CC Debt vs. Savings (6/5/2009)

Click for a more readable graph. Savings is blue on the top, CC debt is green on the bottom. The line is the delta between savings and debt.

As of today, I officially have $3.37 more savings than I do credit card debt. As I mentioned in February, I had reached the point where my liquid assets (savings + checking + cash) were more than my credit card debt. However, a checking account is rapidly moving up and down, and savings vs CC debt is a more stable comparison. It wasn’t until today that I could theoretically drain my savings to pay my CC debt, while still not affecting my day-to-day finances. Again, not that I would, so it’s a mostly symbolic milestone, but it’s a milestone nonetheless.

In other financial news, I have invested $2500 in General Motors. No really. Well…

GMAC Bank is now Ally Bank, and is offering some pretty decent rates. Well, yesterday they were even higher, when I opened a $2500 no penalty 9 month CD at 2.50%. Today they lowered it to 2.30%, after accusations from competitors that Ally was using the bailout as an unfair advantage over competition. (This link is pretty inflammatory against the competing banks, but it’s the only news article I could find today, and is at least factually accurate.)

So I’m lucky I opened the CD when I did at 2.50%, even though 2.30% would have been very decent compared to the 1.39% my “high yield” money market account has plummeted to.

On that note, can anyone explain to me why “no penalty” CDs exist? My guess is the transaction limit (basically not being able to take, say, $100 out of your $2500 CD, only the whole thing) and long term stigma of CDs act like a mental barrier from people withdrawing early from a no penalty CD. But the question is, does that justify the significant APY difference between a savings/money market account and a no penalty CD? I’m not complaining, but I have wondered about that, from the bank’s point of view.