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Best Online Savings Accounts, April 2014

This article was written by in Banking. 274 comments.

The best online savings accounts offer high interest rates and great customer service. Savings accounts, particularly so-called high-yield savings accounts, are best for money you might need within a year. Any money that you don’t want to subject to the short-term risk and volatility in the stock market should be held safe in a savings account, earning as much interest as possible. Your emergency fund should primarily consist of money held in a high-yield savings account.

“High-yield” is unfortunately a bit of a misnomer these days; a decade ago, interest rates were 4% and 5% among select savings accounts and money market accounts. Today, the best rates are all below 2% while a fair amount are still hovering around 1%, many rates are now dipping below the 1% mark. This trend will continue until banks need more cash from depositors.

Interest rates. Interest rates are important because money shouldn’t lose too much purchasing power. In a perfect world, interest rates offered by banks should beat inflation while preserving the balance without risk. I am not aware of any bank offering a savings option with ongoing interest rates high enough to beat inflation, whether measured by the government-reported CPI-U or by any other meaningful measure of consumer prices. Nevertheless, if your savings is at a brick and mortar bank earning below 0.25% APY, choose one of the better options below.

Customer service. When evaluating customer service, there are two important factors to consider. The best banks offer all account maintenance and transfers through a professional, reliable, and easy-to-navigate website. Secondly, live customer service representatives should be knowledgeable, helpful, and available, although customers should have to deal with a representative infrequently if at all.

Based on my own experiences and reviews from other Consumerism Commentary readers, here are the most-recommended accounts for short-term savings. All of the listed interest rates are current but they are subject to change by the banks. Although I have nine accounts listed below the table of rates, you don’t need to have accounts with that many different banks. Choose one that fits you the best.

First, here is a list of the latest interest rates. Following this table, I offer a few of my own observations and opinions about savings accounts from nine popular online banks.

 Amount

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.90%APY

Rates as of 4/21/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • Trusted Name and FDIC-Insured. No Transaction Fees. Open Now!

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.87%APY

Rates as of 4/21/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • No minimum deposit to open.
  • No monthly maintenance fees.
  • Member FDIC.

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.90%APY

Rates as of 4/21/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • No Minimum Balance
  • No Monthly Maintenance Fees
  • FDIC Insured

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $100

0.90%APY

Rates as of 4/21/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • Secure Online Savings. 100% of Deposits are Fully Insured
  • High Yield Online Savings. Earn .90% APY with Small Min Bal
  • Checking Savings & CDs. Online Bill Pay & Mobile Banking

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $25000

0.95%APY

Rates as of 4/21/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • Built on the heritage of over 100 years.
  • Member FDIC.

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $0

0.75%APY

Rates as of 4/21/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • Capital One 360: No fees. No minimums. No changing banks.

