A Few Updates About Banks and Interest Rates

Lots of e-mails coming in from banks today…

HSBC Direct drops from 5.05% to 4.50% APY. Yeesh… not a good sign for online savings accounts in general!

FNBO Direct announces that the new rate as of 1/13/13 is 0.85% APY. Ho-hum, about what I expected. They did also announce a 2% cash back credit card, but only for 12 months. Bye, FNBO, it was fun while it lasted. Currently, I am moving back to my local Washington Mutual checking/saving account. I’m undecided where to go next if I’m going to rate-chase.

Maybe one of these previously-discussed options, maybe Bank of Toledo, but that 10 debit card transaction requirement is a pain and I’m skeptical about how long the 6.01% will last.

Capital One 360 is still at 0.75% APY but is offering a $50 sign-up bonus, higher than the usual $25. Via reader Scott.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is now offering 3, 4, and 5-year CDs at 6.0% APY. If you’re looking to lock up rates for this long (I’m not), these rates look pretty good. Early withdrawal penalty is 6-months of interest. Membership required, you can join the NMFA for $20 if you don’t qualify otherwise.

(Update) Emigrant Direct is now at 4.75% APY, down from 5.05%. Could have been worse, eh?


  1. MobileDeveloper says:

    I am moving all my $$ (maybe leave $1 their) from FNBO to the Countrywide Savingslink – 5.5% (APY). Also their CD is 5.65 % (1 yr)

    But if u have more $$ than what the FDIC insurance is, then please be cautious about that. (for joint account its 200K)


  2. So far, so good with Etrade Complete Savings. They are still at 5.05%.

  3. Everyone might want to wait a week or so to see where the highest interest rate ends up. Since one of the big banks (HSBC) lowered their rates, the others will surely follow now!

  4. @Starbo That’s what I’m going to do. As frustrating as it is I won’t let it ruin my day. I’ll migrate my money once the dust settles.

  5. E*Trade still giving me 5.05% for my savings account.

  6. Citibank Ultimate Money Account has dropped to 5.00% from 5.10% with two online bill payments.

  7. I got that email from FNBO Direct too, and they don’t seem like a bad deal now. 5.05% is pretty decent if they don’t drop it anymore, considering the discount rate now is only 5.25%. I locked a little bit into 5.1% CD’s, because I doubt variable rates will stay much higher than that in the future.

  8. Joseph Sangl says:

    The great thing is that everyone with an on-line savings account is still getting 4.3% or more interest!

    The real kicker has to be for those receiving 0.5% interest from a local bank and they have just been notified that their rate is now going to be 0.25%.

  9. love2ruminate says:

    Yeah! Im gonna wait on this one too..
    If all the rates are coming down.. My money is going to whoever starts giving the biggest Sign-up Bonus!! 🙂

  10. I ended up dumping all my money (which I had in an HSBC online savings account) in Bank of America stock when it crashed. It’s a strong company with a 5% dividend. It’s already up 5% and if I keep the stock over a year (which I plan on doing because I plan on finishing grad school in a year and will use the funds to pay for that) the taxes are less than the online savings account. Riskier than a bank but with risk comes greater returns!

  11. How about Emmigrant Direct? They are still offering their 5.05% APY.

  12. We need a sportsbook for online savings account rates, complete with odds. I give 3 to 1 that Emigrant drops by the end of next week. 😀

  13. Looks like ELoan went from 5.25% APY to 5% as of 9/26. But they still offer 3 month CDs for 5.25% APY.

  14. u r wicked Jonathan 😀

    I gotta move away from Emmigrant if ur prediction comes true 😮

  15. I expect lots more credit unions will have good rates (though with 10 transaction limits) like the Pentagon FCU you mentioned. Two I belong to both recently created a high yield savings account. Becuase I do so much banking online and try to live cash free, I have to figure out a way to double my ATM/POS transactions.

  16. What about GMAC?

    I can’t get to their site to see what their rate is. Is GMAC in trouble? There is a thread on FatWallet of people that can’t get to the site either.

  17. @spork, thanks for the info, I like watching bankrate to see what happens to interest rates and who has the best(they naturally don’t always have the best because not all banks are on there) but they do well.

  18. What about WaMu? Anyone heard if they will be dropping their rate as well?

  19. Also, Jonathon, where do you think you will end up putting your money? I still have mine in ING, but I am hoping to get at least 5%

  20. I agree with Jonathan. As of this writing, Emigrant still shows 5.05% APY but their “My Way” CD is paying only 4.55% APY.

