Elements Financial 1.90% APY Savings Account; Rate Guaranteed for 1 Year

Update 2/24/20: Rate decreased from 2.10% to 1.90%.

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 2.10% APY, guaranteed for 1 year
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Yes (note: they are Chex sensitive).
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Min/Max: Minimum $2,500; max $250,000
  • Insured: NCUA

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • Elements Financial is offering their Helium Savings accounts with a rate of 2.10% APY. Rate guaranteed for one year.

The Fine Print

  • Helium Savings Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective as of October 1, 2019.
  • Helium Savings Promotion APY of 2.10% is for new Helium accountholders depositing a maximum $250,000 new money from other financial institutions.
  • Rate is good for the first 1 year (12 statement cycles) from account opening.
  • Money on deposit with Elements financial over the last 90 days is not eligible for the Promotion APY.
  • Existing Helium accountholders do not qualify for offer.
  • After the 1-year promo period, dividend rate will reset to the then current Helium Savings rate and may change without notice.
  • Average daily balance of $2,500 required to earn dividends.
  • Fees may reduce earnings.

Our Verdict

Currently, there are a few other banks offering rates in the 2%+ range, but having the year-guarantee is pretty nice for the event of rates going down. This could be worthwhile for someone with a lot of cash on hand.

The closest thing to this deal would be the Marcus 11-month no-penalty-CD, but this offer is for longer, a slightly better rate, and the money is fluid.

Hat tip EDUARDO BAEZ

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Willy
Willy

Today 2-28-21 I received my Feb interest which looks like it reflects the promo rate for the whole month, but the rate displayed on the account is now 0.4%
Where is everyone moving their money?

Any luck negotiating with Elements?

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Elements got caught on the downswing of rates, and quite frankly, they paid an extra month at 2.08%, 13 statement cycles. Unfortunately, the current rate of .4% is at the lower ends of current rates. The problem I see when researching other banks is that every bank usually has a good number of bad reviews and you need to weed through those and make a prudent decision. Marcus, for example has a lot of bad reviews, but I have not (knock on wood) had any problems with them, on the contrary, when people were complaining about closing out a cd and it not happening, I can only go off of my experience when I had a no penalty cd, requested it to be closed and funds sent elsewhere, it did. I had expected to open and still may open an account at Paramount Bank, but seem like the bad reviews are mainly geared towards mortgages and some for the checking account opening process. One branch does not in and of itself scare me off, but I looked at the the Google maps picture and location and first impression was not the greatest. They came about by purchasing Superior Bank (same physical branch) in 2017 or so, prior to that they were mortgage. The only reason I’m looking is due to the .85% checking which has not come down since June 2020. There are not a lot of data points on the actual checking account like ease of ach’ing in and out, but when i called they did mention $5k day/10k monthly, so you will need to push or pull from exterior bank. Also, no complementary starter pack of checks. I understand I will not always have the highest rate out there, but it takes time to get comfortable with a bank, or at least a number of reliable good reviews. I may just move to Live Oak Bank with their .60%, they have their share of sub par reviews, but I’ve had that bank since 2017, not fully funded all this time, but still open with a small amount. It is strictly savings with no option of pairing with checking account like elements. It is not the quickest turn around time with achs like Marcus where it is next day and sometimes same day. Ally, Marcus, CIBC are still at .50% I believe and if Marcus was a bit higher,… Read more »

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

The February interest posted at the 2.08% rate and is still listed as 2.08 under the “details” I guess leave it in there until it changes in the details because this is the 13th statement. So, like in the movie Fight Club, don’t talk about fight club.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Bad news good news, good news is I got 13 statements William Charles.08 apr, bad news is they adjusted the account to .40% in the details. Time to look around.

