Merrill Edge + Preferred Rewards = Up to $600 Bonus For Moving Brokerage Assets, Improved Credit Card Rewards

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Updated. Merrill Edge is the self-directed brokerage arm formed after Bank of America and Merrill Lynch merged together. They are currently offering an increased cash bonus of up to $600 for moving “new money” or assets over to them from another brokerage firm. This new bonus is linked to the Preferred Rewards program, which is another reason to consider using them as it gets you waived banking fees and extra credit card rewards. Here’s an overview along with my personal experience as I’ve had an account with them for a few years now.

Cash bonus. Brokerage firms love to collect assets. The good news is they don’t require cash that will be earning zero interest, and Edge has no management fees if you stick with DIY. If you are holding shares of stock, ETFs, or mutual funds elsewhere, you can simply perform an “in-kind” ACAT transfer over to Merrill Edge. Your 100 shares of AAPL will remain 100 shares of AAPL, so you don’t even have to worry about price changes, lost dividends, or tax consequences. Any cost basis should transfer over as well.

This specific offer is better than the standard offer:

  • $100 bonus with $20,000 to $49,999 in new assets
  • $150 bonus with $50,000 to $99,999 in new assets
  • $250 bonus with $100,000 to $199,999 in new assets
  • $600 bonus with $200,000 or more in new assets

Note that you must keep the assets there for 180 days.

This offer includes both IRAs and regular taxable (CMA) accounts:

Offer valid for new individual Merrill IRAs or Cash Management Accounts (CMAs). Cash bonus offers, in the aggregate, are limited to one CMA and one IRA per accountholder. Eligible Merrill IRAs limited to Rollover, Traditional, Roth and owner-only SEP IRA. The Merrill IRA or CMA may be a Merrill Edge Self-Directed account, Merrill Edge Advisory Account, Merrill Guided Investing or Merrill Guided Investing with an Advisor account. You may be eligible for a different or better offer. Please contact us for more information.

Note that last sentence! After I did this bonus once with a partial transfer (just enough to satisfy one of the tiers), a Merrill Edge rep contacted me and offered me a custom bonus to move even more assets over. (The bonus ratios were about the same, but higher limits.) Therefore, if you are considering this and happen to have more than $200,000 to transfer over, you may want to give them a call and see if they can offer even more money.

You can even transfer in Admiral Shares of Vanguard mutual funds – they won’t let you buy any additional shares, but you can only hold or sell them. You can, however, buy more shares of the corresponding Vanguard ETF if you wish. (Alternatively, you should consider having Vanguard convert your Admiral share into ETFs on a one-time basis that will preserve your original cost basis. After you have ETFs, you can move those over to Merrill Edge and trade them as you wish.)

Preferred Rewards bonus. The Preferred Rewards program is designed to rewards clients with multiple account and higher assets located at Bank of America banking, Merrill Edge online brokerage, and Merrill Lynch investment accounts. Here is a partial table taken from their comparison chart (click to enlarge):

At the Platinum and Platinum Plus levels, Merrill Edge used to offer 30 and 100 free online stock trades every month, respectively. These days, everyone gets unlimited $0 trades. Bank of America’s interest rates on cash accounts tend to be quite low, so moving cash over to qualify may result in earning less interest on your cash deposits. Merrill Lynch advisory accounts also usually come with management fees. The sweet spot is Edge with self-directed brokerage assets like stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs.

BofA checking accounts. With Gold status ($20k in assets) and above, you’ll get the monthly maintenance fee on up to 4 checking or savings accounts waived. That means you no longer have to worry about a minimum balance or maintaining direct deposit, depending on your account type. You’ll also get waived ATM fees at non-BofA ATMs at Platinum and above (12/year at $50k assets, unlimited at $100k). Free cashier’s checks.

Credit card rewards. With the Preferred Rewards boost, you can get up to 2.6% cash back on all your purchases with the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card, or 2.6% towards travel and no foreign transaction fees with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card. You can also get 5.2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card.

My personal experience. In terms of Merrill Edge, I’ve had an account with them for a few years now and my lightning review is that they have a “okay/good” user interface and solidly “good” customer service (i.e. real, informed humans available 24/7 on the phone, not email-only customer service that takes hours to days like Robinhood). I would add that I am not an active trader and only make about 10-15 trades a year. I have been quite satisfied with the account. I can also move money instantly between my Merrill Edge and Bank of America checking accounts, making it relatively easy to sweep out idle cash into an external savings account.

The biggest financial benefit to this BofA/Merrill Edge combo has probably been the 75% boost to their credit card rewards, allowing me to get a flat 2.625% cash back on virtually all my daily purchases. The second biggest benefit has probably been this cash bonus, and the third is the occasional waived checking or ATM fee. One negative is that the cash sweep options are not very good, but right now the interest difference is quite small.

