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Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for November 14, 2017


Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for November 14, 2017

We are still on track for a December Fed rate hike. However, there remains significant doubt about 2018 due to stubbornly low inflation. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker explained his views about rate hikes in 2018 in an interview last week. According to this Bloomberg article, Harker said “he wants to see signs of inflation moving higher before backing tightening next year.” However, he may support rate hikes in 2018 for other reasons:

“I don’t see any signs that inflation is running out of control in any way,’’ Harker said, explaining that he wants to boost rates "for a variety of reasons -- but most notably to give us the leg room, that is, having the fed funds rate high enough so that if and when the next recession comes, we’ll have some room to move.”

Harker won’t be a voting member at the FOMC in 2018, but he and the other regional Fed presidents may have a bigger role in 2018 in setting policy due to the high number of vacancies on the Fed’s Board of Governors and the slowness of both the President and the Senate in filling the vacancies. Another reason mentioned in this MarketWatch article is that the newly appointed Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, may depend more on the regional Fed presidents:

And Jerome Powell, the nominee to be Fed chairman, does not have formal economics training and is likely to lean on some of the regional Fed presidents who are economists.

The odds of a December Fed rate hike as indicated by the Fed funds futures are now at 100% (same as last week). However, the odds of at least two rate hikes by next June fell to 69.7% from 84.9% last week.

All Treasury yields increased from last week. The 6-month, 5-year and 30-year Treasury yields had the largest increase, all three rose by 7 bps from last week.

If you compare current yields to the yields in January, you can see how the yield curve has flattened (the difference between short-dated and long-dated yields have shrunk). This MarketWatch article has a helpful explanation of what’s causing this condition:

[The high expectations of a December Fed rate hike] have lifted short-term interest rates—the most sensitive to shifting interest-rate expectations—to their highest level in nearly a decade. However, sluggish levels of inflation and wage growth have weighed on longer-dated Treasurys, more influenced by the inflation outlook because rising prices can chip away at a bonds fixed value.

The following numbers are based on Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates and the CME Group FedWatch.

Treasury Yields:

  • 1-month: 1.06% up from 1.05% last week (0.52% on Jan 3)
  • 6-month: 1.40% up from 1.33% last week (0.65% on Jan 3)
  • 2--year: 1.68% up from 1.63% last week (1.22% on Jan 3)
  • 5--year: 2.06% up from 1.99% last week (1.94% on Jan 3)
  • 10-year: 2.38% up from 2.32% last week (2.45% on Jan 3)
  • 30-year: 2.84% up from 2.77% last week (3.04% on Jan 3)

Fed funds futures' probabilities of future rate hikes by:

  • Dec 2017 - up by at least 25bps: 100% same as last week
  • Dec 2017 - up by at least 50bps: 3.3% same as last week
  • Jun 2018 - up by at least 25bps: 100% same as last week
  • Jun 2018 - up by at least 50bps: 69.7% down from 84.9% last week
  • Jun 2018 - up by at least 75bps: 22.5%

Savings and Money Market Account Rates

The above graph shows the rate trends of the average savings account rates. These average rates are based on all the rate data that we have collected over the years. This is an interactive graph. You can choose the look-back period (from 3 months to 5 years). As you can see in the graph, average savings account rates are rising slowly. They are still below the average from five years ago.

Internet banks continue to hike their savings account and money market rates, but the rate hikes have slowed from previous weeks.

The most noteworthy rate hike was at PurePoint Financial which increased its savings account rate by 10 bps to 1.40% APY for balances of at least $10k.

EverBank increased the ongoing rate of its Yield Pledge Money Market Account by 15 bps to 1.01% APY. The 12-month intro rate continues to be 1.31% APY for balances up to $250k.

Other institutions to increase rates include McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, Dime Savings Bank and TIAA Direct.

