Key Bank Offers Checking Account Bonus Up To $225

keybank checking bonusKey Bank has two great checking account bonus offers today! Depending on the type of account you open or can open, you will be eligible to earn $125 or $225 in cash.

To earn the $125 cash bonus from Key Bank you have to open either their ‘Key Express Free Checking Account” or the “Key Advantage Money Market Checking.” Currently the money market account in our state is paying an interest rate of about 0.05% APY, your state may offer better rates.

How To Get The $125:

To make the $125 bonus you must make one debit card transaction and a combination of either two direct deposits or automated payments each of $100 or more.

To earn the $225 cash bonus from Key Bank you have to open either their “Key Privilege Checking Account” or their “Key Privilege Select Checking Account.”

  • The “Key Privilege” account puts both your banking account and investment account together.
  • The “Key Privilege Select” account offers its customers premium solutions and personal services. So to get the $225 bonus you must be a high roller. They make it hard to get bonuses from banks, or at least high bonuses.

How To Get the $225:

To make the $225 bonus you must qualify for their higher end checking account and then make one debit card transaction and a combination of either two direct deposits or automated payments each of $100 or more.

This deal is good until November 20, 2009 and may not be offered to you. Check out Key Bank’s promo page for more details and eligibility. Key bank operates out of many states in the west and most recently Colorado. Be sure to check the promo page to see if you are able to sign up from your state.

Highest 12 Month CD Rates At 2.25% – October 2009

Highest 12 Month CD Rates – October 2009

The current highest 12 month CD rates (certificates of deposit) that are nationally available are currently paying up to 2.25% APY. Depending on where you live in the US, you might be able to find slightly higher interest rates than the national average.

The winner of the top 12 month CD rates currently goes to ING Direct at 2.25% APY. Most new CDs must be funded with new month to get the rate advertised. This is a way for the banks to get new money to lend or to create a cushion for their bank. New money is important to any bank and their financial well being. With their 12 month CD paying 2.25% APY, you will might be able to find local rates in your area higher than ING Direct’s CD rates. If you have an account with ING Direct and wish to transfer funds to this new CD, or if your current CD just matured you can still transfer money over and get a rate of 2.10% APY for the 12 month term.

The next best 1 year CD rate that is available nationally goes to UmbrellaBank which yields 2.06% APY. To get this rate you will need to deposit a minimum of $1,000, which is pretty low compared to some opening balances required for the higher paying CDs.

Discover Bank comes in 3rd with a rate of 2.0% APY on their 12 month CD and also they are throwing in a sign up cash bonus of $25.00. The minimum deposit to open this account is $2,500 and depending on how much you put in at first the sign up bonus could equal close to 1.0% more to the earnings of this 12 month CD.

If you know of other higher paying CD rates for October 2009 please let us know!

How 0% Credit Cards Can Cost You Money

The allure of 0% Credit Cards can sometimes override the logical decision making that needs to take place before transferring the balances of your credit cards to a 0% interest credit card.

0% credit cards exist because credit companies make money from them, otherwise they would be no more. Do not be fooled, they are doing you no favors. The 0% interest draws the people in and often times distracts them what may be worse credit card terms then they currently have with their own credit cards.

Often times 0% credit card offers are used by people transferring other credit balance with higher interest rates over to the card with 0% interest.

Here are a few tips when deciding whether a 0% interest credit card is right for you to transfer balances onto.

  • The 0% Interest Will End: The 0% is only an introductory rate.  The introductory period is usually only 6 months long, sometimes a year.  After this period ends the standard terms of the credit card will apply.  You must educate yourself with the terms of the credit card so you do not put yourself in a worse position after 6 months.  Here is a quick calculation you can do to loosely determine if it may make sense to transfer your credit card balances to 0%.  Figure out the average interest rate of the credit cards you currently have a balance on.  If the average rate is lower then the interest rate that will apply after the 0% intro period than it is probably best to stay with what you have.  I say that is a loose calculation because in order to get an exact figure for combined interest rates you need to calculate in the balances.  But that quick calculation will give you a good general idea if it will make sense.
  • The exception to having a higher interest rate after the intro period is if you can pay large portions of the balance down while in the 0% introductory period.  This can help get you ahead a little bit because all the money you pay will be applied to the balance and not the interest. If you plan on only making the minimum payment through the 0% introductory period, or purchasing more stuff at 0% interest causing your balance to increase, you will most likely put yourself in a worse position if the interest rate is higher at the end of the introductory period.
  • Do not miss a payment: Many times credit card companies have terms in their contract stating something to the effect of if you miss a payment or are delinquent on a payment your 0% interest rate could end immediately.  This could be bad news if you transfer large amounts and then cannot make the payment on the credit card.
  • Transfer Fees: Not all credit card transfers are free.  You need to know if there is going to be a fee to transfer the balance from one credit card to the new zero interest credit card.  This fee can be enough money to make the whole thing not worth it.