Bottom line. Merrill Edge is currently offering up to $600 if you move over a significant amount of assets to their self-directed brokerage. This can simply be mutual fund or ETFs shares currently being held elsewhere. When you keep enough assets across Bank of America and Merrill Edge, their Preferred Rewards program can offer ongoing perks like waived bank account fees and boosted credit card rewards.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards: New Tiers for $1M+ Assets

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

If you like maximizing your credit card rewards, you probably know that you can earn a base rewards rate of 2.6% cash back on ALL your credit card purchases and up to 5.2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter by combined the right Bank of America credit card with their Preferred Rewards program. The catch is that you have to park at least $100,000 in assets inside qualifying Bank of America deposit and/or Merrill investment accounts. You can avoid any lost interest or management fees by transferring over some existing IRA or brokerage assets to a self-directed Merrill Edge account.

Bank of America recently updated the tiers for their Preferred Rewards program, and thankfully the benefits for the three existing tiers did not change. You can still earn the 75% bonus with $100,000 (Platinum Honors) in qualifying assets and 50% bonus with $50,000 (Platinum) in qualifying assets. Specifically, they track your average daily balance for the trailing three calendar months for qualifying accounts:

  • Bank of America deposit accounts (including checking, savings, certificate of deposit)
  • Merrill investment accounts (including brokerage “Cash Management Accounts”, IRAs, 529 Plans)

BofA added two brand-new tiers for those with $1 million+ (Diamond) and $10 million+ (Diamond) in qualifying assets. Here is an edited comparison table that includes the new Diamond and Diamond Honors benefits with the most potential value (mortgage and HELOC interest rate deductions). Of course, I would compare rates to make sure that BofA’s loan rates are initially competitive. Click to enlarge:

In addition, they added new lifestyle benefits to the Diamond and Diamond Honors tiers. These include “access” and “discounts” to travel experiences, luxury merchandise, special events, and concierge-type services. You can also gain Avis Preferred Plus status (Diamond) or Avis President’s Club (Diamond Honors).

My take. I personally don’t see anything special that would encourage me to aspire to Diamond or Diamond Honors status, but you may feel differently. I’m glad that they are keeping the 75% boost for $100,000 in assets, and it has worked as I would not otherwise have much of a “relationship” with BofA. I would not have an active Merrill Edge account, and I wouldn’t have any active BofA credit cards without the boosts.

This “2.6% back on everything” has been my catch-all system for a long time, used whenever I couldn’t earn more while trying out a new credit card promo or 5% bonus category.

(hat tip Doctor of Credit)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Student Loans: File Waiver For Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Like many folks, I left college with a negative net worth due to $30,000 in student loans. After reading through several articles about changes in the Education Department regarding student loans, I think the overall takeaway is that if you’ve had problems with your student loan management in past years, now would be a good time to check again – especially if you are working towards the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

The idea behind PSLF was that if you worked full-time in public service (ex. military, government, nurses, teachers, non-profit workers) and made regular income-based payments for 10 years (120 monthly payments), you would have the remaining balance forgiven at the end of those 10 years. However, this incentive turned out to be an elusive reward at the end of a long and winding maze. The program started in 2007, and as of April 2020, only a little over 2,000 people total (under 2% of the 145,000+ applicants) were ever approved for PSLF.

The maze appears to be opening up a bit, with over 30,000 people expected to be approved in 2021. Most importantly, you must take action and file for a PSLF waiver as soon as possible (must be done by October 2022):

On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a temporary period during which borrowers may receive credit for payments that previously did not qualify for PSLF or TEPSLF. Learn more about limited PSLF waiver.

The previous rules were pretty complex and rigid. For example, you could have been paying more than required, but if you weren’t on the right repayment plan, your payments didn’t count toward the 120 monthly payments required (10 years).

Under the new rules, any prior payment made will count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan type, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time. All you need is qualifying employment.

This change will apply to student loan borrowers with Direct Loans, those who have already consolidated into the Direct Loan Program, and those who consolidate into the Direct Loan Program by Oct. 31, 2022.

If you file for the waiver, these types of past monthly payments can now count towards the 120 required:

  • If you were previously ineligible because your loan was of the wrong “type” (will have to consolidate)
  • If you were on an “ineligible” payment plan method
  • If you were deployed active military and placed your loans on hold
  • If you had partial payments
  • If you had payments that were late

You must still be:

  • Employed by government, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, or other not-for-profit organization that provides a qualifying service
  • Work full-time
  • Have Direct Loans or consolidate into Direct Consolidation Loans. Private student loans are NOT eligible.

It is still rather confusing as to which jobs exactly qualify as “public service”. Your job description doesn’t matter, only the status of your official employer. You could be a teacher or a nurse, but one might be a nurse at a nonprofit hospital and the other might be at a private hospital (or their hospital changed from one to the other at some point, out of their control).

There are also now special considerations for borrowers misled by their schools. Examples of such schools include Corinthian Colleges (Heald College, Everest College, WyoTech), ITT Technical Institute, American Career Institute, Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty, and the Court Reporting Institute. This is called Borrower Defense Loan Discharge:

If your school misled you or engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain state laws, you may be eligible for “borrower defense to loan repayment,” sometimes shortened to “borrower defense.” This is the discharge of some or all of your federal student loan debt.

