Searching for yield? Join the club. Money’s Two Cents got lots of comments to a posting earlier this week on where to find decent yields if you’re lucky enough to have cash to stash away and want to earn more than the measly rates most major banks are offering. Some readers shared details on attractive offers they found while others suggested places to search in addition to the websites I mentioned. However, as some readers pointed out, I neglected to note that some of the highest-yielding accounts come with strings attached. I’m not talking about banks dangling teaser rates that disappear after a month or two (those are out there too but obviously aren’t worth your time). But most of the reward checking accounts offering rates in the 4% to 6% range cap your balance at $25,000 to $50,000, require a minimum deposit and a certain number of debit card transactions per month. Those requirements may not be deal breakers for you but I should have pointed out the restrictions so you know what to look for in the fine print. Some commentators also found the posting short on specific deals, so I’ll highlight a few attractive offers I found at Bank Deals:
- GMAC Bank is offering a one-year CD with a 2.95% annual percentage yield (APY) or a three year CD for 3% APY, both with a $500 minimum deposit
- Navy Federal Credit Union is offering a six-month CD with a 3% annual yield with a $2500 minimum deposit or 3.25% APY for a $10,000 deposit
- Erie Federal Credit Union has a rewards checking account with a 5.11% annual interest yield for accounts with balances of $500 to $25,000. You must sign up for electronic (not paper) statements, pay at least one bill a month with Erie’s Free EZ Bill Pay and have at least 15 debit transactions a month from that account.
Make sure that whatever institution you decide to bank with is insured by the FDIC or the National Credit Union Administration, which covers credit union deposits. Deposit insurance covers up to $250,000 per account (higher for some joint and retirement accounts) until the end of this year, then reverts back to $100,000 per account unless Congress or regulators extend the higher insurance limits. To make sure you’re covered, go to FDIC’s Bank Find page or NCUA’s Find A Credit Union tab. – Donna Rosato