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Amboy Direct offers an eSavings account with a competitive rate and a $50 bonus. Get all of the details in our Amboy Direct review.

amboy direct review

There’s a chance to get a cash bonus of $50 if you’re planning to open a new interest-earning bank account.

Banking Deal: Earn 1.30% APY on an FDIC-insured savings account at Synchrony Bank.

Amboy Direct is offering a limited-time bonus for new customers of its eSavings account program. This bonus comes in addition to the program’s everyday high yield rate. You don’t have to change banks or get rid of your existing checking account to take advantage of this bonus offer. Your new Amboy digital-banking account can be linked to your existing checking account.

Amboy Direct eSavings Interest Rate

Amboy offers semi-competitive interest rates as long as you have at least $300 in your account. Account holders with balances of between $300 and $2,999 are given an APY of 0.30%. Accounts with balances between $3,000 and $100,000 are given an APY of 0.90%. Accounts with $300 or less don’t earn any interest. It should be noted that APY may change daily.

Amboy Direct eSavings Account

An Amboy eSavings account is essentially a high yield savings account that utilizes the tools and perks offered by online banking. What is notable about the accounts provided by Amboy Direct is that they’re all backed by competitive APY’s. You can essentially take advantage of the high rates of a CD without being forced to lock up your money. Customers are able to move money between an existing checking account and an eSavings account with ease.

Amboy claims that customers can earn 40 times more with an Amboy eSavings account than with accounts offered by major banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Amboy is able to offer higher rates than most traditional banks because everything is done strictly online and there is no need to devote resources to managing banking branches. However, Amboy Direct is a division of Amboy Bank. This means that customers get to enjoy the confidence of working with a banking institution that’s been around since 1888 while they take advantage of a cutting-edge online banking solution.

What are some of the things you should know about how an eSavings account from Amboy Direct works? These accounts are relatively easy to open and maintain. Here’s a look at the basics:

  • Pays monthly interest
  • No fees
  • Available to customers nationwide
  • Requires a minimum initial deposit of $100
  • Backed by FDIC insurance up to $250,000 per depositor
  • Provides 24-hour access for money transfers between accounts
  • Allows for automatic transfers to be scheduled
  • Account balance is limited to $100,000 per client

Opening an Amboy Direct eSavings Account

You can apply for an Amboy Direct account at any time online. You will begin earning interest on your money the next day after you are approved. Here’s a glance at some of the basics you’ll need to know before applying:

  • Accounts are open to United States citizens who are at least 18 years old
  • A valid Social Security number is required
  • Accounts must be opened using an initial deposit from a personal account that has check-writing privileges
  • Your initial deposit will be available for withdrawal after seven business days
  • Amboy Direct will automatically initiate two small transactions to your personal checking account for verification when you fill out an application
  • How to Get Your $50 Bonus From Amboy Direct

The Amboy eSavings New Client offer can be accessed here. Interested customers must submit an email address to receive a code to activate the offer. What if you don’t use email? You can call 1-877-22AMBOY to inquire about the bonus.

Amboy Direct $50 Bonus Rules

There are some requirements to be eligible to receive the bonus. A minimum monthly average balance of $3,000 or more must be maintained for at least 90 days. The $50 bonus will be credited to your account during the next statement cycle after you reach the requirement. Only one offer can be used per household. While Amboy has been offering this deal for quite a long time, there’s no guarantee that it will be around forever.

Using Your Amboy Direct eSavings Account

Your Amboy account can be viewed online around the clock. Only you can access your Amboy Direct account. Logging in will require an access ID and password. Online statements are emailed to customers on a quarterly basis. All current transactions will be listed for you to see whenever you’re logged into your account.

In addition to managing your account online, you can also manage funds directly from your keyboard. Amboy Direct offers a state-of-the-art system for completing bank-to-bank transfers. This means that you can move funds between your existing checking account and your Amboy Direct account with the simple click of a mouse. You will have the option to move money back and forth between the two accounts with ease. You can also manually enter the amount that you want to move when you’re logged into your account.

