Recommended savings accounts?

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Znarr
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Recommended savings accounts?

Post by Znarr » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:58 am

Hello all,

I'm looking for a place to park my money as I slowly dip into the world of investing and was wondering if you all have any recommendations for a high-yield savings account. (currently with a credit union paying .8 percent APY)

I've looked at Get Rich Slowly blog (arrgh! still not able to post urls!) and thought that Etrade looks attractive , but have been reading horror reviews about the company while checking reviews online. Have any used Etrade merely for their banking services? If so, what are your thoughts?

Being able to do everything online is important for me as I live overseas and mailing would be extremely impractical. Also no minimums would be ideal (I see that Etrade has a 1000 minimum if I want to avoid a monthly fee so that's already a ding against it)

On the Get Rich Slowly site, people seem to like ING, though 2.75 (ING) vs 3.3 (Etrade) seems like a big difference. When it comes down to it, I guess it will be a tradeoff between security and peace of mind/less return vs. higher returns/higher risk (heh... investment 101?), but thought I would ask if other forum members had any recommendations they liked :)

Thanks, and good night!
Jeff

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cjackson0
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ING

Post by cjackson0 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:07 am

Recommendation for ING.

Pros:
  • You can instantly transfer from an ING checking to savings account (or vice versa).
    Overdraft protection for only the cost of daily interest.
    Ease of creation of sub-accounts for different goals
    Interest paid on checking accounts
    Can mail a paper check from online to pay your bills or a personal check
Cons:
  • Lower rate than some online banks
    No paper checks like a brink and mortor or Wamu online account
    Transfers into ING from another bank are held for 5 business days (I think).

Norris
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Post by Norris » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:09 am

Jeff,

Welcome to the Bogleheads forum. I recommend HSBC online savings account. It currently pays 3% with no minimum, no fees and FDIC insured.

Good day,
Norris
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:16 am

Couldn't resist checking forum once more before I went to bed and already have a reply!

Thanks Jackson, though I would like to confirm - doesn't ING require a certain minimum in checking before interest accumulates there? (I am not quite flush with cash.. sadly :(

And another thing (and forgive me if this is a silly question, but I've only ever had one bank before) - but do checking accounts automatically come with savings accounts at any bank? ie, by signing up for a savings account, I automatically get a checking account as well?

I have heard lots of good about ING and if there are no other recommendations for other places with a higher interest I might very well go with them. Will wait a bit more for others thoughts as well.

Ok, good night for real now! ;)

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:20 am

Oops, didn't see your reply Norris! Thanks for the welcome by the way :)

I will look into HSBC - I think I did check them out once before, but they required a State ID for the account creation which I do not have... (I have a social security number, just not a state ID, seeing as I've lived overseas pretty much my whole life)

Will verify that tomorrow... now really gotta sleep, it's almost 0130 >.<

Night all! (for really real now)

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simplesimon
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Post by simplesimon » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:10 pm

ING is a good place to start. To answer your question about opening savings and checking accounts, you have to open them separately. ING's checking account (called "Electric Orange" or something I think) does require some hefty amounts to earn good interest. But open an Orange Savings account (earning 2.75% APY at the moment), which also has a $0 minimum, and open a checking account at the same time and link them.

This applies to almost all online savings banks (ING, HSBC, etc.)

royal4
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ing tip

Post by royal4 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:20 pm

re: ing -- if you xfer in/out of your saving account it takes about 5 days to clear -- if you xfer in/out of your checking it only takes 2 days.

why .. got me, but I always move money in/out of ing checking now as I don't like the delay.

RockyMountain
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Post by RockyMountain » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:35 pm

I've used Etrade complete savings and have been satisfied. I don't understand what the fuss over Etrade is about. I can push/pull funds in and out of my checking account just fine with a 3 business day delay. The rate has been in-line with all the other online savings: ING, FNBO, etc.