Due to PurePoint Financial’s rate hike, the number of banks in the 1.40% club increased by one to seven. This “club” is the group of banks and credit unions offering nationally-available savings and money market accounts with non-promo rates of at least 1.40% APY. The other six in this group includes Northpointe Bank’s Ultimate Money Market (1.50% APY), Incredible Bank’s savings account (1.41% APY), UFB Direct Money Market Savings (1.41% APY), DollarSavingsDirect Savings (1.50% APY), Live Oak Bank Savings (1.40% APY) and Popular Direct Plus Savings (1.40% APY). I’m excluding the Mega Money Market accounts from All America Bank and Redneck Bank since these have $35k balance caps.

Reward Checking Accounts

We’re back to no changes to my list of nationally available reward checking accounts. Reward checking rates have been slower to respond to the Fed rate hikes as compared to internet savings account rates. Since much of the rates of reward checking accounts are paid for by debit card activity, banks may continue to go slow with rate hikes.

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, Overview of Reward Checking and Our Reward Checking Table.

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.

CD Deals: I just wanted to include this reminder of a few noteworthy CD deals that are available.

Capital One just increased its 360 CD rates to competitive levels. Its most competitive CD is now its 5-year 360 CD (2.45% APY). Early withdrawal penalty is only 180 days of interest (see blog post).

Mountain America Credit Union continues to offer the highest nationally-available 5-year rate (2.60% APY).

If you live in Central Florida, you can get 3% APY on a 5-year CD at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union (see blog post).

Advancial continues to offer the best nationally-available short-term CD rates including a 1-year Jumbo CD with a 1.87% APY ($50k minimum).

Internet banks are gaining ground on easy-to-join credit unions like Advancial. Virtual Bank is now offering a 1-year CD with a 1.76% APY ($10k minimum).

One of the best deals for mid-term CDs is the 35-month CD special at USALLIANCE Financial (2.38% APY).

Rates as of November 14, 2017

Checking/Savings/Money Market Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
DollarSavingsDirect1.50% (no min)Dollar Savings Account - Account review
Salem Five Direct1.50% eOne Savings, for new customers only Account review
Northpointe Bank1.50% ($25k-$1m, guaranteed for 1 year) Ultimate Money Market - Account review
All America Bank1.50% (up to $35k), 0.50% ($35k+)Mega Money Market Account - Account review
Redneck Bank1.50% (up to $35k), 0.50% ($35k+)Mega Money Market Account
UFB Direct1.41% ($5k min)Money Market Savings - Account review
Incredible Bank1.41% ($250k+), 1.21% ($2.5k), IncredibleBank Savings - Account review
Live Oak Bank1.40% ($250k max) Savings Account - Account review
Popular Direct1.40%Popular Direct Plus Savings - Account review
PurePoint Financial1.40% ($10k min)Online Savings - Account review
EBSB Direct1.39% ($50k+), 0.20% ($5k+)Money Market Direct - Account review
Self-Help Federal Credit Union1.37% ($500k), 1.27% ($500) Money Market - Account review
United Bank (MA)1.36% ($500k max, guaranteed for 6mo) Advantage Money Market, Not available in all states, Account review
CIT Bank1.35% (up to $250k), 1.30% ($250k+) Premier High Yield Savings - Account review
Signal Financial Credit Union1.35% ($25k, enrollment in Premium Bundle) Premium Money Market - Account review
EverBank1.31% (1yr intro rate) 1.01% ongoing rateYield Pledge Money Market - Account review
SFGI Direct1.31%Savings account - Account review
Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bk) 1.30%High Yield Savings - Account review
Nationwide Bank1.30%Online Savings - Account review
Barclays1.30%Online Savings - Account review
GS Bank1.30%Online Savings Account - Account review
Sallie Mae Bank1.30%MMA - Account review
BankPurely1.30% ($1 min) SavingPurely - Account review
ableBanking1.30% ($250 min)Money Market Savings - Account review
Capital One1.30% ($10k+), 0.60% (up to $10k)360 Money Market
UFB Direct1.30% ($25k+), 0.20% ($100) Premium Savings - Account review
CIBC USA (formerly The Palladin PrivateBank)1.30% (6mo intro rate) 1.10% blended APYSavings Account - Account review
McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union1.30% ($75k), 1.10% ($20k),1.00% ($5k) (guaranteed through 12/31/18)Ascend Account - Account review
Northern Bank Direct1.26% ($250k max) Money Market - Account review
Ally Bank1.25%Online Savings - Account review
American Express Bank1.25%High Yield Savings - Account review
BBVA Compass1.25% ($10k min)ClearChoice MMA Promo - Account review
EverBank1.21% (1yr intro rate) 0.71% ongoing rateChecking - Account review
Dime Savings Bank1.20% Dime Direct Money Market, new money - Account review
Discover Bank1.20% (no min) Online Savings - Account review
Radius Bank1.20% ($2.5k min)Radius High-Yield Savings - Account review
Chevron Federal Credit Union1.20% ($250k+), 1.10% ($2.5k+) MarketEdge Savings
Alliant Credit Union1.16% ($100 min)High-Rate Savings - Account review
My e-BAnC by BAC Florida Bank1.15%Super Saver - Account review
FNBO Direct1.15%Online Savings
MyBankingDirect1.15% ($5k+), 0.25% (less than $5k) Earn >More Money Market
SmartyPig1.15% ($10k min), 1.05% (less than $10k)SmartyPig Savings - Account review
Nationwide Bank1.15% ($10k), 1.00% ($1)Nationwide Member Checking Account
Connexus Credit Union1.15% ($100k), 1.00% ($50k,) 0.75% ($20k)MMA - active chk required
Northpointe Bank1.12% Statement Savings - Account review
Northeast Bank1.10%Pearl Money Market Promo, new customers - Account review
Quorum Federal Credit Union1.10% HighQ Savings
iGObanking.com1.10% ($25k min) MMA, New accounts and new money only, Account review
Discover Bank1.10% ($100k min), 1.05% ($2.5k) MMA - Account review
TIAA Direct1.10%($100k), 1.01% ($1) Money MarketInternet bank
Pacific National Bank1.06% Money Market Deposit Account - Account review
AloStar Bank of Commerce1.05%Savings account - Account review
Bank of Internet USA1.05% Smart Money Market
Bank of Internet USA1.05% Smart Savings

