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Ally Bank

Category: Bank Deals, Money Market Rates- fhuff- 10:37 am/ November 29, 2010

Ally Bank has a money market account offering 1.09% annual percentage yield (APY), which is higher than the average 0.32% APY for money markets. Details of the Ally Bank money market include:

  • No minimum balance required
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Open account with $0
  • Free check card
  • First 50 checks are free

The money market account allows six transactions per statement cycle without any fees. The limit is set by federal law for transactions from all U.S. savings and money market accounts. However, you can make an unlimited number of deposits into a money market.

You also won’t pay a fee to use ATMs. You can use any ATM and if you are charged a fee by another bank, the money will be refunded at the end of the monthly statement period. You also can get cash back when shopping at many stores and gas stations. You’ll receive the free debit card within 10 days and standard checks within five days after Ally Bank receives the opening deposit.

The money market rate is variable so it can change based on market conditions. Interest earned on money markets is compounded daily to help maximize earnings.

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ING Direct

Category: Bank Deals, Checking Accounts- fhuff- 12:56 pm/ November 27, 2010

You have until midnight on Nov. 28, 2010, to take advantage of ING Direct’s Black Friday specials. The bank’s specials include:

  • An offer for savings account customers who want to earn cash bonuses for referring friends. If you have (or open) an ING Orange Savings or Electric Orange Savings you can earn a $10 bonus when a friends open a savings account. You will receive an additional $20 bonus for each referral completed that will be deposited into your account by January 15, 2011. The referral must deposit at least $250 into a new savings account by Dec. 31, 2010. You can refer up to 50 friends and earn the $30 bonus for each referral completed. The friend who opens the account also receives a $25 bonus.
  • A $25 bonus if you open a new kids savings account. There is no minimum deposit requirement or fees for the kids savings account. Once the savings is opened the $25 bonus is deposited into the account and begins earning interest. The $25 bonus can be withdrawn after 30 days. The interest rate on the kids savings account is 1.1% annual percentage yield (APY) as of April 6, 2010.

Other Black Friday specials at the bank include a 100% cash back giveaway for purchases made with an Electric Orange Debit MasterCard, $2,000 off closing costs of an Easy Orange mortgage, 36-month IRA CD with a 2% APY, and a $103 bonus for opening an Electric Orange Checking Account. Visit the ING Direct Web site for terms and conditions for these offers.

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American Trust Bank

Category: Bank Deals, CD Rates, Local Bank Deals- fhuff- 12:42 pm/ November 24, 2010

American Trust Bank has a 1-year certificate of deposit that earns 1.5% annual percentage yield (APY). Details of the certificate of deposit include:

  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
  • Interest compounded daily
  • CD rates available for personal and business accounts

Early withdrawals result in a penalty of all accrued interest for terms of 1 to 3 months, 3 months interest for terms of 6 to 12 months, and 6 months interest for terms greater than 12 months. During the 10-day grace period the interest rates are subject to change prior to renewal without notice. If you don’t renew the certificate of deposit, you lose any interest that was earned during the 10-day grace period. You can keep any interest earned during the grace period if you choose to renew.

CD rates can change at any time so check with the bank to get the most current information. Other CD rates and terms include:

  • 0.89% APY for 1 month
  • 0.99% APY for 2 months
  • 1.07% APY for 3 months
  • 1.27% APY for 6 months
  • 1.55% APY for 18 months
  • 1.96% AOY for 24 months
  • 1.89% APY for 30 months
  • 2% APY for 36 months
  • 2.25% APY for 48 months
  • 2.5% APY for 60 months

American Trust Bank has locations in the following towns in Georgia: Roswell, Alpharetta, and Cumming. The bank also offers service by phone and online.

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The U.S. economy is expected to remain weak in 2011, according to a survey by the National Association of Business Economists (NABE). Real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand 2.6% next year.

Of business economists polled, 40% say the expansion is “sub-par with severe wealth losses and onerous debt burdens inhibiting spending and lending.” That compares with 28% who feel that “the economy will overcome its headwinds, and behave more in line with a traditional business cycle expansion: real output will grow at a rate above potential, and households and businesses will boost discretionary spending.”

Because of weak jobs growth, high unemployment, and little increase in household net worth, consumer spending isn’t expected to increase much. Holiday retail sales are only expected to increase 2.5% this year. Also, half those polled by NABE expect the personal savings rate to fall. The rest of those polled are split over whether the savings rate will rise or fall.

Regardless of where the economy is heading, saving more money now can be a hedge against future financial challenges. Whether you believe that you may be downsized out of a job or face other financial challenges, it’s a good idea to put as much money as possible into a savings account that gives easy access to your funds no matter what happens with the economy.

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Category: Bank Deals, Checking Accounts- fhuff- 10:14 am/ November 19, 2010

Open a checking account at Chase and you could be eligible to earn a $100 cash bonus. To take advantage of the bank’s offer you must open a new checking account by Nov. 30, 2010. Details of the offer include:

  • Minimum opening deposit of $100
  • No monthly service fee with five debit card purchases or direct deposit
  • Free access to 15,000 Chase ATMs in the U.S.
  • Free text and email alerts to your cell phone
  • Free online banking and bill pay
  • Insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)

Checking accounts can be opened online or at a branch. The Chase Web site allows you to send an email to request a $100 coupon that can be taken to a branch.

To receive the $100 bonus, you must open the account with funds that are not currently on deposit with Chase or its affiliates. Also, you have 60 calendar days from opening an account to have a direct deposit sent to the checking account. Direct deposits can be from payroll, pension, or government benefits, such as Social Security. The cash bonus is deposited into the account within 10 business days after the initial deposit is made. The checking account must remain open for six months or the bonus will be debited from the account upon closing.

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