In January, 2013, GE Capital Bank acquired MetLife’s online bank, creating the new GE Capital Online Bank. This online bank offers great yields and several good Certificate of Deposit options, but a quick online search also turns up hundreds of customer complaints.
So what’s the real deal? Is GE Capital Bank worth checking out? As with all banking decisions, it all depends on what you’re looking for.
With a .90% APY, GE Capital’s online savings account has one of the highest yields in the business. And it’s easy to maintain those high yields, as the online savings account comes with absolutely no fees.
GE Capital’s online system allows you to link your account with up to four other external accounts. You can use GE’s online and/or automated telephone systems to easily and quickly transfer money between your GE Capital account and one of these linked accounts.
If you wish to transfer money into an account that isn’t linked to your GE Capital account, you’ll need to do so by wire transfer, which is simple, but which can take time to complete. Unfortunately, customers also have to deposit checks into this account the old-fashioned way – by mail. GE Capital Bank doesn’t yet offer a slick mobile deposit app like many banks are starting to do.
One item to note: As with most other savings accounts, GE Capital’s online savings option limits customers to 6 withdrawals per statement cycle. Unlike many other banks, though, GE Capital does not give customers the option to pay a fee for extra withdrawals. Instead, if you attempt to make more than 6 in a statement period, the transaction will be rejected, and your account may be closed.
As with its online savings account, GE Capital offers some very high yields on its CDs. Most CD terms beat the national average by quite a bit. And GE’s 10-day CD Rate Guarantee ensures that you get the best rate within ten days of opening your GE Capital CD.
GE Capital does have a minimum deposit amount for a CD of $500. While this isn’t a huge minimum deposit amount, it may be prohibitive for some customers looking to begin a CD ladder for an emergency fund or another savings goal. Other banks, like Barclays, offer very low or no minimum opening deposits for CDs.
Like other CDs, those from GE Capital can’t be added to and come with early withdrawal penalties. Once the account matures, customers have 10 days during which they can either withdraw the money, penalty-free, or automatically renew the CD.
When it comes to choosing a bank, rates aren’t everything – though they’re a big part of the equation! Customer service matters, too.
You’ll need to be careful when you’re checking around for reviews of GE Capital Bank’s customer service. Remember that GE Capital Bank is actually not the same thing as GE Capital Retail Bank (which runs many of the country’s retail credit cards). And while GE Capital Retail Bank has plenty of negative customer service reviews online, the actual GE Capital Bank has few negative reviews that we could find.
The bottom line here is that GE Capital Bank’s savings and CD programs offer excellent interest rates and low fees, making GE Capital Bank an attractive option.