Type: Savings

Minimum to earn APY $5000

0.85%APY

Rates as of 4/21/2014
FDIC Insured

Advertiser Comments

  • Easy to open. Easy to fund. Easy to manage.
  • Free online banking and eStatements.
  • National network of free ATMs.
TypeRateAPYMin. To Earn APYDetails
Savings2.00%2.02%$0SMART Savings Account - for young adults 18 yrs or younger, withdrawals prior to 18th birthday may result in a penalty
Savings1.25%1.26%$0Saver Rewards - Tier $0-$15,000 - online accounts only - requires an Interest Rewards Checking account - Meeting the qualifications for an Interest Rewards Checking account qualifies Saver Rewards for a higher interest rate - Limited to MA and NH market area
Savings1.05%$0FreeMONEYSavings - Rate for balances below $20,000 - must maintain Dollar Bank FreeMONEY Checking or e-Checking to earn rate. Open online and mail in forms. Available in Pennsylvania, and Ohio market area. Rate collected within: 15222 (PA)
Savings1.01%$0Great Rate Savings - Tier Up to $35,000 - Account must be linked to Great Rate Checking Account - Available only to Oklahoma residents
Savings1.01%$1
Savings1.00%$1Regular Savings - Maintain $1,000 balance each day and avoid a $25 monthly maintenance fee - Miami-Dade County, Florida market area only
Savings1.00%$0APY for balances up to $50,000
Savings1.00%$0eOne Savings - APY on balances of $0.01-$500,000. Companion account to eOne Checking, no minimum balance, no monthly fees, free ATM card, Online applicants only, who do not have existing deposit accounts with Salem Five
Savings0.95%0.95%$2,500FT High-Yield Savings - APY for balances $2,500 and above - apply online
MMA0.93%0.93%$1,000 Yield of Dreams Money Market -Tier Less than $100,000 - Rate collected within: NY
Savings0.93%0.93%$1Statement Savings - Rate collected within: NY
Savings0.90%0.90%$10,000Savings Account
Savings0.90%$0Online Savings - APY for all balances
MMA0.90%$1Online Money Market Account
MMA0.90%$0Nationwide - apply online
Savings0.90%0.90%$1Online Savings - APY for balances between $1 to $1,000,000
Savings0.90%$100CIT Savings - APY for daily balances below $25,000 - apply online
Savings0.87%0.87%$0Online Savings - Free online transactions, no monthly fees, no minimums - Apply online
Savings0.85%0.85%$0Online Savings Account - Account can only be held in individual or joint ownership - Up to 6 preauthorized transfers from your Online Savings Account per statement cycle
MMA0.85%0.85%$0Money Market Savings Account - All balances - No monthly fees - Apply online
Savings0.85%0.85%$2,500Online Savings Account - up to 6 withdrawal transactions per month with no service fee
MMA0.85%0.85%$5,000Online Money Market - Rate/APY for balances between $5,000-$500,000
Savings0.85%0.85%$0Online Savings Act - Rated Kiplinger's Best Online Savings Account, no minimums, no monthly fees, manage accounts securely online
MMA0.80%0.80%$100,000Money Market Tier $100,000 and up
MMA0.80%0.80%$5,000Earn More Money Market Account - Rate earned on balances of $5,000.00 and up-new money only.
MMA0.80%0.80%$5,000Earn More Money Market Account - Rate earned on balances of $5,000.00 and up-new money only.
Savings0.80%$0High-Yield Savings - Bank by phone or online only.
MMA0.80%$0Money Market Savings - Rate earned on balances up to $99,999.99 - transaction limitations - apply online
Savings0.80%$0Nationwide - apply online
MMA0.80%$0Money Market Savings - up to 6 withdrawals are permitted per month - apply online - a division of Northeast Bank based in Maine
MMA0.78%0.78%$250,000Premium Money Market - tier $250,000 and over
Savings0.75%0.75%$1,000UBM Direct Savings Account
Savings0.75%$0360 Savings Account - No fees - No minimum balance - Online account
Savings0.75%0.75%$50cuSave - Online Savings - Membership is limited to residents of Massachusetts or New Hampshire or those who work for a company that is based in Massachusetts
MMA0.75%0.75%$1Money Market Savings Account
MMA0.74%$0Online MM Rate - apply online
MMA0.70%0.70%$5,000 Money Market Tier $5,000 - $9,999 - $10 minimum balance fee if average balance is below $2,500
MMA0.70%0.70%$50,000Central New York market area only
MMA0.70%$10,000Apply online - Limited to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York market area
Savings0.70%0.70%$1Clear Sky Savings - Tier $1 - $249,999
MMA0.70%0.70%$50,000Money Market Tier $50,000-$99,999
MMA0.70%0.70%$25,000Money Market Tier $25,000 - $49,999 - $10 minimum balance fee if average balance is below $2,500
MMA0.70%0.70%$2,500Money Market Tier $2,500 - $4,999 - $10 minimum balance fee if average balance is below $2,500
Savings0.70%$1Performance Savings
MMA0.70%0.70%$10,000Money Market Tier $10,000 - $24,999 - $10 minimum balance fee if average balance is below $2,500
Savings0.69%$0Online Savings Rates - apply online
MMA0.68%0.68%$25,000eMoney Market online account
MMA0.66%$100,000Tiered Money Market - tier $100,000 - apply online
MMA0.66%$1,000Tiered Money Market - tier $1,000 - $9,999.99 - apply online
MMA0.66%$50,000Tiered Money Market - tier $50,000 - $99,999.99 - apply online

Rates / APY terms above are current as of the date indicated. These quotes are from banks, credit unions and thrifts, some of which have paid for a link to their website. Bank, thrift and credit union deposits are insured by the FDIC or NCUA. Contact the bank for the terms and conditions that may apply to you. Rates are subject to change without notice and may not be the same at all branches.


GE Capital Bank is making a name for itself in the world of online banks by offering high rates and low fees on its FDIC-insured online savings account. Its online savings account offers a 0.90% APY and requires no monthly minimum balance and has no transaction fees as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply


Ally Bank was selected by Kiplinger Magazine as the best savings account for 2009. Formerly known as GMAC Bank, Ally Bank provides an interest rate for their online savings account of 0.87% APY as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply


Barclays is a large, international bank that has been around for 300 years, and operates in over 50 different countries. Barclays offers a 0.90% APY on all deposits, with no minimum balance and no monthly fees, as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply.


American Express BankAmerican Express Bank is an offshoot of the iconic credit card company. This online bank offers a highly competitive selection of deposit accounts, including its High Yield Savings Account, which offers a 0.80% APY. In addition to the 24/7 account access American Express Bank offers by phone or Internet, there are no fees required to open or maintain this account, and new accounts can be opened with as little as $1, as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply.


Discover Bank offers a solid online savings account with a fast opening process; my account was opened within twenty-four hours. The current interest rate for the Discover Bank Online Savings Account is 0.85% APY as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply


Click here to start saving with Capital One 360!Capital One 360 offers no fees and no minimum balance requirement. Like ING DIRECT before it, Capital One 360 also has a great website and excellent customer service. So far, managing your money with Capital One 360 is just as easy as it was with ING DIRECT. Capital One 360 offers a current interest rate of 0.75% APY as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply


FNBO Direct offers no fees and no minimum balance requirement. FNBO Direct is the online arm of First National Bank of Omaha. FNBO has an interest rate of 0.85% APY as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply


CIT Bank was founded in 1908 in St. Louis by Henry Ittleson. Throughout the 20th century, CIT continued to grow, in all sectors. CIT Bank, an FDIC-insured institution, serves consumers and small businesses with certificates of deposit, savings accounts and custodial accounts. CIT Savings account offers 0.90% APY on all deposits between $100-$24,999 and 0.95% APY on all deposits of $25,000 and above, as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply


