Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Online Savings Account Mini Review

If you are reading this blog chances are you are already aware of many online savings accounts but here is my personal mini review of a few that I use. I am rating them from 1 star to 5 stars, where 5 stars is the best deal for the buck.

This was my first online savings account. Their website is very user friendly ans easy to access. Their current yield is 4.40% that is low compared to other online banks. You need cancelled checks to link external accounts. They currently have a refer a friend program where you get $10 and the person who opens the account with a minimum of $250 gets $25. Apart from their lack of competitiveness in interest rates their customer service and website is great.

Citi e-Savings (***)
Offers 5% APY with no minimum balance requirement but requires a checking account with citibank. The best checking account is the EZ Checking account that is free if you maintain $1500, pay 2 bills online a month or have direct deposit. One good thing about citibank is that they offer good rates on CD's like their 6 month CD is at 5.50% (6% in Texas). They also offer Thank You points that add up and you can get gift cards etc. They also have free online bill pay.

GMAC Bank (*****)
For me this was the best deal! Right now they are offering 5.00% APY. They offer a check card, and checking writing (first 50 checks free!). I find this very appealing as I use Bank of America to pay bills online as they deduct money on the day funds are delivered to the person rather than taking them out 3 - 5 days in advance. So I schedule a payment say for 9/12 in the amount of $500, on 9/12 I go to the bank and deposit my check from GMAC for $500 this way I earn the most interest as it takes time for the check to actually go through plus I put it in the day the payment is deducted (Do not try this if you get holds on your accounts or it is for a larger amount, what works for me might not work for you). You can link many external accounts, they verify using the trial deposit method.

HSBC Direct (****)

The current yield is 5.05% APY apart from their slow funds transfer to and from external accounts it is pretty good. I have their checking account as well so I transfer into the checking and write checks. They have been very competitive with their rates.

Which account is the best for you? That is your pick on what you are looking for. If you have more specific questions feel free to email me and I will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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