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SmartyPig VS Golden 1 Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • 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
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Variety of accounts offered
  • CDs offer competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Freedom Checking Account for teens

Cons:

  • Must become a member first
  • Cannot open all accounts online
  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • Not competitive rates for most accounts
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.

Golden 1 Credit Union Review

Golden 1 offers a wide variety of accounts. They offer free checking, interest-earning checking, and checking for students. They offer CDs, a money market, and a basic savings account. They also offer savings accounts for youth, the holidays, and big purchases. They also offer credit cards, investment options, insurances, and loans.

Golden 1 CDs offer good interest rates. The rates are higher than typical brick and mortar bank rates. They are slightly lower than other online accounts. A few of the CD terms do offer rates that are competitive with other online CDs.

Most Golden 1 Credit Union accounts have low opening required amounts. The opening amounts range from $1 to $100 depending on the account. Some accounts do not have a required amount. The CDs require $1,000 to open. The money market account does require $2,500 to open.

This checking account is set up specifically for students ages 16 and 17. To have this account, you must maintain a B average in school. Teens can have freedom of their own finances and learn to manage their money. There is no required amount or monthly fee. They offer online and mobile banking, and mobile deposit.

To open an account with Golden 1, you must first become a member. If you live or work in California, you qualify to be a member. Family members of other Golden 1 members also qualify. You can qualify if you belong to certain employee groups. If these options do not work, you can join the Financial Fitness Association to become a member.

Not all Golden 1 accounts can be opened online. Some accounts require visiting a local branch location to open. All the CDs and most of the savings accounts can be opened online.

The premier checking account and the money market account both have monthly fees. The fees are $5 each month. You can waive those fees by having a set amount in each of the accounts. The checking account requires $1,000, and the money market account requires $2,500.

Most accounts with Golden 1 do not offer competitive interest rates. The checking, savings, and money market account rates are not competitive with other online accounts. They are competitive with other brick and mortar rates.

Read the full Golden 1 Credit Union review.

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