Electronic transfers made to your non-Amboy checking account will take about two to three business days to be completed. You will be able to make transfers up to six times per month. While Amboy Direct doesn’t charge any fees, the bank that your checking account is associated with may charge its own fees.

There are a few things to be cautious about when you open an online account with Amboy Direct. Amboy is extremely strict when it comes to maintaining a minimum balance in your account. An account will be closed immediately any time a balance drops down to $0. This is a big thing to watch out for because any accrued interest in your account will be automatically forfeited when that happens. In addition, you will forfeit all interest that has built up in your account if your balance dips below $1.

Is the Amboy Direct eSavings Account a Good Option?

Amboy’s eSavings accounts offer a relatively straightforward and consistent way to earn interest without doing any heavy investing or working with a financial consultant. It’s a good alternative to CDs and similar financial products if having access to your money without penalties or extra steps is important to you.

The fact that you are able to earn interest without any monthly fees definitely gives this option a boost if you’re comparing what different banks are advertising. Amboy offers a good setup if you’re interested in handling banking completely online. Anyone who prefers to meet with representatives in person or visit branches when they have issues or questions will be disappointed to know that Amboy Direct does not have any physical locations that can be visited. It is possible to speak with a service consultant over the phone by calling Amboy’s toll-free number.

The one thing that detracts from the allure of Amboy is the company’s punitive policy regarding balance totals. Customers really need to keep a close eye on their balances if they think totals could dip down to below $1. The fact that accounts can be cancelled and gained interest will be forfeited is definitely a big drawback to an otherwise beneficial and positive online banking option.

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Get the best bank bonuses, promos and deals with this regularly updated list of bank signup promotions.

best bank bonuses

When opening a bank account, there are a few things you should be looking for: low (or no) fees, the highest interest rates possible, and promotional bonus offers.

With the latter, you can often score free money without doing anything extra. I don’t know about you, but that’s a win in my book! After all, promotional bonus cash is better than the free toasters that your local branch used to hand out, wouldn’t you agree? You may also want to check out the best online savings accounts.

Here is a list of our favorite bank deals that are available right now:

1. TD Bank Premier Checking–Get $300

This is a pretty simple bonus to earn, as long as you’re able to meet their minimum requirements. It’s available to new personal checking customers in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and Vermont.

All you need to do is:

  • Visit TD Bank’s website and sign up for a new TD Bank Premier Checking account.
  • Set up and receive $2,500+ in direct deposits within the first 60 days of opening your account.

After you meet those requirements, TD Bank will deposit your $300 bonus into your new account.

Note: the TD Bank Premier Checking accounts do have a monthly service fee of $15. This can be waived if you keep a daily balance of at least $100.

2. Chase Total Checking® & Chase Savings–Get up to $350

This $350 bonus actually consists of two separate bonus offers. They can be combined or used separately, depending on your needs. Both offers together total $350 in free cash.

  • Get up to $350 when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account with Direct Deposit and/or open a new Chase SavingsSM account, deposit $ 10,000 or more in new money and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
  • Receive a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Get a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase SavingsSM account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
  • Access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs and 5,100 branches
  • Mobile check deposit–It’s as easy as taking a selfie.
  • Access Chase QuickPay®– Take the drama out of splitting a check.
  • Real-time fraud monitoring–We watch your debit-card to help your money stay your money.
  • Expires 01.08.2018

Note: Chase Total Checking® accounts do have a $12 monthly fee. This can be avoided if you a) have monthly direct deposits totaling $500+ made to the account, b) keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500+ in the account, OR c) keep an average daily balance of $5,000+ in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings, and other balances.

Note: Chase SavingsSM accounts do have a $5 monthly fee. This can be avoided by a) keeping a daily balance of $300+ in your savings account, b) have at least one repeating, scheduled transfer of $25+ from your Chase personal checking account (this needs to be scheduled through Chase OnlineSM Banking), OR c) have a linked Chase Premier Plus CheckingSM, Chase Premier Platinum CheckingSM, or Chase Private Client CheckingSM account.

