I recently signed up for a National City checking account to take advantage of a $150 deal, which has now increased to $200. I had never used a checking account other than Harris, which has been my only checking account I was in middle school. I wanted to check out the pros and cons of some of the other brick and mortar banks in my area. What better way to evaluate a bank than by first-hand experience?
I have also been looking into various online savings accounts to take advantage of the interest rates for some of my short-term savings goals. I’m sure the different savings accounts have different pros and cons, which is why I will most likely be opening a few savings accounts to find the bank that suits me best. The following is an overview of the top online savings accounts from my initial research.
ING offers an online savings account with a 2.75% interest rate. ING has no fees and no minimums. The FDIC coverage is up to $250,000 as per the recent increase. ING offers direct deposit and an automatic savings plan. ING also offers CDs that are easy to set up and ladder through an existing savings account. The CDs offer interest rates of 3.5%, 3.75% and 4.25% for 6, 9 and 12 months, respectively. Also, ING offers an electric orange checking account an APY of 1.5% for account balances below $49,999.99, 3.05% for account balances between $50,000 and $99,999.99 and 3.5% for account balances of $100,000 or more. ING also gives you $25 for opening a savings or checking account from a referral.
HSBC offers an online savings account with a 3.00% interest rate. Similar to ING, HSBC has no fees, minimums and is FDIC covered. Only $1 is required to open an account. HSBC also offers direct deposit and automatic savings plans. HSBC offers CDs with interest rates of 4.0%, 3.6% and 3.7% for terms of 6, 9 and 12 months, respectively.
FNBO offers an online savings account with a 3.25% interest rate. There are no minimums or monthly fees. $1 is all that is required to open an account. FNBO offers CDs, however, the rates were not quickly found on the website so I got lazy and stopped looking.
Dollar Savings Direct (DSD) offers an online savings account with a 4.00% interest rate. There are no monthly fees, however, you have to maintain a $1,000 account to maintain the 4.00% interest rate. If your account drops below $1,000 there are no fees, but your rate drops to 1.00%. DSD is FDIC insured. It appears as though DSD is a spin off of Emigrant Direct, which has a 3.00% online savings account interest rate.
EverBank offers a checking account called FreeNet that has a promotional 3-month interest rate of 4.65% for the first $99,999.99 deposited. After the bonus period, the interest rate drops to 3.51%. A FreeNet checking account has a $1,500 minimum opening balance. If your account dips below $1,500 a monthly fee of $4.95 is charged. FreeNet offers free unlimited check writing. EverBank reimburses $6/month in non-EverBank ATM fees. EverBank pledges to keep the yield in the top 5% of competitive accounts.
There are a variety of options available for anybody interested in opening an online savings account. I will most likely open savings accounts with ING and DSD in the near future. After doing so, I will post reviews based on my experiences with the banks.