EverBank has a variety of products including a high yield checking account, a money market account, and world currency CDs, all with top-tier interest rates. Currently, for first time account holders, Everbank’s Yield Pledge Money Market account offers a new account bonus rate of 1.10% for the first six months, a first year APY currently at 0.86% for account balances up to $50K and an ongoing APY of 0.61% APY. And their Yield Pledge Checking Account for first time account holders for balances up to $100,000 offers a new account bonus rate of 1.10% for the first six months, and based upon balances on a tiered structure, first year APY is currently at 0.70%-0.83% and a tiered ongoing APY of 0.30%-0.56% APY as of April 15, 2014. click here to apply


SmartyPig currently sports one of the better interest rates you can find online at 1.00% APY as of April 15, 2014. In addition to the high interest rate, you can also convert your savings goals into gift cards and earn an additional bonus for each gift card conversion. SmartyPig is not a bank by itself, but it is a goal-oriented savings vehicle, a layer, that can be compared with other savings accounts.


HSBC Advance offers no fees and no minimum balance requirement. HSBC Advance (formerly HSBC Direct) entered the race with one of the highest interest rates ever available at 6% APY. HSBC Advance Online Savings Account has an interest rate of 0.05% APY for $10,000 as of April 15, 2014.


Lending Club Investing offers a significantly higher return than most banks. LendingClub is a social lending site where you can invest in loans issued to individuals and businesses. The most recent average net annualized return for notes by grade A to C is between 4.77% and 8.24%, as of April 15, 2014. While these investments are not FDIC insured, given the low interest rates paid by banks, LendingClub may be an alternative worth considering.


What is your favorite online savings account? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

For more banks to round out the selection, see this list of savings accounts interest rates. I have been tracking the rate changes for many years now, and this list gives you an idea of which banks have been consistently offering the highest interest rates.

Updated April 15, 2014 and originally published February 29, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 274 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Oh My Gosh

I can not believe what I am reading here. You are all talking about who has the best rates and who transfers money faster.

That is all good in good economic times but in these times you are only talking about one or two fractions of a percent from one good bank to another. I also see some are worried about minimum requirements to avoid fees.

Let’s start with the minimum to avoid fees. If you are in this category the money you earn on your account will be so insignificant that it really does not matter if you get 1.0% or 1.5%. Example if you need to keep even $5000 minimum you are only looking at between estimated $50 and $75 interest per year. Is the $25 difference worth the hours of research, you would do much better just finding the best rated bank that has the features you need and not stressing yourself out over $25.00. Even if you have $25,000 in your account you are only talking and estimated $125.00 a year difference. You can make more than this working a few extra hours on the side and not stress out about every penny.

That said, if you do have a big name brick and mortar bank paying say 0.1% or less yes it is worth going to an online bank that pays generally between 5 and 10 times more it may be worth it. But when talking .90%, 1.0%,1.1% etc unless you are loaded it is not worth your time to keep chasing the best rate.

If you are loaded your money is probably in other investments anyway any you only keep what you need for current times in your checking/savings accounts.

Chasing the best rate when banks are competing hard for customers may be a good thing. You could see big differences in rates but in these times you are just putting your self through stress you don’t need.

Let’s look one more thing. A while back I purchased some us savings bonds. I got a good rate on them. They were good to cash in when interest at banks were about 1% higher than the bonds pay. I could have cashed them in and gotten a 1% better rate chasing rates. I choose not to. Well guess what. My bonds still pay 4.5%. This is more than 3 times what I get over the other accounts and the tax is deferred until cashed in like stocks unlike paying tax on interest every year on your bank accounts. Everything pans out in the end.

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avatar Nate

Here’s a way to get an instant 10% rate through ING Direct …. Just open an account with $250 and they give you a $25 bonus. Easy.

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avatar ray galloway

What bonds?

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avatar GreyGnome

Dear “Oh My Gosh”,
Yes, I will chase $75. It took my 5 minutes of Internet searching, another 5 minutes to read the list, and 3 minutes to post this. 13 minutes… 75 bucks… Seems worth it to me.

I want to put my money where they will offer me 0.95%. Not where they offer me 0.80%. That’s important to me, because 1. It’s my money, 2. I’ll take anything that costs me little to nothing, 3. I want to support higher interest rates. If my actions contribute to the nationwide pool of people that are pushing bank rates higher, well good on all of us.

I used to believe like you did, and because of that attitude, didn’t understand that a couple of tenths of a percent could make a significant difference in my mortgage. True, this is nowhere near a mortgage, but now I watch *all* my money, and *all* my interest rates… and I make sure that *all* of them are the best for me. Is it worth it? Yes. Do it everywhere, stick to it like a bulldog, and you will find that as this attitude pervades your life, so will money pervade your bank accounts. No compromise. Make those banks work for your money, ‘cuz it’s your money and you are the customer.

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avatar BillyBob

Still, the difference between .75% and .85% is still north of $20 per month when you deposit $250K (the insured limit). There are a lot of people with that kind of money (me included) who want nothing to do with the stock market or bonds et al any more. You can feed the New York thieves, not me.

We need a safe place to park cash until we spend it, in my case for a house at around $400K. So, you have two or three accounts.

