Capture Nearly 5% Yields... from Your Checking Account?

Anthony Haddad's picture

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 1:55pm

by Anthony Haddad

Stocks and bonds too dicey? Commodities out of reach? Options too complex? Then forget about all those investments. Right now, you can earn up to 4.5% with FDIC protection. Now, 4.5% isn't too tough to beat with other investment classes, but each of them carries its own set of risks. With the FDIC, you have something very few investments offer. A guarantee you won't lose your money.

Amazingly, some community banks are offering these rates on checking accounts. (The only similar return is on the 30-Year Treasury.) Traditional checking accounts pay you zilch, and most people use a savings account to pull in a little interest on their cash until they decide what to do with it. Yet, these checking accounts are turning that common practice on its head by offering rates that beat what savings accounts, certified deposit and money market accounts can offer.

There are some limitations. Many of these community banks can't offer their best rates on deposits of more than $25,000. Others have no limit but pay slightly lower rates of 3.5%, which is closer to the 10-Year Treasury rate or 5-year CD rate. If you're in the happy position of hitting these deposit limits, you can spread your dollars around to multiple banks.

While these rates don't compete with the highest dividend-paying stocks and bonds out there, virtually risk-free returns do have some upside. There's no prospect of capital loss up to the FDIC limit of $250,000. And there is the less tangible benefit that stems from the peace of mind you have knowing that your assets aren't at risk.

To find more checking accounts with fat returns, visit checkingfinder.com.

Issuer Type Restrictions Rate (%)
30-Year U.S. Treasury Treasury N/A 4.6%
Community National Bank of Lakeway Checking Max $25,000 4.5%
Royal Bank of Missouri Checking Max $25,000 4.3%
Liberty Bank Checking Max $25,000 4.3%
10-Year Treasury Treasury N/A 3.8%
City Bank Checking None 3.6%
E-Loan 5-Year CD Min $10,000 3.5%
Lone Star Bank 5-Year CD Min $1,000 3.5%
First Trade Union Bank 5-Year CD Min $500 3.5%
City National Bank Checking None 3.3%
Bank of Internet USA Savings Min $100 2.5%
Tennessee Commerce Bank Savings Min $250 2.3%
Aurora Bank 1-Year CD Min $1,000 2.1%
Seacoast Commerce Bank Money Market Min $25,000 2.1%
2-Year Treasury Treasury N/A 1.1%
Anthony Haddad does not personally hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.
StreetAuthority LLC does not hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.