Best FDIC-Insured Interest Rate Roundup

I haven’t done an interest rate update in a while, as sadly there just hasn’t been that much to write about.

Reward Checking Accounts
These are checking accounts, usually through local credit unions, that pay a very high interest rate if you jump through some hoops each month. However, if you make a mistake you’ll forfeit virtually all your interest for that month, so it can be tricky. But for the very diligent, their rates are still averaging around 4-5% APY on balances up to $50,000. Here’s a recent example at 4.01% APY on up to $25k, which requires 10 check card purchases each month, a direct deposit/auto-withdrawal, and online statements.

For more, see my review of rewards checking accounts and also this list of accounts by state. I’d stick with small local credit unions with limited membership eligibility if possible, as the rates tend to be more stable. I myself got burned with nationally-advertised Evantage Bank that dropped its rates shortly after opening.

Online Savings Accounts Rate Updates

  • EverBank is offering 1.10% APY for the first 6 months for new accounts. This rate is higher than any 6-month certificates of deposit currently available.
  • Discover Bank is offering 0.85% APY on its new online savings account.
  • Ally Savings is offering 0.85% APY as of 11/12/13.

Certificates of Deposit
As stated above, for 6-months or less go with EverBank. In general, CD rates have been very low, and given how fast rates can rise as compared to how much further they might fall, I don’t see the benefit in locking up for money for a long period of time. Even a top 3-Year CD might get you 2.76% APY, according to MoneyAisle.

Remember, the new $250,000 FDIC & NCUA insurance limits per titled accounts are currently extended through 2013.

Comments

  1. Yeah,The high intrest rates are a great way to have people move their direct deposit over, set up bill paying, use a new credit card, and get really settled in to the new bank.Then WHAM !They pull the rug out and lower the rate.Who wants to keep going threw all that trouble.

  2. Another bank to consider is UFBDirect… I have been migrating my emergency fund from FNBO Direct to UFBDirect for that extra 1/2%. UFBDirect also states that it will maintain a competitive interest rate within the top 10% of banks listed on bankrate.com

    http://www.ufbdirect.com/ufbdirect/

    Excellent blog, keep up the great work; it’s a pleasure to read.

  3. DollarSavings is still at 1.7% and has held there for quite a while. I just switched from them to Discover Bank and hope that they keep at the 2% or better or I’ll be moving back. The interface at DSD is way better than Discover Bank.

  4. ShoreBankDirect is at 2.15%. Not in the best financial shape, but should be fine if you stay under the FDIC limits.

    -M

  5. Jacob, I agree, Discover Bank’s interface isn’t pretty. It’s functional, but it looks like something you’d see in the 1990s–not 2009. I was surprised, because their ‘account center’ interface for credit cards is outstanding. The setup process for bank to bank transfers is also a little convoluted by their separate “Money HQ” module. Having said all that, it’s probably worth the additional 25 bps over Ally (presuming you’ve already exhausted the intro rate at Everbank).

  6. I applied for and was approved for the Easy grow interest checking, then canceled it because I found out that they only accept deposits by mail and don’t do ach transfers! I asked them how I would get a large amount of money out of the account and they said they would have to mail me a cashier’s check or I could go into a branch. Since they don’t have any branches anywhere near Texas it just wasn’t going to work for me. Even though I applied online, the concept of online banking seemed completely foreign to them!

    I do have an Evantage interest checking and savings account which has worked out pretty well. It’s 4% up to $10,000 in the checking and 2% on up to $25,000 in the savings. I have several other accounts that earn less interest. I guess if interest rates don’t start going up soon I’ll just start stuffing money in my mattress.

  7. By far and away the best deal is the money market at Capital One through CostCo. You get a $60 sign up bonus and it is paying over 1.85% with a 10% (.185%) bonus if you hold for the entire quarter effectively pushing the rate up to 2.03%. Completely liquid.

  8. Can you compare these savings and CD interest rates to GNMA funds. The risk in GNMA is pretty min. Of course you do not get 250K like gaurantee but its best value for money at min risk

  9. Maury, the Costco Capital One deal is pretty good (particularly with the $60 bonus). However, the rate has fallen to 1.75% (vs. 1.85%)–and as a result, the effective interest rate is now lower than 2%. There is also a minimum balance requirements to get the advertised rates, unlike some of the other options.

  10. American Express offers a high yield savings account at 1.85%. No account minimum and easy set-up process.

  11. From Discover Bank’s website, “Rate may change after account is opened.” Niiice.

  12. Polar Foil, aside from the intro offers (like Everbank), the rates on ALL of these savings and money market accounts are subject to change at any time. However, they have to be careful, otherwise they’ll lose that deposit they snagged based on the rate!