Students with total and permanent disability have also had their student loan debt forgiven. Students whose schools closed while they were enrolled may also receive loan forgiveness.

Notably, all student loan forgiveness is also considered tax-free at least through through December 31, 2025.

Even if you don’t work in public service, there are still other income-based repayment plans and forgiveness programs. I’m not an expert on the student loan landscape these days, but I would be careful before re-financing your student loans with a private lender as it is non-reversible. Be sure to understand the benefits (such as a lower interest rate) but also what you are giving up (such as these types of forgiveness options).

(image source)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

MMB Free IRA Contribution 2021 Challenge: $5,327 (So Far)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

via GIPHY

With about six weeks left in 2021, I wanted to check in on my claim that I could max out the annual IRA contribution limit of $6,000 using the profits from various promotions alone. If you had put $6,000 into your IRA every year for the last 10 years (2011-2020) and invested in a simple Target Date retirement fund, you would have turned small deals into a $100,000+ nest egg.

Example. I was just approved for the new Capital One Venture X card, and I was hoping the $1,000+ value would put me over the $6,000 threshold. I’m very confident that I’ll get at least $1,000 out of this card, as (1) we have multiple upcoming trips planned, (2) are renewing Global Entry for $100, and (2) this is the rare card that lets us gain lounge access for a family of 5. Each cardholder is free plus 2 guests, but additional cardholders are free 😉. I will offset $1,000 in travel expenses I would have incurred anyway, and invest it instead.

The ground rules: Real-world results for one person only. As following with My Money Blog tradition, this will track my personal, real-world results. It would be quite easy to list a bunch of promotions that add up to $6,000, but these will be promotions that I personally sign up for and complete the requirements (even though I’ve already opened so many bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage accounts over the years). I will track my individual results only (no spouse/partner). I quickly ran through all posts in the Deals and Offers category:

One-time bonuses for 2021 so far.

Total from one-time bonuses: $5,327

I’m pretty close to $6,000 without counting the money from higher bank interest or other credit card rewards like 5% cash back categories. Hopefully the holiday season has a few more gifts for me in that regard! 🤑 I did multiple US Mint coin deals this year, but also much fewer credit card applications than in a normal year. My wife and I were thinking of trying to get dual Southwest Companion passes, but we decided not to go for it yet.

Bank interest accounts. With a simple direct deposit change, I am earning 3.5% APY on $100,000 at HM Bradley, FDIC-insured and with no interest rate risk. (I have the HM Bradley credit card as well.) This is money that could be earning 0% at BofA/Chase/Wells Fargo, 0.50% at a “high yield” savings account, or about 0.40%-1% in short-term US Treasury bonds as part of an investment portfolio. Even calling it only 2.5% APY above what 99% of people earn on the same thing, that works out to a difference of $2,500 in interest per year.

I could hold even more cash at high interest rates via other fintech like One Finance and Porte. US Savings bonds are paying 7.12% interest for the next six months. I track these in my monthly best interest rate updates. I view this is a legitimate form of “profit”, but the value is dependent on the size your cash/bond holdings. Thus, I’ve kept it separate.

Total from higher bank interest: $2,500

These are all deals with minimal downside risk, but they also tend to be both sporadic and temporary. Some months had zero lucrative deals, and some months had several. I try to only share the ones that will last at least a few days, but it’s a bit like value investing where you have to be ready to jump on an opportunity when it shows up, because it usually won’t last long. For example, HM Bradley now requires a referral to join, and each person can only refer three people.

Total for 2021 so far: $7,827

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – November 2021 (Updated)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Updated November 2021. That space in your wallet or purse is valuable, and you should be the one to get that value. By being smart and picky, you can find offers worth $500+ for a single card, all to encourage you to apply and try it out. We do this multiple times a year for thousands of dollars in extra income. These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would personally apply for right now (or have already). Notable recent changes:

  • Added Venture X 100k, Southwest 100k, Hawaiian 80k, Delta 70k, IHG 150k.
  • Removed Wyndam 90k, United Quest 100k, JetBlue 60k, Hyatt 50k, United 70k.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Business Card Offers. Small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Capital One® Venture® X Rewards Card

  • 100,000 miles (worth $1,000 towards travel) after $10,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. See link for details.
  • $200 vacation rental credit. Get up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals within your first year.
  • $300 annual travel credit. Get up to $300 in statement credits when booking through Capital One Travel.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $395 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • Up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards points. 50,000 points after $2,000 on purchases in first 3 months, plus 50,000 more points after $12,000 in total purchases in first 12 months.
  • Southwest still gives everyone two free checked bags.
  • Companion Pass. The timing might be perfect to qualify for a Companion Pass in 2022/2023.
  • $69 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

The Platinum Card from American Express

  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points after $6,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Plus 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months. See link for details.
  • $200 Hotel Credits, $240 Streaming Credits, $200 Airline Fee Credits, $200 Uber Cash, $179 CLEAR Credit, $300 Equinox credit, $100 Shop Saks credit and more annually!
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck fee credit.
  • Premium airport lounge access through the American Express Global Lounge Collection®.
  • $695 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 minimum towards travel and more) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Up to 25% boost in Ultimate Rewards redemptions. See link for details.
  • 2X points on Travel and Dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.*
  • Alternative: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. 50k bonus worth $750 towards UR travel. Up to 50% boost on Ultimate Rewards redemptions, 3X on Travel and Dining, Priority Pass airport lounge access, $550 annual fee, $300 annual travel credit.

