E*Trade's online savings account business was purchased by Discover, which is in the process of merging it into their Discover Online Savings account this week (to be completed by March 7). This should be good for customers of both banks: E*Trade's customers become Discover Bank customers, which is paying a much higher rate, and Discover is upgrading its website software with features acquired from E*Trade, which had a better interface.
As a result, I've removed E*Trade from the savings account list. The only other changes are a slow gradual drift downwards in a number of other rates.
I've added Ally Bank to the online savings accounts page. It's a mid-2009 relaunch of the former GMAC bank, now with no minimums or fees. I've also finally updated the non-US accounts list; apologies to my non-American visitors for the long neglect of that page!
A batch of updates today:
Two new online savings accounts offering competitive rates, from credit-card companies Discover and American Express. Part of a trend of non-bank financial firms moving into banking in hopes that retail deposits will be a good source of funding. Rates in general continue to slowly decline, with the best ones currently hovering just under 2%.
In checking-account news, there are two new account-opening bonuses that expire very soon (in two days), which might be worth looking at if you were thinking of opening an account. I've also removed Washington Mutual, since it completed its merger with Chase, and Chase no longer offers a comparable completely-free account.
No updates lately, because there hasn't been much action. On the online savings account front, rates have been slowly drifting downwards, but mostly stabilizing. The best rate is currently from ShoreBank, at 2.45%.
In other news, there's a book out on ING Direct's success, The Orange Code: How ING Direct Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a Cause. It's written by ING Direct's founder and CEO, and in addition to chronicling ING itself, gives a broader picture of how direct-to-consumer banking over the internet has shaken up traditional banking.
By request, we've finally got a feed. You can subscribe to it in your favorite feed reader for updates to the site. I'll post major new or updated site sections, approximately once-a-month notices of rate changes, and other such info. And, the first update: a bunch of the online savings account rates have seen modest decreases, as rates continue to slide downwards in the current economic climate.