After closing my Emigrant Direct account last week, I figured I’d add to my paperwork and open up a new bank account! This time I turned to a bank I’ve talked about in the past but never dealt with personally – EverBank. They have all the characteristics I look for in an online bank – FDIC insured, competitive interest rate, and informative website. They’ve been been in business for many years, as a mortgage lender, before they started taking deposits in 1998 (when they were FDIC insured). Since then, they’ve won a ton of awards such as Money Magazine “Best of the Breed” in 2007 and Kiplinger’s “Best Checking Account” in 2006. Most importantly, they don’t appear to be too affected by the credit crisis… all good things, so I opened an account today.
I chose EverBank  for three reasons:
- Safety: In researching my high interest savings account profiles  post, I discovered they were one of the few banks rated 4 stars by Bankrate’s Safe & Sound report  (FNBO Direct  and ING Direct  were also four stars). All these banks are FDIC insured up to $250,000 and I’m not worried about a bank failure, but all things being equal, I’d prefer not to have the headache in the first place.
- Yield Pledge Money Market Account interest rates: The account gives you 3.51% for the first three months, then 2.73% for the balance of the year up to $50,000 (balance above that get 2.43%). The promotional rate is on par with the current interest rate leader, 3.20% Dollar Savings Direct , and crushes it in terms of safety (DSD has only 1 star from Bankrate)
- WorldCurrency CDs: By opening an account with EverBank, I get quick access to their international CDs. They offer certificates of deposit in international currencies, such as the British pound, the Euro, the Indian rupee, and the Swiss franc. I’m not planning on investing in international CDs, nor do I recommend them, but it’s good to have the option (and an opportunity to learn more about them).
Money Market Accounts
The one big difference between the EverBank account and some of the other online banks  is that it’s a money market account, rather than a savings account. With EverBank’s Yield Pledge MMA, you can have checkwriting privileges, three checks a month, which adds some flexibility. Everbank is still among the best when it comes to the best money market account rates  but her certificate of deposit rates  are a little weak.
EverBank currently offers eighteen different types of international currency CDs : Australian dollar, Brazilian real, British pound, Danish krone, Euro, Hong Kong dollar, Icelandic krona, Indian rupee, Japanese yet, Mexican peso, New Zealand dollar, Norwegian krone, Singapore dollar, South African rand, Swedish krona, and the Swiss franc. Their terms range from 3-months to 12-months, though only nine currencies are available for 12 months and two of them have returns of 0.00%). Again, I’m not planning on investing in international CDs (the currency risk is far too great) nor do I advocate them, but it’s nice to have the option.
Account Opening Process
The account opening process was pretty quick, took about five minutes to get through the screen, but it ends with you printing out an application and signature card that you have to mail in. A signature card isn’t unusual, but usually banks offer a fax option. It will have to be a few days before the account is officially opened and funded.
Good bye Emigrant, hello Everbank!