Reward Checking Accounts:

  • Noteworthy Accounts Available Nationwide:
Northpointe Bank5.00% (up to $10k), 0.10% ($10k+) UltimateAccount - Account review
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
Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union3.00% (up to $15k), 0.00% ($15k+)Vertical Dividend Checking - Account review
Lake Michigan Credit Union3.00% (up to $15k), 0.00% ($15k+)Max Checking
Signature Federal Credit Union3.00% (up to $15k), 0.10% ($15k+)Choice Checking
Great Lakes Credit Union3.00% (up to $10k), 0.10% ($10k+)Ultimate Checking
Partner Colorado Credit Union3.00% (up to $10k), 0.50% ($10k+)High Interest Checking
American Bank & Trust2.51% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
Industrial Bank2.50% (up to $15k), 0.25% ($25k+)Kasasa Cash
Capital Educators Federal Credit Union2.50% (up to $10k), 0.20% ($10k+)High Yield Checking
New Buffalo Savings Bank2.27% (up to $15k), 0.2497% ($15k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
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
Coastal Credit Union2.25% (up to $10k), 0.10% ($10k+) Go Green Checking - Account review that includes companion Go Green MMA
Georgia Bank Company2.15% (up to $25k), 0.40% ($25k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
TruStone Financial Credit Union2.02% (up to $20k), 0.10% ($20k+)TruRate Checking - Account review
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), 0.03% ($25k+)Kasasa Cash Checking
Bay State Savings Bank2.01% (up to $20k), 0.25% ($20k+)Kasasa Cash - Account review
Legence Bank2.01% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
5Star Bank2.00% (up to $25k), 0.15% ($25k+)Kasasa Cash Checking Account review
Country Bank2.00% (up to $20k), 0.25% ($20k+)Kasasa Cash Checking 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
Blue Federal Credit Union2.00% (up to $15k), 0.25% ($15k+)Extreme Checking (up to 4% w/account relationships) - Account review
All America Bank2.00% (up to $10k), 0.50% ($10k+)Ultimate Rewards Checking
Redneck Bank2.00% (up to $10k), 0.50% ($10k+)Redneck Rewards Checking
United Educators Credit Union2.00% (up to $10k), 0.25% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash
KS StateBank1.95% (up to $25k), 0.50% ($25k+)Check PLUS - Account review
Campus Federal1.95% (up to $10k), 0.05% ($10k+)Lagniappe Checking
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
MemoryBank1.50% (up to $250k) EarnMore Interest Checking - Account review
Superior Choice Credit Union1.50% (up to $30k)AMP Checking
Marine Federal Credit Union1.26% (up to $10k), 0.05% ($10k+)Kasasa Cash Checking
Bank of Internet USA1.25% (up to $150k), 0.00% ($150k+)Rewards Checking
Heritage Bank1.25% (up to $25k), 0.10% ($25k+)eCentive Account