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avatar KJT

If people want to “chase” the best rate, and learn a bit in the process, let them do that. You have your way, and apparently you had to learn what that was. Yea, I said LEARN. Sometimes we need to learn what is the best way for each one of us over time, and in the process we learn. What you think is trivial, might be trivial for you, but it might not be for someone who wants to research, and pick the account that they think is the best for them. If getting 1%, or whatever is the best rate, is important to someone, do not knock them. Let us all do what we want to do to learn and decide what is the best account for us. For some your approach might be the best, for others, they want to research and pick the best for their needs.

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avatar Pratik

There’s almost no difference between all the “high-yield” banks out there. They are all roughly 1.00% APY, give or take 0.15%… I wish some of them would get more competitive now that the economy is starting to improve.

Hopefully CapitalOne will increase ING’s rate now that they’ve purchased them.

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avatar KJT

I was not surprised to receive the ING notice yesterday stating that ING will be sold to CapitalOne. Although, CapitalOne is very similar to large institutions like Chase, I would be surprised if CapitalOne’s rates will be higher than ING’s. My current Sony CapitalOne credit card does not have impressive rates. However, I would be happy if even a small increase in an APY would occur once my ING accounts transfer over to CapitalOne, but knowing CapitalOne I will not hold my breath.

In this type of sale, will the customers have a chance before the sale happens and the new rates go into affect to know what the new rates will be and all the other changes before we commit to going along to CapitalOne?

As far as “all the high-yield banks out there” there might be small differences between them, but even a difference of .15% is better then nothing. We are in a bad period in this area, but, I would much rather transfer my ING holdings to a 1.15% APY rather then an APY that is around .75%. Every little bit helps.

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avatar TO

I’ll stay away from anything CapOne has its grimy little fingers in Thank You.
Been there and done that. The person below is right. They will start nickle/ diming the ING customers until they ruin what was once a good service. Remember Providian, who doesn’t.

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avatar logicman

Yup — guess what’s NOT in my wallet …. Capital One has a history of ‘bait and switch’ and unilaterally changing terms they promised not to change so I won’t trust them. Example: They offered a ‘fixed rate’ credit card at 3% to good credit customers in the early 2000s …. They issued me a card good for 6 years, and then 3 years into it sent a ‘new’ card with small print that said ‘by activating this card you agree to new terms’ including a variable interest rate. I didn’t activate the card, and they CANCELLED THE ACCOUNT despite their promise to keep the rate ‘as long as I kept the card’ when I opened it. This is all LEGAL, but it is not moral. I don’t deal with companies that can’t keep their word. Too bad — Ing looked interesting. Maybe I’ll open it and take their bonus, and then close the account when Capital One takes over … have to read the fine print I guess to insure this won’t create issues!

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avatar Ben Z

Capital One is horrible. I’ve had the ING account but considering closing it since CapOne bought them out. I was a 10 year customer of Capone, one day I get a letter stating my interest is going from 8.9% to 13%, I had great credit at the time. I called them and they said “cost of business is going up so they are raising rates.” So much for great service.

avatar Capital One Hater

I will never do business with Capital One. I purchased new windows for our home, financed by Capital One at zero interest for 12 months. They never sent me any sort of payment schedule. I had to look them up online to find a phone number to call, and call a representative to find an address I could send my payments to. They refused to send me any receipts, so I never knew if they were getting the payments or not. I actually typed up my own forms to send to them with each payment. It was a nightmare. They were just waiting for me to miss a payment so they could pounce. An evil company.

avatar tbork84 ♦1,867 (Half-Dollar)

I am on board to hoping ING raises its rates soon. But in the meantime, I am taking as much advantage as I can of their $10 bonus for referring new accounts.

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avatar Eric Morey

The only rate that Capital One has raised at ING is the Overdraft Line of Credit Rate. It is currently 11.25%. They call it competitive. Capital One will slowly kill ING’s deposit base in the US as they start nickle and dimming its once satisfied customers.

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avatar joe

If the economy is starting to improve where you live,I want to move there

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avatar david

I was hoping for the same. Unfortunately Capital One abandoned what worked well about ING Direct. Sure, their website says they ‘kept the colors and user experience’ – i.e, the unimportant stuff, but they reduced the rates to their standard 0.75% – the near bottom of the barrel for online banks. I’m going to monitor it for another month and if nothing changes, I’m moving.

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avatar saver

Sadly I had to leave ING when Capital One took over. I had had my ING account, very happily, for many years. My experience with Capital One was horrid. I feel for their ad and got one of their cards. I used it to buy an item from EBay which was fraudulent merchandise. I did not receive what I ordered although the seller had proof he sent a package. . the package contained 1 counterfeit disk not the 6 legitimate disks I ordered this was verified by the legal department of the publisher. Of course, EBay denied responsibility so it was left between Capital One and me. I sent umpteen numbers of explaIation and proof from the publisher that the items were counterfeit. to their back office in india. They refused to consider the validity and hired a series of bill collectors who made threats they could never enforce. Very unpleasant and time consuming. Finally I had to go to the Attorney General to get them to back off. I would suggest that YOU GET AWAY FROM Capital One AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. AND NOT USE THEIR CARDS. . There are many other banks out there who respect their customers and deal with them honestly without attempts at strong arm tactics. THEY SHOULD HAVE GONE AFTER THE PERPETRATOR NOT THE VICTIM. I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEM.