Gold Delta Skymiles Card from American Express

  • 70,000 Delta Skymiles after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Limited-time offer expires 11/10/2021. See link for details.
  • 70,000 Skymiles are worth at least $700 in Delta airfare with “Pay with Miles” option.
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • There is also a 90k limited-time offer on the Platinum version.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

  • Up to 80,000 Hawaiian miles. 60k after $2,000 in purchases within 90 days + additional 20k after $4,000 in total purchases within first 6 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for primary cardmember.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and The Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

Chase United Explorer Card

  • 60,000 bonus United miles after $3,000 in purchases within 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your United ticket.
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to find that saver award economy ticket.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card

  • 50,000 bonus points (worth $500 in statement credits) after $3,000 in purchases within 120 days. See link for details.
  • 4X points on travel and gas stations, 2X points on dining and grocery stores.
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • $30 annual streaming bonus.
  • $0 annual fee the first year, $95/year thereafter.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Up to 130,000 Hilton Honors points. 80k points after $1,000 in purchases in first 3 months, plus another 50k points after a total of $5,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. See link for details.
  • Free Honors Silver status (5th standard reward night free, 2 bottles of water in your room).
  • No annual fee.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Card

  • 150,000 IHG Rewards club points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 40,000 IHG points).
  • 4th Award Night Free (Book 3 nights in a row with points, 4th is free)
  • $0 intro annual fee first year, then $89.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.*

American Express® Rose Gold Card

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $4,000 in purchases in first 6 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • $120 in Uber Cash annually (good towards Uber Eats or Uber rides in the US).
  • $120 in annual dining credit at Grubhub, Seamless, and more.
  • 4X points at at restaurants.
  • 4X points at US supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per year.
  • $250 annual fee.

Citi Premier Card

  • 80,000 points (worth $800 in gift cards at ThankYou.com) after $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points for every $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • Must not have gotten bonus from or closed a Citi Rewards+, ThankYou Preferred, Premier, or Prestige card in the past 24 months.
  • $95 annual fee.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Mastercard

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

  • 50,000 points (worth $500 towards travel) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $100 annual Airline Incidental Statement Credit.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

  • 3 Free Night Certificates (worth up to 50,000 points each) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 35,000 Marriott points).
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

If you pay off your balances every month, then you can join me and many others in funding a huge chunk of your annual travel budget with cash credits, points, and miles. I mostly use my rewards points on domestic economy flights, mid-range hotels, and cheap car rentals. If you have credit card debt, you should focus on paying that off first as the interest charges could offset most of the perks.

* 5/24 Rule? Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 24 months (2 years). This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Review: Over $1,000 In First-Year Value

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card is the newest entry into the ultra-premium credit card category. It has a large new-cardholder bonus, loads of perks, and a hefty annual fee. The net result is a first-year value of well over $1,000! Let’s take a look at what it offers:

  • 100,000 bonus miles (equal to $1,000 towards travel) when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening.
  • Limited-time offer: $200 vacation rental credit. Get up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your account within your first year. Eligible vacation rental merchants include Airbnb, Turnkey, Vacasa, and VRBO.
  • $300 annual travel credit. Get up to $300 in statement credits when booking through Capital One Travel. You can redeem these in partial amounts over the course of the year.
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®.
  • Airport lounge access. Unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at Capital One Lounges and at 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges internationally.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.
  • Annual fee is $395.

Here is the rewards structure on purchases:

  • 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 2X miles on all other purchases.
  • Redeem miles for any airline, any hotel, rental cars, and more.
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs.

Redemption details. Capital One “miles” can be redeemed directly for a cash statement credit on a 1 mile = $0.01 basis when offsetting any travel purchase made on the card within the past 90 days. In other words, 100,000 miles = $1,000 toward travel. That means you can fly on any airline or stay at any hotel, pay with this card, and then “erase” that purchase using your miles balance later. This even includes AirBNB vacation rentals, car rentals, and Uber rides.

This means that earning 2 miles on on every $1 in purchases essentially makes this a 2% back card when applied towards travel. Earn even higher rewards of 5 miles per $1 spent on on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 10 miles per $1 spent on on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

The Capital One Travel portal offers price matching: if you find a better price on another website within 24 hours of booking, they will refund you the difference.

New: Miles transfer options. Capital One now allows you to transfer your “miles” into select airline miles programs as well. Here are the transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM
  • Accor Hotels
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Choice Hotels
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Wyndham Hotel Rewards

The bolded ones are my favorite. I would use these to top off an account to reach a specific award level. If you know how to leverage one of these international airline miles programs, this can be a good option, but it’s still nice to have the worst-case scenario of effectively earning 2% back towards travel.

