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Banking

Quick Update to Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

I’ve updated the list of online savings and checking account interest rates. This list includes some of the more popular “online banks” as well as a few high-interest accounts from brick-and-mortar banks designed to compete with those online banks. Let me know if you have a favorite online money market account that isn’t listed.

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Wachovia to Start Charging for Direct Access to Quicken

by Luke Landes

Along with my monthly checking and savings account statement, I received the following notice in the mail: Important Message for Personal Account Holders Who Use Quicken, QuickBooks, or Microsoft Money Beginning April 1, 2007, a monthly fee of $5.95 will be assessed if you access Wachovia Online Banking directly from within your personal financial management ... Continue reading this article…

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HSBC Direct Has a New Website

by Luke Landes

If you visited HSBC Direct today, you may have noticed their new website. It has a new, Flashier look and easier access to features, like savings calculators. Once you log in to check your account, you’re presented with the same interface that has been around, at least since the time I opened my account last ... Continue reading this article…

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The Bank Deposits $1,000,000 Into Your Savings Account…

by Luke Landes

On the local news last night, I caught one of those lighter stories, used for filler when the channel’s news producer can’t seem to find other news that will attract viewers. A bank mistakenly deposited $1,000,000 into a woman’s savings account. She was not happy about it, and the bank was not taking back the ... Continue reading this article…

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News Flash: Emigrant Direct Lowers Interest Rate From 5.15% to 5.05% APY

by Luke Landes

I just got work that Emigrant Direct has lowered the interest rate offered on the bank’s savings account from an APY of 5.15 percent to 5.05 percent. This trend might continue, so those who want to lock in high rates may want to start transferring any cash they won’t need for some time into CDs or other ... Continue reading this article…

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Savings Interest Rates May Go Down Soon

by Luke Landes

It’s the biggest cliffhanger since Colin Baker literally hung off a cliff to end a truly bad episode of Doctor Who. On August 8, the Fed will meet and decide whether to raise interest rates. Traders think there’s a 76 percent chance the fed will pause the rate hikes, for at least the time being. I ... Continue reading this article…

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New, Improved Process For Opening an Emigrant Direct Account

by Luke Landes

You would think that in this day and age of advanced technology, banking institutions that operate primarily online would have processes in place that don’t rely on snail-mail and centuries-old, outdated technology. I wrote about my experience opening an account at Emigrant Direct over a year ago, and it was tedious. When Emigrant Direct opened ... Continue reading this article…

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The 5.0% APY Threshold: The New Hotness

by Luke Landes

If your savings account isn’t providing you 5.0 percent or more at this point, you can consider it old and busted. A few banks have raised their interest rates on “online” savings accounts lately, so take a look at the latest chart. Emigrant Direct moved to 5.15 percent today, but you may have problems accessing their new ... Continue reading this article…

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Emigrant Direct’s New Website is Up!

by Luke Landes

I arrived home a little earlier, and while writing my first paper for my last class before obtaining my master’s degree, I decided to check out Emigrant Direct’s new website. There has been a lot of talk over on an earlier entry about how many have not been able to access the website and have ... Continue reading this article…

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Mail Check: Some “Goodies” Arrived for Me

by Luke Landes

I’ve been away from my apartment for almost a week, so I had a few goodies waiting for me upon my arrival home yesterday. I received a letter from Emigrant Direct with my activation code for their new website to be launched next Monday. Also, they included a notice that they will be raising their ... Continue reading this article…

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Emigrant Direct is Latest to Break 5%

by Luke Landes

Some of you may have heard already, but over the weekend, Emigrant Direct raised the interest offered on its savings account, resulting in 5.0 percent APY. They’re trailing the leader, HSBC Direct, by only 5 basis points (0.05 percentage points).

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Emigrant Direct Gets a New Website

by Luke Landes

One of the biggest complaints with Emigrant Direct is their website, which is less than innovative when compared to others, like ING Direct. Today I received communication (well, a letter) with some good news: Our new website and “state of the art” new security system will be activated in June. The enhanced site reflects comments ... Continue reading this article…

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Several Banks Increase Their Savings Rates

by Luke Landes

In the last few weeks, several banks increased the interest offered on their savings accounts. On Friday, I updated the chart. Feel free to let me know if you hear of any updates before I get to them. There were increases to CitiBank, GMAC, Emigrant Direct, and Capital One. More details are here.

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Investing in Banks is Boring But Sexy

by Luke Landes

Fortune Magazine is happy about bank stocks, and it comes down to dividends. The dividends bank stocks pay to their shareholders beat the averages and increase every year, far above the rate of inflation. Presumably banks can offer this because they don’t necessarily need to reinvest earnings in much research and development, like a technology ... Continue reading this article…

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Get More From Your Money

by Luke Landes

There have been some changes for high-yield “internet” savings accounts, typically unavailable directly in a brick-and-mortar bank and only available through online applications. Presidential Bank is now leading the pack with a 4.87 percent APY for the first $35,000 of your balance. Unfortunately, this account requires a minimum balance of $5,000. CitiBank eSavings is not far ... Continue reading this article…

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Online Savings Accounts in the New York Times

by Luke Landes

The New York Times catches on to what bloggers have been talking about for years: online savings accounts earn more interest and are overall much better than the paltry traditional savings account. ING Direct led the newest initiatives in the United States in 2000, when it introduced the Orange account, and until recently it had ... Continue reading this article…

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GMAC Online Savings Account

by Luke Landes

Flatbeer asked me: GMAC raised the interest rate to 4.75 percent ($500 min). I checked the general FAQ and you can now download account info into Quicken & Money. With electronic transfers, downloadable account info, checks, AND a VISA check card, I would think that most people would choose this option for an online money market ... Continue reading this article…

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Raising Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

Everyone is affected by raising interest rates, but different people are affected in different ways. CNN Money describes how a typical American (homeowner, spender, etc.) is affected by interest rates. Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing money; the prices paid by institutions trickle down to the consumer. So if you’re in the market ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Raises Rate

by Luke Landes

ING Direct is now offering 4.0 percent APY on their savings account. The table of high checking and savings account rates has been updated, and ING is still on the bottom.

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Emigrant Direct Interest Rate Moves Up

by Luke Landes

Here’s a quick note to mention that Emigrant Direct increased the interst rate offered on its no-minimum savings account to 4.5 percent annual yield. More rates are listed here. I don’t participate in extreme rate-hunting. My savings is split between Emigrant Direct and ING Direct, who have both been slow in competing with HSBC Direct and ... Continue reading this article…

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