5 Star Bank VS SmartyPig

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
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Pros:

  • Variety of different accounts offered
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Reimbursement for ATM fees
  • No monthly fees or minimum balances

Cons:

  • Money market account has tiered rates
  • Must meet requirements to earn interest
  • Daily debit card limits
  • Higher balances earn lower rates
  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
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Pros:

  • Free savings account
  • Tiered Interest Rates
  • Set up multiple goals
  • Direct withdrawals

Cons:

  • Only offer one type of account
  • Six withdrawals allowed per month
  • Maximum account balance
  • One external funding source allowed
5 Star Bank Review

5Star Bank offers a variety of personal deposit and business accounts. There are three different personal checking accounts. One that earns interest, one earns cash back, and one rewards you for shopping online. 5Star Bank offers a savings account, money market account, and different CD terms. Business accounts include checking, money market accounts, CDs, and loans.

5Star Bank has low amounts required to open their accounts. Each of the different checking accounts only require $50 to open. The Kasasa savings account does not have a set amount required when opening. Both the money market account and the different CD terms each require $1,000 to open.

There are no fees to use 5Star ATMs. 5Star Bank will refund up to $20 each month in ATM fees for each of their checking accounts. ATM transactions do not count toward the required debit card transactions to earn interest or rewards.

Most all 5Star Bank accounts do not have monthly maintenance fee. Each of the different checking accounts is free, as well as the savings account. The money market account has a $5 fee, which is waived by keeping at least $1,000 in the account. The different term CDs do not have monthly fees.

To earn the most competitive rates for the money market account requires a large sum. To earn the best rate, you must have a balance of $250,000 in the account. Any balance over $1,000 does earn interest, but a lower rate. The rates gradually increase the more money you have in the account.

5Star Bank checking accounts have requirements you must meet to earn competitive rates. Those requirements include enrolling in online banking and receiving eStatements. You must also make at least 12 debit card purchases each month. ATM withdrawals or account transfers do not count toward those purchases. If you do not meet the requirements for the month, you will not earn the competitive interest rate. The 5Star Bank savings account has the same requirements to earn interest.

5Star limits the amount of money that you can use with your debit card. The limit for point of sale purchases is $1,000 per day. The limit for ATM withdrawals for each day is $300.

Once you reach $25,000 in the savings or checking account the interest rates drop. Any amount under that balance will earn the competitive rates. Any amount over that earn a much lower rate.

Read the full 5 Star Bank review.

SmartyPig Review

SmartyPig accounts do not have monthly maintenance fees. There is not a required amount to keep in the account. The first initial deposit to open the account is $25.

This savings account offers tiered interest rates. This means the more money you have in the account, the more interest you will earn. The interest rates do not vary much between tiers. The difference from a low amount to the higher amount is around 0.05%.

With this SmartyPig account, you can set up different savings goals. The savings accounts can be long-term, like saving for a college education. They can also be short term, like saving for a mountain bike or birthday party. You can transfer money from your SmartyPig primary account to different savings goals.

The best way to save money is to set up direct withdrawals. You set up when you want the money to come out of your account and how much to withdraw. Then, SmartyPig does the rest. Once the money is deposited into your account, you can transfer it into different savings goal. The withdrawals can be set up to occur monthly or biweekly.

SmartyPig has only one account offered: a high yield savings account. They do not offer checking accounts, CDs, money market accounts, or business accounts. The interest rate on this savings account is considerably higher than other banks savings accounts.

The website says you can withdraw money anytime, but federal regulation only allows six withdrawals per billing cycle. This includes transfers between your SmartyPig primary account and your different savings goals. The transfer or withdrawal will not take place if you have made more than six in a billing cycle. If you repeatedly try to make more than six, your account will be closed. Once you reach your goal, you cannot withdraw part of your money back to your external funding source. You must withdraw it all, or transfer the money between other savings goals.

This account is not meant for high account balances. There is a maximum account balance of $250,000. If your account has $250,000, you will earn interest on the money in the account, but you cannot add to the account.

Each SmartyPig account is only allowed to have one external funding source set up for it. That means you can only have one bank account connected to each SmartyPig account. You can change your external funding source if you want, but never have more than one.

Read the full SmartyPig review.

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