AloStar CDs offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are competitive with other online CDs. The rates are much higher than typical brick and mortar bank rates.
The CDs at AloStar have low required opening amounts. Each of the CDs require $1,000 to open. To earn the competitive interest rates, you must keep $1,000 in the account. There is not a fee if your balance falls below $1,000, but you will not earn interest on the balance.
CDs with AloStar are entirely online. You apply for the CDs online. Once you open an account, everything for the account is online. There are no branch locations. You can reach customer service by phone or email.
Usually with CDs, the longer the term the higher the interest rate. But, with AloStar some shorter terms offer more competitive rates. The 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month CD terms offer the most competitive rates.
There are limited accounts offered through AloStar. The only accounts offered are CDs. AloStar does not offer checking, savings, or money market accounts. The CD terms offered range from three-month to five-year terms.
AloStar customer service is not always available. You can contact customer service through email. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. On Saturday their hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The AloStar CD accounts do not offer debit cards or checks. The only way to access your money is through electronic transfers. You can transfer money during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.
To fund your AloStar CDs you must link the accounts to an external bank account. Once the accounts are linked you can make electronic transfers between the accounts. To avoid a fee, make withdrawals or deposits during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.
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.