    Maybe their web graphics person is out sick today or something and hasn’t updated the graphic yet, and they can’t implement the new rate until the graphic has been posted. 🙂

  21. One other place to look at for CDs – Countrywide is offering CDs at 5.65% for one year ($10K minimum). If you only want it for a shorter term, you can get 5.5%, which is still very good. Since Treasury bills have fallen like a rock (3.3% for 28 days), I’m strongly considering switching

  22. Chad, My WaMu savings account hasn’t dropped (still 4.89%/5.00% as of 11:00am EST today). I’m hoping it still holds…

  23. The very earth we stand on trembles…I knew rates would have to drop eventually, but I never really believed it.

  24. Amtrust Direct MMA down to 5.21%APY from 5.36%APY. It is still a good deal compared to others.

  25. What do you guys think about banks that offer 6.01% APY with 10 debit card transactions? Besides the annoying 10 transactions you will need to do every month, do you see any other problem with them? Maybe the money is at a bigger risk due to DC transactions?

  26. Mia,

    That’s exactly my concern about those. Plus, you can’t get miles or cash back on those transactions. It just doesn’t seem worth it to me. Also, I hate to hurry to make the requirement at the end of the month and buy things I don’t need. Too much trouble.

  27. I think the Bank of Toledo 6.01% sounds pretty good. I think to satisfy the 10 debit transactions, I’ll just make 10 paypal payments of $0.01 to my wife’s paypal acct. Or to any acct for that matter. I can lose 10 cents a month to get a 6% APY!

  28. Paypal payments using my debit card for funds, of course.

  29. or make very small grocery purchases with them. I can imagine using it for my monthly bottled water purchase…

  30. I’m getting awfully tired of chasing interest rates. There’s no reason most people need anything more 30k of liquidity at any given time. Treasury Bills made for a nice run, but now I think I’m going to switch my excess savings into a ladder of 6, 9, and 12 month CDs. At least then it’s out of mind out sight and at decent rates…

  31. Vanguard Prime MMF is still at 5.19%. Since its holdings have a 60-day average maturity they weren’t immediately affected but it should start dropping.

    That 5.65% CD is looking tempting.

  32. I’m sure the banks get a decent little kick back from the credit card companies for that stipulation. That’s where the extra rate increase comes from.

  33. AAA (that’s the Automobile Association of America) is also offering special higher CD rates (through Bank of America) for members (almost everyone I know without a new car is a member!). They were around 5.5, but I don’t know what it is anymore.

  34. I will stick with FNBO for the time being…seems a decent rate comparatively. FYI…..Paypal MM is paying 5.21%

  35. I’m trying out CountryWide. Best rates around…

  36. GMAC money market is at 4.9%.

  37. Anyone have any experience with Zions Bank? They have a 5.3%APY on 1K-50K and a 5.56%APY on balances over $50K. They also have a 4star safe and sound rating on bankrate. Rates similar to Countrywide and Indymac with potentially less risk?

  38. Anyone have any experience with:

    UFB Direct – 5.31% apy ?

    iGObanking.com – 5.3% apy ?

  39. Steve Austin says:


    Bank of America affinity account, with 100bp bonus for first 60 days. This is a 6.18% APR for balances $50k+; 5.93% APR for lower balances. After the intro rate expires, still competitive 5.18% APR for balances $50k+; 4.93% for lower balances.

    All % above quoted in APR, not APY.

  40. For those of us lucky enough to be living in the Portland-Salem area of Oregon, Rivermark Credit Union is a great Credit Union. It offers something similar to the Bank of Toledo 6.1% APY on your checking account (with 12 debit transactions per month and some other caveats.) They have the advantage of Shared Branches (associated with different Credit Unions all over the country) and have the greatest on-line banking service.

  41. Another suggestion for the 10 debit card transactions:

    You could buy 10, 99cent songs (individually of course) from iTunes or Amazon. On $25K deposit this would only shave about a half a percent off the yield (still really high), and you’d get free music, check writing, ATM reimbursements, no limit to number of transactions, etc. Not a bad all purpose account, if the rate holds up and you have enough to deposit.

  42. EMIGRANT IS STILL 5.05, I don’t trust bank of toledo, more hazzle than its worth, so how much money do you people keep in these accounts ??

