PenFed Access America checking 1.01% APY for $20-50K

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The Pentagon Federal Credit Union ("PenFed") currently offers a 1.01% APY for its Access America checking account for balances of $20-50K.  <$20K earns 0.50% APY.  Details here. No interest for >$50K.
Upgrade from older checking account without changing account number, checks, etc.  There should be a link in the "I want to..." section of the Main Menu. 

Addendum:  "*Earn dividends with direct deposits of $1,000 or more and a daily balance of up to $50,000 per statement cycle.1"  I called to verify and was told that to earn interest does require Direct Deposit of $1,000+ monthly.  ACH transfers do not count.

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Same here.  Only an ACH deposit.  Only over $20K for a few days at the end of the statement period.  They paid 0.40% for... (more)

kklarson (Aug. 08, 2016 @ 3:25p) |

LOL, that didn't last long. Already down to .50% APY for balances over 20K up to 50K and .20% APY for <20K.  That was a ... (more)

bpp (Sep. 12, 2016 @ 10:59a) |

Yeah, noticed that this morning.  Time to shift the money back to Alliant.

polaris (Sep. 12, 2016 @ 12:27p) |

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Is this a teaser rate? What has been the historical interest rate for this account?


This little hiding-in-plain-sight deal is one of the best higher-limit deposit account rates available right now (where little hoops need to be jumped thru to get/keep).

Why would I keep that much amount in a checking account?

Why bother jumping through hoops with PenFed when you can get the same rate from others without the direct deposit?

GoldmanSachs Bank is one example - 1.05% GS Bank

slappycakes said:   Why bother jumping through hoops with PenFed when you can get the same rate from others without the direct deposit?

GoldmanSachs Bank is one example - 1.05% https://www.gsbank.com/en.html

  
Any upper deposit limit that applies to the rate?

SummerSoFar said:   
slappycakes said:   Why bother jumping through hoops with PenFed when you can get the same rate from others without the direct deposit?

GoldmanSachs Bank is one example - 1.05% https://www.gsbank.com/en.html

  
Any upper deposit limit that applies to the rate?

  quite happy with gs bank, it was GE capital earlier- got bought by GS as they want to do retail now....
no limits, no hoops.

slappycakes said:   Why bother jumping through hoops with PenFed when you can get the same rate from others without the direct deposit?

GoldmanSachs Bank is one example - 1.05% https://www.gsbank.com/en.html

  
I would think it primarily depends on where you already have an account, or want to have an account.  Another consideration is that PenFed is checking and GS is savings.

SummerSoFar said:   
slappycakes said:   Why bother jumping through hoops with PenFed when you can get the same rate from others without the direct deposit?

GoldmanSachs Bank is one example - 1.05% https://www.gsbank.com/en.html

  
Any upper deposit limit that applies to the rate?

  $250,000 is the maximum balance allowed.

If you had an old GE Capital account, the per account limit is $1,000,000.

Not a checking account but these banks offer at least 1% APY:

Synchrony
Barclay
Ally

Thanks OP for mentioning the $1k DD requirement.  I just opened this account last month and was not aware of this.  I will now be pulling most of my funds out, because the rate isn't worth the hoops when I can get similar interest at lots of other places.  I wouldn't mind if any ACH transfer counted.  But it would take me a couple months of trial & error to figure out which transfers counted as a fake direct deposit and I'd lose interest all those months until I found one that worked.  Not worth it!
exclusivelysid said:   Why would I keep that much amount in a checking account?
 

Well I have a substantial amount in there currently only because real-life events are preventing me from dedicating time to managing investments actively.  It's an OK place to store $50k for a month or two when you're not sure how soon you're going to be transferring it elsewhere and putting it to good use.

By the way, where Penfed really shines is the "instant" ACH transfers.  I love how they'll float you $5k per day instantly, even on weekends, so one could probably rack up $15k and send it to another bank over the weekend without really having a cent to your name.  I'm surprised they haven't been burned on that yet.

If you're paid by DFAS, it's really easy to setup/change your Direct Deposit on the myPay website.  You only need the routing number and account number.  I didn't want to change my entire paycheck, so I just setup an Allotment.  Just select Allotments or Direct Deposit in the Pay Changes section on the main page.  

I have read a couple of reports on Creditboards that PenFed doesn't allow bill pay for the first six months, and restricts ACHs in OR out to a max of $50 for the same time period.

If true, that doesn't make for a very useful checking account for an unreasonable amount of time.  You might want to check before opening an account.

I have never been able to initiate an external payment to my PenFed credit card ($15K limit) from their site  since I opened it last year. When I inquired they said they would need to hard pull my credit to enable the feature. (WTF?)
 

slappycakes said:   Why bother jumping through hoops with PenFed when you can get the same rate from others without the direct deposit?

GoldmanSachs Bank is one example - 1.05% https://www.gsbank.com/en.html

  GS is savings, not checking. Most of us already have hgiher yield savings accounts, but a checking account is still necessary.

Anyone want a 4% return? I'm interested in some equity for my real estate investments!

cybertopia said:   Anyone want a 4% return? I'm interested in some equity for my real estate investments!
  C'mon bro. You're going to have to do substantially better than 4% for anything outside of a REIT.
 
  Edit: NVM, I'm out. I see that Vanguard REIT has had 11% performance since inception.

cybertopia said:   Anyone want a 4% return? I'm interested in some equity for my real estate investments!
Only a dozen previous posts in 14 years, and you came up with that stinker?  

If one is put off by DD requirements, Alliant's savings account might be a good alternative. 0.995%. You can easily pair that with a free checking account and transfer instantly between the two. No max on savings either.

I had interest paid on my Access America account for the last billing period with no direct deposit.  Not sure if it matters, but I did ACH money in from Capital One and Alliant during this period though.

polaris said:   I had interest paid on my Access America account for the last billing period with no direct deposit.  Not sure if it matters, but I did ACH money in from Capital One and Alliant during this period though.
  Same here.  Only an ACH deposit.  Only over $20K for a few days at the end of the statement period.  They paid 0.40% for some reason.

LOL, that didn't last long. Already down to .50% APY for balances over 20K up to 50K and .20% APY for <20K.  That was a waste of my time to set up.

Yeah, noticed that this morning.  Time to shift the money back to Alliant.



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