bank rates

Top MMA Rates Hold Steady For Years

Green dollar sign in a vice.Money market accounts and savings accounts have a lot in common.

Unfortunately, one of those similarities is lousy interest rates, which probably will remain depressed for quite some time.

The Federal Reserve will offer your cue for when yields will begin to rise. Until the central bank stops putting downward pressure on interest rates, money market account rates probably will remain stalled.

In fact, the top nationally available MMA rate has remained unchanged for 10 months.

And if you ignore the top offer – which comes from EverBank – because of its guarantee-then-slash approach, you’ll find the next-best yield has changed by only about two-tenths of a percentage point in the last 1½ years.

Since September, EverBank (www.everbank.com) has been the sole bank offering a nationally available MMA paying at least 1.00% APY.

Along with paying the top rate of 1.10% APY, EverBank’s rate is guaranteed for the first six months after you’ve opened your account. That’s something you won’t find at the other national banks.

EverBank, based in Jacksonville, Fla., pays 1.10% for balances up to $50,000 on a Yield Pledge MMA, and you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $1,500 to open an account. However, you don’t need to keep a certain amount in your account to earn interest, and the account charges no monthly service fees.

Once the guaranteed period is completed, you’ll earn the standard MMA rate, which now is 0.61% APY. Balances above $50,000 earn the standard MMA rate.

This rate cut after six months should be a turnoff for any saver looking to park cash for a significant period of time. We continue to recommend you treat this account as a 6-month CD you don’t plan to roll over.

Your next-best option is IncredibleBank (www.incrediblebank.com), which pays 0.95% on its MMAs. You need to make a minimum deposit of $2,500 to open an account, and if you don’t keep that much in your MMA, you’ll pay a $10 monthly service fee. The rate is good on balances to $249,999. IncredibleBank is the online division of Wisconsin-based River Valley Bank.

Since EverBank introduced its guaranteed rate, we’ve seen a number of banks reach the No. 2 spot on our list. IncredibleBank has been the most consistent of late with a yield of between 0.91% APY and 0.95% APY for nearly six consecutive months.

The top rate among banks not named EverBank has fluctuated between 0.90% APY and 1.10% APY since October 2012.

You can see how these rates compare to the best money market and savings account rates offered by scores of banks in our database.

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