BankingMyWay is back at it this week scouring the countryside for the best bank deals in the U.S.
Let’s get going.
The perception is that home equity lines of credit are out of favor in a time when U.S. households are trying to pay down debt, not add to it. Maybe that’s why home equity loans are off 20% so far this year.
But that leaves a lot of room for people who have the financial credentials to get a great HELOC deal at a great rate. The best home equity credit deals we’re seeing are down in the 3.25% category (mostly in the form of adjustable rate mortgages that are tied to the prime rate, currently around 3.25%). And that’s at a time when the national rate for HELOCs runs north of 5.50%. Banks like Nationwide Bank (Stock Quote: NFS) and regional player Third Federal Savings and Loan both have 3.25% HELOC rates, but only for borrowers with credit scores of 720 and above. That said, even if you go down to a credit score of 680, you can still score a HELOC rate of less than 4%, and that’s a good deal these days.
Bank Savings Accounts
In a banking environment where rate-dealers are throwing nickels around like manhole covers, every dollar counts. So ING Direct’s (Stock Quote: ING) $25 offer to open a savings account could make sense, especially when there is no minimum deposit. The deal is only for new customers, but if that means you, simply visit the ING Direct Web site, enter the reference code of VE222 and you’re off and running.
Not a bad deal: Drop $5 into your new ING savings account in the morning, and by the end of the day there’ll be $30 staring back at you from your account, courtesy of ING.
Bank Rewards Checking Accounts
Houston, Texas-based People’s Trust credit union has a similar deal on the bank checking side, offering new customers $100 in cold cash to open a new checking account. Right now, the offer is only available through the end of June, although banks have, in most cases, extended these kinds of programs to keep competitive in 2009.
You’ll need to open a People’s Trust Classic Checking account with a minimum $20 deposit, accept e-statements only, agree to a Visa debit card, and make five debit card purchases per month (Stock Quote: V). Every month you meet that criteria, you’ll see an extra $25 in your account, for four months running.
Money Market Accounts
Good money market deals are few and far between, with the BankingMyWay money market rate tracker at .50% this week. Banks don’t feel pressured by customers to hand out big yields on money markets, so they’re standing pat.
Most banks, that is. Intervest Online has some good deals on bank CDs, but even better ones on money market accounts. With a minimum $2,500 investment, Intervest money market customers can get a rate of 1.78%, and an APY of 1.80%. For deposits of between $50,000 and $100,000, those rates jump to 1.85% and 1.90%, respectively.
As always, check the best rates out there on all bank products at BankingMyWay.com.