Certificates of Deposit:

Bank Account Alternatives - NOT FDIC Insured

Duke Energy PremierNotes1.41% rate for $50K+Duke Energy PremierNotes review
Ally Financial Demand Notes1.15% rate for $50k+
Ford Interest Advantage1.15% rate for $50k+Ford Interest Advantage review
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund1.14% 7-day yield
Fidelity Money Market Fund0.98% 7-day yield
Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund0.82% 7-day yield
Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund0.59% 7-day yield
Related Pages: savings accounts, money market accounts, checking accounts, reward checking accounts, nationwide deals, Internet banks
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #1
It looks like we need to get the tax reform bill passed to stimulate the economy which will boost inflation in order to keep the interest rates rising. Once again we yet another situation where politics is controlling interest rates. With more accusations coming out of the woodwork against Roy Moore it is looking tougher for Republicans to have enough votes to pass the tax reform bill. Now I'm not defending Roy Moore(if he did what he is being accused of) but I do find it very suspicious of the TIMING of these accusations when it is too late to remove his name from the ballot. 40 years have gone by and all of the sudden these women all decide to start speaking now? It looks to me like the Democrats are wanting to split the vote between 2 Republican candidates in order to give Doug Jones(D) the win. This smells like a political hatchet job to me..................well played Dems............well played.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #3
Oops there should be a "have" between we and yet.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #16
The Democrats are between one and two orders of magnitude smarter, politically speaking, than the Republicans . . . . who are cowed, incompetent, political fools.

Roy may or may not be unworthy. But if he loses the loss could severely impact the SCOTUS. And that would be a major catastrophe. Roy's Democrat opponent is so liberal he could successfully compete in California or in Massachusetts. But for Republican DC swamp dwellers, that is just fine.

Republicans: WABOA
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #30
I don't think it is a matter of being smarter or not with the Republicans. I just don't think some of them are in any way conservative. They are also very afraid of any bad press(political cowards). I wish they would just grow a pair and realize that they only got voted into office to get rid of Obamacare and give some tax cuts to the middle class. Then need to ignore the liberal media and just get the job done. This is the thing I do like about Trump at least he speaks his mind and doesn't back down to the press.
Bogie   |     |   Comment #31
Kaight, Hillary LOST the election. Get over it!

President Trump isn't perfect by no means, but he was the lessor of two evils. Being these two were the best both parties could come up with for President of the United States, what does that say about politics on both sides of the aisle and the for the future of our country?

I like the fact the President Trump does speak his mind, tells it like he sees it, and ignores the PC gang who have speech writers go over every word of their pre-programed script and appear as robots behind a podium.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #41
You misunderstood. I am a supporter of POTUS, and will vote for him again in 2020. It's the detestable RINOs in Congress that were behind my earlier post. RINOs are Democrats.
the man with the golden sax
the man with the golden sax   |     |   Comment #47
com 41,,,,their greed is the great equalizer,,,,mutatis mutandis.
Bogie   |     |   Comment #48
Kaight, sorry, I did misunderstand you. My mistake.

