Banking Deals of the Week: Nov. 10

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Are the banks conspiring to bring saving rates down?

Eyebrows are sure to raise when three good-sized banks lower their deposit rates. In fact, the three banks – Sallie Mae Bank, Ally Bank, and EverBank – are known as some of the more aggressive financial institutions when it comes to popping out high deposit rates.

But now they’ve gone and done exactly the opposite. Each took a healthy cut out of their rate offerings, according to BankTracker.com:

  • Sallie Mae Bank cut its certificate of deposit rates by up to 0.30%, and its savings account rate by 0.10%.
  • Ally slashed its money market account interest rate and its online savings account rate from 1.24% to 1.19%. It also slightly cut CD rates.
  • EverBank reduced its Yield Pledge Checking Account on a tiered basis (depending on how much money you have in the account). The highest cuts were by up to 0.15%.

With the Federal Reserve announcing last week that interest rates would stay near zero, more and more banks are comfortable pulling back on interest rates. That’s obviously discouraging news for bank savers, and it’s all the more reason to be a regular reader of our Banking Deals of the Week.

To get the best rates, you’re just going to have to keep your eyes on the prize, and that’s something we do for you every Wednesday.

Bank Checking

Let’s start with a nice bargain from First New England Federal Credit Union. It’s a 3.51% APY for the credit union’s high rate Checking Rewards account. The deal is for new members. Here's what you get:

  • A 3.51% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) paid on balances between one cent and $15,000, and 0.250% APY paid on all amounts above $15,000 each cycle the minimum requirements are met for Relationship Account Members.
  • A 2.498% APY on balances between $0.01 and $15,000, and 0.250% APY on all amounts above $15,000 each cycle the minimum requirements are met for non-Relationship Account Members.

If you don’t meet those requirements, you’ll still be eligible for free checking with a 0.10% APY. But you won’t get any ATM refunds for the period if you do not meet the requirements. At least there is no minimum balance required.

Bank CDs

Ally Bank is currently offering an 11 month CD at 1.28% yield, with a “no-fee for early withdrawal” sweetener to boot.

That rate compares well with other major banks, such as Bank of America (Stock Quote: BAC), which has a nine month CD at 0.35% APY. The national average for one-year CDs is 0.557%, as measured by the BankingMyWay Weekly CD Rate tracker.

Ally says there are “no fees whatsoever” and you can open the account with any minimum balance you want.

Credit Cards

Discover (Stock Quote DSC) is out with a Double Cashback Bonus for credit card customers who make an online shopping purchase between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31.

The deal is good for all purchases up to $1,000 for the time period stated above. Just register your card and you get 2% cash back on any online purchase, as long as all purchases are posted to your Discover card account by Dec. 31. Apparently it will take about five weeks after the purchase for the bonus to hit your credit card account.

Discover also has a similar deal for air travelers: You can sign up to earn Double Miles on web purchases totaling up to $1,000 from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, though again you may have to wait up to five weeks for your reward miles to show up on your Cashback Bonus account.

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

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