When it comes to 0% interest credit cards they can be a tool to help you, or a trap that will hurt you.  Education is the best weapon to arm yourself with.  Do not get distracted by the allure of the 0%, that is how you will get yourself in trouble.

Look over the terms of the credit card, break down the figures of your own debt load, run some calculations to determine if transferring your balances is going to make financial sense for you.

If you want to see a list of 0% cards, click…  0% interest credit cards.

Highest CD Rates In Columbus, OH – October 2009

Here is a list of the highest CD (certificate of deposit) rates to the residents of Columbus, Ohio and the surrounding state.

These cd rates will cover at least the following cities in Ohio: Grove City, Upper Arlington, Dublin, Westerville, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg, Newark and Lancaster. These CDs will be for the 6 month CDs, 12 month CDs and 24 month CDs. After going through the local community banks and credit unions serving Columbus and most of Ohio, we have found that you may be able to find slightly higher rates with national institutions than with local ones.

Always remember that CD rates are time-sensitive in nature and can change at a moment’s notice. Please refer to the date of this article for accuracy and to use it as a reference of what CD rates were at a specific date. To find the most accurate CD rates from national banks, view our CD rates page.

How Did We Come Up With This List?

As with any CD rate, the higher the rate the longer the maturity date and since we did not want to strictly list the longest maturities, since they will boast the highest rates, we decided to list the deposit rates which beat national averages by the highest margins.

Highest 6 Month CD Rates In Columbus, OH:

  • United Midwest Savings Bank – 6 Month CD yields 1.75% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.
  • Benchmark Bank (Gahanna, OH) – 6 Month CD yields 1.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.
  • Columbus First Bank (Worthington, OH) – 6 Month CD yields 1.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.

Highest 12 Month CD Rates In Columbus, OH:

  • United Midwest Savings Bank – 12 Month CD yields 2.30% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.
  • Benchmark Bank – 12 Month CD yields 2.05% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.
  • Columbus First Bank – 12 Month CD yields 2.05% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.

Highest 24 Month CD Rates In Columbus, OH:

  • First Community Bank (Columbus branch) – a promotional 27 month CD yields 2.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000.
  • Hudson City Savings Bank – 24 month CD yields 2.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000. (This is a national bank and will accept deposits from any state.)
  • KEMBA Financial Credit Union – 24 month CD yields 2.30% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.

All of the above institutions are federally insured by either the FDIC or NCUA. Be sure to check with the bank to make sure they are still federally insured before giving them your money. If you know of better rates in or around Columbus Ohio please let us know in the comments.

CitiBank Credit Card Increases Interest Rate to 29.99%!

Guess what I just got in the mail today? A letter from CitiBank (South Dakota) telling me about the changes to my credit card account terms. This is what it says:

Dear ***** ******

We are making changes to your account terms.

To continue to provide our customers with access to credit, we have had to adjust our pricing. The terms of your account will be changing. These changes include an increase in the variable APR for purchases to 29.99% and will take effect November 30, 2009. As always, you have the right to opt out and pay down your balance under your current terms. If you opt out, you may use your account under the current terms until the end of your curent membership year or the expiration date on your card, whichever is later. At that time, we will close your account.

If you accept these changes, we have designed a program where you can earn interest back each month that can help offset the increase in your purchase APR.

Earn interest back every month

Here’s how – make your payment on time every month.

Each month you do, you will receive a credit on your billing statement equal to 10% of your total interest charge on purchase balance. This can help offset the increase in your purchase APR. Start earning interest back in December and January, and you will see the full credit on your statement no later than February 2010 and monthly after that.

If in any month you do not pay on time, you may not be eligible to continue to participate in this program.

We reserve the right to change or end this program with 30 days’ prior written notice. Please see the back of this letter for further details.

I’m not going to bore you with the rest of the letter but here are my thoughts.

29.99%, holy crap! Do the credit card companies really expect people to accept these terms? I know that I will be paying down that credit card by the end of the year and never using it again. Its very important that you DO NOT close your credit cards, no matter how upset you may be. Building a good credit history takes time and, well, a history. So if you close your credit card, then you lose that history for however long you have been building it with that particular card.