  43. E trade also offer 1K up for CD, 1 yr at 5.10% APY which just dropped from 5.25% from last week.

  44. World Savings has a 5.41% 5-month CD with a min $10000 balance.

  45. Reply to Mike – I have several accounts with Zions Bank. I have been very happy with them. After the rate drop their Internet Money Market fund is still at an APY of 4.81% for accounts from $1000 to $49,999. I couldn’t find the same account you mentioned.

  46. Igobanking just lowered its rate from 5.3% to 5.17%.
    Philip, I’ve been with igobanking for a while, and have thus far had positive experiences.

    on the argument of waiting: I would wait until after next month’s fed meeting where the fed is expected to lower rates again. for most banks, except ING, this would translate in a week or two delay before lowering rates again. HSBC’s huge drop may be taking the expectation of next month’s fed rate drop into account…then again, maybe not.

  47. I was disappointed when I received the email from HSBC letting me know they lowered the interest rate from 5.05% to 4.5% on our accounts. Do you they lowered their rate because ING recently lowered theirs from 4.5% to 4.3%?

  48. Welp………I’m still split w/ most of my money in FNBO & approx $12K at Emigrant (to get the max cash-back out of their mastercard).

    Seems like FNBO wants to seriously establish themselves as a player in the online MMA game. If that’s the case, they may stick w/ 5.05% for a while………and if Emigrant drops theirs, I may drop Emigrant to the absolute minimum ($10K) & make FNBO my primary MMA.

    Can’t wait ’til we get back down to those sub-2% days……..;)

  49. I’m going in a different direction than most of you…

    I had accounts with ING and HSBC. I liked ING’s interface a lot more than HSBC, but HSBC was (as of two weeks ago) paying out 0.55% more interest (5.05 to 4.5).

    Now that both banks have dropped, the difference between the two has narrowed to 0.2% (4.5 to 4.3). ING is looking more attractive, plus I could use Electric Orange (3.5%) instead of HSBC’s Online Payment Account (2.5%)–writing checks online, etc.

    I’m in grad-school myself and only have around 10k in the bank at any given time, so the $10 to $20 bucks per year I would lose by having my money with ING might be worth the better interface and the customer support (and the stylishness).

    Or, should I chase the best rate. Is that a good use of my time? What do you think?

  50. I’m sticking with igobanking (5.17% APY) and UFB Direct (5.31% APY) mostly. Still got money in other banks too. Anyone got experiences with bank of toledo? Is it trustworthy?

  51. The down side of the interest-rate cuts.

    My account is with ING. I’ve been thinking about opening a second one so that I can have situation-specific savings accounts and that $50 sign-up fee sure sounds good!

  52. Just an FYI, Emigrant just dropped to 4.75%.

  53. Mariette: You can’t get the bonus if you already have an account.

    Thinh: Thanks for not sharing any information about either them, even though I asked above.

  54. Another option is to invest in GE Interest Plus. It is not a bank or FDIC-insured, but it is a liquid investment in AAA-rated bonds of General Electric Capital Corporation. The tiered interest rates are:

    Less than $15k 4.91% APY
    $15k – $49,999 5.17% APY
    $50k and more 5.43% APY

    You can invest and redeem funds quickly and easily via ACH [no long delays as with FNBO Direct] by phone or over the Web. You can write checks on the account if they are $250 or more. You can also have bills paid via ACH, and there is no minimum for that. They are also giving a $25 bonus for opening the account. I have had an account with GE Interest Plus for many years, and they are very reliable and convenient. Their Web site is:


  55. Emigrant is now down from 5.05 to 4.75!

  56. Emigrant Direct just lowered to 4.75%.

    Looks like I’ll be moving on from them.

  57. It’s official. Emigrant is now 4.75% a 30-point drop.

  58. I updated the post since I forgot to mention that I still have my core accounts at my local Washington Mutual 5% APY savings account, and will probably stay there at least until the dust settles. I agree, no point moving just to move again from another interest rate drops anyways.

    Updated post to reflect Emigrant drop.

    iGoBanking sounds alright but the difference in yields has never been great enough to inspire me to open an account. What I want is another teaser rate that is guaranteed for 6 months or so.

  59. Steve Austin says:

    BoA affinity accounts MFR dropped from 4.68 to 4.54%, so you can subtract ~0.14% from the above-quoted APRs.

  60. yeah, I’m really hoping after everyone kills their rates they all rush to offer insanes teaser rates. but with the way it’s looking their teaser rates will be 5.05%, the irony… we’ll be chasing the rates we already have.

  61. ING closed my account I had with them a while ago because I didn’t have any money in there due to subpar interest rates. Could I sign up again and get that $50 bonus?

