Monday, February 11, 2008
Emigrant to HC: You're stuck with me, baby.
So, I've had a long (and fairly fruitful) relationship with EmigrantDirect, the bank holding my condo fund. While never the leader of the pack in rates, they remained reasonably competitive for a long time. More importantly, they covered my other needs for online savings: good beneficiary service, a clean and usable interface, the ability to use BOTH direct deposit and ACH for transactions, and prompt issuance of statements.

But in the wide-spread rate cuts of the past few months, they've slipped precipitously, down to 3.6%. So I thought I'd take a look at other options. I started, as you do, with BankDeals' weekly summary. Surely I could find something comparable?

I found 31 banks offering rates better than Emigrant. That seems like a lot.

* OneUnited - 5.15% (min $1K)($50 bonus)
* Countrywide - 4.75% (min $10K)
* EverBank - 4.51% ($1.5K min), 3mo promo
* Corus Bank - 4.32% MMA (min $10K)
* Washington Mutual - 4.25% (requires checking)
* Grand Yield Direct - 4.25% (min $2.5K)
* WTDirect - 4.15% ($10K min)
* Zions Bank - 4.08% MMA, outside of Utah, (min $1K)
* UmbrellaBank - 4.02% MMA (min $1K)
* Capital One - 4.00% (Savings) (min $10K)
* Citibank - 4.00%, requires checking account and bill pay usage
* BankUnited - 4.00% (min $5K)
* Heartland Bank Direct - 3.80%, ($500 min)
* Doral Bank Direct - 3.75% (min $1K)
* FirstFedDirect - 3.75% (min $1K) (closed to CA residents)
* E-LOAN - 3.75% ($5K min), account review
* CapitalOne/Costco - 3.70% MMA (min $5K, Costco members only, $50 deal for exec. members)

But as you can see, a lot of these offers were eliminated on their face because I refuse to accept more than $200 as a minimum threshold (I'm going to take most of this money OUT eventually), and because I refuse to set up another checking account.

I was left with:

* Century Bank Direct - 4.54% (min $100)--No ACH transfer system.
* Provident Direct - 4.50%--No ACH transfer system.
* GCF Bank - 4.47% (min $100), 3-mo promo--Only a promo rate, and no ACH transfer system.
* ETrade Bank - 4.40%, post ($25 bonus)--Great, but I already hold an account with them. I believe in Murphy's Law, so I don't like having all of my savings in one place.
* Alliant Credit Union - 4.35% (min $100)--I don't appear to meet eligibility requirements.
* Flagstar - 4.25% MMA--Hard credit pull and rapid rate drops.
* Savings Square - 4.25%--No direct deposit, just ACH.
* iGobanking - 4.20%--Reportedly a very slow opening process.
* ShoreBank - 4.15% ($25 bonus)--Potential hard credit pull, and NO beneficiary designation (a total dealbreaker).
* AmTrustDirect - 4.10% (e-Savings)--Hard credit pull.
* M&T Bank - 4.05%--No ACH transfer system and a hard credit pull.
* AmboyDirect - 4.00% post ($25 bonus)--No information on direct deposit.
* UFB Direct - 4.00%--No free ACH transfers, potential hard credit pull.
* FNBO Direct - 3.85%--For that differential, is it even worth it?

I'd consider iGobanking if the opening were better, AmTrustDirect if it didn't have a hard credit pull (why should you ding my credit score if I'm loaning YOU money?!?), and AmboyDirect if I could do direct deposit. But none of these seem like a perfect substitute that would merit risking three or four days of lost interest.

If you have experience with any of the three, or have an account somewhere that I should consider, let me know. Otherwise, I guess I'm staying with ED.



Blogger SJean said...

If you are willing to consider money market funds, Vanguard Prime Money Market seems to have a consistently solid rate. But, money markets aren't FDIC insured. It does allow direct deposit. Oh, 3k minimum, so I suppose that is a deal breaker. Anyway, it is what I chose after the recent rate drops.

Have you looked at WaMu?

Blogger HC said...

SJean--As you said, that's a pretty high minimum, but I might consider it in a few years.

And WaMu has a checking account requirement. Maybe that shouldn't be such a big hoop, but it seems unnecessary to me.

Blogger BK said...

have you tried any credit unions? there are several who are offering a great rate

Post a Comment

<< Home