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E*TRADE 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: 3.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Low opening required amounts
  • Interest rates not tiered
  • ATM fee reimbursement
  • Savings accounts offer competitive rates

Cons:

  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Limited personal accounts offered
  • Checking account interest rates low
  • Business accounts limited
  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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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
E*TRADE Review

E*TRADE accounts have low opening amounts required to open their accounts. The E*TRADE and Max-Rate checking and Premium savings account all require only $100 to open.

The interest rates for E*TRADE Bank accounts are not tiered. The Max-Rate checking account does require a $5,000 balance to earn interest. Any amount above $5,000 earns the highest interest rate offered. The savings account does not have a set amount. Any balance earns the most competitive interest rate.

E*TRADE Bank Max-Rate Checking offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursement. E*TRADE will not charge a fee for money withdrawn from ATMs across the nation. If the owner of the ATM charges a fee, the fee reimbursement will be automatically deposited into your account. The basic E*TRADE checking account does not offer ATM fee reimbursement.

The E*TRADE Bank savings account offers competitive interest rates. This account has rates competitive with other online accounts. They are much higher than typical brick and mortar bank rates. Any account balance earns the most competitive rate.

Most E*TRADE Bank accounts have a monthly fee. The fees range from $10 to $15 a month depending on the account. There are a variety of ways to waive the monthly fee. Keeping a set account balance in one account or an average in multiple accounts waives the fees. Making a set amount of trades can also help waive the fees. The basic E*TRADE checking account does not have a monthly fee.

The types of personal accounts offered through E*TRADE Bank are limited to new customers. Those accounts include a savings account and two checking accounts. More accounts may be available once you become a customer.

The Max-Rate checking account with E*TRADE Bank earns interest, but the rates are low. The interest rates are not competitive with other online checking accounts. You must have a balance of $5,000 in the Max-Rate checking account to earn any interest.

E*TRADE offers limited accounts for small businesses. They do not offer traditional accounts for small or commercial businesses. The accounts offered to small businesses include retirement accounts.

Read the full E*TRADE 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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