It seems like the credit card providers have forgotten about customer service, keeping their customers happy, providing a quality product, but instead it seems like they only care about the future credit laws that are coming out as early as December 1st. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have 8 credit cards (only use 3 of them and have very little debt with them), but I do expect to get more of these letters. Hopefully there will still be a credit card provider out there who actually cares for their customers and not charging the he*l out of them.

That’s it for now!

Mortgage Rate Analysis-Monday October 19th, 2009

Well you never like to start an article with “an I told you so” but I feel that this week it is important to do just that.  People that were “floating” their loan last week saw the rates rise about .25% from the five months lows we had the previous week.  It is always tempting to try and get something better but in this market you need to analyze what you can get and if it is good you need to take it!  We had several “good news” economic reports last week that drove the price of Mortgage Back Securities lower, thus forcing the banks to raise the rates a bit to compensate.  Remember a stronger economy means that we are able to handle higher rates so those two entities tend to work against each other.

Today will not really have any major news in it that will shift the rates one way or the other, but our fearless Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be giving a speech later in CA that will get several peoples attention.  It is amazing how much power there is in this mans words.  We will wait to hear any indication that the Fed will either begin to raise the Federal Rate or hold steady.

Rates are holding steady today!

Rates are holding steady today!

Third, I have been reminding readers of the expiration date of the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorizes an up to $8000 tax credit to any first time home buyer that closes a loan on or before November 30th  on a primary residence.   To qualify you must not have owned a home in the prior 3 years and must make less than $75,000 if filing single or $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly.  The amount of the credit is reduced if your income is higher and completely goes away if your income exceeds $95,000 if single and $170,000 if married filing jointly.   Currently the credit is being extended for veterans of our armed forces who have served overseas for at least 90 days during 2009.  Check out the IRS website for more information and the appropriate forms that must be completed to get the credit.  To receive the tax credit you can either amend your 2008 returns or wait until you file your returns next year.

My review of several other mortgage professionals indicates that the par 30 year conventional mortgage rate remains in the 4.875% to 5.125% range for well-qualified consumers.  I like this rates being published cause as you can see my rates at the bottom of the range!  To get a par interest rate you must have a credit score of 740 or higher, a loan to value at 80% or less and pay all closing costs including an estimated one point loan origination fee.  You can elect to pay less in fees and secure a higher interest rate, as every lender has a creative way of packaging your closing costs.  It is important to know that there are always closing costs in a loan it only differs how you pay them which is why a trusted mortgage professional is worth their weight in gold!

lock_iconThis week projects to be a pretty steady week as far as rates go, but as I have been saying for a several days now, I don’t see much improvement in the future so lock today and have peace of mind going forward with your mortgage process.

Highest CD Rates In Denver, Colorado – October 2009

Here is a list of the best CD (certificate of deposit) rates we have found for the residents of Denver, Colorado. We have placed these rates in the 6 month CDs, 12 month CDs and 24 month CDs. After going through many local banks and credit unions we have found these to be some of the best rates available in Denver, but have also found that you may be able to receive higher rates from national institutions than with your local ones.

Keep in mind that CD rates are constantly changing and are time sensitive in nature. Be sure to check the date of this article for accuracy. You can always get the most up to date rates from our best CD rates page.

Highest 6 Month CD Rates In Denver, Colorado:

  • FirsTier Bank – 6 month CD yields 1.75% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Community Banks of Colorado – 6 month CD yields 1.60% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Mile High Banks – 6 month CD yields 1.49% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.

Highest 12 Month CD Rates In Denver, Colorado:

  • FirsTier Bank – 12 month CD yields 2.15% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Community Banks of Colorado – 12 month CD yields 2.10% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Bank of Denver – 12 month CD yields 2.07% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000.

Highest 24 Month CD Rates In Denver, Colorado:

  • Red Rocks Credit Union (Littleton, CO) – 24 month CD yields 2.73% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000.
  • FirsTier Bank – 24 month CD yields 2.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Hudson City Savings Bank – 24 month CD yields 2.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000. This is a national bank and will accept deposits nationwide.

All of these banks and credit unions are federally insured with either the FDIC or the NCUA. Be sure your bank or credit union is federally insured before you deposit your funds there. If you live in Denver, Colorado or in the state of Colorado and know of better CD rates, then please let us know.