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avatar LM

American Express also offers sub-accounts and a competitive interest rate like ING if someday you decide you’d like to escape Capital One’s clutches. Once you already have an account, just open another one and indicate that you already have an AmEx account. You can customize the account names through the customer service tab. I like ING’s interface better, but it’s no longer the only bank out there with sub-accounts.

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avatar Trudy

The Amex sub-account feature is a work around at best and very unwieldy. I like their interest rate better but not the information – for instance, on ING I can see my interst history for a number of months – not so AMEX. AMEX seems like a big unwieldy shadow-version – but the rate is better and I, too HATE Capitol One so I my ING accounts are going to diminish – and if they start adding fees, I’ll be gone.

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avatar Lisa Robinson

Captial Ones rates have dropped to 1.01% APY as of 8/22/11.

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avatar ERB

SFGI Direct has had the best rate for two years straight. Some match their rate, but nobody beats them.

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avatar Saver

They’re not accepting new customers at the moment. :)

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avatar J

They are today. I have three on-line accounts and SFGI is currently the leader in rates at 1.01%. Granted, not much in today’s economy, but still better than 0.70% and 0.01% at some of the “big” name banks such as Chase.

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avatar Mike

My savings account is 1.15%. :D

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avatar Alan

Mind sharing? Which bank?

avatar Maria

Hi. I’m looking to put our savings in one of these banks. Question: to me it’s important that the interest be paid monthly and reinvested, that is COMPOUNDED as I’m planning to leave the money for quite some time. I’ve been looking around and Ally does say it compounds monthly. What about the others, is there a way to find out?

Thanks you

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avatar Maria

I answered my own question. Never mind. BUT, using the American Express website as an example, not every online bank has a dandy FAQ to clarify this. With AmEx I had to go the round about route in their search window. Ok. It looks like they all compound monthly.

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avatar Matt K

Hi Maria- I have had the discover bank savings account for a few years now and they pay interest monthly to be reinvested. They are also offering a $25 bonus on top of their 1% apy if you open an account by Dec 15th.

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avatar Bob Snyder

Maria, comparing quoted APY’s tells you all you need to know about compounding frequency and APR. Read any number of sources to brush up on the difference…

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avatar Eric

Actually, Ally compounds daily, not monthly: https://www.ally.com/bank/online-savings-account/?INTCMPID=SavingsMenu_OSA_Nav

I use them and love it so far!

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avatar Jay

My apy is 1% and they are now offering a $25 bonus for signing up. They must have caught onto what amex is doing :)

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avatar SP

How did you get the $25 sign up bonus please?
I would be interested in getting that

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avatar Maria

Hi Matt K, thanks for answering. Well, we have our car insurance with AAA and I just noticed they’re also into this online banking business and they’re partnering with Discover. I’ll check it!

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avatar Maria

Hi everyone! Well, we started the process to open an account with AmEx first and we run into a glitch. Wondering if anyone has ever had this problem. My husband is an American citizen and I am a perfectly legal resident with green card, SSN, driver’s licence, tax filer, AARP card, AAA card, documented joint ownership of our home, no debts whatsoever, you name it. We have joint accounts at our local bank so we wanted a joint savings account but when it came to ME, Maria, the whole application process came to halt. AmEx said they’d send us a letter stating what else they wanted as proof of my ID. As I write, nothing has been received. Next, we started the same process with Ally, but before even trying to apply, and anticipating the same glitches, we “chatted” with someone to explain about ME and what would they need. The person was very helpful and didn’t see a problem but the application process also came to halt. The webpage “apologized” and asked us to phone them. We did and they asked (this is Ally) for a photocopy of my driver’s license, enlarged – after which they’d phone us. We sent it by fax immediately. They haven’t phoned us.

I understand that they would want to check our SSN’s against consumer reports and such, but I also explained to Ally (during the chat) that I never borrowed while here in the US, and that I use my husband’s credit card as secondary cc holder as we pool our earnings into our joint checking account. So it seems they can’t do a search on me by the usual methods they use, and are too lazy or can’t search through gov.agencies. AmEx asked me to ask SocSec for a letter proving I own the SSN they gave me. SocSec told me they don’t issue letters, that the SocSec card I have IS all the proof I should need. Ally didn’t ask for that, but I offered to send them a photocopy of my green card and SSN card and the person said it shouldn’t be necessary. Still, no response after we sent them the photocopy of my enlarged driver’s. Logically, and we even told both AmEx and Ally, that the IRS would be the perfect source to check as we file jointly and, tah-rah! there’s my SSN on the front page, common address etc. Frankly, I’m beginning to feel discriminated against, in a loop. Has anyone gone through this? Thanks for reading

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avatar Mike

I am sorry to read about your experience. Sometimes it can be tough when you don’t have a good credit history. However, please don’t be so quick to jump on the discriminated-against bandwagon.

Banks are entitled to be cautious.

Build your credit history, I am sure everything will work out in due time.

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avatar susan

Hi Maria!

I just opened a joint amex high yield savings account with my husband. Same thing happened to us. They sent us a letter saying we needed a letter from the social security office verifying my husband’s ssn. We are both citizens here. I think sometimes they just need extra verification. My husband went to the social security office, got the letter he needed, we mailed it to American Express, and our account was opened. It did take a little extra effort but we got the account. Just go into the nearest ss office and show them what you need. You shouldn’t have a problem if you have a social security number.

Good Luck!

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avatar FT

I’m not a US citizen and I open online savings accounts, get credit cards etc all the time. Being a citizen is not a requirement.