This offer is in-branch only! In order to be eligible for these bonuses, you’ll need to print the coupon the send you online. Then, take that coupon in to your local Chase branch to open the new account(s).  Once you complete these steps for each of the two new accounts, you’ll have earned a whopping $350 in free cash! Not a bad deal.

3. Chase Premier Plus Checking–Get $300 

This offer is different from the one above. Instead of the Total Checking account mentioned in #2, this offer is for the next tier up: the Chase Premier Plus Checking account.

  • Enjoy $300 as a new Chase checking customer, when you open a Chase Premier Plus Checking(SM) account and set up direct deposit
  • Get $300, more benefits, and earn interest on your new Chase checking account.
  • The $25 Monthly Service Fee is waived when you keep an average beginning day balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances
  • No Chase fee on first four non-Chase ATM transactions per statement period
  • Earn interest on your checking account balance.
  • Access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs and 5,100 branches
  • Deposit checks from virtually anywhere, anytime, just by taking a photo with our Chase Mobile® app.
  • Expires 01.08.2018

After completing all three of these steps, Chase will deposit your $300 bonus into the new account within 10 business days. If you close this account within the first six months, however, they will deduct the full bonus amount from your closing balance!

Note: There is a $25 monthly service fee on this account, which can be waived by a) maintaining an average daily balance of $15,000+ in any combination of qualifying Chase accounts (checking, savings, and other balances), OR b) having a qualifying Chase mortgage and setting up automatic payments for it from your Premier Plus Checking account.

This offer is also in-branch only.

4. Bank of America Checking– Get $100

If you’re new to Bank of America, here’s a $100 bonus good through the end of the year. All you’ll need to do is:

  • Open a qualifying personal checking account (only available to new customers), online or in-branch; these include Core Checking® and Interest Checking® accounts.
  • Deposit the minimum opening amount ($25 for Core Checking® and $100 for Interest Checking®).
  • Set up two monthly direct deposits totaling $250 or more for at least the first 90 days.

Once you complete these requirements and keep your account in good standing, Bank of America will deposit your $100 bonus into the new account within 60 days.

Note: Both of these checking accounts incur monthly service fees. The Core Checking® account comes with a $12 fee, which you can have waived by a) having at least one direct deposit of $250+ made each monthly statement cycle, b) maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,500+ each cycle, OR c) enrolling in Preferred Rewards. For Interest Checking®, the fee is $25 and can be waived by a) maintaining $10,000+ in combined balances between eligible, linked accounts each statement cycle, OR b) enrolling in Preferred Rewards.

5. Discover Online Savings–Get up to $200

Discover is offering a sizable bonus for their online savings account product, and the bonus comes in one of two forms. Depending on the amount of your initial deposit, you’ll earn either $150 or $200. Details below:

  • Apply for your first Discover Online Savings account by 10.31.2017
  • Enter code ST17 when applying
  • Deposit a total of $15,000 by 11.15.2017 to earn a $150 bonus OR
  • Deposit a total of $20,000 by 11.15.2017 to earn a $200 bonus
  • Money will be credited no later than 11.30.2017

There a no monthly fees associated with the Discover Bank Savings Account and you’ll earn a current interest rate of 1.20%.

6. Santander Bank Checking–Get $150

This offer is only valid through 12/31/17, so be sure to jump quickly if you want the free $150. All you need to do is:

  • Open an eligible checking account at Santander Bank as a new customer. These include the Simply Right®, Basic, and Premier Plus checking accounts.
  • Make the minimum deposit ($25 for Simply Right® and Basic accounts, $50 for Premier Plus).
  • Have direct deposits of $1,000+ made into the account within the first 90 days.
  • Keep your account open for 90+ days.
  • Use Promo Code DIG15010ND
  • Expires 12.31.2017

Once all five of these requirements are met, the bank will deposit your $150 bonus into your new account within 30 days.