RockyMountain
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Post by RockyMountain » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:36 pm

I've used Etrade complete savings and have been satisfied. I don't understand what the fuss over Etrade is about. I can push/pull funds in and out of my checking account just fine with a 3 business day delay. The rate has been in-line with all the other online savings: ING, FNBO, etc.

Ricola
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Post by Ricola » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Capital One Costco 3.50

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:08 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone :)

I think what I will try to do is give HSBC a try first. I see that they require a State ID, but perhaps they will be willing to accept a passport or some other identification in lieu.

Otherwise, apologies RockyMountain, but there's just too much negative feedback on ETrade out there that I simply don't feel safe going that route just yet. Unless there are a number of other Bogleheads that really recommend Etrade, I think I'll pass on that for now.

Which leaves me (if HSBC doesn't pan out) with ING, and I will give them a try if no other options are available. At least with them I think I can feel confident that it's a safe and reputable place to stash my money.

If there are another savings options out there, do feel free to chime in :)

(and sorry Ricola, but the 3.5% only applies to account above 10k - there is no way I'm going to have that much in there.... :(

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Frankbrown13
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Post by Frankbrown13 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:16 pm

GMAC Bank 3.75 with no minimum.

I used FNBO for awhile, but their rate is 3.25

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:25 pm

Thanks for the input Frank!

3.75 is nice! I just took a look at their site though, and they require a home phone/mobile phone number and driver's license. Somehow, I don't know that they would be willing to accept a Japan number >_<
And I don't have a driver's license (again, not living in the US)

I might give them a call though, to see if alternative ID can be provided, though I'm not sure what the odds of that :(

darkconstruct
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Post by darkconstruct » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:26 pm

I have a ING (2.75%) and an Etrade (3.3%) savings account.
Why all of the negative talk about Etrade? They nearly toppled last year when everyone panic-ed and transfered their money out in just a few days. That is what happens when everyone can transfer funds instantly ... electronically. But the Etrade savings account is FDIC. Am I missing something?

rene
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Post by rene » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:44 pm

Etrade has been great.

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:58 pm

Darkconstruct and rene, thanks for replying :)

It sounds like you are having good experiences with them - can I ask (at least darkconstruct) if it is possible to only have savings accounts with them? No trading, no nothing else, and not worry about any fees?

I know this is something I should (and I will!) call them to ask about, but I'm just wondering if there are hidden costs (which is what most of the negative reviews have been about) that I, as someone who will have less than 5k and only plan to use this as a holding place for transferring funds to a (yet-to-be-created) VG account.
Also, I assume I will need a checking account set up as well, are there any fees that you know of for that?

Again, I will call Etrade, and HSBC, and GMAC, and all these to clarify, but I'm interested in your personal experiences.

Thank you!
Jeff

amplifier
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Post by amplifier » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:16 pm

I opened a checking and a savings with eTrade over a year ago and have no complaints. I left the checking behind but still keep a savings acct with them; it should be possible to only open a savings with them without checking. I have to say, the checking acct debit card is ultra shiny silver and always got me compliments (not that this is important.)

travelfar
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ING or check Bankrate

Post by travelfar » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:23 pm

I have my savings account at ING also. It does take a little time to transfer money, but with the automated monthly transactions I have setup, it is not a problem for me.

I am sure there are several places to checkout interest rates, but I like Bankrate http://www.bankrate.com/ and Bank Deals http://bankdeals.blogspot.com/.

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:23 am

I have to say, the checking acct debit card is ultra shiny silver and always got me compliments (not that this is important.)
Oh, but that IS of paramount importance! I likes shiny stuffs.. >.< (and no, not referring to money, but in general, much like a moth to light (^^);

Thank you for the additional input amplifier and travelfar. I have checked out bankrate but didn't know about bankdeals - there is quite a lot of info there! However, I want to avoid the constant search for the "best" deal. Stability and service are also quite important for me, so if I can get anywhere in the 3% range, I'll be content.