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avatar Earn Save Live

Hi Maria, I’m a US citizen and my husband has US permanent residency. I will tell you that we ran into issues with banks and potential employers related to my husband’s SSN. (Example: he applied for a job and they ran a background check. It came back “high risk for security fraud” because he had a newly issued SSN. He explained that he recently immigrated. They said they couldn’t hire him due to the red flag on his background check. Discrimination? Yes). With the banks, we persisted and found it helpful to escalate our inquiry by asking to speak to managers, keeping detailed logs of each call and who we spoke with, asking for a written explanation of why we could not open an account. Please be persistent – but clear with them that you have every right to have an account!

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avatar Carol Szaroleta

This is most likely a result of the USA Patriot Act regulations. The government does make us in financial institutions jump through hoops to make sure you are who you say you are and that you’re not on some watch list. You might be better off dealing with a local institution and real live people and credit unions generally have decent rates (relative to the market). I was also going to jump into the conversation and talk about certificates/term deposits. Yes, there is a penalty (usually 3 months worth of interest) if you need to break the certificate, but if you can last at least 3 months, you’ll generally break even. If you probably don’t need it (only for emergencies) then this may be a way to increase your yield.

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avatar Barb

I tried opening an AmEx account. The process came to a complete halt when they tried to check my SSN number. At the time I changed my last name a couple weeks prior. I guess the systems weren’t upto date or something like that. When I talked to the customer service person I found her to be extremely rude, like I was trying pulling something over on her. Their only solution to this would have been to have Social Security send a note on official letterhead to prove my full name and SSN. I decided it wasn’t worth my effort to get an extra .1% of interest and went with ING Direct. I was able to do the whole registration process online with no problems or hang ups. So far this year I have earned more interest than every year before this combined, and for very little effort. I just regret not getting into online banking years ago!

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avatar Maria

Follow up. Thanks, Barb for writing. Yes, the AmEx customer service person was rude and abrupt with me as well, you know, suspicious. Ally, on the other hand, came through yesterday. My driver’s was enough and the joint account with my husband is all set up. The process was easy and straight forward and I also like that I can “chat” with someone anytime, phone or send e-mails. What made us go with Ally, for now anyway, is that they have an 11 month “no penalty” CD with a very attractive rate, cashable with interest accrued anytime after six days. We’ll see in the future. I also regret not getting our savings out of our bank and into one of these online ones sooner! But who knew interest rates would stay this low for so long?

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avatar Fred

I just got an account with AMEX, within 10 min. I enjoyed a good service and Its all up and running. Crazy fast.

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avatar dick63532

Try Citizens Bank and Trust in Missouri.

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avatar chaminda

i liketo open with saving account. plees help me.

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avatar C

Capital One has just decreased the rate on its” high interest” savings account for at least its NYC customers (I didn’t check for any other areas), they dropped it at the end of Jan 2012 from just under 1.0%, all the way down to 0.10%. With no notice to customers whatsoever. That is a dramatic drop. Here is the link to the rate: http://www.capitalone.com/savings-accounts/?linkid=WWW_Z_BANK_A5505B15B8C18E6D1958E181B_BKPSNL_H1_10_T_SVACTHOME

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avatar Anne

American Banco of Asia (ABOFA) is one of best for me.. Hidden favorite, especially in these crisis :-) (the have strict metal policy connected with every savings account)

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avatar Nathan

So far, AMEX has been good to me. Though the interest rate has dropped!

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avatar Nathan

Does this article imply that 1% interest does surpass inflation?? Inflation is so MUCH higher than that it’s just silly to think 1% even comes close. Annual inflation is close to 10%. Google “real inflation”. Even the fake government fabricated stats show 3-4%.

That said, 1% is still better than 0% when it comes to interest.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

The article does not imply that a 1% interest rate surpasses inflation. Though perhaps the text in the first paragraph could be updated a little to describe the further decline in interest rates the past few months.

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avatar Earn Save Live

Our UBank online savings account in Australia earns 6% interest. Then again, mortgage rates are typically 6-7% here. Trade off, I suppose?

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avatar NewAtThis

As of June 2012, a UBank USaver account offers 5.51% interest per account. They have a savings calculator on their website, and, for example, if you wish to save $10,000 and your starting money is $0 and you deposit $200 per month, you would have earned $1,018 over 3.83 years once your $10,000 savings goal is reached.

If this is true, why have more people not done this yet? There has to be a catch..

Can you only act on this if you have an account at another Australian Financial Institution? If so, then us here in the U.S. can not participate.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

That bank is based in Australia. You can’t compare interest rates across countries without taking a number of other factors into account. This article pertains only to United States-based accounts.

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avatar NewAtThis

What do you mean by United States based accounts? I am in the US and have accounts here. Can I be involved with this account that I am looking at in UBank, or is that not a possibility?

Thank you for the explanations.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

A United States-based account is an account at a bank located in the United States. The bank you named is not. You need an Australian address and you need to be an Australian resident for tax purposes in order to open an account at that bank. If you live in the United States and are looking just for higher interest, you can’t do that by investing in a foreign savings account. You could easily lose money in USD terms due to changes in foreign currency conversion rates… and you would need to consider inflation in other countries could be higher than what it is in the United States. Thus the 5.51% interest rate is irrelevant for US residents.

avatar Ceecee ♦796 (Dime)

Have had an Orange account at ING for years. I like the idea of hooking into the Capital One network. Never had a problem with ING, although sometimes transfers to checking can take a few days.

