Review Of EverBank Online Savings and High Interest Checking Accounts
Published 12/26/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
Since 2000, Everbank has quietly grown and emerged as a top tier banking institution, offering a diversified array of full service online banking products that include mortgage loans, high yield savings accounts, money markets, high interest certificate of deposit (CD)���� products, and most intriguing of all, high interest checking accounts. While not as well known as popular online banks like ING Direct, HSBC Direct, or even E-Trade Savings Bank, EverBank has steadily grown to become one of the top online high yield savings banks in the market (reviews shared by several news sources such as CNN Money). Because the online bank apparently did not dabble in toxic subprime mortgages, the company is in a much stronger position today than many of its competing rival banks.
About a year ago, I opened an Ever Bank savings and checking account for review purposes and have been generally pleased with the annual percentage yield (APY) interest rates I've received over many months. Consistent with its marketing pledge to stay among the top 5% of savings banks in terms of interest rate, I'm pretty pleased to say upon examination of its past, that EverBank has stayed true to its word over the last few years. Despite market fluctuations in bank interest rates, EverBank has remained one of the top banking choices for those seeking the highest FDIC insured rates of return for their savings and investments. This is not to say that EverBank is the absolute best online bank out there, but it's certainly one that consumers should consider when evaluating their options. At the very least, those interested in checking accounts in particular that earn a pretty high interest rate (an extreme rarity among other banks) or those interested in alternative savings options like foreign currency denominated CD's should take a look at EverBank and its sister discount broker firm, EverTrade Direct Brokerage.
Those weary about the safety of their money and investments in this day and age of failing banks need not worry. All Everbank checking, savings, high yield savings, money market accounts, and CD deposit banking products are fully protected by FDIC insurance coverage up to the full $250,000 limit.
Ever Bank 's Promotional Interest Rate Offer For High Yield Checking, and High Interest Savings/Money Market Accounts
For both its FreeNet Checking and Yield Pledge Money Market accounts, EverBank offers an exceedingly high 3 month introductory interest rate for new customers and a competitive rate thereafter that vastly exceeds many interest rate deals by competing banks. For example, back when the best interest rates offered by other online savings banks were around the mid to low 3% range, EverBank's bonus rate was a high 4.75% and a strong 3.50% after the promotional period. Needless to say, Everbank's strongest banking appeal is its historically high interest rate yields on deposit accounts.
Process Of Opening An Everbank Checking Or Money Market Account Online
- Online Application Is Partly Paper Driven - Your EverBank FreeNet Checking, Yield Pledge Money Market, or CD deposit accounts can be applied for and opened online, but you'll need to mail in your signed application and some printed out paperwork to finalize your accounts. Some find the application process annoying, but I personally find it fairly routine. To me it's just the one time initial leg work required to set up an account with the potential to earn a great rate thereafter. Those worried about losing their attractive high yield interest rates while the bank account application is pending have nothing to worry about - you get to lock in the interest rate at the time your dated application is mailed. Hopefully as EverBank ramps up and improves its online website access, the application process and ACH funding option will become entirely online driven, rather than having to utilize manually mailed in paper applications with paper checks for initial deposits.
- Harmless Soft Credit Pull - EverBank no longer performs a hard credit check that hurts your FICO credit score, but instead now performs a soft credit check on all banking applications primarily to confirm ID. On its website, Everbank indicates that it does perform a credit inquiry for the purposes of opening an account, and that while such an inquiry will show on your credit report, it's coded differently than an inquiry for a loan and would have less of an impact on your credit score. Thus, the soft pull will show up on your credit report, but should fall under the same section as harmless credit inquiries such as the ones banks frequently make for credit card pre-approval purposes.
EverBank's Free Net Checking Account (With High Interest Yield)
To open an Everbank FreeNet Checking account, you'll need a $1,500 initial funding deposit, but there is no requirement that you maintain a minimum balance to earn interest and there is no monthly fee. With EverBank checking, you will also receive the usual checking perks like free online and mobile banking, free Visa check card, unlimited check writing, no Everbank affiliated ATM fees, free $6 per month ATM reimbursement, free overdraft protection, and optional online bill pay. While all of the services are otherwise free with no monthly fee, if you want to utilize the online bill pay service, you'll need to���� maintain a minimum account balance of at least $1,500, otherwise there is a small monthly charge of $4.95.
EverBank's YieldPledge Money Market Account and CD's
To open an EverBank Yield Pledge Money Market Account, you'll need a low $1,500 initial funding deposit. There is no minimum balance requirement to earn the highest savings interest rate, but there is a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95 if accounts do not maintain the $1,500 amount. Other than that, EverBank offers an account aggregation service that allows you to link up your various financial accounts and transfer money around freely via free online and mobile banking. Those interested in different alternative account options also have several possibilities including custodial (for minor children), non profit, and trust accounts.
Other than the standard high yielding array of CD savings options with its time delineated variations, Everbank also offers high value CD investment options called Insured Advantage CD's through the CDARS network (which is a network of member banks that allows for much higher protections for CD investments than that afforded by the FDIC alone). Currently, EverBank provides the peace of mind of FDIC insured protection of up to $50 million for these special deposit.
International CD's and Foreign Currency Deposit Accounts
Everbank not only offers a broad selection of high yielding CD's in U.S. currency, most interestingly, it also offers them in foreign currency denominations as well through its WorldCurrency program. It's one of the full service perks that seems to set the company apart from other online savings banks. As indicated on the EverBank website, those that seek to diversify one's portfolio globally may want to consider foreign currencies as a beneficial addition. Everbank's WorldCurrency CD deposits allow you to earn interest in the foreign exchange currency of your choice and enjoy the currency appreciation benefits against the U.S. dollar.
Those worried about potential dollar inflation or the weakening value of the dollar may want to consider Ever Bank's World Currency CD's, however, it's important to bear in mind that while FDIC insurance fully protects all CD and savings deposits from bank failure loss, it doesn't shield you from the dangers of currency depreciation in the event your selected international currency depreciates against the dollar. Foreign currency CD's are an interesting way to hedge against and profit from currency fluctuations and pricing risk, but you should view them as much riskier than traditional bank deposits. Those that want to diversify their investment and deposit options further can also invest in gold or silver through EverBank's fully diversified array of non FDIC insured precious metal accounts. It's an alternative way to further diversify your financial portfolio.
Extra Information and Resource
- EverBank ABA/Routing Number for direct deposits and ACH transfers: 063092110