  13. Jimmy–FYI, UFBDirect has lowered their rate to 1.85%.

  14. ING has just reached the tipping point for me where their rates have become so incredibly low (1.3) that it’s worth dealing with the hassle to look elsewhere even for the small amount I’ve got invested for my emergency fund. I guess they are planning to milk their large customer base until the last one walks away, kind of like AOL in the late 90s…

  15. For many if not all of us ING Direct was our first online bank, yes their rates are really low but you will always have your loyal ING customer base who stays with them.

    Like others have said I got tired of going from bank to bank to get a higher rate. It’s going to be a very long time before interest rates start to rise again. Ironically I am back at ING(savings) where I started, so what comes around goes around.

    Dave:AOL is in a class of its own, no other corporation can match their incompetence.

  16. Everbank is currently 2.51% for the first three months, 1.50% annual (combined 1.77% first year). Minimum opening balance is $1500, but any month your average balance falls below $5000 they charge an $8.95 monthly fee. For balances less than $5000, Everbank is not worth it.

  17. Thank you so much for your site! I opened a 4.04% interest checking account and now I make $50 a month on my $15,000 saved for school! I LOVE my bank and they offer online banking! 10 debit/credit transactions, direct deposit and online statements are required – and who doesn’t do all that anyway? http://www.keystonebank.us

  18. I just can’t get excited by any of these rates. I even have some money in Vanguard MM that is paying next to nothing but I haven’t been motivated to move it to something paying less than 2%.

    I also have I bonds that currently paying zero % for this 6 month period. It’s painful holding on to those but I think in the long run its worth keeping them and not resetting the 5 year clock.

  19. I’m excited about an extra $606 per year for doing the same thing I did at my credit union! Plus I’m adding about $400 per month to the balance! I wish I were able to get one of the 6.01% interest accounts so I could make $900+ per year, but you have to be in those areas. I don’t believe in letting them use my money for nothing!

  20. Jerry Harrison says:

    I have money in ING savings. It does suck that rates are at 1.3%, but is it really worth chasing rates and the forms that have to be filled out. I can save money by not drinking as much beer and soda!

  21. SavingEverything says:

    Any reason why you’ have a link for your “as an example” for easygrowchecking (which says it’s First Bank & Trust; First Bank of White, SD; First National Bank in Pipestone, MN; and Fishback Financial Corporation)? Johnathan, have you ever looked at any of their Account Deposit Agreements and Truth In Savings Disclosures, and their ETF Agreements. This bank’s website is not very clear; nor are they disclosing any information on their website of the account agreements and proper disclosures; nor their Schedule of Fees for other bank services; not even during the full application process!

  22. ING users: Walk away! Yes, it is worth jumping. It takes ten minutes to set up a new online bank and transferring money is a click of the mouse button. If enough people vote with their dollars, banks will have to work to keep us…with higher rates.

  23. HappyShabby says:

    Discover banks interface gave me literal headache. I have transfered out even my initial deposit. Waiting for 90 days to close the account. How can a bank allow its website to be unavailable most of the time. Anyway American Express savings seems inresting

  24. Yes, ING’s steadily falling rates are annoying! As a result, I just use them for my checking and a couple of my mortgage loans–keeping most of my money elsewhere.

    HShabby, while the interface isn’t pretty, I haven’t experienced any outages with Discover. Let’s hope they’ve corrected the problem you experienced!

  25. I must admit I am one of those ING fans or maybe I am just too lazy to change over to another online bank. Either way I think the increase to competing online banks is going to make it much harder for ING to keep market share if they don’t not increase there rates to be more competitive.

  26. Im at ally right now, its pretty good. Thinking bout jumping to Discover or Shore Bank but is it worth it? Im getting 1.75% right now.

  27. Try kasasa.com. Currently the best interest checking rate is at ecountybank.com (open to all US residents). The current APR is 4.65% if you meet their monthly requirements. This beats the Capital One MMA I’m moving from and most other online savings/mma accounts. Their online banking looks like a webpage from the mid 90s, but I use Bank of America as my primary day to day stuff which supports inbound/outbound transfers via ACH and even Bill Pay from ACH accounts so I rarely have to use it.

  28. I have had my easyGROW account with First Bank & Trust since April and I have found it so easy to qualify each month for the rewards. I was given the option of funding the account with an ACH transaction but chose to mail in a check from my previous bank. I love the online banking and use it for most of my banking needs.

  29. I checked ING Direct today and it’s paying 1%!! My checking acct. at the local bank is paying 1.11%. I’m going to check out credit unions for a better rate.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Best FDIC Insured Interest Rate Roundup [...]

Speak Your Mind

*