Banking Deals of the Week: Jan. 20

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Politics, especially the big vote yesterday in Massachusetts, where Republican Scott Brown crashed the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Democrat Ted Kennedy, has dominated the headlines during the first few weeks of January.

But for deal junkies, who we love here at BankingMyWay, there’s actually some news beyond the political front — decent traction in the bank rate market. One reason: after the holidays, Americans usually go back into their shells and count their pennies. So credit card issuers, banks and other financial institutions have to get more aggressive about earning their business.

We’re seeing some evidence of that this week.

Hence, an uptick in good banking deals — and we have some of the best here at Deals of the Week.

Credit Cards

First up on the block this week is the credit card sector, where Capital One (Stock Quote: COF) has an interesting post-holiday card bargain through its “No Hassles” credit card.

The card allows you to earn double miles on purchases over $1,000 per month. Even if you don’t get to the $1,000 level, the Capital One card still gives you one-mile-per-dollar up to the first $1,000 you spend.

The card also comes with that increasingly rarest of creatures — an 0% APR until December (then a 13.9% variable interest rate after that). According to the card’s Web site, you can use the miles for any travel expense, cash back and even gift cards.

For more information, check out the Capital One Web site.

Bank Accounts

Citizens Bank is out with a program that gives you green if you go green by using your debit card instead of writing an earth-unfriendly paper-based check.

In effect, Citizens will pay you up to $120 each year by signing up for the bank’s “Greensense” personal checking account. The money comes from a 10-cent rebate every time you use your debit card, pay a bill online or have an automatic payment deducted from your checking account.

The bank ups the pot to $360 annually if you sign up for the Greensense credit card.

Stating that “we’ll pay you for doing the right thing,” the bank says you’ll earn the $120, plus you will...

  • Automatically be enrolled in online banking with free bill pay;
  • Receive paperless statements and notices;
  • Receive a Green$ense debit card made from recycled plastic.

Get more info here.

Certificates of Deposit

Getting back to Massachusetts, home to that important Senate election, a local Bay State bank is offering a highly-competitive certificate of deposit rate that deserves your vote.

Country Bank for Savings is offering a suite of CD offerings with rates significantly higher than the national average — and anyone in the U.S. can get in on the action.

Here’s the deal. According to the BankingMyWay Weekly CD Rate Tracker, six-, 12- and 24-month CD rates currently reside at the following levels:

  • Six-month CDs – 0.58%
  • 12-month CDs – 0.87%
  • 24-month CDs – 1.32%

Country Bank ups the ante with its CD rates (as follows)

  • Six-month CD – 1.6%
  • 15-month CD – 2%
  • 24-month CD – 2.25%

The minimum deposit rate is $500, and you’ll earn an extra 25 basis points on each CD if you can sustain a $1,000 checking account with monthly direct deposit.

To hammer out the details, call (800)322-8233 or visit the bank's Web site.

Note that the bank says that all rates are subject to change without notice.

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

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