Last week SFGI Direct raised the rate on its Savings Account by 10 bps to 1.31% APY. This is the third rate hike from SFGI Direct since June. Before that June rate hike, the APY was 1.06% and had been at 1.06% since June 2015. The account has a long history of remaining competitive. In fact, out of all of the nationally-available savings and money market accounts which currently have rates of at least 1.30% APY, SFGI Direct is the only one that has maintained a rate above 1% since January 2014. That excludes accounts with rates that only apply to new customers or accounts with small balance caps.
You can see the account history chart by clicking the savings account row in the table below. This will expand the row to show the rate history of the account.
We’ve seen a small burst of rate hikes from internet banks this month. I’ve just recently posted on rate hikes from UFB Direct and CIT Bank. This is a little surprising since the chance of another Fed rate hike this year continues to be under 50%. Competition is likely the main driver of these hikes. Smaller internet banks like SFGI Direct probably need at least a 10-bps rate advantage over the big names like Ally and Capital One to be able to attract deposit.
Thanks to DA reader, Maecl, for his Forum post about the SFGI rate hike.
SFGI Direct’s Savings Account has several nice features such as no monthly fees and no maximum dollar limit on external transfers. Below is a copy of my SFGI Direct Savings Account review from June.
- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements (opening deposit ranges from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $25k).
- Online line account application and funding (per FAQ).
- You can initiate external transfers (ACH).
- Initiating ACH transfers through another institution is allowed (per FAQ).
- Fast external transfers (readers have reported one day delays).
- No maximum dollar limit on external transfers (per FAQ).
There has been one very important change for the better: the online application now allows up to four named beneficiaries. In addition to the usual name/address/birthdate information, SFGI Direct requires a Social Security number for each beneficiary.
On the downside,
- Only allow one external link for ACH transfers (per FAQ), but you can change the linked account 90 days after account opening.
- Five business days hold for the initial ACH deposit and a two day hold for ongoing ACH deposits (per account disclosure)
Thanks again to DA reader, Maecl, for his Forum post about this rate increase.
SFGI Direct is the online division of Summit Community Bank, which is headquartered in Moorefield, West Virginia. U.S. citizens and resident aliens, 18 years or older, can opening a SFGI Direct Savings Account through the Bank’s online application.
SFGI Direct has quite a detailed FAQs page that answers almost any question you might have about the Savings Account. If you need additional information, CSR can be contacted at 877.776.9722.
As the online division of Summit Community Bank, SFGI Direct operates under Summit’s FDIC Certificate (# 34102) and shares its financial history.
SFGI Direct/Summit Community Bank has an overall health grade of "B+" at EpBooks.us, with a Texas Ratio of 17.07% (above average), based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $443.9 million, excellent annual growth rate of 46.21%. This large growth was primarily due to the acquisition of First Century Bank in April. Please refer to our financial overview of SFGI Direct/Summit Community Bank for more details.
Summit Community Bank (Summit) is currently West Virginia’s fourth largest bank, with assets in excess of $2.09 billion and more than 78,000 customer accounts. Summit’s history traces back to the South Branch Valley National Bank, which was chartered in 1883. Summit extended its market area into Virginia in 2000 and today has 29 full-service branches in West Virginia (17) and Virginia (12).
How the Savings Account Compares
When compared to the nationally available Money Market accounts and Savings accounts tracked by EpBooks.us, SFGI Direct Savings Account’s APY currently ranks in the top 10, regardless of minimum deposit. Below is a sample of the top accounts as compared to SFGI Direct Savings Account:
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|1.50% APY||Mega Money Market (no min/$35k max)||All America Bank|
|1.41% APY||Money Market Savings ($5k min)||UFB Direct|
|1.40% APY||Savings Account (no min)||DollarSavingsDirect|
|1.31% APY||Savings Account||SFGI Direct|
The above rates are accurate as of 9/12/2017.