bank rates

Interest Rates: Why I Like Salem Five

photo of a nickelTwo years ago, I wrote here about Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, lauding its customer service – not to mention the 1.75% APY 24-month CDs it was then offering.

Well, those CDs have been maturing recently, and, so far, I’ve been closing them and moving my money elsewhere.

I’m not unhappy with the bank or its interest rates. Rather, I’ve simply taken advantage of a more attractive deal at a credit union.

Founded in 1855, and headquartered in Salem, Mass., Salem Five offers a variety of checking, savings and CD accounts, locally through 23 Bay State branches and nationally through Salem Five Direct, its Internet banking division.

Salem Five Direct’s “eCDSpecials” often feature highly competitive rates. Currently, its 18-month eCD rate is 1.15% APY, and its 30-month rate is 1.40% APY.

The 30-month CD rate equals the best nationally available 36-month deal on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

The minimum deposit is $10,000.

Also noteworthy is the “eOneSavings” account, which has a hefty 1.25% APY on balances up to $500,000.

This is the best bank savings account rate nationally available.

The eOne savings account, which has no minimum balance requirement, can be opened by anyone who doesn’t already have one or another savings or checking account at a Salem Five branch.

Under normal circumstances (as if there could be such a thing, given current Federal Reserve policies), I probably would have put a portion of this month’s maturing CD funds in my eOneSavings account.

I might even have opened some eCDs. (Although the bank’s website says that new eCDs require funds not already on deposit, I’m told matured CD funds can be used as well.)

But Pentagon Federal Credit Union has been offering a 3-year CD this month having an astounding 1.85% APY, and I couldn’t pass that up.

So, my Salem Five money has found a new home.

As I’ve come to expect, the Salem Five customer service representatives were as helpful in closing out my CDs as they were in opening them in 2011.

They were particularly helpful in nudging the bank’s operations people to make my funds available for withdrawal on a timely basis – by the business day after maturity – which the back office seemed reluctant to do.

Next month, when I have an additional batch of Salem Five CDs maturing, is another matter entirely.

Who knows what Salem Five or PenFed – or any other bank or credit union – may be offering then?

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