Recent Bank Findings: Provident NJ Direct 3.25% APY and Bank of America Fork 2.20% APY

Banks that pay you 3% or more APY for your money are rare these days. In fact, right now there’s only one bank as far as I know willing to give you that kind of *high-yield*. Not long ago, we had a Redneck Bank that paid an unbeatable 3.10% APY, but the bank was quickly overwhelmed by savers: First it stopped accepting new customers, then dropped its rate to 2.00% APY, a rate you can find at many banks, even at Dollar Savings Direct. Then a new bank, Darby Direct showed up with a very competitive 3.00% APY offering. But that didn’t last long either. In less than a month, the rate was reduced to 2.25% APY.

Now we have a new bank playing the high-yield game.

ProvidentNJ Direct Power Savings 3.25% APY

Even though this is only a introductory rate, it still looks very good. ProvidentNJ Direct is offering a 3-month promotional 3.25% APY for its Power Savings Account.  After the introductory period, the rate will be determined by the deposit amount and current rate. For balance between $50 and $9,999, the yield will be 1.75% APY and for balance over $10,000, the yield will be 2.25% APY, significantly lower than the promo rate, but still quite attractive.

ProvidentNJ Direct is the online division of The Provident Bank, which was established on February 28, 1839. The bank, headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, operates 84 branches in the state and has been insured by the FDIC since January 1, 1934 (FDIC certificate number 12010).

To open an account and enjoy the 3.25% APY, you will need a minimum deposit of $50. Other information about ProvidentNJ Direct:

  • The Provident Bank routing number is 021205499;
  • Free online banking;
  • Free Provident ATM card;
  • Electronic statement only via Provident Connect;
  • Trial deposit account ownership verification;
  • Safe & Sound Rating gives Thank Provident Bank 4 stars out of 5.

In addition to the Power Savings Account, ProvidentNJ Direct also offers a Green Checking Account that pays 3.75% APY for the first $1,000 deposit. Like the Savings Account, the Checking Account is also nationally available.

Bank of America Fork SaveSmart Direct Savings 2.20% APY

No, this bank has nothing to do with Bank of America. Bank of America Fork is small bank that does its business in Utah, where it has 11 branch offices. The bank was established on January 1, 1913 and has been FDIC insured since January 1, 1934 (Certificate number 12773). Currently, Bank of America Fork is offering tiered rates for its SaveSmart Direct Savings Account:

  • Balance $10 – $999: 0.50% APY
  • Balance above $1,000: 2.20% APY

And if you have more than $250,000, which is the limit covered by the FDIC insurance, you can get 2.30% APY.

Other features of the account include:

  • Bank of American Fork’s routing number is 124301025;
  • $10 minimum deposit to open an account (can be funded by credit cards; $1.50 monthly fee for balance below $10) ;
  • Up to 3 links to external accounts;
  • Free online banking;
  • Up to 6 preauthorized monthly withdrawals ($1 for each withdrawal if over the limit);
  • Safe & Sound Rating gives Thank Provident Bank 3 stars out of 5.

These two banks have been added to my online savings accounts list as well as the Online Bank Interest Rate History where you can find the latest rates.

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3 Responses to “Recent Bank Findings: Provident NJ Direct 3.25% APY and Bank of America Fork 2.20% APY”

  1. Anthony |  May 12, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I was a Bank of American Fork (BAF) customer from 1993 to 2007. They first rolled out their online banking site in about 1998 and updated it around 2003. Anyone who has used an online bank or brokerage site (e.g. ING Direct, EverBank, TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, etc.) will probably find BAF’s site to be clunky, slow and error-prone. I called them half-a-dozen times about problems I was having viewing check images in 2006 and 2007 with no resolution.

    That said, it’s a friendly and stable bank. If you have “hot money”, are chasing yield and won’t be interacting a lot online, BAF might be a good place to stash your cash. Otherwise, it might make sense to sacrifice some basis points for a decent functioning site.

  2. vlm |  Sep 24, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Stay away of The Provident Bank. Incompetent, rude, unprofessional and ignorant people.
    They will make you lose your money.
    My cousin and I had separate checking accounts with this bank and I was managing / using both accounts since my cousin was in China and we maintain the same residence in NJ so I paid bills from my a his accounts.
    The Provident froze our both accounts because they have incorrect information on my account and assumed that I was using my cousin’s account illegally without him knowing it which I was not. They canceled all our pending transactions including a money transfer to my father in Russia for his heart medications which endangered his life.
    When I called them and talked to them in person first they told me to bring my ID (which I did 3 times) to confirm my identity. I also brought a copy of my cousin’s passport. They took everything and did not release the accounts saying that till my cousin and I came to the local branch and brought our ID’s the accounts would remain frozen.
    They refused to call my cousin in China or accept his calls to discuss the situation and confirm his identity without any explanation.
    In short it is a nightmare, we can’t use our accounts to buy food or pay our bills and mortgage, all our money is frozen.
    The Bank Rep from Compliance Department (Mina) rudely told me “I don’t care if you have no money to buy food and pay bills and I don’t want any calls from your cousin or him calling me. You both need to come over your local branch and bring your ID’s”
    I explained to her that I had been at the local branch 3 times already and they have a copy of my DL and my cousin was not coming back to the US till after the New Years but I brought a copy of his US passport and the Bank has it on file. She would just keep saying the same thing ““I don’t care if you have no money and I don’t want any calls from your cousin or him calling me. You both need to come over your local branch and bring your ID’s”.
    I filed complaints with State and Federal Authorities but in the meanwhile we are hanging there without our honestly earned money because the Bank without any proof consider us frau