TIAA-CREF Launches Online Bank with 1.25% APY Rate

TIAA-CREF Trust Company has launched an online bank offering 1.25% APY rate.

In early 2012, TIAA-CREF Trust Company launched an online bank which was only made available to employees. A very few unaffiliated individuals reported being able to open accounts on the site although most others reported being unsuccessful. has now been informed that the online bank, called TIAA Direct, has quietly been opened up so that it is available to everyone, and as of July 2012, the online bank is offering a rate of 1.25%, placing it at the top of online savings rates.

TIAA-CREF, the bank's parent company, is an insurance provider, providing retirement accounts and disability insurance to employees in non-profit sectors, primarily academia. Neither TIAA-CREF nor its bank subsidiary is known for providing strong customer service.

EDITOR'S Note: On July 23, 2012, just days after opening its online bank to the public, TIAA-CREF announced that its online bank offers would not be available to new depositors.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to bank transparency and the climate crisis. Since co-founding BestCashCow in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.

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