Note: These accounts each incur a monthly service fee. These can be waived in the following ways:

  • Simply Right® ($10 fee)–All you need to do is make any financial transaction that posts within that calendar month. This includes deposits, withdrawals, transfers, or payments. Anything.
  • The $3 monthly fee for the Basic checking account cannot be waived.
  • Premier Plus ($35 fee)–Make a total of $6,000+ in direct deposits each month OR maintain a combined $75,000 in deposits + balances with Santander Investment Services.

You can apply online at Santander Bank, or go online to print a coupon and open your account in-branch.

7. Fifth Third Essential Checking® —Get $200

This is another offer that is only good through the end of the year. It’s available to residents of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In order to get your free $200, you’ll need to:

  • Open a new, qualifying account online, in-branch, or by phone.
  • Deposit a minimum of $500 within the first 45 days.
  • Maintain the $500 minimum balance for a period of 60 days
  • Expires 12.31.2017

Once you meet these two simple requirements, you’ll receive your $200 bonus in the form of a deposit into your new account, within 10 business days..

Note: The Essential Checking® account comes with an $11 monthly service fee. The fee drops to $8 a month if you have a monthly direct deposit totaling $500+.

Either of these fees can be waived if you a) maintain a combined monthly balance of $1,500 or more between your eligible accounts, b) spend $500 or more each month on a Fifth Third credit card, c) currently hold a balance on an existing Fifth Third mortgage, auto loan, or personal line of credit, d) are a current or former member of the US military and make monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, e) have a valid student ID, f) are a member of your employer’s Fifth Third banking benefits program and make monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, OR g) have a Business Premium or Business Elite Checking account.

8. M&T Bank Checking–Get $150

If you live in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia, this offer is one way for you to earn $150 free from M&T Bank. You’ll need to:

  • Open a new personal checking account online or in-branch (with this printed coupon).
  • Make one qualifying direct deposit of $100 or more within the first 90 days.
  • Keep your account open for at least 90 days more
  • Expires 10.31.2017

That’s it. M&T Bank will deposit your $150 bonus cash into your new account within 90 days of the direct deposit.

Note: M&T Bank’s EZChoice Checking accounts come with a $6.95 monthly service fee. This can be waived by simply making one deposit to or withdrawal from the account during that charge cycle.

9. Charles Schwab–Get $100

If you are new to Charles Schwab, you can open one of a number of accounts, and earn $100 cash. This includes their personal banking accounts, as long as it is linked to a Schwab One® brokerage account. You’ll need to:

  • Open a Schwab Bank Checking account through this link or by calling 800-398-8640 and mentioning the code REFER.
  • Fund the account with any amount you choose–there is no minimum opening deposit OR minimum balance!
  • Your application will automatically open a Schwab Bank brokerage account for you, too, which will be linked to the checking account.
  • Fund the second account with any amount your choose–this account also has no minimum deposit or balance requirements.
  • Keep the accounts open for a minimum of one year, to avoid the bonus being charged back.

Even if you put a single penny in these accounts, you’ll still receive your bonus of $100 about a month after opening them. Then, just keep the account open for a year. There are no monthly service fees and no minimums, so it’s a pretty easy way to earn free cash.

**Please note: While this is a very easy bonus to earn, without any big requirements, you need to watch the application process. Charles Schwab will often use a hard pull inquiry when opening accounts, especially for new-to-CS customers. This may be worth it to you (or it may not), but just be aware of the possibility.

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Comparing cell phone plans makes going to the dentist look fun. To help, here are our ratings and comparisons of the best cell phone plans in 2017.

best cell phone plans in 2017

These days, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a cell phone. They’ve become a staple in our lives. And, for many without a landline, they’re a necessity. But just because we have to have our cell phones, doesn’t mean that we have to pay an arm and a leg for service.

Figuring out how much a new cell phone plan will actually cost you practically requires an accounting degree. Those “$45 unlimited calls, messaging, and data” plans can quickly, somehow, turn into $100-per-line charges. Between fees and fine print, it can all be hard to decipher.

Let’s take a look at how much cell plans have changed recently, all across the board. We will cover the four major cell phone carriers (Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T). And we’ll see what prices they are actually offering.

