Choosing an online savings account
Posted by : Raj | Posted on : Thursday, January 29, 2009
I’m getting engaged in November and as I approach marriage I have been thinking about my personal financial situation a bit more seriously. I recently emptied a savings account to buy a little rock at an ungodly price (it was worth it!). Now I’m in a position to find the best savings account that I can and instead of only using CD’s from my personal bank I decided to open a “high interest” online savings account. Through researching with bankrate.com and many other finance blogs I found these 3 options to be the best. My main criteria I used to grade these options were 1) interest rate & 2) customer service. I’ll explain more on why I chose the account I did below.
This one is my personal favorite. FNBO Direct features no fees and no minimums (though they require a $1 deposit to open the account). Readers liked it for it’s consistently high interest rate, the availability of an ATM card, and because you can easily reach an actual human when you call customer service. According to Bankrate, FNBO Direct is also the safest of the major online banks.
Another of my favorites, E*Trade offers a highly competitive interest rate, no fees, quick transfers, integration with their brokerage accounts, and an automatic savings plan. There’s no minimum, though you have to deposit at least $1 to open your account.
While it doesn’t have the most competitive interest rates, ING Direct was a popular option. The “Orange Savings” account comes complete with no fees and no minimums, and a slick web interface. It’s also very easy to create sub-accounts for different savings goals.
FNBO Direct and ING Direct seemed to be the best 2 non-broker online accounts. FNBO Direct was recently rewarded as the best online account from Kiplinger’s. They also have a bit higher interest rate and they do have a pretty slick online interface. My decision became between E*Trade and FNBO because I wasn’t sure if I wanted the stock purchase/brokerage options available. What the decision came down to is the fact that I’m not big on stocks. I’ve never had great investments in stocks and my 401k is already heavy in the market, so I’m going safe with FNBO online savings account at 2.80%. I’ve also received the best feedback on FNBO’s customer service, apparently they are the easiest to get a human on the line, old school maybe, but I still like that.