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Banking Articles

Warning Signs that Your Bank May Fail

September 22, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

This year (2009) alone 94 federally insured banks have failed.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has identified 416 banks and thrifts that are currently in trouble.

The FDIC currently insures over 8,000 banks and thrifts in the United States.  The FDIC expects the list of banks in trouble to continue to grow this year.

So how do you know if your bank is at risk?  There are few tell tale signs that your bank maybe in trouble.  They include:

  • Recent employee layoffs or cutbacks
  • Eliminating dividends to shareholders
  • Not accepting loan applications
  • Generous offers to increase business with the bank
  • Offering high interest rates far above the current market rates


However, don’t panic if you have less that $250,000 with your bank if your suspect it maybe in trouble.  The FDIC currently insures deposits up to $250,000.  If you have over $250,000, you should immediately remove your money from that bank.

The FDIC doesn’t make public banks they consider in trouble, however, you can check your bank safety rating at

You can also look up your banks financials at companysearch.html and search for your bank to review their 10K, 10Q and 8K filings.

Finally, you can check the FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE) which is an interactive application that allows you to calculate the insurance coverage of your accounts at each FDIC-insured bank.

Related Article: Video: How the FDIC Takes Over a Failed Bank


WT Direct Offering 1.76% APY and Cash Bonus up $150

July 8, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

 WT Direct is currently offering 1.76% APY and a cash bonus of up to $150 for new accounts. The bonus depends on how much money you deposit into your account.  

You will get $150 for depositing $50,000, $100 for depositing $40,000, $75 for depositing $30,000, $50 for depositing $20,000 or $25 for depositing $10,000.  

You must apply online to open a WTDirect Savings Account and deposit at least $10,000 by July 31, 2001.  The bonus is determined by the initial funding amount.  Use Promotion Code WFITC32.

Per the fine print, “To receive the bonus, a valid promotion code starting with the letters “WFIT” must be present on the application at the time of account opening. Account must remain open and in good standing through 10/31/09, the end of the promotion period.   There is no minimum balance to open the account but the bonus is determined by the account balance at the time of initial funding, which must be a minimum of $10,000 and must remain on deposit through the end of the promotional period.  Bonus will be credited to client’s WTDirect account on or about 11/20/09.  WTDirect reserves the right to cancel or modify this promotion at any time without notice.”

For more information visit:

Discover Bank Penalty Free Early Withdrawal CDs

July 6, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

Discover Bank recently announced that they will allow penalty-free early withdrawals from their 12-month certificates of deposit for new and renewing account holders who lose their jobs.

Discover Bank is making this penalty-free offer on its most popular 12-month CD term at the same rate at which it would normally offer any CD for the same term. Accounts are FDIC-insured, and banking specialists are available by telephone 24 hours a day.

To be eligible, account holders must open or renew a 12-month CD with a minimum $2,500 balance between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2009. If the account holder involuntarily loses his or her job during the term of the CD, they will be allowed to make a partial withdrawal of the funds or close the account with a full return of their principal and any credited interest with no penalties. The program also applies to self-employed people under certain circumstances.

For more information or to open a penalty-free 12-month CD call 1-800-347-7000 or go online to

Discover Bank also offers CDs with terms from three months to 10 years. In addition to CDs, Discover offers Money Market accounts and IRA CDs. Discover Bank deposit accounts can be opened over the phone at 1-800-847-7000 or at

Bank of America Offers $25 for Paying Bills Online

July 5, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

Bank of America is offering $25 when you make 2 online bill payments within 30 days.  All you need to do is to go to this link, enter your last name, the last 4 digits of your checking account, zip code and e-mail address.  You then have 30 days to make 2 online bill payments.  I just signed up, however, most of my bills are paid with my credit card to get 1-2%cashback  (see Make Money Using Credit Cards)!


Paying your bills online will save you time and money in purchasing stamps, envelops and not to mention trips to the post office.  When you pay online at Bank of America you are always protected by their $0 liability online banking guarantee which states that you won’t be held liable for any unauthorized activity originating from online banking or bill pay.

WaMu/Chase Offering $100 to Open Checking Account

May 29, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

WaMu Bank, who is being taken over by Chase, if offering $100 cash bonus when you open a WaMu free checking account and set up direct deposit or make five debit card purchases.  The offer expires 6/16/09.

There is no monthly service fee, free ATM cash withdrawals at any ATM, free checks, free online banking and bill pay and one overdraft fee refund annually.

To qualify for the reward, you must open a new checking account with a $100 minimum opening deposit of new money (money not currently held by WaMU). Also, within 60 calendar days of account opening, you must initiate a monthly direct deposit such as payroll, pension or Social Security, or have at least five debit card purchases (using your PIN or signature) posted to your account.

The reward will be deposited into your new account within 2 weeks after the initial direct deposit or the five debit card purchases have posted to your account. Limit one personal checking account-related reward/premium per customer, per calendar year.

Visit to get your $100 Cash Bonus.

USAA Paying $100 to Opening Checking Account

May 25, 2009 | Banking | No Comments

The CEO of USAA Bank (Josue Robles Jr.) is paying a $100 bonus (payable December 2009) for opening a checking account. USAA Bank offers free checking, free checks, free rewards, free Internet bill pay, free online and mobile banking, and free ATM use worldwide.

USAA membership is only for military personal and their children.  To open an account, you must be:

  • Active duty officers and enlisted personnel.
  • Children whose eligible parents have or had a USAA auto or property insurance product.
  • National Guard and Selected Reserve officers and enlisted personnel.
  • Officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).
  • Former military personnel:
    • Retired officers and enlisted personnel.
    • Former officers and enlisted personnel who separated from the military on or after Jan. 1, 1996.
  • Former USAA members who had USAA auto or property insurance.

To take advantage of this offer, click HERE to open a USAA Free Checking account with direct deposit or call (800) 531-8132 and mention CEO 100.  The offer expires May 31, 2009.

Sovereign Bank Offering $100 Bonus to Open Account

April 29, 2009 | Banking | No Comments


Sovereign Bank is offering a $100 bonus to open a premier or interest checking account by May 22, 2009. However there is catch. 

  1. You have to use your checkcard to make 6 purchases totaling at least $250 within 60 days.
  2. You must have a minimum opening deposit of $10. 
  3. The Annual percentage yield (APY) is a lousy 0.02% for Sovereign Premier Checking or Business Owner Premier Checking when balance is less than $5,000 and 0.15% APY when balance is $5,000 and above.
  4. There is an APY of 0.02% for Sovereign Interest Checking. APY of 0.02% for Sovereign Partnership Checking when balance is less than $2,000 and 0.10% APY when balance is $2,000 and above. 
  5. The offer is valid for new accounts only. 
  6. The fine print also says that fees may reduce earnings.
  7. There are also maintenance fees ranging from $5 to $25 per month if your balance falls below certain thresholds.

Overall, it’s not really a good deal. For more information visit