We’ll exclude any promotional pricing, since promotions change so often. We’ll also cover the amount and quality of data included in each plan, as that’s the most common concern for subscribers these days.

So, let’s get started. Then, you can determine how much a new plan will really cost you, long before some surprise, inflated bill lands in your inbox.

Big Changes

A few notable shifts that have occurred in the cell phone world as of late. But for the most part, these shifts are in the best interests of the consumer.

Return of Unlimited Plans

You may remember that unlimited plans used to be pretty popular. Different carriers offered different services. Some only offered unlimited talk time, and others offered unlimited talk and text. But you could find some kind of unlimited plan from nearly every provider.

Well, a few years ago, carriers began to unexpectedly pull these types of plans from their lineup. The reason? The massive wave of smartphone users and their unprecedented data usage. This was an even bigger issue once streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify gained popularity.

These apps eat up a significant amount of data. To compensate, carriers began to offer expensive data plans alongside their typical “minutes and messages” offerings. Some even forced consumers to pay a fee for simply having a smartphone connected to a line. It didn’t matter if you used 1GB of data per cycle or hit your limit… the fee was the same.

Personally, these “smartphone surcharges” and data fees caused my own bill to jump from an average of $60 per month per line to just over $90 per month per line. We’re talking about another $360 a year per phone, for the luxury of checking my email or Facebook on the go.

You can understand, then, why I jumped for joy when I heard that unlimited plans were making a comeback. I stayed with my same carrier and switched to one such unlimited plan the same day it debuted. This immediately cut my bill by about 35% without any noticeable decrease in service.

All four of the major carriers now offer some form of unlimited plan. Just as before, the plans vary in what’s actually offered. Take a look at your own bill history before switching to see how much data you typically use. Considering that most of the carriers have different unlimited package levels, you may be able to save some money with a smaller plan.

Of course, keep in mind that “unlimited” doesn’t actually mean unlimited without consequences. If you’re a high-speed data hog, you’ll probably have your speeds tethered (or reduced) after you hit a certain usage limit.

No Contracts

Gone are the days of being locked into two-year agreements with a carrier. And consumers no longer have to pay pricey early termination charges if/when they want to switch. Now, all four of the big carriers operate on a no-contract basis.

This is great news as far as flexibility. You’re welcome to change plans and carriers anytime you like, without consequences. However, there is a downside.

One of the biggest perks of contract plans, at least for smartphone users, was the discounted phone price. In exchange for signing one of those one-, two-, or even three-year contracts, the carriers offered a substantial discount on the actual phone. For those who lined up to snag the newest iDevice, this discount of several hundred dollars was well worth the contract’s shackles.

Now, you’ll need to buy your phone outright when you pick that new, no-contract plan… no more $199 iPhones. However, the carriers typically offer their own version of a zero-interest loan, allowing you to buy the phone for a down payment and an agreement of an increased monthly charge.

Once the phone is paid in full–usually around 24 months–that added charge falls off. If you want to switch carriers before you finish paying off the phone, you’ll simply need to fork over the balance in order to release yourself.

Now, let’s look at what each cell company is offering in terms of plans.

Sprint

Sprint has bounced up and down a bit on its unlimited plan pricing over the past year or so. It was one of the first carriers to offer new unlimited plans. Then it dropped its prices significantly earlier this year.

Sprint has raised its prices back up a bit since then. But they’re still nicely discounted from what they were last year and before. However, it’s important to note that the prices shown here are expected to revert back to their higher rates after October 2018. So, be sure to make the switch before then if Sprint is the best choice for you.

Data Quality & Quantity

With Sprint, you’ll have no problem streaming HD-quality videos with your standard unlimited data plan. You’ll also be able to take advantage of 10GB of high-speed mobile hot spot usage per line. This means you can use your cell phone service as a wifi hub for your laptop or other devices, which is a convenient feature to have available at no extra charge. Once you use up your monthly 10GB, your hot spot speed will drop to 2G.

If you use more than 23GB of high-speed data per month, Sprint may tether your speeds. Also, if you are using your data for gaming and music, your streaming speeds will be capped at 8Mbps and 1.5Mbps respectively.