  62. Deseret Money Market Account from Zionsbank, APY 5.3% for balances 1000-49999, 5.56% for balances 50000 & over. http://www.zionsbank.com/deseret_jump.html

  63. ***WOW*** What a difference a night makes, eh??? 🙂

    Well, it looks like I’m *stuck* in the right one…….FNBO. Not soundin’ so bad now huh? 🙂

    Being that I have Emigreedy *and* FNBO, I’m tempted to do something like ING just to get the extra $50, but I dunno how many MMA’s I want. Just means more fields to enter into Turbo Tax next year.

    How many MMA’s is too many??????????? :p

  64. Kriton – I highly doubt it.

  65. In order to get the $50 bonus from ING, you need to enter “NY3” as the reference code during the application process.

    I didn’t and didn’t get the bonus until I did some digging and found the code. Called ING Direct customer service and immediately got the bonus from the service rep. Pretty impressed with their service so far. 🙂

  66. Crap! It looks like Netbank went under today!! Today was the maturity date on my CD I opened with them, I was planning on cashing everything out tomorrow – what bad timing!

    I had opened A 1 yr CD, a checking account, and a money market with them to get the $250 worth of bonuses…


  67. Slightly OT but some people were banking at NetBank. Did people see the news about them going into receivership?

  68. Anybody heard the news about NetBank being shut down? We had accounts with them for years and just actually closed the MMA and checking accounts last year and our last CD with them matured in March. (Thank goodness!) ING?s involvement is interesting?they are taking over the accounts?might be a messy transission. I had been on the NetBank website earlier this week checking out the CD rates because they were still pretty high, and then I came across this in my local paper today?talk about a close call!


  69. The sign in page for Emmigrant Direct says it’s reduced the APY to 4.75%, but my account page says it’s still at 5.05% APY. Does the rate change go into effect next month?

  70. Anybody catch “Everbank” & their 6% (5.84Y) intro promo??

    Apparently for 3 months after opening. Then it drops to then-current rates…….(currently 5%).


  71. Presidential just lowered their checking interest rate to 4% and their Premier Savings to 4.9%.

  72. Keeping my money in emigrant direct. A .3% drop isn’t enough for me to move it. I did close out my fnbodirect account though, I really never liked them.

  73. I was thinking about opening a HSBC account but then the rates dropped as you all know. My next choice was an E-Trade account. Those of you with one, what have your experiences been so far? Any pros or cons you could share with me? Thanks.

  74. Just got my Pentagon Federal 6% CD. I already had an account with them from last January when they had a 6.25% deal, so it was really easy to open a CD. Signed up on 9/27, they credited me the same day, and the money didn’t disappear from my FNBO account on 10/1. Nothing like earning 6% on the same money from two places for a couple days…

  75. Anyone knows about Countrywide Bank and its trustworthy?

    I read it offered 5.50% APY internet rate for 1 yr CD of 10K.


  76. Etrade still offers 5.05% APY on “Complete Savings”. I still stick with them. 🙂

  77. I see E-Loan has reduced it’s rate to 4.75 apy. I also noticed that Zions Bank Market fund is at 5.56 apy. Has anybody tried Zions Bank?

  78. I opened a Deseret MMA with Zions Bank last month. I was quite pleased with the process, their web site & telephone customer support are excellent. They offer ACH inter-bank transfers, with some extra conditions which I don’t meet. I do have other bank accounts which can push or pull funds using ACH into & out of my Deseret MMA, I use those accounts to initiate such. Zions is way better than FNBO Direct was.

  79. In the passionate pursuit of the best MMA/Savings rate, how many accounts do rate-chasers have? I currently have 5. Thinking about opening my 6th to get a rate above 5%. Also, are there any negative impacts with having many accounts?

  80. Jerad Gardner says:

    Ryan – rate chasing may not be worth your time for a balance of $10k. I keep about $70k in my MMA (from 0% balance transfers), so I think the time is worth it. But I do this for fun (it’s like Monopoly), more than to have a noticeable increase in my income. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth it! That’s how I see it, at least.

  81. David Scubadiver says:

    I have been using State Bank of Toledo since July. I love it. Have $200,000 with them earning 6.01% every month.

  82. Alex Junco says:

    Is GE Interest Plus still a good (safe) place to park a lot of cash?

  83. Greg, are you still holding your BAC stock? It’s been paying good dividends so far, but is likely to cut it now and the stock is worth almost half of what you bought it for. I hope you sold it last October.

  84. This is great info to know.

Speak Your Mind