Banking Deals of the Week: April 21

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Historically low interest rates have dealt a blow to bank investors up and down the demographic line, but one age group has really taken it on the chin during the Great Recession — and that’s older bank investors.

It’s no secret that seniors rely on interest income to pay the bills. With rates so anemic — Charles Schwab (Stock Quote: SCHW) points out that many senior citizens are earning one-quarter of what they would have earned on the same interest bank investments only five years ago — seniors are really suffering from the bank interest recession.

According to figures released by Charles Schwab himself, and published in The Wall Street Journal last week, a retiree who had socked away $100,000 in savings could earn an extra $5,400 on a one-year CD back in 2006 (with a rate of 5.4%).

With one-year CD rates hovering lower (at 1.3%), that same retiree would only accumulate an extra $1,300 per year.

So if anyone could use a big pickup in bank rates, it’s our nation’s seniors.

Credit Cards

Let’s start this week with a few decent credit card deals.

The first comes from Pentagon Federal Credit Union — a credit union that Deals of the Week has covered before.

This week, Pentagon Federal is out with a slew of good credit card deals, most notably the PenFed Promise Visa (Stock Quote: V) Card, which features a wickedly low 7.49% APR for the first 36 months.

After that, the APY mirrors the national prime rate, which sits at about 10% right now.

The deal is only good through April 30, so you only have about two weeks until the curtain is pulled down. The good news is that it doesn’t take long to join the credit union and get the deal.

Find out how here.

Student Credit Cards

We haven’t written about student credit card deals for months, so let’s jump back on the college-bound bandwagon and take a gander at the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students.

The card comes with an appealing 5% cash-back feature, along with an introductory APR of 0%.

Credit limits may be low, depending on your credit history (struggling college students can always get Mom or Dad to co-sign), but Citi (Stock Quote: C) is willing to lift limits after you show a few months of on-time bill payments.

According to the Citi Web site, you earn the 5% cash back at student-friendly retailers like supermarkets, drugstores and restaurants for a period of six months, and then you earn 2% after that.

As for the 0% APR, you earn that low rate for the first seven months you have your card.

There is no co-signor or annual fee required.

Check it out at the Citi Web site.

Personal Checking

SunTrust Bank (Stock Quote: STI) has a $50 bonus cash-back offer on its new SunTrust Personal Checking account.

There are, as always, some hang-ups. To get your mitts on the $50, you must make three online payments within two months of opening the account.

But you can earn another $50 by continuing to make three online payments during the next three months.

The deal expires April 30 and both new and current SunTrust clients are eligible. Get the full details here.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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