Davis
Davis

Yep. It’s been fun Elements but see you later

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

I do think I will keep the minimum in the helium savings to earn the .40% and transfer the $20K to the high interest checking for the 2% with 15 “transactions”. Compared to other banks requirement that those transactions be debit card purchases, Elements classifies qualifying transactions as:

Only the following are qualifying transactions: Debit card purchases, checks, bill payments, ATM withdrawals and ACH withdrawals. No other transactions qualify. Dividends will be paid per statement cycle requirement. At least one account holder must be at least 18 years old. Accounts not meeting the qualifying transaction threshold will earn 0.05% APY. Fees may reduce earnings.
https://www.elements.org/personal/checking/high-interest-checking/

This liberal consideration of transactions allow for a more recyclable flow of funds, as opposed the the unnecessary purchase by debit card of a candy bar or gum etc. Elements bill pay allows for direct ACH to your external checking or savings account with routing number and account number. Mix it up, probably don’t do all in one day, but spread out throughout the month making sure all 15 are done at least a few days before end of month. Also, with recurring payments, just set once and that’s it.

Davis
Davis

Evansville is better.

willy
willy

Mine is still showing 2.08, I expected the rate to expire 2 weeks ago. I’m going to ride this out as long as I can. I printed the screen to PDF, in case of any surprises at the end of the month.

Slip6
Slip6

Same here. I’m assuming the interest we get at end of the month will reflect the reduced interest as of two weeks ago, but fingers crossed. Don’t think PDF will really help, as terms when we signed up said 1 year.

willy
willy

I am relying on the posted rate showing in my account. I was going to move the funds out the day the rate dropped, but it hasn’t. I have a number of lower-limit accounts I could have moved at least some of the funds into (Patelco is the highest, Redneck Bank for 0.5%) I was planning to open whichever “easy requirement” account is available for the remainder, maybe Paramount Bank for 0.85 if the rate is still available.

Slip6
Slip6

Thanks for tip on Paramount Bank. Didn’t realize there was any bank paying above 0.50% without caps/hoops to jump through!

willy
willy
jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Seems like the Paramount rate has been in effect since June 2020. I think I’ll open an account there and see how it works out. Might need to order checks from 3rd party just in case need to get funds out “fast” ACH’s initiated from Paramount do have $5k day or $10k monthly, but easily worked around if ACH initiated outside of Paramount.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Paramount Bank has got some bad reviews on Google. Having 2nd thoughts about opening. A lot of the reviews were aimed at mortgages, and the ones about the checking accounts had to deal with problems completing the application.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Decided to open the Paramount checking account, odd, I went back to google and noticed it had 5 star rating, looks like they deleted all the bad reviews, that’s one way to maintain 5 starts. one thing I did notice was that the bad reviews about account opening were right. I must have had to start over 4 times, one more and i was going to stop. I switched to firefox after the 3 try from Chrome. I’ll see how this works out, believe me, need to earn trust and I’ll just put in a small amount.

Slip6
Slip6

Hey jp, thanks for all the info on Paramount Bank. Just got approved, using MS Edge browser (which uses Chrome engine). No glitches, maybe they sorted them.

Says interest is compounded monthly. I guess this is normal?

On the fee schedule, a few fees to note:

Dormant/inactive fees – $3/month after 12 months of no deposit/withdrawal

Debit card has an “out of network” fee – Amount is “as per 3rd party.” Hmm, not sure if this is normal..

Slip6
Slip6

Where are you thinking of moving your funds to? Elements will be 0.40%, so thinking maybe Marcus at 0.50? Don’t want to do the nickel and dime banks with hoops to jump through and max cap of $5-20K, as I’ll need more than a few accounts.

Plus Elements not a good hub bank as they restrict ACH in/out to 2 x $5K/day, max $50K per month.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

same boat here, only a few more days left to find out for sure, probably over the weekend when the interest posts to the account. Best case scenario, and not holding my breath but it was worth the hold time, is we get the 2.08%. These accounts are like hot potatoes to Elements, they want them removed from the promotion since paying well over prevailing rate, but not sure if someone needs to manually go in and adjust the rate or if its calendar based and we are earning the .40%, but the backend on the site still says 2.08%. Surprised no one has called, but that is rule #1, don’t call the bank. Then the question remains, if we are earning the 2.08% and it posts, ride it longer.

Chris
Chris

Has anyone had their rate adjust back down yet after one year?

AC
AC

A heads-up for anyone else with the 2.10% APY from Feb 2020 that the rate lock is almost over. With the current rate environment, I’m planning to reallocate to HMBradley and my Roth.