That's a common problem with posting a few sentences on the internet compared to having a person to person conversation..
got phone
got phone   |     |   Comment #49
why not phone each other?
Bogie   |     |   Comment #50
Got phone, #49, post your phone number on the internet so I can call to tell you why. And your real name as well so I will know who I am calling. And your address too, so I can verify I have the correct person. LOL
Nothing   |     |   Comment #51
Et tu brutis?
from main street with love
from main street with love   |     |   Comment #54
remember the sting movie.....ya gotta keep their con after the sting,,,,trump is the swamp,,,he is TRUMPZILLA REX,,,,,BUT HE IS NOT THE HILDABEAST,,,,,you can depend on LIRP ZIRP AND MAYBE NIRP,,,for the rest of your lives and maybe see a 2 percent fed in the next 10 years.......welcome to the swamp states of america, chumps.
STUPIFYED   |     |   Comment #35
NOOGEFINGER   |     |   Comment #37
noogefinger and his wife Miss Galore are a real life james bond villain couple from goldfinger, loose in the mint,,,,where is rosa klebb yellen with her tricky shoes?
VILNIUS BOND   |     |   Comment #40
Bond, Vilnius Bond
Bond, Vilnius Bond   |     |   Comment #42
seriously,,,,,the whole bond saga is pretty much an allegory of the NWO, tri- laterals, bildebergers, cfr's,,,,central bankers and the "city of london" rothschilds....in hindsight it fits so well,,,,,and we thought it was just for fun.....Ian Flemiing knew his protocols,,,you should too.
From MainStreet With Love
From MainStreet With Love   |     |   Comment #45
when life imitates art,,,,trumpfeld, louise galore, noogefinger, cohnjob, janet klebb, the flying fed circus, felix leiter- mueller and of course, Bond, Vilnius Bond. ''FROM MAINSTREET, WITH LOVE,",,,coming soon to a theatre near you.
from main street with love
from main street with love   |     |   Comment #52
com 35,,,,,now the good news,,,as if we needed to research the issue of second marriages with a 66 percent likelyhood of divorce rate,,,,both these Bondesque villians are on their second marriage,,,the net is full of studies about 2nd and 3rd marriages,,,,as if we needed to research it ourselves,,narf narf,,,,when munchkin leaves his gig,,,,well you know.
souless   |     |   Comment #63
com 52,,,,,when they look in the mirror,,,,,,,they see nothing,,,no reflection,,,,all the money in creation will never give them what they lack.
Conservative   |     |   Comment #43
Al Franken and Maxine are two shining examples.
Old Man
Old Man   |     |   Comment #2
GE cuts dividend 50%; stock plummets. I wonder if this is the harbinger of something more ominous.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #4
Yeah GE is tanking big time! What happened isn't the government subsiding them anymore since Obama is gone?
CuriousDave   |     |   Comment #33
What evidence is there that the government subsidizes GE any more than it already subsidizes all businesses through favorable tax treatment, especially via massive credits for research expenditures and no tax on income generated by subsidiary corporations in foreign countries?
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #5
It looks like the whole market is down today including world markets. Glad I have half my money in CD's.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #7
Deplorable 1, I read an interesting article yesterday about a hedge fund manager who has 73% (you read that right) in cash. His investors are a tad upset, since he's charging 1% AUM for an asset yielding essentially zero. My take: folks, look into CDs. You won't get rich, but you won't bleed to death with a negative yield.

