Banking Deals of the Week: August 26


A new survey from Ally Bank reports that 77% of respondents – all U.S. bank customers – say they are cutting back on spending and looking to increase their bank deposits.

Almost half of all survey respondents (47%) say they have shopped around for better certificate of deposit rates this year.

Yes, it’s all about supply and demand. Bank customers have certainly supplied the demand, but banks have been slow on the supply side of the equation.

At least Ally Bank – the survey sponsor – is getting off the dime. The bank is offering a one-year CD that boasts a 2% interest rate. The bank is also offering a nine-month CD that pays a rate of 1.85%.

Both are pretty good deals, considering that the one-year CD rate, as measured by the BankingMyWay National CD Rate tracker, is only 1.13%.

What do you need to do to get the Ally deal? Not much, really. There are no minimum account deposits, no monthly fees and interest is compounded daily for “maximum earnings,” as Ally puts it.

Find out more at the Ally Web site.

Ally is also offering a 1.85% APY on a nine-month CD, which is a highly competitive rate.

Bank Savings Accounts

Discover Bank (Stock Quote: DFS) says it has a bank savings account deal that is – and we quote – “five times the national average” for bank savings accounts.

Well, it turns out they can back it up. Discover’s new online savings account is now paying 2.0% interest – all you need is a minimum opening deposit of $500.

Once you plant the first $500 into the savings account, there won’t be any more minimum balance triggers. You’ll earn one interest rate on all balances, you’ll get interest that is compounded daily, and there are no low- or no-activity fees.

This is directly from the bank’s Web site: “The APY for the Online Savings Account as of Aug. 25 is more than five times the national average APY for interest-bearing savings accounts with balances of $500 as reported by Informa Research Services, Inc as of Aug. 18.”

Note, however, the following disclaimer from Discover. “Annual Percentage Yield (APY). APY applies to personal accounts only. Online Savings Account rate based on a $500 minimum balance. Rate may change after account is opened. Fees could reduce earnings on the account. Advertised rate is valid as of 08/25/2009 and subject to change daily without notice.”

For more details, visit the Discover Web site.

Bank Savings & Checking Accounts

Some more competitive savings and checking account yields are beginning to pop up along the bank industry landscape.

How about Alliant Credit Union, which offers a 2% APY on its platform savings account and 1.75% APY on its platform checking account? The rates are good at least through September.

Yes, it’s a long drop from the 4.85% savings rate that Alliant offered at the start of 2008, but it’s not like the credit union has a monopoly on cliff-diving deposit rates.

The credit union pays dividends on daily balances of $100 and up, and there is no maximum balance limit.

To get the good checking account rate, you’ll need to opt out of paper bank statements (not really a big deal these days) and you must make at least one monthly electronic deposit into your bank account.

You’ll also need to be a national PTA member to join, but a $25 membership fee covers that. Expect a hard credit check to qualify, as well.
Check for more details here.

For the best bank interest rate details, check out

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