Airport lounge access details. Capital One is creating their own lounges within select airports (currently only DFW). Venture X cardholders get unlimited access and can bring 2 free guest per visit. Additional cardholders are also free (no extra annual fee) and have the same benefits of bringing 2 free guests per visit.

As a Visa Infinite card, you also get Priority Pass membership, which includes access to 1,300+ participating VIP lounges, in more than 600 cities and more than 148 countries. You can bring yourself and up to 2 free guests.

Various other perks.

  • Cell phone protection. Protect your cell phone every time you pay your bill with your Venture X card. If it’s stolen or damaged, you’ll get reimbursed up to $800 per claim with a $50 deductible.
  • Primary rental car collision-damage waiver insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Hertz President’s Circle® status.

Bottom line. The Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card is an ultra-premium rewards card that earns a minimum of 2x miles on all purchases, which you can either redeem against any travel purchase or transfer to one of their airline/hotel partners. There is an new-customer offer of 100,000 bonus miles (worth $1,000 towards travel) plus a $200 annual vacation rental credit for the first year. If you can take advantage of the $300 annual travel credit, and add the 10,000 miles on every anniversary, then you’ve effectively offset the $395 annual fee in all future years.

Due to the $1,000+ first-year value, I will be adding this card to my list of Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Amazon: Pay with Citi ThankYou Points, Get Up to 50% Off (Targeted)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Check again to see if targeted for latest promo. If you have a Citi credit card that earns ThankYou points, you can redeem them to buy eligible items at Amazon.com. The redemption rate is 1 ThankYou points = 0.8 cents to spend at Amazon, which may not be the best value available. However, here are targeted promotions where you can save money after redeeming just 1 single MR point (a penny’s worth). (To see the link, you may need to visit this page on the internet if viewing this via e-mail or RSS.)

Here are some additional tips:

  • If you haven’t linked yet, you can link your ThankYou points balance to your Amazon account here.
  • If you have already linked your cards and aren’t targeted, you may consider removing your Citi card from your account completely, and then linking it again after a day, and then checking the offer page(s) again after another day.
  • Items must be marked as both sold AND shipped by Amazon.com.
  • Be sure to select your Citi credit card as your payment method and redeem at least 1 point or $0.01 in value of ThankYou points.
  • Savings should be reflected on the final order checkout page, before you commit to purchase.

Notably, the Citi Double Cash card, Citi Custom Cash card, and Citi Rewards+ all now earn ThankYou points. You may want to try linking them to see if you qualify for this promotion now or in the future. For redemptions, I’d probably stick with the 2% cash back option for the Double Cash, and look at the new airline transfer options for the premium travel cards like Citi Premier.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Amazon: Pay with Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, Get Up to 50% Off (Targeted)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Check again to see if targeted for newest discount. If you have Ultimate Rewards points from Chase credit cards, you can use them to buy eligible items at Amazon.com. The redemption rate is 1 Ultimate Rewards points = 1 cent at Amazon, which is the same rate as their statement credit redemptions. However, here are targeted promotions where you can save money after redeeming just 1 single MR point (a penny’s worth). (To see the link, you may need to visit this page on the internet if viewing this via e-mail or RSS.)

  • Get 50% off (max discount $15), valid on items shipped and sold by Amazon. Must redeem at least 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point. You may be eligible even if you’ve done similar promos before.

Here are some additional tips:

  • If you haven’t linked yet, you can link your Ultimate Rewards points balance to your Amazon account here.
  • If you have already linked your cards and aren’t targeted, you may consider removing your Chase card from your account completely, and then linking it again after a day, and then checking the offer page(s) again after another day.
  • Items must be marked as both sold AND shipped by Amazon.com.
  • Be sure to select your Chase credit card as your payment method and redeem at least 1 point or $0.01 in value of Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Savings should be reflected on the final order checkout page, before you commit to purchase.

Keep in mind that you have options to earn 25% more value (1.25 cents per Ultimate Rewards point) from travel redemptions via the Chase portal and the Pay Yourself Bank tools if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and 50% more value (1.5 cents per UR point) with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can transfer over any UR points earned elsewhere from the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. You may get even better value by converting them to frequent flier miles like United Airlines or hotel points like Hyatt.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

MyPanera Coffee + American Express Card: 6 Months of Free Unlimited Hot or Iced Coffee

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

American Express is offering all their cardholders a free 6-month subscription to MyPanera+. You must redeem via that link and sign into your AmEx account. Many of us have had MyPanera free trials before, but hopefully this can land us another 6 months.

Highlights of MyPanera+:

  • Valid for any size cup of light roast, dark roast, hazelnut, decaf, iced coffee, or hot tea.
  • Get one cup up to every two hours, with free unlimited refills of the same beverage in-store.
  • Excludes cold brew, espresso drinks, and iced tea.
  • One subscription per person.