Mind you, Roy Moore aside, stupidity is all around us.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #8
Deplorable 1 (re comment #5), I took a bit off the table as Mr. Market continued to hit new highs. As I noted, every time the folks on CNBC would trumpet "we're at an all-time high", I had a serious flashback to late 1999 - early 2000, and the collapse of 2008. There's nothing wrong with cash, prudently invested.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #12
@Bozo: Right and cash doesn't have to be just sitting around earning 1-2% either. There are many bank account bonuses floating around that can earn stock like yields with FDIC insurance. Ken has some good ones in the bank bonus section currently. Here are some other places to look that get updated regularly: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/best-bank-account-bonuses/
This way you can boost the overall yield without risking too much in the market. Back when interest rates were higher I was even getting CD opening bonuses for top yielding CD's. Back then I could average nearly 10% APY without the stock market risk.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #13
Another thing to look for is credit card funding for new accounts. You will need a decent cash back cc for this but you should have one in your wallet anyway. I earned $300 last month for opening 2 CD's and 1 bank account with my Citibank double cash card. This is like getting a extra bonus on top of the bank bonuses.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #15
Did you read my Elevations CU forum post on this topic only a short while ago? You might find it of interest. 12% APY, tax free, is not chopped liver! Do not see your posts in the Forum very often. Pity.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #18
Kaight (re comment # 15), I read your post, and was flummoxed by the term "manufactured spending", which was new to me. Where did this originate, and what does it mean? Just curious.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #26
Manufactured spending is when you use a cashback credit card to make purchases for the sole purpose of earning tax free rewards. Things like opening bank accounts and CD's, buying gift cards, any type of same as cash purchases etc. This can come in particularly handy when you need to spend a certain amount in order to get a credit card opening bonus for example. If I go out to eat with a large group of people who are using cash and we put it all on one bill I just have them give me the cash and I charge the whole thing and earn 3-5% cash back(you just have to watch out for the cheapskates that will stiff you on the tip! lol) It still amazes me how many people still use cash and therefore leave 2-5% on the table as compared to a cash back credit card.
Kaight   |     |   Comment #29
Yeah, Bozo. What deplorable 1 said. Except that for us savers it is ever so slightly different, as I outlined in the forum.

Some individuals actually earn their livings via manufactured spending. But those people are almost surely MUCH younger than you and me, Bozo. Still, they got pluck, and I admire pluck.

CC funding of CD accounts is, to my mind at least, sort of an offshoot of MS, a special case if you will . . . for the reason I mentioned in the forum.

But with the thousands of banks and credit unions out there today, I do smell additional opportunity . . . beyond GTE I mean. It's a bit like panning for gold. You gotta find the financial institutions remaining to be discovered!
VILNIUS NASTAVNIC   |     |   Comment #32
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #39
I locked in some 5-6% CD's back in 2007. Interest rates started to climb right after Trump was elected. Go look at the chart above. It DOES matter who is in charge a great deal. The only time interest rates were @ 0% is the Obama years.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #44
Deplorable 1 and Kaight (re comments 26 and 29), thanks for the explanation of manufactured spending. Kaight, you're right, sounds like something for the younger crowd.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #28
@Kaight: I went and checked it out. $10,000 appears to be the maximum limit for credit card funding at any bank or credit union. I don't have any personal experience with Elevations though. It also appears we have caught on to this a bit late as many banks and credit unions seem to now be closing the door on cc funding. Still I would call and see how they are coding the transaction as you would be earning a nice 3% $300 with your cc as I recall. Their CD rates are awful though. I guess you could just open the regular savings or the shortest term CD. I would look for cc funding combined with a decent CD rate though as I only get 2% max on my Citi card.
WhatMeWorry?   |     |   Comment #6
The 12 month trailing inflation rate as measured by the CPI-U (not seasonally adjusted) is at 2.0%.
So, if you're CD's are all over 2.0%, that's good news. But, it's bad news for TIPS and iBonds.

The gory details are at:

#9 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Rickny   |     |   Comment #11
And your 2% gain most likely will be taxed.
Old Man
Old Man   |     |   Comment #14
There's macro inflation and micro inflation which simply means the individual (micro) experiences inflation on a very personal basis. The only way to measure the personal effects of inflation is to track expenses over time. Only then can the individual (or family unit) measure the effects of "inflation". More importantly, micro-inflation can often, but not always, be mitigated by adjusting discretionary spending. Inflation is inevitable and the only defense is ample income and/or careful planning.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #17
OldMan (re comment # 14), I always joke with my wife about the CPI-U. Once, in a rare fit of boredom, I actually compared the elements of the CPI-U to our personal spending. To say there was a wide divergence would be an understatement.
Bogie   |     |   Comment #19

I have been saying the same thing for a long time now. CPI-U numbers are manipulated and skewed to suit the outcome. In no way do they represent my families personal living expenses and spending.

