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ETrade's New High Yield Online Savings Account

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ETrade has just started a new online savings account called the Complete Savings. It's similar to HSBC's or EmigrantDirect's online savings account with no minimums, no monthly fees and no rate tiers. And like those two banks, the current rate is 5.05% APY.

Unlike ETrade's Money Market account, there are no checks or ATM cards. For those who don't need these features, it's a much better deal than the money market account which has monthly fees when minimums are not met and a low rate of only 3.25% APY for balances between $5K and $50K.

A commenter mentioned a good point about those who already have an ETrade Money Market account or those thinking about signing up for both the money market account and this Complete Savings account. If you keep at least $5K in this Complete Savings account you can avoid monthly fees on the money market account since fees are waived for $5K in combined bank balances. This allows you to earn a decent rate on your money and allows you to have check writing and an ATM card. Transfers between these accounts can be done instantly online. If you decide on this, don't forget ETrade's money market promo. The latest money market promo is good through November 30, 2006. It gives you a 3-month 5.28% APY and a $50 sign-up bonus. See post for more info.

One note about the Complete Savings Account is that it requires that you agree to electronic delivery of statements for this account and any other ETrade bank accounts that you have.

I called ETrade to get further details. Unfortunately, I was told there's no sign-up bonus. Also, I was told there's only a soft credit pull (not a hard pull). Others have confirmed only a soft pull on the money market account.

The CSR wasn't absolutely sure about the early closeout fee, but he thought it was the same as the MMA ($10 when closed before 120 days). But with no minimum or monthly fees, there's not much of a need to close it out. See this ETrade fee page for info on other potential fees.

The CSR said that this Complete Savings uses the same ACH system as the brokerage and money market accounts. It's called the Quick Transfer and it allows unlimited links to any external checking or savings accounts. Incoming and outgoing transfers are free. There's the typical limit of 6 withdrawals per month.

ETrade Bank is FDIC insured. Note, this covers their banking operation and not their brokerage. It has a safe and sound rating of 3 out of 5 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com.

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this new account in the finding deals post.

Comments
16 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My experience with etrade is not good. I have had multiple cd's and accts with etrade which I was lured in by their initially attractive rates only to find that they not only lower them shortly thereafter, but start imposing new fees. For example, a cd ira initially had no fees nor minimums, then a year later they start imposing minimums and new ira maintanence fees. On top of that, their customer service is poor from my experience. Very long hold times were the norm. I pulled all of my money out and went with a business who understands keeping their word and good customer service.

I don't mean to be negative on your post, bank deals, but I just want to save others the hassle of dealing with etrade. Your doing an outstanding job of keeping us updated on high rates of return. Thank you very much!

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Comment #2 by shrazzy (anonymous) posted on
shrazzy
They actually have 2 rate tiers that are the same for now 0-4999 and 5000+

In my experience I closed a CD on the day of the maturity and had a very friendly person on the phone that didn't ask me any question on why I would close it. She even asked if I wanted the money to be sent to my checking acct instead of a check. Also their ACH works well.

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Comment #3 by Frugal Frugalson (anonymous) posted on
Frugal Frugalson
I've had a poor experience with E*Trade customer service too, but in general their service has been acceptable.

I have maintained a MM account there for a while now, so I will consider opening one of these savings accounts. If they offered an account opening bonus, I would do it ASAP.

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Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. I appreciate learning about both the good and the bad.

I have read that ETrade's ACH transfers are very fast with no loss of interest.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
E*TRADE's Fees page states:
"$10 early closeout fee if the account is closed out within the first 120 days of opening. (Not applicable for Complete Savings Account.)"

But as you said, no reason to ever close the account, with no minimum balance or fees.

My experience with E*TRADE has been great. I've never had any unexplained fees, always got all ATM fees refunded with the MM account, and always got through quickly to a CSR when calling about a CD maturing.

I only wish you could make decisions about a CD (renew, renew for more, renew for diff term, xfer to MM) online (like ING) instead of having to call.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've noticed that E*Trade's customer service has recently significantly improved. It used to take them days to reply to my emails (sent through their online form), but now they respond the same day, and also post requests and responses on the help page in a forum-like style. I haven't called them for anything, but the online process has really been streamlined, it seems.

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Comment #7 by Ken (anonymous) posted on
Ken
Bankdeals, your readers should be aware of a significant difference in ETrade Bank's mm rates and ETrade brokerage's mm rates. As I wrote in detail here, Costly Flaw In ETrade Retirement Accounts, ETrade offers just 0.5% in taxable money market accounts that have a balance under $25k. While they offer a 2.5% rate on a tax-free mm fund, this makes little sense and provides little solace for a retirement account. Clearly, ETrade finds that competing on mm rate is more important in the online bank sector than in the online brokerage sector.

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Comment #9 by shrazzy (anonymous) posted on
shrazzy
Finally decided to open a Complete Savings after closing one of my CDs. I called to close a CD on the next day of its maturity. Once again flawless closing + they added the interest of the day. I then decided to open a Savings and it was opened on the same business days. From my checking to savings the funds are automaticly transfered without a loss of time. If they start lowering the rate I will just have to go to put the funds into my emigrant. Since they have no min balance A+ on etrade part.

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Comment #10 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Shrazzy, thanks for the info. Glad to see ETrade has good customer service and has integrated their accounts well together.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hard Inquiry? Soft? None?

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Comment #12 by kev (anonymous) posted on
kev
Can anyone confirm that incoming and outgoing transfers are free? I've looked all of E-Trade and can't see any reference to this. The only thing I see that's close is a section on wire transfers, and those have a $25 outgoing fee.

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Comment #13 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yes, I've done several ACH transfers into and out of my ETrade Complete Savings Account and Money Market Account, and they have been free.

But I can't find where ETrade specifically states this in their documentation. They have a page on their Quick Transfer system but I can't find where they mention that it's free.

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Comment #14 by kev (anonymous) posted on
kev
Thanks, BG.

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Please listen to the advice of another who had etrade: DO NOT USE THEM. They can not deal with anything out of the ordinary. WATCH out if you have your identity stolen, e-trade wont help!

jon

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