Be aware that you will start to get charged $8.99 a month once those free 6 months are up. You should set a calendar reminder to cancel if you don’t want to get charged.

How to cancel your MyPanera+ Coffee subscription:

To cancel your subscription online, visit the Subscription section at http:/www.panerabread.com/MyPaneraCoffee or on the Panera Bread app. You can also call Panera Customer Service at 1-855-372-6372 to cancel your subscription.

The regular price of $8.99 per month works out to about 30 cents per cup if you got one per day. Panera has admitted that this is a loss leader and they hope you also buy a breakfast sandwich, muffin, etc. while you are there. However, you can always order via app and use their contactless curbside service (or drive-thru where available).

Nice to see another free AmEx perk. AmEx cardholders can also get a free 6-month trial of Audible Plus if you are a new customer.

My two “keeper” consumer American Express cards are the Amex EveryDay Card (keeps my Membership Rewards points active with no annual fee, helps qualify for various Amazon promotions) and the Blue Cash Preferred from AmEx (6% cash back on US supermarkets, up to $6,000 annually).

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Sam’s Club New Membership Deal for $30 With $40 Gift Card w/ Scan & Go

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

sams200bGroupon has brought back their Sam’s Club membership deals, which come around a few times per year. Expires 12/19/21. There are two options.

The $20 option includes:

  • 12-month Sam’s Club membership
  • Household member card
  • Free Member’s Mark Pie

The $30 option (Up to $99 value) includes all of the above plus:

  • $40 eGift Card after using Scan & Go for the first time
  • – Must spend $40+ pre-tax
  • – Must use Scan & Go within first 60 days of membership

It definitely seems worth it to spend the extra $10 and get the $40 gift card as Scan & Go is easy to use and doesn’t require you to buy anything more than you otherwise would.

This deal is for new memberships only, as defined as follows:

Not valid for membership renewals, for those with a current membership, or those who were Sam’s Club members less than 6 months prior to June 1, 2021.

Some folks like to rotate a year with Sam’s Club and a year with Costco or BJ’s Warehouse, as both usually offer new member deals regularly.

Save even more on your Groupon with a cashback shopping portal. Many offer new customers bonuses if you make a qualifying purchase, including Swagbucks ($10 bonus), MyPoints ($10 bonus), Rakuten (formerly eBates) ($30 bonus currently, varies), TopCashBack (varies), and BeFrugal ($10 bonus). So you could sign-up and stack this Groupon to trigger the bonus. I have cashed out of all of these in the last 12 months.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Membership Discount: $20 for 1 Year (Regularly $55)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

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Groupon has brought back their BJ’s Wholesale New Membership deal. You pay only $20 for a One-Year BJ’s Inner Circle Membership (regularly $55 if you bought directly). New members only* (you could get your spouse or partner to sign-up). Valid at all BJ’s Wholesale Club locations (East coast mostly).

  • Exclusive BJ’s Member coupons
  • Free second Membership Card for a household member
  • Members also receive access to exclusive online services, including Shop BJs.com – Pick Up in-Club allowing you to pick up online orders in as little as 2 hours (or next business day if order is placed 2 hours prior to Club closing or later) and Same-Day Delivery of fresh groceries.

Save even more on your Groupon with a cashback shopping portal. Many offer new customers bonuses if you make a qualifying purchase, including Swagbucks ($10 bonus), MyPoints ($10 bonus), Rakuten (formerly eBates) ($30 bonus currently, varies), TopCashBack (varies), and BeFrugal ($10 bonus). So you could sign-up and stack this Groupon to trigger the bonus. I have cashed out of all of these in the last 12 months.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Best Interest Rates on Cash – November 2021 Update

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

via GIPHY

Here’s my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash as of November 2021, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. I look for lesser-known opportunities earning more than most “high-yield” savings accounts and money market funds while still keeping your principal FDIC-insured or equivalent. Check out my Ultimate Rate-Chaser Calculator to see how much extra interest you’d earn by moving money between accounts. Rates listed are available to everyone nationwide. Rates checked as of 11/3/2021.

Fintech accounts
Available only to individual investors, fintech companies often pay higher-than-market rates in order to achieve fast short-term growth (often using venture capital). “Fintech” is usually a software layer using a different bank’s FDIC insurance. These do NOT require a certain number debit card purchases per month. Read about the types of due diligences you should do whenever opening a new bank account.

  • 3% APY on up to $100,000. The top rate is still 3% APY for October through December 2021 (can be 3.5% APY with their credit card), and they have not indicated any upcoming rate drop. HM Bradley requires a recurring direct deposit every month and a savings rate of at least 20%. Due to high demand, you must currently use a referral link to join. If you have any available to share (you get 3), please drop it in the comments of my HM Bradley review.
  • 3% APY on 10% of direct deposits + 1% APY on $25,000. One Finance lets you earn 3% APY on “auto-save” deposits (up to 10% of your direct deposit, up to $1,000 per month). Separately, they also pay 1% APY on up to another $25,000 with direct deposit. New customer $50 bonus via referral. See my One Finance review.
  • 3% APY on up to $15,000. Porte requires a one-time direct deposit of $1,000+ to open a savings account. New customer $50 bonus via referral. Important note: Porte is adding additional restrictions in January 2022. See my Porte review.
  • 1.20% APY on up to $50,000. You must maintain a $500 direct deposit each month for this balance cap, otherwise you’ll still earn 1.20% on up to $5,000. See my OnJuno review.