Along with that "averages" are meaningless when it comes down to individuals.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #20
Bogie (re comment # 19), had to chuckle. Your average grandparents living in Lafayette (CA) have higher than average spending on gifts for grandchildren, but lower than average spending on tuition/room and board. If the wife shops at Diablo Foods, expect above-average spending. Whether the spending traits are due to inflation or just demographics is anyone's guess.

As for property tax, we homeowner retirees in California benefit from Prop 13. In addition, our Social Security benefits are not subject to CA income tax.

To make a long story short, how anyone can come up with a meaningful CPI-U is beyond me.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #21
Further to my comment # 20, taxation of Social Security benefits is (to us) a huge issue. Our marginal rate in CA is north of 9%. If applied to our combined S/S benefits, we'd be looking at a tax hit of over $4500.
Old Man
Old Man   |     |   Comment #22
We pay 0% on SS and pensions in the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Now, where's the oil for the snowblower!
Bozo   |     |   Comment #23
OldMan, we here in California do pay state income tax on our pensions (not S/S), but (aside from folks in the Sierra Nevada) don't generally have to worry about snowblowers.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #24
California taxes can best be described as schizophrenic. The state income tax is wildly progressive. The state and regional sales taxes are wildly regressive. The property tax (thanks to Prop 13) is all over the map. Folks who bought homes back in the late 70's - early 80's and have never sold make out like bandits. In our case, the next door neighbor pays 3X what we do in property tax, for a comparable home. S/S is not subject to state income tax (pensions are). Seniors can opt-out of paying property taxes for schools.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #25
Further to my comment #24, folks here in California howl and scream when they hit the 9% marginal state income tax rate. Then, they go down to 7-11 and buy whatever, and pay 9% sales tax. Everybody pays the sales tax, rich and poor alike.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #27
I agree Old Man. The individual can plan, adjust spending, use 2-5% cashback credit cards, coupons, coupon codes, warehouse clubs, shopping networks, certain apps and other tricks/hacks to mitigate the overall effects of inflation. This is why I prefer higher inflation with higher interest rates as opposed to low inflation with 0% interest rates. At least this way the individuals has at least some control over their own personal situation while earning a decent rate of return on liquid cash.
CuriousDave   |     |   Comment #34
The new fixed rate on iBonds (effective for bonds purchased on/after 11/1/17) is 0.10%, and the new six-monthly inflation rate translates to an annualized 2.48%, for a composite rate of 2.58%. For iBonds purchased before 11/1, the 2.48% rate becomes effective when the next 6-monthly holding period ends. This makes the iBonds relatively competitive with 5 year CDs, especially considering the interest is tax-deferred until redemption and is exempt from federal income tax. Also, the penalty for early redemption is only 3 months for iBonds held for less than 5 years, comparing favorably with the typical 180 or 365 day penalty on most 5 year CDs (it's potentially even better, because iBonds held for as little as 1 day in any calendar month earns a full month's interest, so one can minimize the 3 month penalty by cashing out as early as the 2nd day of the month). TIPs also have potential.
CuriousDave   |     |   Comment #36
Correcting previous post: iBonds are exempt from state (not federal) income taxes.
Rickny   |     |   Comment #38
10 k limit per SS number for purchase and up to 5k per SS number funds from tax refunds.

Was nice years back when the limits were higher, you could purchase bonds with a charge card, and the base rate was higher.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #46
Rickny (re comment #38), the United States Treasury has made it harder and harder for individuals to purchase government obligations. Years ago, savings bonds (and even savings stamps, for youngsters) were readily available in just about every bank. No longer. Now, you have to tussle with TreasuryDirect and navigate the annual limits.

