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4.5% APY Savings Account from CITI

Old 04-02-06, 04:58 PM
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4.5% APY Savings Account from CITI

Title says it all. I am looking into this and may call them tomorrow to find out how long the rate is guaranteed..............

http://direct.citibank.com/CBOL/06/esavings/default.htm
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Old 04-02-06, 05:05 PM
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It's not going to be guaranteed for any amount of time -- fed rates could change tomorrow... if you want a guaranteed rate go with a CD (though that's a bad idea with rising rates).

Right now though HSBC has a higher intro rate until end of month (4.8%), and Emigrant Direct matches the 4.5% (it's their regular rate, not a promotional one).

ING offers a slightly higher intro rate (though it ends very soon), but then they drop to 4%.
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Old 04-02-06, 05:16 PM
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Expect rates to increase for quite a little bit more.

If you truly don't need the money, a CD is a better route to get more juice for your cash, and I would probably recommend getting 3 or 6 month CDs that way your money isn't locked up at a lower rate for a long time if rates do increae.

To EmigrantDirect

I also have CDs at IndyMacBank and GMAC. I set up both accounts online and had no problems moving money into the accounts (I have yet to move money out, so no guidance there)
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Old 04-03-06, 08:02 AM
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I just colsed out my son's CD and am opening an Emigrant account. Will be a much nicer return on his $800. Sadly, Emigrant doesn't offer a custodial account, but I'll take the trade off with the better interest rate.
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Old 04-04-06, 11:34 AM
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can someone explain the difference between a CD and say a money market account and other types of accounts at banks?

i have a little money in a money market at my bank (cant even remember why i opened it) and when i wanted to put that money back into my checking account the lady said i shouldnt bother - just leave it in there. why? what do i get out of that except pennies (<$1) of interest once and awhile.
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Old 04-04-06, 12:47 PM
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CD has a fixed interest rate for a fixed period of time. You can't withdrawl early without a penatly usually. IMHO this is bad to put your money in right now as interest rates are rising.

Money market can be done two different ways. One way, it's basically a savings account with more limits on withdrawls, but earns higher interest than a typical savings account, and is still FDIC insured. Some money markets are not insured -- they're investment products.
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Old 04-04-06, 01:05 PM
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i still cant see why i even have it. it barely pays anything. yet the lady at the bank was insistent that i keep it.
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Old 04-04-06, 01:09 PM
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If you have some extra cash you'd be better off closing your local money market, and opening up an Emigrant Direct account -- you'll get much better rates.
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Old 04-04-06, 01:38 PM
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I have an account with capitalone.com through costco. I think it is at 4.28% but that will probably go up a bit with the latest fed raise. Finally able to get a little interest on these things.
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Old 04-04-06, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by eviljim
If you have some extra cash you'd be better off closing your local money market, and opening up an Emigrant Direct account -- you'll get much better rates.
thats what i said (although i have ING...still better than the money market) - but the lady said id be better off keep it in the money market.
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Old 04-05-06, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
thats what i said (although i have ING...still better than the money market) - but the lady said id be better off keep it in the money market.
I suspect she's saying that just to keep you as a customer. Many are moving to online banking these days and leaving traditional banks behind.
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Old 05-14-06, 11:19 AM
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Thanks for the tips. So, there is no guarantee that Citibank won't lower the rate to like 1.5% tomorrow? Probably a basic question, but I'm not sure how the rate is determined........
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Old 05-14-06, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jkzahn
Thanks for the tips. So, there is no guarantee that Citibank won't lower the rate to like 1.5% tomorrow? Probably a basic question, but I'm not sure how the rate is determined........
Correct, however, these banks usually determine their rate by some calculation off of the prime interest rate. Unless that changes (and, in general, it has been going up lately anyway), your rate will probably stay the same.

Some banks offer "introductory" rates, though they are usually spelled out as lasting a certain amount of time.
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Old 05-16-06, 03:52 PM
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I saw that today they (CITI) have raised the rate on the eSavings to 4.75%!!

Is this rate adjustable so that those who were at 4.5% now get the 4.75%??

Thanks for the tips - I think I may go for this one.
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Old 05-17-06, 09:54 AM
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It appears that to have this Citibank account, you must have a Citibank checking account.