So! I'll be giving GMAC a call first to see if they can get past my lack of a local phone number and driver's license/State ID. If that doesn't work out, then I'll try Etrade. If THAT doesn't work out or I don't get a good feel from them, then HSBC. I'll go with ING last, simply because they have the lowest rate.

Thank you for your input all, and I will update you on which I eventually go for/get into. :)

learningLady
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Post by learningLady » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:27 am

I looked at GMAC web site. Has GMAC been a regular for high saving interest rate or is it just to attract new customers.

Does any body know for how long GMAC has been offering this 3.75% rate.

I like the rate. But I do not want to open an account and soon find out they have reduced rates. Is there any way to know this.

Polaris
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Post by Polaris » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:43 am

I have ING, HSBC, and E*Trade FDIC-insured savings accounts and E*Trade is the best of the bunch primarily due to their fast ACH transfers. Like ING, E*Trade will also give you a $25 bonus for opening a new Complete Savings account link.

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Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:18 am

I opened a checking and a savings with eTrade over a year ago and have no complaints. I left the checking behind but still keep a savings acct with them; it should be possible to only open a savings with them without checking. I have to say, the checking acct debit card is ultra shiny silver and always got me compliments (not that this is important.)
I manage an organization that had over $100,000 in CDs at ETRADEBANK. At one time, the rates were good, and service was excellent. Two or three years ago, the service became terrible (long waits on phone calls), and they messed up our accounts. I spent immense numbers of hours trying to get them to fix a variable rate CD. They never fixed the problem, and never let me talk to anyone who knew what they were doing. In a few months ALL of our CDs will have matured and we will be rid of these folks.

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Post by Polaris » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:33 am

dm200 wrote:I manage an organization that had over $100,000 in CDs at ETRADEBANK. At one time, the rates were good, and service was excellent. Two or three years ago, the service became terrible (long waits on phone calls), and they messed up our accounts. I spent immense numbers of hours trying to get them to fix a variable rate CD. They never fixed the problem, and never let me talk to anyone who knew what they were doing. In a few months ALL of our CDs will have matured and we will be rid of these folks.
Interesting, my last E*Trade CD matured earlier this year and getting the proceeds pushed to my savings account was a piece of cake. I would have opened more CDs there if they had competitive rates. :p

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Post by Znarr » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:42 am

@ vandanagoel: I'm not sure how long they've been offering high rates, but it looks like it recently went up from 3.6 to 3.75, based on what I see on the Get Rich Slowly blog (not allowed to post any urls, but if you do Google search for those keywords you will get the site and one of the popular posts is the one on high yield savings accounts.

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Post by gt4715b » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:58 am

vandanagoel wrote:I looked at GMAC web site. Has GMAC been a regular for high saving interest rate or is it just to attract new customers.

Does any body know for how long GMAC has been offering this 3.75% rate.

I like the rate. But I do not want to open an account and soon find out they have reduced rates. Is there any way to know this.
I've had a GMAC account for at least 18 months and their rates have always been pretty high and consistently higher than ING. I love that they rebate ATM fees which comes in handy when I can't find a BoA ATM. My only complaint is they still don't have electronic statements in PDF form.

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Post by Kenster1 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:04 am

Is GMAC Bank Safe?

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... highlight=

+++++++

http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/DrDon/20060118a1.asp
GMAC Bank is owned by GMAC Mortgage, which is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors. The financial press has considered the sale of GMAC a way to shore up GM's finances but the impact of a GM bankruptcy filing on GMAC Bank's FDIC-insured deposits is easy to handicap -- the FDIC would back those deposits.

Beyond the reserves held by the FDIC, a FDIC-insured deposit is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government, so an insured deposit isn't at risk. In the event of a bank failure there could be a delay in accessing your insured funds.
How long does the FDIC take to pay insurance on deposits after an insured bank fails?

