50K+Duke Energy PremierNotes review
Ford Interest Advantage1.05% rate for $50k+Ford Interest Advantage review
Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund0.56% 7-day yield
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund0.55% 7-day yield
Fidelity Money Market Fund0.38% 7-day yieldreviews on Fatwallet
Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund0.23% 7-day yield

Accounts Removed Due To Low Rates Or No Longer Available

Removed, Rate Too Low

PenFed Credit Union0.50% ($20k-$50k), 0.20% (up to $20k)Access America Checking

Post Publication Edits

9/23/16: My Direct Banking Earn More Money Market rate raised.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Ken you might want to mention that Wilshire bank is no longer offering their 2.28% rainbow savings account since they have been bought out by Bank of Hope. I see that it has been removed from your installment savings account list. I can only hope that they honor the 2 $100,000 2.28% 3 year contracts my wife and I still have. They have not contacted me and I'm still getting that rate currently so I'm not contacting them! lol Great website by the way and much more useful than that other bank rate site which I won't mention.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Thank, Ken. You do a wonderful job with your website.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
The cd rates on your link are a week old.
"I’m now publishing my CD survey as a separate post. Please refer to my survey of the best CD rates. "
lotsofplants   |     |   Comment #4
Have you considered having a forum where members can refer new people who plan to open accounts?  I'm looking at Bellco and saw they have a $100 bonus for referrer/referee, and would certainly not object to having an extra $100 for opening an account I would anyway, but have no way to find someone who is already a member.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Thanks, Ken!
DCGuy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #6
On the radio recently, I hear the PenFed ad with the song that goes "PenFed's got great rates for everyone".  Apparently not.

At least now, the money market mutual fund rates have "risen from the dead".