5.26% Wilmington Trust Direct (WTDirect) Online Savings

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WTDirect is the latest online savings account to hit the streets and if you have more than $10,000 sitting around burning a hole in your pocket then they’re willing to give you a fatty 5.26% interest rate on it. So, before you plow any money into an “online savings account,” the first step is to make sure that these guys are legitimate.

Is WT Direct Legitimate?

The WT in WT Direct stands for Wilmington Trust and the brick and mortar bank that stands behind WT Direct is Wilmington Trust FSB, a bank headquartered in Baltimore, MD (111 South Calvert Street, Suite 2620). Wilmington Trust FSB is legitimate, it’s in the FDIC Bank Search database (FDIC Cert 33911 if you want to look for yourself) and it points to their website according to the FDIC’s records. If you want to peek into their closet, the FDIC keeps all sorts of statistics on the bank’s operations (and every other bank’s operations), so the FDIC logo on their site is legitimate.

Now, are they going to be around for a while? For that we turn to the Bankrate ratings and unfortunately BankRate gave them only one star and a Safe & Sound CAEL Rating of 5G, which isn’t very good. Here is their analysis, which appears to focus on “assessments of profitability, asset quality, capital adequacy and liquidity.” This isn’t really an analysis on the security measures of the business, just business operations and whether they’re sustainable. If you’re planning on putting more than the FDIC insured $100,000, then I would be concerned, otherwise this is just good information to have.

What exactly is their offer?

For the first sixty days, all accounts will earn the 5.26% APY regardless of the balance. After sixty days, those balances of $10,000 or more will earn the prevailing rate of 5.26% while those under will earn 0.60% APY. Based on my interpretation of the language, your entire balance earns either 5.26% APY or 0.60% APY, it’s not two levels of interest where the dollars under $10k get 0.60% and the dollars over $10k get 5.26% (if you read it differently, please let me know) Also, there are no minimum balances and thus no account fees.

If anyone has experience with these guys, either brick and mortar or with this online product, please let me know. I think I’m going to open an account there unless I hear back that these guys are no good (which means you have to tell me!).

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “5.26% Wilmington Trust Direct (WTDirect) Online Savings”

  1. pcooper says:

    My local bank gives 6.01% APY on their checking account for balances under $50k (as long as you get e-statements and use their debit card 10 times a month), so it can sometimes be worth checking out local options for the best rates.

  2. Rick Morley says:

    There are a lot of banks that pay 6.01% on rewards checking. Unfortunately, I use no where near 10 debit card purchases per month, so this doesn’t work for me, but for those who do, these are probably a good deal.

  3. Brad says:

    GMAC bank’s money market is still running at 5.3% APY– that’s not a promotional rate, and the minimum balance to get that rate is far smaller ($500 or $1k, I believe). I’ve had it for a few months now.

  4. Ken says:

    I just looked at GMAC. The 5.3% sounds great.

    Here are the stats:
    $50 min to open
    $500 min balance to avoid monthly service fees

    The following was unclear:
    It said the rate was for balances up to $4999.99 with no indication what happens if you have $5000+ in the account.
    And there was some confusion about outbound domestic wire transfers. They say it’s $20. Does this mean all bank to bank transfers are $20? So if I want to withdraw money from this account and deposit it electronically into my checking account, it will cost me $20 to do so?

  5. Scott says:

    GMAC’s MMA 5.3% does still apply even for balances above $5,000. — I’m not sure about “wire” transfers, but there’s no fee for typical ACH transfers unless, of course, one makes more than three withdrawals within one month’s period of time.

  6. ignar says:

    I also have a GMAC account, and there is no charge for incoming / outgoing fund transfer through ACH. Even though it is a money market account, GMAC also provides a check as well as routing number so I can pay my bills directly from GMAC’s savings account. I think the max outgoing transactions you can initiate without paying fee is 6, which is a norm for general money market accounts. One more thing I like about GMAC is ACH transactions are handled quickly. I have accounts at HSBC, FNBO, and WAMU, and it takes at at least three business days and often more than five days for my funds to show up there. GMAC is much faster.

  7. Scott says:

    Ignar is correct. GMAC allows the usual 6 withdrawals per month for an MMA account with no charge for the withdrawals. The “three” that I referred to is, in fact, the number of withdrawals by check that are allowed per month. The total number of withdrawals allowed is 6 per month, but up to three of those can be made via check, and there is no charge for this service.

  8. Theo says:

    They are really based in Wilmington DE. They are trying to win some market share from ING Direct. You are better off using one of the other accounts (GMAC, ING, etc.) elsewhere.

  9. Star Money Articles for the Week of August 27

    Here are some recent interesting posts from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond: Five Cent Nickel discusses longevity insurance. Blueprint for Financial Prosperity gives details on Wilmington Trust Direct. Consumerism Commentary kicks off a series on renta…

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