Pricing

Remember rates will jump up a bit, to previous price levels, at the end of October 2018. Until then, though, Sprint has some of the most competitive rates available on unlimited plans.

For one phone line, an unlimited plan will run you $55. A second phone adds another $45, with additional phones after that costing $10 per line.

If you’re not interested in unlimited data–maybe you have a younger child who doesn’t need a smartphone–the only other option available is a $45 per month per line plan. This plan does include up to 2GB of data.

 

1 line 2 lines 3 lines 4 lines 5 lines
1GB data Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
2GB data $45 $90 $135 $180 $225
Unlimited data $55

(after Oct 2018 this goes up to $65)

$100

(after Oct 2018 this goes up to $110)

$110

(after Oct 2018 this goes up to $145)

$120

(after Oct 2018 this goes up to $180)

$125

(after Oct 2018 this goes up to $215)

T-Mobile

Up until recently, T-Mobile offered family data-sharing options for its customers, called Simple Choice plans. These meant that you could purchase bulk shared data, along with unlimited messaging and calls, for the whole family to use. You could even allocate data to individual phone lines. That way your teenager couldn’t hog all the data midway through the month’s plan.

These Simple Choice plans were also great in that they didn’t include data usage from streaming services, like Netflix and Spotify, against your data allowances. Considering how much data those apps can use, this was a big bonus for many customers.

However, this is no longer the case. Now, T-Mobile has replaced Simple Choice plans with its T-Mobile One plan. Now you have to purchase a separate data plan for every phone on the account.

The good news is that these plans are all unlimited–data, voice calls, and text messages. Depending on how much data your family was eating through before, this could either increase or decrease your monthly bill.

Data Quality & Quantity

Basic T-Mobile plans offer customers “DVD-quality” video streaming. But it caps hotspot speeds at 3G. If you want better quality or higher speed, you’ll need to pay another $10 per month, per line. This upgrade will then snag you a 4G mobile hotspot and HD-quality video streaming.

Whether or not that’s worth the added cost, only you can decide.

As with Sprint (and all of the others, in fact), “unlimited” has its caveats. However, the cap for potential speed tethering is a bit higher with T-Mobile, at a solid 32GB. Surpass that in a given billing cycle, and T-Mobile may slow down your phone’s speed when the system is overloaded.

Pricing

One great thing about T-Mobile’s pricing structure is that it’s incredibly simple to calculate. You don’t have to worry about regulatory fees, taxes, or little monthly charges that can cause your bill to notch further and further up.

What you see is what you get. Their pricing already includes all taxes and fees, so when they say you’ll pay $75 a month, they mean that’s what you’ll actually pay. So, keep that in mind when you’re comparison shopping.

Their price structure is as easy as it gets. There is only one option: unlimited everything. The first line is $75 a month (remember, this is what your actual bill will be… no fees or taxes). Each line after that is another $35. Easy peasy.

1 line 2 lines 3 lines 4 lines 5 lines
1GB data Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
2GB data Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
Unlimited data $75 $110 $145 $180 $215

Verizon

Unable to stick with one pricing structure, Verizon has had a lot of back-and-forth with their plans in the last year or so. What they’ve settled on now has a lot of people irked.

Their prices have dropped, and you now have a choice between two unlimited data plans. However, you’ll be getting a little less bang for your buck in the end.

Data Quality & Quantity

Verizon’s plans used to be, like many other carriers, of the limited variety. You could choose until very recently to purchase a set amount of data for a set price. Now, your options are between two unlimited plans, which offer varying qualities of data.

The first plan is called Go Unlimited, and it is the less expensive of the two. You will still receive unlimited data, but Verizon reserves the right to tether you speeds any time the network is busy. This is in stark contrast to most tethering rules, where the carrier will only begin to tether your peak time speeds after you’ve used a certain amount of data.

With this plan, you’ll also get DVD-quality video streaming along with a mobile hotspot, capped at a 600 Kbps speed.

