bank rates

Signs Of Life For Savings Accounts

stethoscope on top of a pile of moneyAnother bank has boosted its savings rates, marking the third rate hike among leading banks since mid-October.

GE Capital Retail Bank ( nudged up rates from 0.85% APY to 0.90% APY.

There are now six nationally available accounts that pay at least 0.90% APY, including The Palladian PrivateBank (, the only bank to pay 1.00% APY.

Opening an account requires a minimum deposit of $10,000 at The Palladian PrivateBank. Although you don’t need to keep $10,000 in your account to earn interest, you’ll be assessed a $10 monthly service fee for lower balances.

The Palladian PrivateBank is the online division of The PrivateBank and Trust Co., based in Chicago. The bank has about three dozen locations in nine states, most of which are in the Midwest.

Since we last looked at rates, SFGI Direct ( has also bumped up its rate, pushing it from 0.86% APY to 0.91% APY, to put it in second place.

You need a minimum deposit of $500 to open an account with SFGI Direct, but you don’t need to keep that much in your account to earn interest, and there are no monthly service fees. SFGI Direct is the online division of Summit Community Bank in Moorefield, W.Va. The bank has 15 locations in West Virginia and Virginia.

Four banks pay 0.90% APY. They are:

GE Capital Retail Bank, which offers an OptimizerPlus High Yield Savings account with no minimum deposit required. Any balance less than $50 triggers a $5 monthly service fee. GE Capital Retail Bank is one of two online banks operated by the financial services unit owned by General Electric.

GE Capital Bank (, which has no minimum balance requirement and no fees. This is the other GE-owned online bank. Each bank carries separate FDIC insurance.

Barclays (, which requires no minimum deposit and charges no fees. The bank is part of Barclays Bank PLC of London, with U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, Del.

CIT Bank (, which pays its top rate on balances of at least $25,000. Lower balances earn 0.85% APY. You need to make a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account, and the account has no fees. CIT bank is a division of New York-based CIT Group. The company provides lending, leasing and advisory services to small- and medium-size businesses.

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