Highest CD Rates In Baltimore, MD – October 2009

Here is the list of the highest yielding CD rates available to residents of Baltimore, Maryland. These rates come in the form of 6 month CDs, 12 month CDs and 24 month CDs. After going through the local rates from both banks and credit unions for Baltimore and Maryland as a whole, we have found that you can get better rates from national institutions than with your local ones. Remember that local banks give out interest based on the local economy and how much the bank hopes to make from using your money.

Please keep in mind that these local rates may have changed, as all rates are time-sensitive in nature, so please refer to the date of this article for accuracy. You can always find the most current CD rates in our updated CD Rates section.

How is this information compiled?

You will find the highest CD rates on the longer maturities, but since we did not want to strictly list the longer cd rates, we have decided to list a variation of deposit rates which will beat the national average by the highest margins.

Highest 6 Month CD Rates In Baltimore, MD:

  • Arundel Federal Savings Bank – 6 month CD and a 9 month CD yields 1.75% APY with a minimum deposit of $10,000.
  • AmericasBank – 7 month CD yields 1.60% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Kopernik Federal Bank – 6 month CD yields 1.56% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000.

Highest 12 Month CD Rates In Baltimore, MD:

  • Hamilton Federal Bank – 12 month CD and a 15 month CD yields 2.05% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000.
  • Essex Bank (Catonsville, MD) – 12 month CD yields 2.02% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.
  • Nexity Bank – 12 month CD yields 2.01% APY with a minimum deposit of $1,000. (This is a national bank and will accept deposits from customers nationwide).

Highest 24 Month CD Rates In Baltimore, MD:

  • Hudson City Savings Bank – 24 month CD yields 2.50% APY with a minimum deposit of $5,000. (This is a national bank and will accept deposits from any state).
  • Fairmount Bank – 25 Month CD yields 2.30% APY with a minimum deposit of $10,000.
  • 1st Mariner Bank – 24 month CD yields 2.20% APY with a minimum deposit of $500.

These are the best rates we could find in Baltimore Maryland, but if you know of a better rate please leave a comment. All of the above banks and credit unions are federally insured by either the FDIC or NCUA.

As of this writing the national average for a 6 month CD is 1.33% and a 12 month Cd is 1.70%. CD rates increase and decrease at any time and so we suggest you check with the bank you are interested in for their current CD rate.

East Carolina Bank Offers 2.50% 13 Month CD Rate

The East Carolina Bank is now offering three competitive CD specials

  • 2.50% APY 13 month
  • 3.00% APY 25 month
  • 3.25% APY 36 month

A minimum deposit of $1,000 is required with a maximum of $90,000 per term. If you wish to have more than one open CD and you are maxed at $90,000 deposited you can open multiple CDs. You will not find these specials listed on their bank’s website but can be verified by calling or emailing the bank. These are details as of today (10/14/09).

To get these rates you will have to visit the branch to open the CD. Any resident located in East North Carolina, including the cities of Washington, Leland, Morehead City, New Bern, Currituck, Hatteras, Engelhard, Williamston, Wilmington, Hertford, Greenville and Columbia. If you are looking for a specific locations phone number just go to their website and in the “About Us” link on the top of the page click “Our Locations” to find the bank closest to you with addresses and phone numbers.

If you look at BauerFinancial they rate East Carolina Bank as a 4 star (Excellent) bank but Bankrate rates the bank as a 2 star (below peer group). You can read into both ratings on those sites to see why they rate East Carolina Bank as they do. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 2017). Remember these competitive CD rates are only available to local residence.

KeyBank Opens In Colorado Offers High CD Rate and $200 Checking Bonus

keybank logoAnyone looking for a new bank may want to take a few minutes to check out KeyBank. Colorado is KeyBank’s first venture outside of the Northwest and Northeast (outside of Florida) and may be a sign of the bank looking to expand across the country. You can find a location near you by visiting their promotional page here.

To celebrate the expansion into Colorado, KeyBank is now offering a 16 month and 32 month CD special with rates of 1.75% and 2.75%. These rates are competitive to the highest cd rates of today, but the minimum deposit is $10,000, which is high compared to what is available. An example is, Discover Bank has a 2.35% rate on a 30 month CD with a minimum deposit of $2,500 and ING Direct’s 2.10% 12 month CD has no minimum deposit. These CD specials are also only available at the new Colorado branches only.

The best deal with KeyBank opening in Colorado is that they are giving out a $200 checking bonus to anyone who opens a new account at one of the new locations. You will not find the deal on its website, but can find a print ad that has been running in the Denver Post. To earn the $200 bonus all you need to do is open the account by 12/4/09 and make one debit card transaction and a combination of two direct deposits and/or automatic payments each of $100 or more by 2/5/10.

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