Funny (but true) story. My Mom had a 6-month T-Bill for years and years, which finally was registering almost zero interest. I finally convinced her to cash it in and move it to a CD. She did, but I knew she didn't want to. She came of age in the Depression and bought War Bonds in WW II. To her, having a government bond was patriotic.

Secretary Mnuchin, are you listening? Make buying your debt easier, not harder. Offer competitive rates, eliminate the hassle of TreasuryDirect, let us scoop up bonds at banks and credit unions. Is this too complicated?
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #53
Being a long term civil servant, I never bothered with the Payroll Savings plan at work. I bought the bulk of my Savings Bonds from the 1980s up to 2004 through a local bank. I think they are not too far away from final maturity. I did not buy them for their interest rate offer. I bought them to avoid paying interest every year (as compared with CDs) and to possibly use them for educational expenses (which can make them tax free). And when they are cashed, you could be in a lower tax bracket (or unemployed) and would make them close to tax free. Then they changed the program forcing you use Treasury Direct with 0% base rate and a lowered maximum purchase amount, so I decided to stop buying them. According to the Government figures, the vast majority of purchases are below $10K and I suppose that the Government did not need to lend out more money since the deficits keep growing. I used to work for the Bureau of Public Debt that processed the renewal forms sent from people (most of them retirees) who had purchased Treasury securities (T-bills, notes and bonds). That office, I am sure is obsolete. I think a major portion of the Treasury debt is held by foreigners. If they decide to redeem their holdings, this country will be in a heap of trouble.
Rickny   |     |   Comment #55
I have no problems buying bonds via Treasury direct rather than wasting time at a bank. I had my paper bonds converted to digital format so I no longer have to store the paper bonds (Just like stock certificates) and can essily cash them outp. The 10K limit bothers me. The tax refund allowance makes no sense for an additional funding method. I'd prefer not getting a refund on overpayment of my taxes. I do like my I bonds with a fixed rate of 3% that I was able to buy with a rewards charge card. My income is to high to take advantage of savings bonds being used to fund my kids education.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #56
How were u able to buy gov’t I bonds with any charge card?
Rickny   |     |   Comment #60
Years ago you could purchase bonds with a charge card. I believe it was the 1990s when I purchased I bonds that have a floor of 3% with my rewards card.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #57
Rickny (re comment #55), the annual limit and "backdoor" for tax refunds was always a non-starter for me. OK, OK, I understand the logic. The Treasury has determined (probably correctly) that most folks can't save even close to the annual limit (after tax-deferred contribs), so why bother? That said, I fail to see the downside in allowing folks to purchase as much as they want, wherever they want. The Treasury seems bent on borrowing, I'm keen on lending. I'd be more than happy to lend (with a state-tax exclusion, might I add), so the hurdles confuse me.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #58
Example (re comment #57): Joe and Jane are taking a Required Minimum Distribution next year, in the aggregate amount of roughly $100,000. Joe is retired; Jane is still working. They really don't "need" the RMD for living expenses, and are looking for fixed-income investing alternatives. IBonds would be great, but the limits (even with the backdoor) leave $75,000 orphaned. Explain the logic in this.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #59
Do a QCD and help others!
Conservative   |     |   Comment #61
Did you include taxation in your example? I ask because many posters leave out details whose omission change the landscape considerably. Is the $100K RMD pre or post tax?
Nothing   |     |   Comment #62
All RMDs are taxable unless QCD.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #64
Conservative (re comment #61), oops, you're correct. I did goof that up. The after-tax amount would be substantially less.
Conservative   |     |   Comment #65
No problem...Math/Comp Sci here so I question numbers all the time. RMD's in that range are are, as a friend recently remarked, "a nice problem to have."
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #67
Remember the Series H and HH bonds that allowed you to exchange from other bonds like the Series E and EE bonds that was stopped after 2004? Simplicity and fewer things to manage (like tax reform).
#66 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.