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Hudson City has a money market that earns 1.25 percent annual percentage yield (APY). The money market rate applies to balances of $2,500 and up. Balances that fall below that amount earn 1 percent APY. The money market rates are current as of March 18, 2011. Other details of the money market deal include:

  • Interest rates are subject to change without notice
  • Interest is compounded daily and monthly
  • Statement format
  • Limited withdrawals and transfers
  • Insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)
  • Telephone banking

Hudson City also offers a money market checking account that earns interest. Balances of $25,000 and up earn a higher interest rate, which is currently 0.85 percent APY. Accounts with balances below $25,000 earn 0.6 percent APY. Money market accounts with balances of less than $10,000 are charged a $10 monthly fee. Accounts also have limited check writing and third party payments, unlimited deposits and in-person withdrawals and free debit/ATM cards.

Bank accounts at Hudson City are available to individuals who live or work in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Accounts can be opened online. Hudson City has been named by Forbes magazine to be among the best managed banks in America.

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Are you thinking of dipping into your savings account to donate money to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? Before you write a check or text a donation, make sure you know exactly where the money it going so you don’t end up being scammed.

Recognize some red flags

When choosing an organization to help, keep the following tips given by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in mind.

  • Avoid responding to unsolicited emails urging you to donate, because clicking on the links could unleash a computer virus.
  • Just because someone says he represents an organization you’ve heard of doesn’t mean he does. Take time to check out individuals soliciting donations.
  • Watch out for organizations that use names that sound very similar to well-known groups.
  • Avoid opening links to photos that are supposedly from the disaster area. They could have a computer virus.
  • Avoid making donations with cash or making checks out to individuals.
  • Legitimate organizations won’t pressure you to donate.
  • Be suspicious of organizations that solicit donations by money transfer services.

Do you have enough savings?

Donating money to help good causes is a great idea if you can afford it. But if you have little to no savings and are barely making ends meet, it’s probably a good idea to work on beefing up your savings account now so that you will be in a better position to give later.

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FirstMerit Bank has a Reality Savings Account with a 1.25 percent annual percentage yield (APY). The savings rate is variable and current as of March 14, 2011. You must have a FirstMerit Bank checking account to qualify for the savings rate. Details of the checking account offer include:

  • Minimum opening deposit of $1
  • Earn competitive interest rates on all balances
  • FirstMerit debit card
  • Free online banking services
  • Direct deposit available

The savings has a $10 monthly maintenance fee unless you also have a checking account with at least two debit or credit transactions during a statement cycle. FirstMerit Bank has several checking accounts available:

  • Free checking, which offers rewards of 5 cents for all debit card purchase transactions, bill payments and direct deposits
  • Gold Checking, which has tiered interest rates and free debit card transactions for PIN and signature transactions

FirstMerit Bank accounts are available to consumers and businesses in Northern and Central Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and the Chicago area.

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Americans are more worried about the economy than they were a year ago, according to a new Gallup poll. When asked what is the “most important problem” facing the U.S. today, 72 percent said the economy. That’s the highest mention of the economy in the poll since February 2010, but still below 86 percent in February 2009.

Respondents to the poll said the top five economic problems facing the country are the economy in general (28 percent), unemployment (26 percent), the federal deficit or debt (13 percent), gas prices (6 percent), and lack of money (4 percent). In regards to non-economic problems, 11 percent were dissatisfied with the nation’s government or leaders and 9 percent with health care. Only 1 percent of Americans mentioned the turmoil in the Middle East as the country’s most important problem.

The poll found that concern about gas prices rose to 6 percent from 1 percent over the past month. But Gallup concluded that any real alarm about gas prices would probably remain subdued until the average price per gallon reaches a new record high, which would be over $4.11 a gallon.

Gallup polled 1,021 adults aged 18 and older by phone during the first week of March, 2011.

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Key Bank $100 bonus

Category: Bank Deals, Checking Accounts- fhuff- 4:25 pm/ March 9, 2011

Open a checking account at Key Bank and you could earn a $100 cash bonus. The offer is good until March 25, 2011, and you must use offer code ONCS0211 when opening an account online. Other requirements to receive the bonus include making at least 20 payments and/or purchases a month for three months, and making three direct deposits of at least $500 within three months of opening a checking account.

The following Key Bank accounts qualify for the bonus deal:

  • Key Coverage Checking, which has free statements, online banking and bill pay; the first two overdraft or return items fees assessed per monthly statement are waived; and no overdraft fee if you withdraw account by $10 or less based on the end-of-day balance.
  • Key Advantage Checking, which waives the monthly fee with balances of $10,000 and up in any combination of qualifying deposit, credit, investment and retirement accounts.
  • Key Express Checking, which has no minimum balance, monthly maintenance fee, or per-check fee or limits.
  • Key Privilege Checking, which has unlimited check writing, automatic daily sweep with various investment options and reimbursement each month of up to $6 of other banks’ ATM fees.
  • Key Privilege Select Checking, which has unlimited check writing and various overdraft options.

Key Bank, based in Cleveland, is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies.

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