WT Direct $250 Winter Bonus Update + Application Review

This is a follow-up about the WT Direct Winter Bonus promo good for up to $250 on top of their standard interest rate of 3.06% APY, if you open a new account and maintain a certain average balance for January and February. There is still time to participate, the deadline is to fund via ACH transfer initiated by 12/22 now 12/31/08.

I’ve decided to participate, since I get to remain liquid and interest rates look to only be dropping lower. 3-month Treasury Bills were yielding a negative interest rate for a while! See my previous post about this offer for details about the fine print. Below is some more info gathered after applying myself.

Application Process and Setup

The application process was pretty standard, with this bar above the application providing a good overview. First, they gather the personal info. Second, they use the now-popular Equifax ID check questions to verify your identity. Third, you can fund electronically with account and routing numbers, although you must come back and verify trial deposits later (you don’t have to fund all at once for the bonus). Finally, you can electronically sign the application and disclosures. There were no physical forms to send in, although a welcome packet does arrive by mail. They state explicitly that there is no credit check:

This information will be used only to verify your identity and will not be used for any other purpose. We do not perform a credit check and your answers to these questions will not affect your credit rating.

If you count Day 0 as the application day, the trial deposits should arrive either Day 1 or 2. If you verify them immediately, then your deposit should be sucked out on Day 3. Ignoring weekends, your funds should show up on Day 5, at least based on my experience.

If you are linking with other savings account, WT Direct may show up as Wilmington Trust Bank, which is what the WT stands for. Your account number is given to you at the end of the application, and the routing number is 052173464. WT Direct’s online transfer system allows unlimited linked banks, and transfers to external accounts are free both in and out with a 2-3 day transfer time.

Last time, WT Direct offered people who signed up under their promotion an 0.50% extra APY for 4 months after it ended. Hopefully they’ll do that again.

Comments

  1. The yield is not guarnteed, You will be better off with a higher rate CD.

  2. SuperSaver says:

    I transferred $50,000 to WT Direct. It was speedy, and very easy to link to external accounts.

    I used to be an EmigrantDirect account holder, but their external accounts linking is oppressive; it was a huge hassle to try to set up and external link to EmigrantDirect, and then they also lowered their APR to 3% meanwhile offering 4% to new customers at their subsidiary DollarSavings. Goodbye EmigrantDirect!

  3. Wow, I think this is a wonderful deal. 5% rate for 59 days that is 6.1x better than a 5% APY. It’s like 3.0% APY but only for those two months. And this is only the $250 bonus. On top of that is the 3.06% APY which is not bad.

    I wish I could have the 50k to participate but I got most of my cash in DollarSavingsDirect and I don’t think I can get the cash out of there that fast.

  4. Doing the math shows you that WT Direct would have to basically lower their base rate to close to 0% for this offer to be worse than a equivalent term CD. Based on WT Direct rate history and their desire to keep customers, I highly doubt that is going to happen…

  5. Supersaver says SPEEDY?

    My 50K was debited from Countrywide on Tue. 12-09 and is still not showing up at WTdirect as of Sat. 12-13.

    Who is getting the float for these days?

  6. Can you guys confirm whether they do soft pull or hard pull

  7. TT, I noticed this issue too. It appears WTDirect has selected the slow-boat transfer option with CashEdge. Unclear who gets the free float (CashEdge or WTDirect). Looks like you lose 2 days of interest for transfers into the account (I haven’t transferred funds out yet). Personally, I’m going to hold off on transfering the full $50k until near the beginning of the promo period (1/1/09)–so as to maximize the higher 4% return at DSD.

  8. SS, did you read the post!? “They state explicitly that there is no credit check … “

  9. Pedro, i know the post says but I am trying to verify on WTdirect.com website. It’s not mentioned anywhere about what the post says. Is this info hidden on their website

  10. SS, it’s covered in the application process.

  11. Thanks for the great info. Just wanted to clarify something to make sure I am not adding an unnecessary step.

    If I am currently using Dollar Savings Direct, I’m assuming I have to fund my checking account, then fund the WTD account? Or said another way, there’s no way to direct-link the two savings accounts?

  12. Brett, there’s no need for that extra step. You can link you DSD account to your WTD account (via WTD).

  13. Thanks Pedro!

  14. Pedro:
    I have found it impossible to pull money out of EmigrantDirect Savings using a transfer initiated at another bank, even though I can push money into it and out of it. Does DollarSavings allow money to be pulled out of it?

  15. I linked my DSD account to WTD and the initial trial debits and credits did work in order to complete my application of the WTD account.

    I’m assuming I will have no problem going forward, but won’t know that for a few days.

  16. SanDance, like Brett, my WTD trial debits and credits were processed by DSD without any issues. This being the case, I wouldn’t think there would be an issue; however, after hearing this about Emigrant, I guess we’ll have to cross our fingers!

  17. Thanks for the tip. Once you’ve signed up and logged in, is there anywhere on the site that describes the $250 promised? (i.e. “How do I know I qualified for the special Winter deal?”)

  18. Well, I talked to a DSD phone rep today. It appears that SanDance is right; per the rep, they do not accept ‘third party debits’ (i.e., only credits/deposits). Apparently, they permit debits for account/link verifications only. So, bottom-line: It looks like we DO need to add that extra step of transferring our DSD funds into our linked checking before transferring it over to WTDirect.

  19. Ran into this also today Pedro. It doesn’t make sense to me why they’d allow the verifications to work, but no official transfers. Oh well, I’ll keep money in there for two months, get my bonus, and go back to DSD.

    Kenneth, I shot an e-mail to them today regarding the same thing. I also wanted to confirm that I signed up under the appropirate promotion code. If I find anything worthwhile out, I’ll pass it on.

  20. Can anyone verify that the reward balance does not have to be in the account before the promotional period starts in January? I am planning on the reward for a $50k balance, but I need to transfer money from a MMA that doesn’t allow outside transfers to a checking account that does. I went ahead and started an initial transfer of just $900 from my checking account since that is all I have available in my checking right now.

  21. From the terms:

    There is no minimum balance required to open the account. WTDirect account must be funded via electronic (ACH) transfer which must be initiated by 12/31/08. Clients may transfer funds in and out of the WTDirect account during the promotion period (1/1/09 – 2/28/09) and the bonus will be based on the average balance level during that time.

    Doesn’t look it you need it all in there from the beginning, but you’ll need to put more in than $50k to make the average meet the required level if you add in later.

  22. So theoretically, you could have $0 on deposit for the first half of this period and $100,000 on deposit the second half, and you would still qualify for the $50,000 bonus threshold. Come to think of it, this might actually be a good idea if you have $100,000 to deposit–and you want to maximize the 4% return at DSD for as long as you can.

  23. DeadDog says:

    Anyone got the $250 bonus?

  24. Kenneth says:

    Not yet… I suspect it will take at least a few days to post.

  25. Still not there. In this economy no one can be trusted :(

  26. Terms and conditions stated: “Bonus will be credited to client’s WTDirect account on or about the second week of March.”

  27. WT Direct just kindly sent mail to everyone saying “You’ve Earned Your Bonus!”.

  28. Bonus received … thanks again for the referral. Now where to move that 50g’s? 2% is still better than most it seems.

  29. Just to update, I got my $250 as well.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] you have money committed to the (now expired) WT Direct $250 bonus promo like I do, just a note that they are at 2.16% APY for $10,000+ balances. We have to hold until end [...]

  2. [...] you have money committed to the (now expired) WT Direct $250 bonus promo like I do, just a note that they are now down slightly from 3.06% to 2.81% APY for $10,000+ [...]

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