Savings and Money Market Account Rates Fail to Follow Mortgage Rates Higher in 4th Quarter

Not even rising long-term interest rates were enough to move deposit rates from their historic lows in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest research by MoneyRates.com.

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The trends that pushed some rates higher were mainly centered on long-term rates. Short-term rates like those on savings and money market accounts will need stronger and more sustained economic growth before they get to join the party.

Foster City, Calif. (PRWEB) January 27, 2014

Despite rising mortgage rates and long-term bond yields, the fourth quarter of 2013 left rates on savings accounts and money market accounts at the near-zero levels that have plagued savers since the Great Recession, according to the latest edition of America’s Best Rates by MoneyRates.com. But as with previous quarters, a number of defiant banks posted rates that underline the value of rate shopping in today’s low-yield environment.

The average saving account rate in the survey fell to 0.179 percent, down from 0.185 percent in the third-quarter survey. The average money market account rate fell to 0.156 percent, down from 0.161 percent. These declines occurred in a period when many other interest rates were rising significantly, but this divergence isn’t much of a surprise, says Richard Barrington, CFA, senior financial analyst for MoneyRates.com.

“The trends that pushed some rates higher, such as mortgage rates, were mainly centered on long-term rates,” says Barrington. “Short-term rates like those on savings and money market accounts will need stronger and more sustained economic growth before they get to join the party.”

Still, not all is lost for consumers who seek higher deposit yields today. The top banks in the savings and money market account categories offered rates up to six times the survey’s average rates. Barrington says that these kinds of discrepancies make it important for consumers to monitor their yields, in spite of today’s historic lows in rates.

“The large difference in rates highlights the fact that consumers have a choice,” says Barrington. “Consumers can either simply curse lower rates, or they can choose higher rates by being more selective.”

As with previous quarters, consumers may also wish to note the difference between the yields on online bank accounts – products that are serviced exclusively through the bank’s website – and traditional branch-based accounts. In both the savings and money market categories, the average yield for online accounts was at least three times that of the average yield for branch-based accounts.

Here are the top 10 banks and their average savings account annual percentage yield (APY) in the fourth-quarter 2013 America’s Best Rates survey:

1.    Doral Bank – 0.940 percent
2.    Capital One Bank – 0.904 percent
3.    (tie) Barclays Bank – 0.900 percent
3.    (tie) GE Capital Bank – 0.900 percent
5.    (tie) American Express Bank – 0.850 percent
5.    (tie) FNBO Direct – 0.850 percent
7.    Ally Bank – 0.849 percent
8.    CIT Bank – 0.845 percent
9.    GE Capital Retail Bank – 0.840 percent
10.    Discover Bank – 0.804 percent

Here are the top 10 banks and their average money market account APY in the fourth-quarter 2013 America’s Best Rates survey:

1.    Doral Bank – 0.940 percent
2.    Sallie Mae Bank – 0.900 percent
3.    Mutual of Omaha Bank – 0.850 percent
4.    Ally Bank – 0.849 percent
5.    GE Capital Retail Bank – 0.822 percent
6.    Nationwide Bank – 0.735 percent
7.    Discover Bank – 0.700 percent
8.    EverBank – 0.610 percent
9.    OneWest Bank – 0.500 percent
10.    Zions Bank – 0.450 percent

To read the full analysis, please see “America’s Best Rates Q4 2013: Yields continue declining (with some exceptions).

Methodology
America’s Best Rates are calculated from savings account rates and money market account rates recorded in the MoneyRates Index throughout the previous quarter. The MoneyRates Index is a composite of 100 banks, including the 50 largest U.S. banks by deposit amount, plus 50 smaller banks. This sampling was constructed to be broadly representative of the general banking environment.

About MoneyRates.com
MoneyRates.com has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. The site seeks to provide the highest rates on CDs, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts. MoneyRates.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to find, research and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.
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