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 0.76% APY for the first 3 months for new accounts. This rate is higher than any 3-month certificates of deposit currently available.
- Discover Bank is offering 0.80% APY on its new online savings account.
- Ally Savings is offering 0.84% APY as of 3/11/13.
Certificates of Deposit
As stated above, for 3-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.
By Jonathan Ping | Banking | 9/18/09, 4:52am