Savings Rates Report March 2013: Ally, AmEx Cut Rates

Simon Zhen

Updated on Tue Jun 3, 2014

(Please check out our latest savings rates report.)

Ryan / Flickr |

Ryan / Flickr source

Since mid-February, two of the biggest online banks slashed rates on their savings accounts and contributed to a noticeable drop in the national savings rate average, which fell from 0.32% APY to 0.30% APY in the past month.

American Express Bank’s savings rate went from 0.90% APY to 0.85% APY. Ally Bank followed up last month’s savings-rate cut from 0.95% APY to 0.90% APY with another rate cut; now, it’s down to 0.84% APY.

Meanwhile, Barclays Bank continues to hold the top nationwide savings rate at 1.00% APY. But, with the rate drops at big online banks, Barclays Bank isn’t likely to maintain that attractive rate for long. Newer online banks tend to offer highly competitive rates to bring in new customers and deposits. When American Express Bank was still a newcomer, it offered the best saving rate for some time, before making rate cuts.

Usually, a significant drop in savings rates follows grim news from the Federal Reserve. But, the central bank didn’t hold a board meeting in the past month. Another meeting is slated for next week.

Since the Fed pegged a possible interest rate hike to an improving employment market, savers should keep an eye on jobs data. One piece of good news is the falling unemployment rate, which was reported to be 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The table below shows the changes in savings rates at benchmark financial institutions from Feb. 15, 2013 to March 15, 2013. By monitoring the savings rates at some of the largest banks, we get an idea of where rates at other banks and financial institutions are headed.

BankSavings accountAPY (as of 2/15/13)APY (as of 3/15/13)APY Change
Bank of AmericaRegular Savings0.010.01%0%
Ally BankHigh Yield Savings0.90%0.84%-0.06%
Capital One 360360 Savings0.75%0.75%0%
American ExpressPersonal Savings0.90%0.85%-0.05%

With more and more online banks being introduced, savings rates can vary greatly. It’s a good idea to compare rates and features if you’re looking for a new savings account.

Related Stories:

Savings Rates Report Feb. 2013: Still Falling

CD Rates Report Feb. 2013: Watching the Worsening Jobs Market


Post a Comment

  • samsilver

    This sinks It like giving the bank free money

  • kcfield

    Thanks. You have a typo on your chart for the Ally APY for 3/15/13: You wrote .94 when you meant .84. You listed it correctly in the narrative. Also, if you are tracking, TIAA bank has gone from 1.25 to 1.00 to .91 just recentlly

  • kcfield

    Simon: Thanks for this helpful info. Please correct the typo on the Ally chart: You have the 3/13 interest rate at .94 when you meant .84. You have it correct in the narrative. Also, TIAA Bank has gone from 1.25 to 1.00 to .91 – the latter just recently.

    • Simon Zhen

      Keith, thanks for catching that. It has been corrected.

      Yes, TIAA Direct recently dropped its savings and money market rates — customers aren’t happy. It’ll be noted in next Savings Rates Report.

      • kcfield

        Thanks Simon. I don’t know if TIAA has reopened their high yield savings to new customers as of yet, incidentally.


        • Simon Zhen

          TIAA Direct is still closed to new customers. A spokesperson said that the online bank plans to take this time to make improvements, before accepting new customers.

          • kcfield

            It will be interesting to see TIAA now leave their APR strategically one basis point over the next highest rate. Incidentally, if you want to ever note their Weiss rating in your blog, Weiss watchdog allows to track the ratings of 10 banks at a time at no charge, and you can substitute, thereby finding out info on as many banks as needed. Thanks again for a helpful and professional blog, Simon.