If you’ve kept tabs on savings rates throughout 2009 you’ve undoubtedly noticed the downward trend which plagued the entire year. In the beginning of ’09 rates were still respectable — 12 month CD’s providing 4% APY, 6 month CDs providing a 3.0% APY and in rare, promotional cases, 7 month CD’s were providing 7% APY — as we mentioned in last weeks post, however, these rates have long been extinct. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a 6 month CD yielding above 1% APY and a 12 month CD above 1.75% APY. Some financial analysts have even brought up the increasingly apparent fact that in most cases you aren’t even getting ahead of inflation, which in turn, eats up any potential interest you may have incurred.
So were there any real winners in the savings arena in 2009? Well, we’d like to think so, although it may just be a consolation prize due to lack of competition from traditional savings accounts (ie. certificate of deposits, money market accounts, etc).However, Rewards checking accounts, or interest checking accounts, still maintained very respectable yields through the previous year.
Today you can still find these accounts providing 4.0%, 5.0% and even 6.0% annual percentage yields, however it takes a proactive approach from the saver each month.
Here is the run down on these accounts (in a nut shell) for those who are unfamiliar…
These accounts are for those looking to invest anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000 in a liquid savings account. To earn the advertised interest rates (which vary between 2.50 and 6.0% APY) you must make a certain amount of debit card transactions from the account each month as well as set up at least one automatic payment. This can be a car payment, rent, phone bill, etc… basically anything that reoccurs each month. They may also ask of you to meet additional requirements such as enroll in e-statements, open another account with the bank, etc. The accounts are more frequently found with credit unions but are being picked up by larger banks as well. Browse through our archive of the best rewards checking account offers from 2009.