Banking Deals of the Week: Oct. 27

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It’s a weird interest rate environment right now.

Check out Monday’s five-year inflation-index Treasury auction, where the bonds were sold at a negative yield.

That’s the first time that that has ever happened, but it’s also a sign of the times. The bonds, more formally known as Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), were offered at a negative 0.55% yield. But they were snapped up quickly, with $10 billion worth of TIPS sold. Investors are apparently betting that inflation will rise, and if so, they’ll be paid a premium by Uncle Sam.

It’s all about protection and asset preservation these days, and that’s driving investors into the bond market – even if it means accepting negative yields. Bank rate investors may recall the old Chinese proverb, “may you live in interesting times,” but this is getting ridiculous.

Now, onto the best deals this week.

Checking Accounts

Chase (Stock Quote: JPM) is back with a “golden oldie,” a $100 cash reward for opening a business checking account. The deal is a staple at Chase, and it comes and goes on a regular basis. But it’s back for now and you can cash in on it easily.

Chase business checking has proven popular with entrepreneurs, who like being able to deposit multiple checks at an ATM, and their ability to accept checks via their iPhones (among other account features).

So it’s not like you’re diving into a low-service account when you chase that C-note.

Here’s how to get the deal:

1. Visit this Chase website

2. Bring your forms to the nearest Chase branch.

3. Open a new business checking account with a minimum $1,000 deposit.

The offer expires Oct. 30 though, so get going. If you want a decent checking account that will earn you $100 in the process, the Chase deal is worth looking into.

Learn more here.

Savings Account

ING Direct (Stock Quote: ING) is another perennial here at Deals of the Week.

The bank’s “Orange” savings account routinely offers good deals and this week is no exception. Right now, you can get a 1.10% yield on an Orange Savings account, with no fees and no minimum deposits.

Considering that the average U.S. bank savings account rate is 0.185%, as measured by the BankingMyWay Savings Rate tracker, you’re way ahead of the game with the ING savings account rate.

Here’s what the bank says about the deal:

Watch Your Savings Grow. Earn a variable 1.10% Annual Percentage Yield (effective 04/06/2010). Open an Orange Savings Account today.

The Orange Savings Account

  • High Interest, No Fees, No Minimums - All your money goes to work for you.
  • No Changing Banks - It electronically links to your current checking account. Transfers are free and easy.
  • FDIC Insured - Your deposits are FDIC–insured up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • Quick Application - Start saving in less than 5 minutes.

Get the full scoop here.

Direct Deposit

Baltimore-based 1st Mariner Bank is offering $150 when you open a “Classic Direct Deposit Account.”

Just open an account with at least a $200 minimum deposit. To get the $150, you’ll need to make at least one direct deposit over 90 days (not exactly a big stretch). You’ll not only get the $150, but you’ll also get another $50 if you recommend a friend.

You’ll also receive the following perks:

  • No minimum balance, monthly fee or per check charge.
  • Free online banking and online bill pay.
  • Free Visa Check Card and Harland/Clark Checks.

Do beware the fine print, however. If you close the account within 90 days, you’ll be charged a $15 fee. The APY, at 0.50%, is only so-so, and note that there is only one “payout” bonus per account. Plus, we’ve learned that applicants who have had their credit checked three times in one year are being denied access to the direct deposit deal.

You can open an account online or over the phone. Check it out online here.

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

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