I know a lot of people go rate-chasing, after EmigrantDirect or HSBC or whatever bank of the moment is offering the highest rate, but I'm way too lazy to move my money around that much. In addition, I did a bit of calculation a while back, and I found that those rates aren't even comparable to Vanguard's CA Tax Exempt Money Market Fund (for me). The thing that most people don't realize (and honestly, probably don't have to think about because they are in fairly low tax brackets) is that what you really need to look at is after-tax return. I'm in a high tax bracket right now, and also in a state with a high income tax, so basically no matter how I dice it (excluding AMT, which I don't want to go into right now) I shouldn't even bother rate-chasing since Vanguard's fund is so awesome after taxes. If you're in CA, NJ, NY, OH, or PA, you should think about this too. And the finance buff
Anyway, what I found was that right now I'd need to get something like 5.3% in a taxable account to make it worthwhile to move my money from Vanguard CA Tax-Exempt, and no one is even offering that. The best I found from www.bankrate.com was Countrywide, which is offering 5.11%, and Countrywide is scary and possibly evil. I don't understand why more people in CA don't use the Vanguard fund -- it's so much easier than shifting money between banks and paying attention to teaser rates.
Back to the AMT thing -- the finance buff
oh btw ianal ianafp etc etc etc. aka this is not financial advice, you probably shouldn't make any decisions whatsoever based on what i say.
Oh, and of course the way I find all this stuff is through postings on an internal mailing list. I need to figure out how to mine this data better -- half the time someone emails something, I glance at it, and it enters into the deep abyss that is all the email that's not in my inbox. There's so much valuable stuff in there.
Edit: I made assumptions about this person's gender, which are totally unverified. Fixed.