If you need more, well, everything, there is also the Beyond Unlimited plan. It’s an extra $10 a month but offers better quality data and more flexible rules.

With this higher-priced option, you’ll get HD-quality streaming on your videos and a 4G LTE mobile hotspot with up to 15GB per month, per line. You’ll also avoid being tethered during peak network times until you’ve used more than 22GB of data in that billing cycle.

1 line 2 lines 3 lines 4 lines 5 lines
Go Unlimited $80 $140 $165 $180 $225
Beyond Unlimited $90 $170 $195 $220 $275

AT&T

Last but not least, we have AT&T. The carrier started offering unlimited plans again in February 2017, and, like Verizon, it offers two different qualities to choose from.

The company does still offer Mobile Share Advantage (finite data) plans, if that suits your needs better. Grandma probably doesn’t need unlimited data, so these plans are still the cheaper option for low-data users.

Data Quality & Quantity

If you opt for the cheaper of the two unlimited plans through AT&T, the Unlimited Choice, you might be a little disappointed in the quality. It really depends on what you’re used to getting.

Unlimited Choice will give you standard-definition quality (don’t ask me how big of a difference there is between this and “DVD-quality,” though) video streaming with a speed cap of 1.5Mbps. For non-streaming data usage AT&T caps speeds at 3Mbps. The Unlimited Choice plan also does not include a mobile hotspot.

If you need better quality and faster speeds, you can opt for the pricier version, the Unlimited Plus plan. This includes a mobile hotspot with 10GB of usage per line. Go over that limit, and you can still use your hot spot; it just gets limited to a speed of 128Kbps.

This plan includes HBO at no additional cost (which may be a great plus if you’re trying to cut the cord or just decrease that cable bill!) and HD-quality video streaming.

Pricing

The difference in price between the two unlimited plans is larger than with other carriers (most of whom offer an upgrade to the “better” plan for only ~$10 a month per line).

Unlimited Choice plans start at $65 for the first line. The second line is another $60, and each line after that, up to 10 lines, is another $20 per line.

Unlimited Plus plans start at $95 for the first line. The second line is again $60, with each subsequent line adding another $20 per line.

1 line 2 lines 3 lines 4 lines 5 lines
Unlimited Choice $65 $125 $145 $165 $185
Unlimited Plus $95 $155 $175 $195 $215

As cell users’ needs and data demands change, carriers are likely to further alter their unlimited plans. So be on the lookout for changes to these prices and the perks that each plan offers.

Also, keep in mind that cell phone carriers offer promotional pricing and discounts frequently. A number of these carriers offer discounts for autopay and paperless billing, so your bill might actually be less than what you’re seeing here. You should check online and even call the carrier to ask about potential discounts before signing up to ensure that you get the lowest possible price.

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We track the best 12 month CD rates of 2017. You’ll find information on fees, penalties, and minimum deposits for these certificates of deposit, too.

best 12 month cd rates

If you compare today’s best 12 month CD rates with historical rates, they may not be impressive. With the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates low for the near future, deposit accounts will not command the interest rates that were common before the recession.

Therefore, it may not make sense to lock in a rate for a long period of time. Once you agree to a term like five years, you’ll be stuck with it. Even if rates rise in the meantime.

This is a good approach in an environment where rates are high and possibly falling, but not a great idea when rates are low and possibly increasing. Nevertheless, you can often find better rates for CDs than for savings and money market accounts. So if you know you won’t need your savings for three months, six months, or a year, you might be able to achieve slightly higher interest payments from the bank. One drawback is there is often a penalty for accessing your cash before your term is up.

For the uninitiated, a certificate of deposit (CD) is considered a “time deposit.” CDs are generally considered cash or savings when it comes to asset allocation, but the “time” requirement presents a maturity date like a bond. This probably doesn’t matter for most individual savers and investors. But it does carry an important distinction for businesses whose investments are reported to regulatory authorities.

Like savings accounts, CD interest rates are compared using APY, annual percentage yield.

