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MoneyAisle – Banks Bid for Your Money

by Ryan Guina

This is a great time to be a consumer looking for a high yield savings account or looking to open a high interest Certificate of Deposit (CD). In our current economic climate, many banks are scrambling to line up new deposits, and you can take advantage of this by letting banks bid for your money. MoneyAisle is an online application that allows you to do just that.

How MoneyAisle Works

Click here to view great bank rates at MoneyAisle1. Pick Your Product (either CD or high yield savings account). When you choose your product, you will input the amount of money you wish to invest, geographic location, and duration for the CD (if applicable).

2. Banks bid for your money. Banks bid through a “live auction process” (it’s really a computer script based on certain criteria, but it’s fun to watch).

3. Choose your rate. Once you have the bids, you select the bank and rates that are most favorable for you. The auction result page will take you directly to an online application form or offer to send your information directly to the bank.

Test Driving MoneyAilse

I decided to give MoneyAisle a test run to see how it compared to my current banks and whether or not I could find better results elsewhere. To run my tests I chose a minimum deposit of $1,000 and another at $25,000, the latter because many banks offer higher rates for larger deposits.

You need to register to see the winning bidder. You can receive the amount of the highest auction without registering, but you won’t be able to see the financial institution’s name unless you register. Registering takes less than a minute and they won’t use your information for anything, so I went ahead and registered.

MoneyAisle Auction winners. It is quite possible you will not have heard of the bank that wins the auction. But that’s OK. All banks in the MoneyAisle system are pre-screened using independent VERIBANC® ratings and are FDIC insured. You will also have access to information about the winning bank, including the winning bank’s name, address, website, year founded, FDIC number, total assets, number of branches, and the customer service number.

Differences between CD rates and high yield savings account rates. You should also keep in mind that once you sign up for a CD, you lock in that rate for the duration of the CD. But high yield savings accounts can change at a moment’s notice due to economic conditions, so the auction rate you sign up for may change after you sign up.

Searching for high yield savings accounts with MoneyAisle

The first test I did was for a $1,000 deposit in a high yield savings account. My test was to see if I could do better than the banks I currently use, or those found on our list of the highest savings accounts rates.

The winning bid through MoneyAisle was Legacy Banks, which came in at 3.25%. Legacy Banks is a full-service bank with 16 branch offices in Massachusetts and New York. Since their high yield savings account matches FNBO Direct, I won’t sign up. The $25,000 test yielded a much higher interest rate – 4.01% from GCF Bank, a community bank located in New Jersey. I don’t have $25,000 to deposit, but their interest rate is high enough that I would consider it if I had $25k lying around.

Searching for CD Rates with MoneyAisle

I recently set up a 5 year CD Ladder, so I don’t need to set up a new account anywhere – but it’s fun to check anyway! Due to certain state laws, CD’s are not available through MoneyAisle’s auction system in the following locations: Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, or Washington DC. I couldn’t check my home state, so I used my wife’s state instead. For a $1,000, 12 month CD, the winning rate was 3.17%. A $25,000 12, month CD was 3.85%. To compare, a 12 month CD rate through ING Direct is currently 3.75%. I wouldn’t change banks for 0.10% difference over 12 months.

I also looked at 5 year CDs – again with $1,000 and $25,000 deposits. The rates were 4.28% and 4.60% respectively. To compare, ING Direct’s 5 year CD is currently 3.50%. There is a pretty large difference here, and I would consider getting a new bank for that large of a difference in interest rates.

Is MoneyAisle worth using?

Yes, I think it’s a good place to start your research, but it pays to look at other places as well, as you may be able to find a few other CD rates which beat those you find at MoneyAisle. But since you should always do your research anytime you are looking for a new account, why not start with an auction system and let banks bid for you?


Published or updated April 12, 2013.
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 PGW

A 5-year CD?!? I would never put my money in a CD for that many years. With our volatile market, which experts say could start heading back up in 2009/10, one’s money would be locked up in what could be a low interest rate.

I actually have a 5% CD from Washington Mutual (yes, it is guaranteed). They were offering these rates right before they got acquired…they were desperate for customers/money.

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2 Ryan

PGW: Thanks for your comment. I agree, we will probably see some massive inflation when the economy begins its recovery, and higher interest rates are likely to follow. But, CDs are a part of many financial plans because they are guaratneed and provide a stabilizing action in their investment portfolio.

I have a few CDs as well, each of which is at roughly 5%. While that isn’t going to make me rich, and may barely keep pace with inflation over the duration of the CD, it will not lose principle. When the CDs mature I will make the decision of whether or not to put them into another CD, or invest them elsewhere.

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3 Bill M.

I usually do not like CDs. Usually the rates do not follow inflation. You are better off getting Treasury bills which is guaranteed and most places free from taxes. usually a 1-2% premium over the posted rates.

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4 Erik

With community banks paying up to 6% interest while most major banks are paying nothing it’s really not surprising to see community banks emerge as the safer, preferred investment channel. Look into Checking Finder (https://www.checkingfinder.com/). This search tool will find community banks in your area paying up to 6% reward checking. Just type in your zip code.

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5 Dan

Cool site. I’ve actually done some research on moneyaisle.com on my site as well. Honestly, I think their rates aren’t anything special right now but they have the wheels in motion to capture a large chunk of the online banking industry’s market (ie bankrate). As soon as more banks partner with them the overall competition will shoot up. Banks in desperate need of capital (ie WAMU of 4 monthes ago) will be competing against each other delivering those 4.5-5.5 percent cd ranges we were once seeing.

sub note: Fed lowering rates to a whacked out 0.25-0.5% range isn’t helping the cause. IMO

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6 Bankman

MoneyAisle.com is on the right track – there are hundreds of regional banks that haven’t been damaged by the subprime crisis and bringing them new customers (and giving customers access to other banks) is a great idea. This kind of competition in the marketplace can only be a good thing for customers!

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7 Mary

Are internet banking safe enough to invest my money? such as Ally Bank, Aurora Bank? I’m a bit scared though?

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8 Ryan

Internet banking is safe – just make sure you join a bank that is FDIC insured. Here are some of the top online banks: Best Online High Yield Savings Accounts. You should be able to find one in that list that meets your needs.

best of luck!

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9 Masoud

There are definitely huge holes in their system that need correction before banks start using them. These funds would be considered “Brokered Funds” on a traditional (brick and mortar) bank’s balance sheet. This category is very closely watched, especially in community banks, by the bankers and FDIC. Both sides frown upon too high of a Brokered Funds ratio. Also noteworthy is that these banks are typically not in the prospective client’s area (such was the case in my test results). Banks have a market in which they know and comfortably do business within. Once they go outside that market, they will have more scrutiny upon review. Also, the winning bank must maintain a Customer Identification Program to “Know Your Client” under the US Patriot Act. I’m not sure how they would clearly know an individual or entity from Texas when they are 100 miles away or further. On-line banks like ING fall under different rules. Unfortunately, I don’t see banks drooling over these “smaller” accounts when they have Promontory’s Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Services (C.D.A.R.S.) product for “large” accounts under the same Brokered Funds heading. Banks are inclined to offer this product to clients b/c the clients that have millions in C.D.A.R.S. have millions in the bank AND the bank can, sometimes, make money off the C.D.A.R.S. placement. Pretty cool concept though. I’d love to hook up with the founds and show them how a few tweaks will send them off to the races.

Thanks for the post – I’m a first time reader.

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