Banking Deals of the Week: Dec. 23


Bank investors looking for better deals are of two minds these days. Take the holidays off and wait and see what happens in January, or dig around and see what financial institutions have left in customers’ holiday stockings.

It’s the latter group, as usual, that holds the interest of Deals of the Week. Like the old Irish pub adage that “it’s always five o’clock somewhere,” there’s always a good deal to be had, right here and now.

Savings Accounts

Let’s start with the “what’s in your wallet” gang over at Capital One (Stock Quote: COF). The credit card giant has a good deal on its Interest PLUS savings account, the thrust of which is you essentially get paid twice by getting interest on the account, and a bonus on the interest, as well.

Here’s the skinny from the Capital One Web site:

It’s a two-step process.

  1. Earn a 1.6% APY on account balances of $2,500 or more.
  2. Earn a quarterly 10% bonus on interest earned.

That’s pretty much it.

There is a catch here, however. You either have to keep $15,000 in savings in the account to qualify, or use a Capital One credit card at least once a month. So the deal makes more sense to Capital One cardholders.

Check the Web site for more details.

Credit Cards

Citi (Stock Quote: C) has an interesting offer this holiday season. Its Citi Platinum Select MasterCard now comes with a 0% APR for the first nine months you use the card.

The platinum card is fairly popular with customers looking to score discounts on things like airline travel, tickets to concerts and merchandise. There are no fees attached to the card.

The 0% APR for nine months adds to the package. But after the nine months expires, you’ll go right back to the card’s standard APR, which is either 11.99%, 15.99% or 19.99% based on your credit history.

Get all the details at the Citi Web site.

Checking Account

It’s back to Capital One Bank, which is offering a $300 bonus when you open a new free checking account with Capital One’s SmartCents program. The SmartCents account essentially enables you to automatically plow money into your savings account when you make a purchase using your Capital One Bank debit card or make a bill payment online.

Under the terms of the agreement, you’ll earn $15 on your first direct deposit and $15 using your first online bill pay. Then you earn another $270 by using SmartCents Savings.

According to the Capital One Bank web site, every time you use that debit card, or make that payment online, 50 cents from your checking account is switched over to your savings account. For the first 90 days, Capital One will match the Smart Cents transfer, penny to penny. After three months, Capital One will still toss a 5% match to any balance transfer amounts.

It sounds complicated but it’s really not. Get all of the details here.

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