High-yield savings accounts
While the huge megabanks pay essentially no interest, I think every should have a separate, no-fee online savings account to accompany your existing checking account. The interest rates on savings accounts can drop at any time, so I list the top rates as well as competitive rates from banks with a history of competitive rates. Some banks will bait you with a temporary top rate and then lower the rates in the hopes that you are too lazy to leave.

  • T-Mobile Money is still at 1.00% APY with no minimum balance requirements. The main focus is on the 4% APY on your first $3,000 of balances as a qualifying T-mobile customer plus other hoops, but the lesser-known fact is that the 1% APY is available for everyone. Thanks to the readers who helped me understand this. Unfortunately, some readers have reported their applications being denied.
  • Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) is offering new members 1.01% APY on up to $25,000 when you bundle a High-Yield Money Market Account & Basic Checking. (Existing members can get 0.75% APY.) To join this credit union, you must attest to their statement of faith.
  • There are several other established high-yield savings accounts at closer to 0.50% APY. Marcus by Goldman Sachs is on that list, and if you open a new account with a Marcus referral link (that’s mine), they will give you and the referrer a 0.50% boost on top of the current interest rate for 3 months. You can then extend this by referring others to the same offer. Right now, Marcus is paying 0.50% APY, so with the offer you’d get 1.00% APY currently for your first 3 months.

Short-term guaranteed rates (1 year and under)
A common question is what to do with a big pile of cash that you’re waiting to deploy shortly (plan to buy a house soon, just sold your house, just sold your business, legal settlement, inheritance). My usual advice is to keep things simple and take your time. If not a savings account, then put it in a flexible short-term CD under the FDIC limits until you have a plan.

  • No Penalty CDs offer a fixed interest rate that can never go down, but you can still take out your money (once) without any fees if you want to use it elsewhere. CFG Bank has a 13-month No Penalty CD at 0.62% APY with a $500 minimum deposit. Ally Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 0.50% APY for all balance tiers. Marcus has a 7-month No Penalty CD at 0.45% APY with a $500 minimum deposit. You may wish to open multiple CDs in smaller increments for more flexibility.
  • USALLIANCE Financial Credit Union has a 12-month CD at 0.85% APY ($500 minimum new money) with an early withdrawal penalty of 6 months interest. You must join the credit union first, but anyone can join via American Consumer Council (ACC).

Money market mutual funds + Ultra-short bond ETFs
Many brokerage firms that pay out very little interest on their default cash sweep funds (and keep the difference for themselves). Unfortunately, money market fund rates are very low across the board right now. Ultra-short bond funds are another possible alternative, but they are NOT FDIC-insured and may experience short-term losses at times. These numbers are just for reference, not a recommendation.

  • The default sweep option is the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund which has an SEC yield of 0.01%. Vanguard Cash Reserves Federal Money Market Fund (formerly Prime Money Market) currently pays 0.01% SEC yield.
  • Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund currently pays 0.33% SEC yield ($3,000 min) and 0.43% SEC Yield ($50,000 min). The average duration is ~1 year, so your principal may vary a little bit.
  • The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Bond ETF (MINT) has a 0.26% SEC yield and the iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR) has a 0.40% SEC yield while holding a portfolio of investment-grade bonds with an average duration of ~6 months.

Treasury Bills and Ultra-short Treasury ETFs
Another option is to buy individual Treasury bills which come in a variety of maturities from 4-weeks to 52-weeks. You can also invest in ETFs that hold a rotating basket of short-term Treasury Bills for you, while charging a small management fee for doing so. T-bill interest is exempt from state and local income taxes. Right now, this section isn’t very interesting as T-Bills are yielding close to zero!

  • You can build your own T-Bill ladder at TreasuryDirect.gov or via a brokerage account with a bond desk like Vanguard and Fidelity. Here are the current Treasury Bill rates. As of 11/3/2021, a new 4-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 0.05% annualized interest and a 52-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 0.17% annualized interest.
  • The Goldman Sachs Access Treasury 0-1 Year ETF (GBIL) has a -0.07% SEC yield and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) has a -0.09% (!) SEC yield. GBIL appears to have a slightly longer average maturity than BIL.

US Savings Bonds
Series I Savings Bonds offer rates that are linked to inflation and backed by the US government. You must hold them for at least a year. If you redeem them within 5 years there is a penalty of the last 3 months of interest. The annual purchase limit for electronic I bonds is $10,000 per Social Security Number, available online at TreasuryDirect.gov. You can also buy an additional $5,000 in paper I bonds using your tax refund with IRS Form 8888.