With both ING and Emigrant, you can link your savings account to whatever checking account (from any bank) you already have.
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Old 05-17-06, 12:13 PM
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Perhaps a little off topic, but I want to open and ING savings, does anyone have a referral code for me or don't they do that anymore? It would be nice to have the extra $25 or whatever they give out.
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Old 05-17-06, 06:57 PM
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I was considering opening either an HSBC account or en Emigrant Direct account. Does anyone know off hand the pro's and con's (but mostly interested in the con's) of either? The only real difference I noticed was that it cost $3 to transfer funds out of an HSBC account. Are there any charges with Emigrant? and how easy are these accounts to set-up?
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Old 05-17-06, 07:19 PM
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The emigrant direct took a while to set up, but there are no fees, and I've been quite happy with it.
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Old 05-18-06, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeeden
Perhaps a little off topic, but I want to open and ING savings, does anyone have a referral code for me or don't they do that anymore? It would be nice to have the extra $25 or whatever they give out.
Thanks for the referrals, I signed up last night.
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Old 05-18-06, 10:21 AM
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Has anyone used EmigrantDirect with a SunTrust account? I tried to call up SunTrust to determine if there would be any fees associated with the ACH debit transfers and they said they don't do this and the nearest thing would be $15 wire transfers, I think I just didn't fully explain what I was trying to do well enough, but does anyone know whether this will work with a SunTrust account? and if SunTrust has any fees for the transfers?
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Old 05-18-06, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by HokiEE
I was considering opening either an HSBC account or en Emigrant Direct account. Does anyone know off hand the pro's and con's (but mostly interested in the con's) of either? The only real difference I noticed was that it cost $3 to transfer funds out of an HSBC account. Are there any charges with Emigrant? and how easy are these accounts to set-up?
I have an HSBC online savings account and I've never had to pay a fee to transfer money in or out of the account. The trick is that you have to initiate the transfer from the HSBC account. After you link the non-HSBC account to your HSBC savings account, all transfers to and from your HSBC account have to be done through HSBC's site. The only thing that sucks about HSBC is that it takes about 3 business days for a transfer to be completed after it's initiated...so don't do any transfers after Tuesday otherwise you'll lose 5 days worth of interest (b/c of the weekend). Their online interface is a little clunkier than ING's, and their login system is a PITA b/c you are assigned a 20 digit username and an 8 digit password (neither of which can be changed). But I switched my money there earlier this year after using ING for several years b/c their rates are better than ING's and you don't need a minimum balance like some of the other high interest online accounts.
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Old 05-21-06, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by HokiEE
Has anyone used EmigrantDirect with a SunTrust account? I tried to call up SunTrust to determine if there would be any fees associated with the ACH debit transfers and they said they don't do this and the nearest thing would be $15 wire transfers, I think I just didn't fully explain what I was trying to do well enough, but does anyone know whether this will work with a SunTrust account? and if SunTrust has any fees for the transfers?
They are pulling a fast one on you. The CSR is trained to detect customers who are going to withdraw a significant amount of cash for another bank. The smarter ones can smell it from a mile away.

I would suggest that you go ahead and setup the withdrawl on Emigrant's website (you have to give your routing number, account number, and a few other things). Withdraw the money from the account, and if SunTrust gives you lip, then threaten to close out your account. Tell them that you are going to move to SouthTrust or the other bazillion banks in your neighborhood. They'll quietly remove the fees.

There are a ton of banks that don't charge that stupid fee.
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Old 05-21-06, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
They are pulling a fast one on you. The CSR is trained to detect customers who are going to withdraw a significant amount of cash for another bank. The smarter ones can smell it from a mile away.

I would suggest that you go ahead and setup the withdrawl on Emigrant's website (you have to give your routing number, account number, and a few other things). Withdraw the money from the account, and if SunTrust gives you lip, then threaten to close out your account. Tell them that you are going to move to SouthTrust or the other bazillion banks in your neighborhood. They'll quietly remove the fees.

There are a ton of banks that don't charge that stupid fee.
Thanks for the advice, I talked to a few other people who had different banks and their CSR's gave them the same lip service, but they never actually paid a charge.
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Old 05-22-06, 07:36 AM
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There are somewhere in the ballpark of 20,000 banks in the US. If you don't like one, you can easily take your business elsewhere.
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Old 05-28-06, 07:16 PM
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I've been with HSBC for a few months now - nothing but good things to say. I like the fact that they have a B&M existence (ING does not, afaik) semi-locally so if there's a major issue I can go somewhere to resolve it. It took about 2 weeks to get it fully set up, but I recently opened two new savings accounts with them for other purposes and they were linked within 72 hours. I get an ATM card (you can get a debit card too), so if I need to access the cash immediately I can from any ATM in the world (HSBC will waive their own fees). My rate is 4.65%, not the highest you can get, but I feel the best about where my money is, and I would recommend Citi for the same reason.

As for knowing when you are pulling out your funds - I recently switched from a "higher" yield MM at my bank to a free savings so I could transfer the funds to my savings. They asked why, and I told them that their sub .5% savings couldn't touch the 4.65 of HSBC. They of course gave me all sorts of options (CDs, etc.), but I said that a MM account is more convienent. They then said that they charge a $15 termination fee, to which I said they could close all my accounts if they didn't waive it (they did).

Banks need to realize that there is real competition out there and they need to step it up.
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