WT Direct Bank (Wilmington Trust) Review: Online High Yield Savings Account

When reviewing online high yield savings accounts on of the top rates every time I check has belonged to WT Direct’s online high yield savings accounts. Because I’m still looking for a good account where I can park our emergency fund money, I decided to do a little more research about WT Direct.

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A Little Background And History about WT Direct

WTDirect, a virtual direct savings division of Wilmington Trust FSB, was created in November 2006 to offer the best high-rate savings account to online clients. While WTDirect is fairly new, Wilmington Trust is a company with some tradition dating back more than 100 years.

Wilmington Trust was the creation of investors led by T. Coleman du Pont, who established the company in 1903 to provide quality banking and trust services to Wilmington, Delaware area residents. He opened the business in the dining room and parlor of a former private residence at 915 Market Street in Wilmington, Delaware with a handful of investors and $500,000 in market capitalization.

In 1907 the company moved to the DuPont Building at Tenth & Market Streets and paid its first dividend (2.50% or $1.25 per share) on August 1, 1908. The company’s first merger occurred on July 15, 1912 with the acquisitions of the First National Bank and the National Bank of Wilmington & Brandywine, making it the largest bank on the East Coast. In 1971, it became one of the founding members of NASDAQ and moved its listing to the New York Stock Exchange in 1999. So what does all this mean? WT Direct is backed by a company with some history that has weathered some tough economic times in our country’s history.

Is Putting My Money With WT Direct Safe?

You should always make sure when you’re signing up for a new bank account that the institution is backed by FDIC insurance.  With WT Direct your money will be safe and sound because the bank is FDIC insured. Currently accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor with Wilmington Trust FSB through 12/31/09.  Limits may decrease after 12/31/09 – which is the case for all FDIC insured banks.

Features Of An WT Direct High Yield Savings Account

So what are the features of a WT Direct account, and why would I want to sign up with them?

  • High yield 1.11%, in the top 5% of banks. (Note: all depositors will earn the highest rate for the first 60 days. After that only depositors with a balance greater than $10,000 will earn the highest rate.)
  • FDIC Insurance up to $250,000
  • 7 day a week phone support 1-800-WTDirect (1-800-983-4732)
  • No low balance fees
  • No service or maintenance fees
  • Statements by email or online.

As you can see the accounts at WT Direct are pretty barebones, but on the important points – no or low fees and high interest rates – they come out on top.

Fees And Limits On A WT Direct Account

Here are the fees and limits you can expect to see on an WT Direct account.

  • Minimum opening balance: $1
  • Monthly fee for balances under $10,000:  free, but lower interest rate.
  • Withdrawals and transfers: 6/month
  • Online banking: free

Opening An Account

Opening an account with WT Direct is a pretty simple process and shouldn’t take you more than 10-15 minutes.   They’ll ask you to enter your personal information, verify your identity, provide your funding bank account information, then ask you to read the disclosures and confirm your account.

To fund your account you’ll need to make an opening deposit of at least $1 – and for 60 days you’ll earn the highest rate on your deposit. After that point you’ll need at least $10,000 in your account to earn the higher rate.

After you enter your bank account information WT Direct will make two small deposits in your linked account to verify your linked account. Once you verify – you’re all set to go!  Also, from what I understand WTDirect does not perform a hard credit check when you apply for your account – which can be good if you’re concerned about your credit score.

Conclusion

At the time that I wrote this, WT Direct currently offers some of the highest interest rates in the country and their accounts are FDIC insured (to find current updated rates, go here).  Add to that their solid financial history and great customer support, you have a solid bank offering.   If you’re looking for a good high yield savings account where you can put your money, I think WT Direct should be near the top of your list.

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Last Edited: 10th February 2014

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