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Emigrant Direct Account Opening

This article was written by in Saving. 12 comments.

As you may know, I am in the process of opening a savings account with Emigrant Direct, an on-line bank currently offering an interest rate yielding 3.25 percent.

On March 15 I posted about my experience with a customer service representative at the aforementioned bank. That was three days after I began the process of opening the account.

Very soon after the test deposits hit my linked account, Emigrant Direct withdrew my initial funding amount (only $5). It would have been nice to immediately access my account so I could verify the transaction was completed accurately. Unfortunately, in opening the account, I was required to wait for a letter from the bank including my account number.

I received that letter today. I was immediately able to access the website. However, another registration step was necessary in order to create a login ID. I also noted that users are required to change their password every ninety days — a decent security measure.

I am now able to see my $5 but I do not yet have links to transfer more money over to Emigrant Direct from my linked account. I’ve read conflicting stories about this.

Update 10:00 am, March 24: I sent a message to customer service through the web interface last night, and today I now have links to transfer money between my Emigrant Direct account and the external linked account. All seems to be in order.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published March 23, 2005. 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 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 Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar Stacy

Will the maddness involved in opening an Emmigrant Direct account never end. I’ve heard more positive than good.

avatar Kathy Semith

emigrant stinks – have you used their website??? seems like something that was built in 1996. rate not worth hassle.

avatar Luke Landes

Their website might not be pretty, but operating it is easy enough, now that my account is open. I don’t see it as an obstacle.

avatar biaspoint

How can you say the rate is not worth the hassle, I bet you prefer to pay someone to pump your gas as well. If I have to be inconvienced slightly to make 3x what a normal bank offers, than so be it… I have just opened an account as well and went through some growing pains, but the end definetly justifies it…

avatar Scottyfontana

I opened my Emigrant Direct savings account about three weeks ago and have had no problems. Sure, the website could be better but the 3.25% can not be beat for a no minimum account. Best savings account around in my opinion.

avatar ajg

I opened my Emigrant account at back in Feb. I was shocked at how long the process took – as some posting here allude to. Also, funds being available on the 10th day seemed to be the 15th day. I was also surprised that between steps – for instance, after I entered my two small deposits to activate the account – there is no guidance on what happens next. I had to call CSRs to find out. Their website does seem like something from years ago – not nearly as user friendly as ING. During the whole process, I was wondering whether I was ever going to see my money. Since going through those annoying hassles, I can’t say I’ve had additional problems. I did test moving money out of there and everything seemed fine.

avatar Melchorr

Because I am so accustomed to doing everything online I totally missed the paragraph at the bottom of the login page explaining that an ID number would be e-mailed to me. I called up the customer service number and the lady actually told me that I “have to be patient” because it had only been a few days since I had initially registered. I was a bit put off. I mean, come on lady…when you have oodles of competitors who can offer instant “everything” do you really want to tell someone to be patient? Emigrant Direct MUST change their sign-up process because I know they are losing people in their current web of steps that involve the United State Postal Service.

Since my initial exhortation to “be patient” I have had no difficulties out of ED. When I called in a few months back with a question the woman who answered was about as helpful and friendly as they come. Now, if they could just make their online system as efficient then I believe they’d really start to take off.

If you hear me, Emigrant Direct….please join us in the year 2005, instead of being stuck in 1996. Also, keep bringing up that APY!

avatar tony

Interest is a little bit higher than other ban but a very bad customer service. Not only when you set up account. When you schedule a transfer, sometime they disappear and show no-pending transfer and reappear the next day. I close my link checking and want to close my emmigrent direct. They told me I cannot close because they need to transfer the money before thay close but I already close my checking. I call, email. They give me the same answer like a robot. The worst cus. service I ever seen at any bank in the world

avatar bobby

Be aware emigrant direct withdrew funds twice by mistake friday putting my checking account in overdrawn condition they said it was a computer glitch and there working on the problem some problem!! it didnt seem to bother anyone supervisors or mamagers when i called them and complained they said mistakes will be made !! but i said not in electronic banking thers no room for mistakes be aware be very aware of their non chalont attitude about mistakes with our money!

avatar doglar

I read a lot of negative things about opening an emigrant account. When I finally decided to open one, I was surprised to find that it was superior to the last several accounts I openned online (state farm, bank of internet, HSBC, Western Financial Bank). It only had 2 submit screens and allowed me to enter a PO box (smarter than most). It appears that it will also allow electronic transfer as initial deposit versus paper mail of a check. It seems it will be opened before the others and it was started much later than the others. I am guessing that most folks that found this process difficult, must not have many reference points to compare it to. When I opened my ING account, I felt like a terrorist and had to close it because I am entirely wireless (no home phone). It was funny that they took their $25 bucks back but left me the 7 cents interest made on the $25 bucks.

avatar Mitch

Emigrant stinks! They never sent me email confirmation of successful application processing, then quickly debited WAY more than I had in my checking acct. I never got a chance to put the money into the account and would have rushed it in if only they sent me confirmation. Talked at length on the phone with Emigrant and was told tough luck — pay your overdraft fees at your bank, fool, our fine print says we do what we like when we feel like it. BEWARE!

avatar Jerry

Emigrant Direct is currently a good way to park money. If you are planning to move it everytime a competitor has a marginally better rate, you might do better as a stock market day trader, because no bank is going to want a fickle client who never keeps the balance long enough to be loaned. If you do use ED, don’t expect good customer support, but you really won’t support if you are parking money there. Good luck surviving during this inflationary economic period.