Best 12 Month CD Rates

Synchrony Bank Savings AccountSynchrony Bank just made a few shock waves by offering a 15 month CD at a 1.65% APY.  Yes, that’s three months more than the standard 12 month CD, but the 1.65% APY is as good a rate as you’ll find anywhere. Especially for any CD under 24 months.  They require a $2,000 minimum deposit to open the 15 month CD and Synchrony even  increased their savings rate to a robust 1.30% (just a week ago).

Synchrony Bank also has a 12 month CD with a term of 1.50% APY.  As you can see from our list below, that’s still the best of the best so you can’t go wrong with either CD term.


Discover Bank CDDiscover Bank offers a hassle-free banking experience. I am a current, happy customer. Discover offers a rate of 1.35% APY for their 12-month CD.  Discover Bank also offers up a cash back checking account and high yield online savings account.


Ally Bank CDAlly Bank offers two unique types of CDs in addition to a traditional CD. The Ally Bank Raise Your Rate CD has a feature that mitigates the risk of CD rates increasing while you’re locked in. You’ll have one opportunity during the term of the CD to lock in the market interest rate. The shortest term offered is two years, though, not 12 months. The rate for this 2-year product is 1.50% APY as of June 21, 2017.

Ally Bank also offers a No-Penalty CD, where you can withdraw your money at any time without a penalty. This term is slightly less than a year at 11 months, and the current rate is 1.50% APY for balances of greater than $25,000.  For balances between $5,000 and $25,000 the rate is 1.25% APY and for balances less than $5,000, the rate is 1.00% APY.

The standard 12 month high yield CD nets an APY of 1.35%.  There is no minimum balance required


GS Bank – Goldman Sachs recently threw their hat into the consumer deposits ring and are offering a 12 month CD at a great 1.50% APY.  GS Bank also has an online savings account which offers an APY of 1.20%.  There is a $500 minimum to open a CD and no minimum deposit to open a savings account.

GS Bank was recently named the best Stand-Alone Account for Savings by MONEY magazine.  It’s rates are always in the top 1% of banks. However they do not offer any deposit products beyond savings and CD’s.


American Express Bank CDCapital One 360, the brand that emerged from Capital One’s acquisition of ING DIRECT, remains a mainstay of online banking and continues to set the standard for all other online banks. Like ING before it, Capital One 360 offers state-of-the-art banking products and delivers excellent customer service. The interest rate for Capital One 360’s 12-month CD is 0.90% APY


American Express Bank CDAmerican Express is a relative newcomer to online banking, but their products are compelling to offer here. I like my account with American Express. This bank offers a wide range of terms for CDs from six months to 60 months, with many intermediate terms. The interest rate American Express offers on their 12 month CD is 0.55% APY.


Sallie Mae CDSallie Mae Bank is also new to offering banking products, having been established in 2005. My account with Sallie Mae was the easiest to open. My only criticism is the lack of integration with Quicken and online tracking tools. Sallie Mae offers a strong 1.50% APY on the 12 month certificate of deposit.

Sallie Mae also offers a variety of other deposit options, including a Upromise Goal Saver account which allows you to save for college! (For yourself or one of your children).


One Year CD Rates vs. Online Savings Accounts

You may notice that a lot of CD rates above are better than the rates that a high yield online savings account can provide.  So why not simply take your money and invest in a 12 month CD?  Well there are two main reasons that banks can provide you a slightly higher APY.

  1. CD terms are absolute.  Once you open a CD and deposit your money, you cannot withdraw the funds until the CD comes to full term.  You stand to lose up to six months worth of interest by withdrawing early.
  2. Interest rates are locked.  When a bank knows exactly what it’s paying you, it can lend your money for a better rate somewhere else.  Savings accounts have fluctuating rates, so the rate you receive today may not be the one you get tomorrow.

If time deposits aren’t right for you and you’d like the ability to withdraw your money as needed, consider a high yield savings account from one of the best online banks. If you do like the idea of saving with CDs, consider creating a CD ladder to make the most of the highest CD rates.

Do you have a favorite bank, offering a compelling CD product, you’d like to see added to this list? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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