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avatar Josh

I just joined ING mainly because I wanted to use the sub-account feature, although for the life of me I cannot figure it out. I emailed their support department however they just ask me to create additional savings accounts. Can someone guide me in how to set this up?

Thanks!

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avatar Thomas

You can currently receive 2% interest from Provident Bank for checking accounts. The only requirements are 10 credit card purchases per month and one auto-debit and you must use online banking. The 10 purchases are easy – 10 bucks for gas every other day. They allow 2 accounts, which I have, and the limit to receive the 2% is 25,000 per account. In summary, you can get 2% on 50,000 and that’s the absolute best rate in existence right now. Hope this helps somebody.

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avatar PacificNW

I have been researching several online banks and crossing some off my list as I narrow them down. Your research and insight seems to be very good and I appreciate this resource since many other sites aren’t nearly as comprehensive or are clearly biased. There is one however that I have heard about but you have not mentioned it. UFB Direct. What do you know about them? When I checked earlier this week they had rates comparable to ING and HSBC. I’m wondering if there is a reason why you left them off. They seem to offer a good opportunity for people looking to earn airline miles but for those of us who do not have or use airline mileage points is it still a viable option? Any thoughts here?

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avatar jean napisa ♦125 (Cent)

High-yielding bank accounts are helpful in the past, but not anymore now with the less than 2 % interest rate nowadays. It’s almost useless to depend on banks to give you a little bit of something from your deposited money.

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avatar I like to save

Hello, I have been saving for 10 years. I used CDs and had nice rates between 3-5%. As you know that is no longer possible.

I have 180K and wish I could get more than a .75% intrest rate – with no risk. Any mmoney smart folks with some thoughts or pointers?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

Aside from teaser rates, which might be good for the short term, you’re not going to find anything much better. A risk-free, liquid, above-inflation return is the Holy Grail of personal finance.

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avatar Eric Morey

Maybe look at I Savings Bonds at: https://www.treasurydirect.gov

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avatar WiMouse

CIT currently has 1.05% savings. Also check your local credit unions, for example in the Twin Cities one credit union is offering 2.99% on checking (up to $10,000) another is 1.75% up to $25,000 then rates go lower…

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avatar Olivia

In regards to the Online HSBC Savings:

I received this e-mai, on June 14th 2012:

Dear OLIVIA XXXXX,

Thank you for saving your money with HSBC. We wanted to let you know that your Online Savings Account Annual Percentage Yield (APY) was lowered to 0.50% APY1 as of June 14, 2012.

Your Online Savings Account remains an attractive option. Rate changes like this are very thoughtfully considered and are made in response to market conditions and prevailing interest rates. Regardless of the environment, HSBC will continue to let you know about rate changes to your Online Savings Account.

To learn how HSBC can help you continue to make smart decisions about managing your finances, visit us.hsbc.com or your nearest branch.

Thank you again for being an HSBC Advance client.

Sincerely,

Andrew Ireland
Executive Vice President
Head of Premier & Advance Banking
HSBC Bank USA, N.A.
=====

I’m posting this to either confirm this, as spam is EVERYWHERE and I seem to be quite a popular target, or if anyone can confirm that this is genuine.

Pretty bummed out about it. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the history of HSBC, and after travelling the world and seeing them everywhere, I was so excited to open an account, as I don’t live near a branch.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

That’s correct. The new HSBC Advance Online Savings Account interest rate is 0.50% APY as of today.

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avatar ALLOE

I am pretty bummed out about this too as I just recieved this info in my email. I’m seriously thinking of transferring over to either Everbank CIT Bank or Barclays at the moment.

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avatar Nancy

I received the same email from HSBC. I have an online with Sallie Mae and one with Barclays. So far so good. Sallie Mae is now 0.85, and Barclays 1.01

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avatar Fanny

Try TIAA-Direct; I recently opened a high yield savings account with absolutely no problem. They pay 1.25% and so far, all is great!

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avatar Ellen

As of 1/11/13 Tiaa Direct has also lowered their interest rate to .99% apy. I was very surprised as I’ve been getting 1.25% from them from the time I opened my account.

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avatar Angie

In June 2012 I opened an account at TiaDirect for 1.25 apy. Best I’ve see in a while

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avatar kcfield

Luke: Was there a reason you did not list TIAA Direct in your article? As Fanny notes, the rate is 1.25 percent APR right now (we just opened an account) and they are highly rated by Weiss. If you have concerns that led you not to list them, please let us know.

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avatar Jeff

As I was a bit ticked at Everbank for requiring me to have 5,000 in the cking account to avoid being charged a large monthly fee for using its billpay service, I discovered that most banks have no minimum for this service these days so I applied for an account at a local bank for just this reason. I also don’t like the tactics of hooking in new accounts that everbank uses with high rates up front for 6-12 months and then drop you below what other people are offering…
I’ve liked using everbank for years for the good service, but since my $ is going to be tight now and I wont be able to keep 5K lying around just to keep them happy, I’m splitting up my banking into multiple banks. My great find was TIAA Teachers Annuity bank that gives me 1.25% apy on savings account and free bill pay on their checking account – all online and mobile services too. I havent seen anyone that beats them.

