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Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 36 with at least $1 million.

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EmigrantDirect Savings Account Now Yields 3.25%

It's now official: EmigrantDirect, the relatively new comer that stirred the online money market account arena in the last several months, raised the APY of its flagship American Dream Savings Account to 3.25%. I have most of my emergency fund parking at EmigrantDirect since early March (see PFBlog's earlier report), and needless to say, I am happy to see it demonstrated its resolve to defend its top position in today's super hot money market/saving account market.

Apparently, banks are competing for your money these days. Take a look at's list of high-yield money market accounts, familiar names like ING Direct and VirtualBank, while both boasting a 2.60% yield, can barely make their way into the top 10. One can reasonaly expect with Fed continuing its rate-raising streak and long-term interest rates starting to climb, consumers can see better and better rates in the months ahead.

Of course, no one can be sure if EmigrantDirect can continue to be the top dog, so the best strategy may be to set up account with a few competitive ones and jump ship when necessary -- I myself have accounts with Emigrant, ING Direct, CapitalOne and VirtualBank, all in the top 10 list.

This post has 14 comments. Read and share your opinions.
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>>> Alon Commented on March 14, 2005

First, I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your blog.

Wanted to make you aware of my online bank which offers some really incredible rates. Presidential Bank is based in Maryland and offers 3.0% on CHECKING accounts. I've used this bank since January '04 and have had a very good experience with them. I originally found them on, although I'm not sure why they are no longer listed on that website.

>>> Brian Commented on March 14, 2005

Alon: Do you have a link to your bank that you could share with us?

>>> tommy Commented on March 14, 2005

I second that.
I've used the presidential bank for about 3 months and am happy with them. The only con is that you need to establish direct deposit from you paychek.
Web address is

>>> Dawn Commented on March 14, 2005

Do you think it is worth it to move under $500 to Emigrant entirely from ING or split the money up a bit?

>>> mm Commented on March 14, 2005

For $500 we are talking about $3 difference in interest a year based on the current APY difference. If I were you, I will not bother to move the money. Instead, I will focus on saving more.

>>> Steve Commented on March 14, 2005

Took a quick look at the site and the FAQ, didn't see any explanation of "variable" in their offer of a "variable 3.25% Annual Percentage Yield."

>>> Jonathan Commented on March 15, 2005

I use Presidential Bank checking as well, it's great. Free checks and no limit in transactions. They do have a direct deposit requirement, however.

Steve - the rate is variable, which means that they can change it, but it is also guaranteed to be at least 3.25% until the end of this year. So it's not just a bait-and-switch.


>>> Mark Commented on March 16, 2005

ING Direct is also a variable rate if I recall correctly. There is really no way for a savings account to not have a variable rate. They would lose money whenever the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates.

>>> Myra Commented on March 16, 2005

With these online banks, such as Presidential Bank and Emigrant Direct, where are their ATM locations? Because I go to my credit union’s ATM to withdraw cash and there is no service fee charged.

>>> Bargain Hunter Commented on March 17, 2005

Has anyone had any experience with CorusBank? They also have outstanding rates on CD's and Money Market accounts.

>>> Bargain Hunter Commented on March 17, 2005

Sorry for the double post, but quick question for mm: You mentioned you have account with several major banks. Do you keep just the minimum balances to keep the accounts active (the lower yielding ones) or do you spread the funds evenly across all accounts?

>>> mm Commented on March 17, 2005

Right now, I am keeping minimal balances (<$100) in VirtualBank, ING Direct and CapitalOne each and part most of my money with EmigrantDirect. The invisible hand is apparently at play here :-)

>>> Bill K --- Boston Commented on March 21, 2005

I am a newbie to online banking. My #1 concern is secutity/identity theft. Can someone shed some light here?

>>> Bill K --- Boston Commented on March 24, 2005

Also ... how does one designate beneficiaries? Since accnts are indiv or Joint only.
Joint assets can be invaded by the other persons anti-law team!
Bill k.

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