February 5, 2009 update: The following information has expired. Washington Mutual no longer offers these rates.
Washington Mutual wants your deposits. I received word that starting tomorrow the bank will offer 4.0% APY on its online savings account, maintaining its position at the very top of the list of popular high-yield savings and money market accounts.
In order to receive this rate, Washington Mutual requires enrollment in a free checking account. The checking account has no minimum balance requirement (other than one cent). The bank will waive one NSF fee per year, but someone who manages their bank account shouldn’t have to take advantage of that feature. Mistakes can happen, and it’s good to know that WaMu has a policy in favor of the customer.
This rate beats many offered by CDs right now, so you may want to jump on it while it’s available. Washington Mutual is a member of FDIC, so your money should be safe despite the volatile economy.
As of today, the Washington Mutual banking application still lists the rate as 3.75%, but the bank will update the website to reflect the new interest rate tomorrow.
If you’re interested, apply here for the free checking and 4.0% APY savings accounts.
Updated February 5, 2009 and originally published September 22, 2008.