  • “I Bonds” bought between November 2021 and April 2022 will earn a 7.12% rate for the first six months. The rate of the subsequent 6-month period will be based on inflation again. Details here.
  • In mid-April 2022, the CPI will be announced and you will have a short period where you will have a very close estimate of the rate for the next 12 months. I will have another post up at that time.
  • See below about EE Bonds as a potential long-term bond alternative.

Prepaid Cards with Attached Savings Accounts
A small subset of prepaid debit cards have an “attached” FDIC-insured savings account with exceptionally high interest rates. The negatives are that balances are severely capped, and there are many fees that you must be careful to avoid (lest they eat up your interest). There is a long list of previous offers that have already disappeared with little notice. I don’t personally recommend nor use any of these anymore, as I feel the work required and risk of messing up exceeds any small potential benefit.

  • Mango Money pays 6% APY on up to $2,500, if you manage to jump through several hoops. Requirements include $1,500+ in “signature” purchases and a minimum balance of $25.00 at the end of the month.

Rewards checking accounts
These unique checking accounts pay above-average interest rates, but with unique risks. You have to jump through certain hoops which usually involve 10+ debit card purchases each cycle, a certain number of ACH/direct deposits, and/or a certain number of logins per month. If you make a mistake (or they judge that you did) you risk earning zero interest for that month. Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others would rather not bother. Rates can also drop suddenly, leaving a “bait-and-switch” feeling.

  • Quontic Bank is offering 1.01% APY on balances up to $150,000. This is best for people who have high balances, as the rate is not as high as other rewards checking accounts. You need to make 10 debit card point of sale transactions of $10 or more per statement cycle required to earn this rate.
  • (Balance caps will drop as of 11/17/2021) The Bank of Denver pays 2.00% APY on up to $10,000 (down from $25,000 as of 11/17/21) if you make 12 debit card purchases of $5+ each, receive only online statements, and make at least 1 ACH credit or debit transaction per statement cycle. The rate recently dropped. If you meet those qualifications, you can also link a Kasasa savings account that pays 1.00% APY on up to $25k (down from $50k as of 11/17/21). Thanks to reader Bill for the updated info.
  • Presidential Bank pays 2.25% APY on balances up to $25,000, if you maintain a $500+ direct deposit and at least 7 electronic withdrawals per month (ATM, POS, ACH and Billpay counts).
  • Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union pays 3.30% APY on up to $20,000. You’ll need at least 15 debit transactions and other requirements every month.
  • Lake Michigan Credit Union pays 3.00% APY on up to $15,000. You’ll need at least 10 debit transactions and other requirements every month.
  • Find a locally-restricted rewards checking account at DepositAccounts.

Certificates of deposit (greater than 1 year)
CDs offer higher rates, but come with an early withdrawal penalty. By finding a bank CD with a reasonable early withdrawal penalty, you can enjoy higher rates but maintain access in a true emergency. Alternatively, consider building a CD ladder of different maturity lengths (ex. 1/2/3/4/5-years) such that you have access to part of the ladder each year, but your blended interest rate is higher than a savings account. When one CD matures, use that money to buy another 5-year CD to keep the ladder going. Some CDs also offer “add-ons” where you can deposit more funds if rates drop.

  • Abound Credit Union has a 59-month Share Certificate at 1.35% APY ($500 min). Early withdrawal penalty is 1 year of interest (and only with the consent of the credit union, so be aware). Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization ($10 one-time fee).
  • NASA Federal Credit Union has a special 49-month Share Certificate at 1.60% APY ($10,000 min of new funds). Early withdrawal penalty is 1 year of interest. Anyone can join this credit union by joining the National Space Society (free). However, NASA FCU will perform a hard credit check as part of new member application.
  • Lafayette Federal Credit Union has a 5-year CD at 1.26% APY ($500 min). Early withdrawal penalty is 6 months of interest. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization ($10 one-time fee).
  • You can buy certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. You may need an account to see the rates. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance and easy laddering, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. Right now, I see a 5-year CD at 1.15% APY. Be wary of higher rates from callable CDs listed by Fidelity.

Longer-term Instruments
I’d use these with caution due to increased interest rate risk, but I still track them to see the rest of the current yield curve.

  • Willing to lock up your money for 10 years? You can buy long-term certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. You might find something that pays more than your other brokerage cash and Treasury options. Right now, I see a 10-year CD at 2.00% APY vs. 1.53% for a 10-year Treasury. Watch out for higher rates from callable CDs from Fidelity.
  • How about two decades? Series EE Savings Bonds are not indexed to inflation, but they have a unique guarantee that the value will double in value in 20 years, which equals a guaranteed return of 3.5% a year. However, if you don’t hold for that long, you’ll be stuck with the normal rate which is quite low (currently 0.10%). I view this as a huge early withdrawal penalty. But if holding for 20 years isn’t an issue, it can also serve as a hedge against prolonged deflation during that time. Purchase limit is $10,000 each calendar year for each Social Security Number. As of 11/3/2021, the 20-year Treasury Bond rate was 2.01%.

All rates were checked as of 11/3/2021.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.