Davis
Davis

Ya I’ve been reducing my balance to Evansville and others

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Under details, it still shows 2.08%, I know they are going to want to close out this promotion and glad its over, and it has been 12 statement cycles. I’ll wait and see if this changes on 2-1-21. Their rate is .40, the high interest checking is 2% with $20K max with 15 qualifying transactions. Now their transactions include:

High Interest Checking Account Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective as of January 1, 2021, is variable and may change after account is opened without notice. The APY is 2.00% on balance up to $20,000 and 0.10% on balance greater than $20,000 on account(s) with 15 qualifying transactions per statement cycle. Only the following are qualifying transactions: Debit card purchases, checks, bill payments, ATM withdrawals and ACH withdrawals. No other transactions qualify.

The transactions that grab my attention are “ACH withdrawals” Their new bill pay system allows for ACH to your accounts with routing number and account number. And not 15 debit card transactions only, which sometimes can be counter productive. I will leave $20 K in the high interest checking and “revolve” these transactions to get the 2%.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Still listed at 2.08% APR, I know never to call the bank. As I see it, the risk is .20% since I was going to move to Live Oak Bank @ .60% and the current rate for Elements is .40%. If I call and inquire, then I could bring to their attention the higher rate they are still paying me, or they could tell me that the promotion is over and that rate has not been updated on the details page and I could initiate a transfer to the higher rate at live oak and start to fulfill the 15 transactions with the elements high interest checking 2% up to $20K. Does everyone else’s details still say 2.08%?

Chris
Chris

I’m also still showing 2.08% after 12 statement cycles. I’m curious if it will adjust to current rates after my account anniversary date on 2/7.

Davis
Davis

Just got this in my newsletter after they had previously told me that they weren’t following the new guidelines:

Effective May 1, 2020, Elements will eliminate its limit of six pre-authorized, electronic, automatic, telephonic, or audio response transfers from savings and money market savings accounts per calendar month*. This change will also apply to automated overdraft transfers you may have set up among your different deposit accounts. We hope this change will lead to improved convenience for you and your accounts. If you have questions, feel free to contact us.
*Subject to change pending further action by the Federal Reserve.

jp
jp

From the Fed press release when it came out earlier, it did not seem to be permanent, but just temporary. I’m used to the 6/month and would not necessarily want to move out of this account since I locked in the 2.1% and it is institution specific if they waive the limitation.

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Update: For those that also opened the high interest checking account that was @ 3%, it was lowered to 2% as of 3-19-20. In hindsight, its a decent checking account, but if you have the 12 month promotion for the Helium savings, then its a no brainer to mover $ back to that account. They are next day transfers to external banks but the limit is $5K so not good for a hub, but good for just general banking. I spoke with multiple reps at Elements and they assured me that they will fulfill their promotion of 12 months @ 2.10%. For the time being, outside of the CIBC or Ally promotion, this will house the remaining funds.

Rick
Rick

Does moving money from the Elements checking to the 2.1% savings count as “new money”? If it doesn’t, you’ll have to move it out of Elements then back in. Kind of ridiculous…

hailstate
hailstate

This appears to be down to 1.3% now.

Dan
Dan

Ugh I knew it was going to drop soon with the feds talking about a rate cut.. I missed out on the higher rate.

midas89
midas89

I agree with you, Dan. Oh, by the way, CNBC is reporting that there is a 100% chance the Fed will lower the Fed Funds Rate 3/4 of a percent at the March 17-18 meeting. (I hope not, but I fear it might be true, especially if the stock market does not rebound by then.)

Dan
Dan

I thought this bank might wait until next week to drop their guaranteed rate but looks like I missed it by a few days. I was waiting because I already have a rate guarantee of 2.25% with CB until July, but I really should’ve signed up here as the Corona virus started spreading. The only downside with my current rate is that it has $25k min balance so I can’t move too much money around.

DaveC
DaveC

I opened my account over a week ago when it was 2.1%, but just deposited the minimum $2500. If I put in more now, will that get 1.9% or 2.1%?

jp P thoms
jp P thoms

Now would be the time for everyone that opened Helium Savings account to make sure that they opened the Helium Savings Promo. When I opened, I kept on going back and forth to view the Helium while opening and I just opened the Helium savings. The promo one is the correct one. If you opened the account when it was 2.1% then you are set for 12 monthly statements at that rate.