Federal law requires the FDIC to make payment as soon as possible. Historically, the FDIC pays insurance within a few days after a bank closing either by establishing an account at another insured bank or by providing a check. Deposits purchased through a broker may take longer to be paid because the FDIC may need to obtain the broker's records to determine insurance coverage.

Customers with uninsured deposits receive the insured portion of their account as described above. They will wait longer to receive payment for some or all of their uninsured funds. The amount of uninsured funds they may receive, if any, is based on the sale of the failed bank's assets. Depending on the quality and value of these assets, it may take several years to sell the assets. As assets are sold, uninsured depositors receive periodic payment on their uninsured deposit claim.
SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Any overconfidence in your ability, willingness and need to take risk may be hazardous to your health.

dan121
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Post by dan121 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:04 pm

Any thoughts on Dollar Savings Direct? https://www.dollarsavingsdirect.com/
They're currently offering 4.00%

HotRod140
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Recommended savings accounts?

Post by HotRod140 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:22 pm

I use costco/capital one best rate and you get $60 if your a executive costco member

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Post by nickel » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:03 pm

I'm a big fan of FNBO Direct. 4-start Bankrate rating, competitive rates (currently 3.25%), and they were recently rated the top online bank by Kiplinger's. ING is nice, but their rates lag the competition. And whenever the Fed makes a move, they're the first to drop their rates and the last to increase them. I've written a number of pieces on this topic, but don't think I can/should post links here.

Oh, and we also recently did a 5 year CD ladder at GMAC Bank. Not the most stable of banks, but they offer a good rate and they're FDIC insured.
fivecentnickel dot com

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:12 pm

Dan, I think the 4% is for their CD offering - on the emigrant homepage, they list 3% for the savings account. However I DO like the fact that they accept passports as alternative ID's!

HotRod - I did take a look at costco/capital one, but the best rate requires a minimum of 10k... I don't have anywhere near that :(

Nickel, why do you say GMAC is "not the most stable of banks"?

*edit: scratch what I said above, it IS 4% - AS LONG as there is a minimum of $1000 in the account.
Last edited by Znarr on Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by nickel » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:59 pm

Znarr wrote:Nickel, why do you say GMAC is "not the most stable of banks"?
Nothing specific, just the sorts of things alluded to in the thread above. I haven't really investigated too closely since they're FDIC insured. I just checked Bankrate, who has them at 3 stars -- this is actually better than banks like HSBC (2 stars, or at least they used to be).

Re: The Dollar Savings Direct question above, it's really a rather shrewd move by Emigrant. It's really the same bank as Emigrant Direct (same FDIC certificate and even the same online interface). This "parallel" bank allows them to offer a high APY to attract new money without having to pay more to existing customers.
fivecentnickel dot com

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camper
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Post by camper » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:53 pm

I like FNBO. Have had an account there for the last couple years.

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Post by Gekko » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:55 pm

IMO -

VG Prime MM.

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Post by nickel » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:09 am

Vanguard Prime MM is currently yielding 2.57%. Why settle for that when you can make a good bit more, with FDIC insurance to boot?
fivecentnickel dot com

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Znarr
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Post by Znarr » Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:57 am

Thanks for the update Nickel :)

Just as an update on my attempts at opening an account from overseas: Dollar Savings Direct do not accept FPO addresses, GMAC requires a proof of living at an FPO address (which I don't have since my family doesn't use it to pay bills in my name), and now trying Etrade. Etrade seems promising, though they also require that I fax a copy of my passport..

Seeing as it's 2AM here, I'm going to resume this tomorrow.

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modal
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Post by modal » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:12 pm

dan121 wrote:Any thoughts on Dollar Savings Direct? https://www.dollarsavingsdirect.com/
They're currently offering 4.00%
I'm directing all my current savings money to Dollar Savings Direct now, but I still hold an account at GMACBANK that pays 3% because I need higher liquidity using their visa card and the ablity to write check outside of my banking checking account.

GMAC also has 4% account but it doesn't let you write checks or use a debit card.

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