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Online Savings & Money Market Account Rates 2020

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Steps You Can Take to Help the Major Airlines Survive Coronavirus in 2020

Anyone who lived through 9-11 and the financial collapse in 2008 and 2009 remembers how extraordinarily painful were those periods for the airline industry and their employees.   And, even the industry’s staunchest critics (hard core environmentalists, etc.) certainly recognize that a return to those difficult times is not in anyone’s interest.  Yet, as a country, we are going to get through the Coronavirus and we are going to get through Trump, but somehow it is starting to seem that the three major airlines might not all get through 2020.

Without flying yourself, you can take steps to help the airlines out, and the easiest step is to accumulate frequent flier miles on those airlines that you will be inclined to fly in the future.   This is a form of extending credit to the airlines, and it is a form of credit that has proven time and time again to survive bankruptcy.

If American Airlines is an airline that you fly, the easiest step you can take is to open a Bask Bank savings account.   I’ve written about Bask Bank here.   I believed in January that the prospect of getting AAdvantage® miles was very attractive in the low rate environment in January.   I’ve noticed that many readers were engaging in a valuation exercise, valuing the miles they would receive against alternatives in the savings and CD market as if they were purchasing the miles (see the comments in this article).   If that is your approach, the Fed’s most recent move makes the opportunity even more interesting.

If United is an airline that you fly, the easiest step you can take is to move your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your United Mileage Plus account.   Every time you convert your points, Chase is making a purchase of the miles from United.

And, if Delta is an airline that you fly, you can move your American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta Skymiles.     Again, this action prompts a purchase of miles and a payment to Delta.

If you are not altruistic, you can even consider all of this to be completely in your self-interest.   If history is any guide, when everything settles and people begin traveling again, you will find fantastic redemption values for your airline miles at all three of these airlines, especially for business class seats on long haul and international flights.


The Federal Reserve Makes a 50 Basis Points Emergency Fed Funds Cut

The Federal Reserve has made a 50 basis point emergency cut in response to the spread of Coronavirus, moving the Fed Fund rate to a target of 1.00 to 1.25%.  The market is pricing in the likelihood of further cuts on that March and April meetings.   

Under any circumstances, we expect savings rates to move down to the new level within the coming days, and perhaps even lower over the coming months.

We recommended moving cash to No penalty CDs last week.  

If you have cash that you don’t need to access right away, it would now seem like a very good time to be looking at CDs.

It is hard to recommend looking at anything longer than 1-year CDs at the moment.   Best one-year CD rates are here.

However, if you believe that Coronavirus presents a long term risk to the economy and do not anticipate needing access to your cash in the near or intermediate term, you may want to look at longer term rates.   Best two-year CD rates are here.


Our Advice is to Move Money From Savings Accounts to No Penalty CDs Right Now

Rate information contained on this page may have changed. Please find latest savings rates.

The stock market is crashing.   Anyone in it is losing a fortune this week.   The temptation may be to try and follow Jon Najarian’s crazy option trades and be a hero, but as a veteran of 2000 and 2008, I can guarantee you that is going to lead to further heartache.  Market valuations remain elevated by any historical metric and with the possibility of a global recession caused by Coronavirus, they certainly could have further to fall.

I did not properly predict that bond yields could fall to their current levels.   I don’t think they could have possibly ever gotten to these levels without Coronavirus, but they are here.    And, while I have been wrong before, I remain certain that the risk of putting new money into bonds, even US Treasuries, with the 10-year at 1.20% is extraordinary should rates move the other way.

And, while cash feels awfully good right now, the reality is that bond yields and Coronavirus are going to force Fed Chair Jay Powell to cut savings rates.   Today’s surveys indicate a 100% probability of a 25 basis point cut in March, and at least a 50% probability of another 25 basis point cut in April.  If this happens, you will not be earning 1.70% on a savings account in 2 months.

No Penalty CDs are the best and easiest way to protect your savings from the possibility of falling interest rates.  We introduced our readers to them last year in this article and also highlighted their benefits here.  

No Penalty CD rates peaked in 2019 as high as 2.60% APY from Purepoint (Ally got as high as 2.30% and Marcus got as high as 2.35%).   Many locked in those rates and they are not regretting having locked into these yields now.

No Penalty CD rates are much lower now; they no longer offer any premium over savings rates.   But, if rates fall further as the market is predicting, locking into one of these products now will enable you to secure a penalty-free interest rate on your savings for the rest of 2020.

Multiple banks offer No Penalty CDs.    These include Marcus, Ally, Purepoint, CIT and now CitizensAccess.   We list all of the No Penalty CD products among our special CD rates here. At the very least, if you already have a savings account with one of these banks, you should log in now and convert it into a No Penalty CD.    If the Coronavirus scare should pass and rates should turn and rise, you can always get out without a penalty after seven business days.