New Site Ranks Top CD Rates at Credit Unions, Offers Other Savings Resources to Park Cash
NEWTON, Mass -- With the tagline "no bull information on the best safe returns for your cash," a new Web site has included credit unions among its ranking for the nation's top savings rates. Launched in 2005, BestCashCow.com provides rates on savings accounts and other cash equivalent accounts such as certificate of deposits, money market accounts, money market funds, commercial paper accounts and auction rate securities. The free site also tracks variable rate demand notes, Treasury bonds, agency bonds, municipal bonds and CD rates at credit unions. A "proprietary" search process helps BestCashCow.com offer visitors the latest rates quickly, according to the company. "Interest rates are rising. A high-yield savings account now pays over five percent and longer-term CDs pay more," said Sol Nasisi, co-founder of the site and a former senior vice president of online marketing at Bank of America. "It's a good idea to hold some cash or cash equivalent investments as part of your portfolio. And if you do, you might as well get the highest return available." The site's other co-founder, Ari Socolow, an investment banker and attorney, said visitors haven't shared exactly how much money they've made by visiting the site "but we do know that more and more keep coming back, praising our services." Nasisi and Socolow are long-time friends and met during their undergraduate years at Tufts University. "They also continually consult rate updates to move their money around and collect the best returns," Socolow said. "We've amassed a true community of fiscally faithful people, who love to get the latest information from us." Credit union CD rates are tracked. Field of membership criteria is listed for each credit union. As of July 30, Meadows Credit Union held the top spot in the three-month CD category with a 5.01% annual percentage yield and a minimum $1,000 deposit. Northrop Gunman FCU ranked first in the 6-month CD category with a 5.41% APY, but required a minimum $40,000 deposit, according to the site. Melrose CU ranked first in the one-year and two-year CD categories. With just six credit unions ranked, the list is not yet comprehensive. Socolow said the site uses the same criteria for selecting banks and credit unions to be ranked: accounts should be able to be opened without visiting a branch and rates should be published online. Credit unions that have "non-restrictive" FOMs are also considered, he said. "Credit Unions [CUs] are largely indistinguishable from banks for the average depositor [or borrower]," the site reads. "While the banking lobby has asserted that the [National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund] is not as all-encompassing as FDIC insurance, CUs will vigorously argue that it is a mirror image." Meanwhile, this summer could go down in history as the "summer of savings," both founders said. Interest rates have risen dramatically over the last year and the instability of the stock market coupled with a flat housing market in some areas of the country has led some to seek out other outlets to build income. Savings accounts and other cash equivalent accounts are the impetus behind BestCashCow.com, they offered. The site also has a "boisterous forum" where money watchers exchange information on the best accounts to start, where they've had the most success, what accounts were easiest to open and other anecdotal tips. More than 30,000 people visit the site each month, according to the founders. Nasisi said banks without a national network of branches like ING Direct and Emigrant Direct have grown into major online players and is hoping this trend will help BestCashCow.com grow. "These banks change the dynamic, because now even a small or branch-less bank can have national reach," Nasisi said. "It really levels the playing field."