bank rates

Online Bank Debuts With Top Savings Rate

TIAA Direct pays 1.25% APY on its savings, MMA accounts.TIAA-CREF, the large retirement services provider, is moving into online banking.

Last week, it launched its online bank, TIAA Direct, which offers the best nationally available savings and money market account rates at 1.25% APY.

While it was officially rolled out as a test run for TIAA-CREF employees, TIAA Direct’s checking, savings and CD accounts are available to anyone at

The site was designed so employees could provide the company with feedback on TIAA Direct, with a public launch set for later this year, a company spokesman says.

It takes just a $25 minimum deposit to open a savings account or MMA. There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.

The money market account also has check-writing privileges, but you’re limited to six checks or preauthorized transfers per statement.

You can use your debit card or ATM card fee free at 23,000 ATMs in the SUM, InterCept Switch and MoneyPass networks.

TIAA Direct’s CD rates are less competitive.

It offers 6-, 12- and 24-month CDs that all offer yields well below what you’ll find on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

TIAA Direct is a division of TIAA-CREF Trust Co., FSB.

TIAA-CREF’s core focus has been providing financial services and planning for those in the academic, medical, cultural, government and research fields.

While the online bank’s savings and MMA rates beat the other top nationally available accounts, we should note the recent rate cuts by UFB Direct, which launched last summer and held the best nationally available money market account rates for months.

These start-up rates used to draw in customers don’t tend to last. We’ll see with TIAA Direct.

For now, it tops AmTrust Direct ( and My Banking Direct (, both of which pay 1.15% APY on their MMA accounts.

In the savings arena, Salem Five Direct ( has been holding the leadership position, paying 1.00% APY for its eOne Savings Account. The rate is guaranteed through the August statement cycle, and you need a $100 minimum deposit to open an account.

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Comments (2)
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2 Existing Comments
  1. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on March 5th at 09:04 am

    This savings rate is still available.

  2. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on April 3rd at 08:33 am

    TIAA Direct is still offering this savings rate.