I’m happy to introduce you to the new Bromoney Interest Rate App. You can now check interest rates on savings accounts and CDs right from your iPhone. You can download it from the App store here. The next time you open a CD or savings account consult the latest rates with the Bromoney Interest Rate App. Here are the screenshots:
The FDIC shut down the Bank of the Eastern Shore in Maryland on Friday bringing the total bank failures to 22 this year. That’s down from 39 bank failures at the same point last year. Four other banks were closed on the same day including: Harvest Bank of Maryland, Plantation Federal Bank in South Carolina and Palm Desert National Bank.
Just saw this story about the Chinese artist Liu Bolin. Apparently he covers himself in body paint so he blends in with the background of his setup shots and then takes pictures of himself in his element. Do you think you can spot him?
Take a look at this one:
Here’s a link to some more of his work: http://games.yahoo.com/photos/camouflage-paintings-1321923033-slideshow/
Dime Savings Bank is currently offering a 3.10% APY 7 year CD and a 2.5% 5 year CD with a minimum deposit of $500. The thing about Dime Savings is that if you withdraw early on their long term accounts you lose 2 years’ interest on your CD, if they even let you remove your money early.
Dime is currently the long term CD leader, but they’re also offering a 1.65% APY 10 month CD. You can open an account online or over the phone; however, if you don’t open an account in person you will be required to send in a copy of your driver’s license and a bill to verify your address. Dime Savings Bank is located in New York.
Dime Savings Bank has a 4 out of 5 star soundness rating from Bankrate and is insured by the FDIC. If you’d like to leave a review on Dime Savings, follow this link.
Melrose Credit Union is currently offering a 2.93% 5 year CD which is currently second best to Connexus Credit Union’s 3% 5 year rate, although Connexus requires you to open a checking account with them to get their CDs. Melrose is also offering a 2.42% APY 4 year CD and a 1.41% 1 year CD. The minimum deposit is $5,000 or $4,000 if you’re opening an IRA account. The early withdrawal penalty for CDs a year or over is 180 days of interest.
Melrose is open to membership from anybody and is located in Queens New York. They are insured by the NCUA and have a 4 out of 5 star soundness rating from bankrate. To leave your comments on Melrose go here: comments
FDIC insurance is the most attractive part of having a deposit account over investing money in something involving more risk. With funds that are FDIC insured, you’re guaranteed to get your money back if your institution fails by the FDIC as long as you fall within the guidelines. There are a few misunderstanding when it comes to FDIC insurance, but it’s important to know exactly what FDIC does and does not cover as someone who places their money into a bank deposit account.
1.) The FDIC insures funds for up to $100,000
During the financial meltdown a couple years back, congress voted to increase the FDIC insured limit up to $250,000 to ensure that people didn’t lose their money when a new bank was failing every other day. The measure they passed was temporary at first, which is why some people might think it expired. But congress acted before its expiration to make the $250,000 FDIC insured limit permanent. So that is the new limit as of this day.
2.) All financial institutions have FDIC Insurance
Most financial institutions you’ll hear of likely have FDIC insurance, but not all do. Every bank we recommend on our site has it (or NCUA for credit unions), but there are institutions out there that aren’t FDIC insured. You should make sure to check any new financial institution you’re interested to make sure they’re FDIC insured by checking with the FDIC themselves.
3.) I can only get $250,000 insured at one bank
The FDIC allows people to insure multiple types of account at a single bank. For example you can have a personal account, joint account, and retirement account, all at one bank and all insured for up to $250,000 each. In addition banks have programs known as Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service or CDARS, A CDARS account actually holds your funds at multiple banks in order to bump up the FDIC insured limit for “one account.” It’s a very convenient way to get FDIC insurance for large sums of money.
4.) I can get up to $250,000 insured with each bank account I have at one bank
Although you can get multiple accounts at a single bank FDIC insured, that doesn’t mean that you can have $250,000 of FDIC insurance with ANY bank account you want at a single bank. For example a savings and checking account under one person’s name doesn’t qualify as different accounts in the eyes of the FDIC. However, a personal checking account and a joint checking account DOES qualify as separate accounts to the FDIC because the owner of both accounts isn’t the same. One is owned by an individual and another is owned by 2 individuals.
5.) Any asset that a bank offers is covered by FDIC insurance
While banks offer many accounts that are covered by FDIC insurance, they also offer products that don’t come with FDIC insurance. For examples banks will offer mutual funds, stocks, bonds, money market mutual funds, and other products that don’t come with FDIC insurance. If you’re getting a new product from a bank and you’re unsure whether it comes with FDIC insurance then ask your bank whether the account you’re interested in has FDIC insurance.
I mostly write about interest rates on this blog, but another important factor when looking at banks is customer satisfaction. Everyone knows how important it is for a bank to have great customer service and most people are willing to take a small cut in interest rates in order to work with a bank that treats them fairly when a problem arises.
Due to the importance of this factor I’m listing the top 10 banks rated by customer satisfaction by JD Power.
- Northwest Savings Bank
- Susquehanna Bank – PA, MD, DE
- Bank of the West
- BankAtlantic – Florida
- Regions Bank
- Suntrust Bank
- Commerce Bank – Midwest
- Eastern Bank – New England
- Flagstar Bank
- Independent Bank – Michigan
Anyone who has used their bank’s check card to pay for items knows that you can use debit or credit to make purchases, but most people don’t know what the difference is besides the fact that with debit you have to enter a pin, and with credit you need to sign. One of the key differences is that the merchant must pay a fee when they process the transaction as credit. If you’re purchasing an item from a store you’d like to support, you should select the debit transaction so the merchant avoids the credit fee.
Another key difference is the processing time for each type of transaction. A debit card transaction pulls the money out of your account immediately, while the credit transaction requires time to be processed before the money is taken out of your bank account.
One final difference is that most banks place a debit limit on your card, meaning you can only use debit purchases on your card for up to a certain amount. If you’re looking to make a large purchase on your debit card you should select the credit option to ensure that you don’t go over any possible limits. (Of course if you’re making a large purchase you should really use a reward credit card as mentioned in our article on ways to save money)
I just finished creating the new Bromoney savings rate addon that lets you track the top savings rate from your firefox browser. You can track the top savings rate or track the savings rates from an individual bank. You can download the plugin from mozilla, but I believe you need to register an account with them to download as it’s a new release. Any reviews you leave with mozilla will be greatly appreciated.
The rates show up in the lower right hand corner of your browser as shown in this screenshot:
You can access the Bromoney rate table from the menu that appears when you right click on the latest savings rate and you can also request additional banks for us to add to the plugin for tracking. Additionally you can access our savings table from the “tools” menu or from our bromoney icon on the toolbar. The savings rates are updated every time you load firefox, or any time you left click on the rate. This addon will make tracking savings rates easier than ever before.