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avatar Angela

I have a savings account with ING direct. I just received an stating that they were lowering my interest rate to .40%. NOT .80% like this website claims.
Angela Lopez

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avatar Thomas

The Provident checking account I mentioned earlier is now paying 1.72% and is still the highest return I can find.

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avatar Gary Rose

My experience with Barclays has been very smooth so far. They’re at 1.01%

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avatar Roscoe

Just got a note from HSBC: They are now adding fees to the online savings account and lots of them. Closing my account with them today.

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avatar spi6281

yupe $12 a xfer, take your money and run as fast as you can.

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avatar Pam

I just saw the HSBC notice as well. They are actually charging a fee to transfer money INTO the account! No way! I’m closing my account which will now cost me about $45-$50 in fees! Can’t believe they actually think this is a good business decision.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

The note is likely incorrect. HSBC will be clarifying soon. That fees applies to wire transfers, not ACH (bank to bank electronic transfers, like linked accounts). Now… HSBC’s interest rates are worth the concern…

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avatar Pam

I copied the following directly from the email notice. Note, the “Funds Transfer-in, per incoming transfer” is for transferring funds from another financial institution (local bank account) to your HSBC account. To me, this would include an ACH transfer. If it does not, they definitely need to clarify.

“The following account fees will change as of September 23, 2012:
Funds Transfer-In, per incoming transfer – $12 each (the transfer of funds from another person’s account, or another financial institution to your HSBC account)
Foreign Currency Draft (DD Commission) – $25 each* (official bank check purchased in another currency)
US Dollar Draft- DFT (Commission USD) – $10 each* (official bank check)”

The cost to transfer money into the account would defeat the purpose of putting the money in the account at low rate they are paying. It’s pointless!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

I expect HSBC will be clarifying in a future message. At least one customer service rep has said that the $12 fee is only for wire transfers.

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avatar Eric

Quoting your own message “the transfer of funds from another person’s account” I think the keywords here are “another person’s account”. That means from an account not belonging to you. If you are putting money into your online account you would normally be funding it from an account belonging to you, which based on your quote does not say will be charged.

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avatar spi6281

HSBC just introduced their transfer fees $12 per transaction. At this rate i will loose money, so bye bye hsbc, you lost my business.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

The fee probably applies to wire transfers, not ACH transfers. Waiting for confirmation from HSBC, but I don’t think this is a concern. There is no way any financial institution in its right mind would charge $12, $15, or even $30 (as indicated on the HSBC fee schedule, ambiguously) for an ACH transfer.

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avatar Mike

Lol poor fools in hsbc. I’m glad I’ve stuck to my credit union. I bet I have a better interest rate too.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

For everyone writing in about HSBC’s fee changes, please read this new article and explanation.

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avatar JD

What about TIAA-Direct? I just checked their webpage and they are offering a 1.25% interest rate. I haven’t see any other savings acct that comes close to this rate of return, have you?

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avatar Fanny

I mentioned TIAA Direct here several months ago when I opened a high yield savings account with them–am very satisfied, have no problems with my transactions and their yield has not fallen. Unfortunately they are doing some work on their website and are not accepting new accounts at this time. I’m sure this will change soon and I absolutely urge savers to consider their savings account.

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avatar Al-ny

I just checked TIAA also and got the website rebuild notice also. Sounds good in comparison.

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avatar Donjo

Low interest rates are hurting us retirees. I’m tempted to protest by putting my savings into cash in a safe deposit box. If ten million people did this, would The System get the message?

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avatar KetchupKid

ING Direct only has a ‘B’ rating with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) on a scale of A+ and down. Not good. A few thousand outstanding, unresolved complaints by consumers.

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avatar bbmak0

TIAA just changes interest rate to 0.99% in Jan 2013

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avatar Claire

I had an ING account that was taken over by Capital One 360. I never had a single problem with my ING account. Since the takeover it has been a nightmare! Every time I try to log on to the site either they tell me my PIN is wrong or my correct answers to security questions lead to a page saying that my answers don’t match what they have on file! So I called and got quizzed with a dozen more “security” questions, including asking me for the company from whom I bought my home. Since I do not know this (just the personal name of the seller–a flipper) she threatened that I would fail their security screen. Finally, after a dozen more security questions, I was allowed to change my PIN. Attempted to sign in with the new pin tonight and it was “wrong” again! Then when I got a PIN change code, I got the same message yet again that my correct answers to security questions were wrong! Right now I’m looking for a new online savings account. I’m not willing to be told by a complete stranger that I don’t know where I lived five years ago, or what State my social security number was issued in! And after all this–I was trying to deposit money into the account! Barclays is looking pretty good right now!

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avatar Fanny

Sorry to say, TIAA Direct is now down to .75%! But I did find Evantage Bank that is paying 1.1% up to $35,000, then drops to a measly .50%. I’m not lucky enough to worry about more than $35,000 in one place so I opened an account. Very easy. I know there are some good rates out there for savings IF you open a checking account too and make a certain number of transactions, but I resent having to do that. I’ve had a local checking account for years and will stick with that.

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avatar Curious Saver

MySavingsDirect.com…1.00%…no fees…no minimums.

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avatar SAVER 2014

pay very close attention to customer service. some banks are like roach motels, easy to get in but impossible to get out without paying for the luxury of getting your own money back.

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