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Wachovia's Way2Save Savings Account Golf Promo - 16% for 3 Months

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Wachovia Bank
Wachovia has an added promotion on top of its Way2Save program. It's tied to their sponsorship of the PGA Tour golf tournament, the Wachovia Championship. This ended on Sunday. The winner was Anthony Kim, and he had a score of 16 under par. So 16% will be the Way2Save interest rate for the months of June, July and August for all Way2Save account holders as of May 30, 2008.

The 16% sounds very high even if it's only for 3 months. The big catch is that you're very limited on the amount that you can deposit in the Way2Save account. This CNBC article has a good explanation of this issue.

The easiest way to deposit money into the account is to set up automatic transfers of $100 per month. Unfortunately, this won't help you much to increase your balance before the account starts earning 16%.

Additional $1 transfers into the account happen for every debit card purchase, online bill pay or automated debit transaction. I called and asked about the automated debit transaction. I was told that any ACH debit counts. So if you have online savings accounts at other banks, it should be easy to set up many of these transfers.

But it's going to take a lot of $1 transfers to create much of a balance. If you are able to have $600 in your Way2Save account for those 3 months, you'll earn about an extra $22 over the original Way2Save program.

Factoring in the results from this golf promotion, you'll earn a blended 7.98% APY the first year, and receive a 5% bonus on your ending year balance. Assuming that you just do the automatic $100 monthly transfers, you'll earn about an extra $75 over what you would make in a 3% account. After the first year, the rate and annual bonus both drop to 2%.

Since I already had a Wachovia checking account, I opened a Way2Save account a few months ago. I had to call to initiate the $100 monthly transfers. They didn't accept a secure message. I've set up automatic monthly transfers into the Wachovia checking account from my online bank so I don't have to keep a large balance in the Wachovia checking.

Potential Issues

The main thing to watch out for is overdrafts. Make sure you request overdraft protection. If you mistakenly overdraft your checking account, money can be automatically transfered from the Way2Save account to cover the overdraft. I was told that the $10 fee for this is waived for this Way2Save program. If you don't request this overdraft protection, you'll be hit with $35 NSF fee for each overdraft.

The other potential issue is that after the first year there's a $5 monthly service fee unless you have automatic transfers. For more of these details, please refer to the Way2Save Account Agreement.

Please see my Way2Save review for more details of Way2Save and more details of the Free Checking Account.

Other Wachovia Deals

Wachovia currently has a very good deal on its 60-month CD with a 4.75% APY. Please refer to this post for more details.

I haven't seen any new online Wachovia checking account bonuses lately. They've often had online checking account bonuses for $50. Let me know if you see a new one. When they have a new branch, they'll often have a $75 checking account bonus at that branch. I've reported on a few of these over the last few months. Please see my Wachovia deals page for the latest promotions.

Wachovia still does have a $25 refer-a-friend bonus for opening a checking account.

  Tags: Wachovia Bank, savings account

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Comments
20 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Low deposit amount and 1 year teaser rate makes it useless.

Would rather stick with Countrywide at 4% which has no limits.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
New York Times, February 6, 2008

Last spring, Wachovia bank was accused in a lawsuit of allowing fraudulent telemarketers to use the bank’s accounts to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims. When asked about the suit, bank executives said they had been unaware of the thefts.

But newly released documents from that lawsuit now show that Wachovia had long known about allegations of fraud and that the bank, in fact, solicited business from companies it knew had been accused of telemarketing crimes.

Internal Wachovia e-mail, for example, show that high-ranking employees at the nation’s fourth-largest bank frequently warned colleagues about telemarketing frauds routed through its accounts.

Documents also show that Wachovia was alerted by other banks and federal agencies about ongoing deceptions, but that it continued to provide banking services to multiple companies that helped steal as much as $400 million from unsuspecting victims...

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
you missed another deal tied into this.
If your checking is criwn checking you can also get a free safe deposit becaus your savings balance is > $1000

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the guy who prefers CW, be warned that it may not be there for long.

TO BG, overdraft is not at all any worry if you do not use the checking account for any other transactions.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
While i agree that the actual accumulated interest from a single checking account linked to way-2-save is small, it becomes more sizable if you have more than 1 checking- way2-save relationship. I opened up 5 checking accounts (i think thats the max) at Wachovia, with each linking to a separate Way-2-save. So by end of year i'll have 6K earning mixed 7-8% APY. I think thats not bad.

1
Comment #6 by Hal (anonymous) posted on
Hal
Not bad at all.

But the above notwithstanding, I'd still shout out loud:

"F*ck Wachovia!"

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
How would the ach debit from an online bank work. Would you set up an automatic transfer of $1 for each online bank?

1
Comment #8 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
About the ACH, you first would create a link to your Wachovia checking at an online bank like ING Direct. Once a link is created, you're free to set up recurring transfers from that linked account. I just initiated a withdrawal yesterday. I'll let you know if the $1 transfer into the Way2Save account works okay.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Same bank different subject I have a cd with wachovia that matures in about a month and do not want to renew it. Anybody know how to close this out without a big hassle like I get with WAMU and INDYMAC. This WAY2SAVE account is probally a good deal but a little to involved for me.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I also figured out that trick of transferring $1 per day to ING to cause $1 per day to move to my Way2save. It seems to work fine.

ING says on their website that they do not limit deposits. So now I'm wondering what will happen if I set up something like 50 daily deposits of $1 to ING. Will it annoy ING? Will it get me blacklisted for abusing the ACH system? Perhaps it is best to spread the transfers among several on-line banks.

Since I have 5 Way2saves going, this could lead to a substantial bonus. Any opinions will be appreciated!

1
Comment #11 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
The best way to close a CD at Wachovia is to go into a Wachovia branch. I have done it at a Wachovia branch many times. Couldn't be easier. You can get them to give you a Cashier's Check, or you could even have them do a wire transfer.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
FYI, the deposits to another bank even when made by using bill pay do not result in $1 transfer. I have tried it but some how they can figure it out and post it as a deposit with no transfer to W2S account.
The only thing that works for me is $1 payments to credit cards daily but you have to keep enough funds in your checking accounts that earn no interest.

1
Comment #13 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I can confirm that the ACH withdrawal I intiated from my GMAC Bank account did result in a $1 Way2Save deposit (transfer from Wachovia checking into Way2Save).

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Can someone send me a referral?

1
Comment #15 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I can also confirm that an ETRADE ACH transfer from the Wachovia checking initiates a $1 transfer from the checking into the Way2Save account.

I initiated two $1 ACH transfers on the same day at ETRADE. The transfers were from the Wachovia checking to my ETRADE Complete Savings Account. This caused $2 to be transfered into the Way2Save account.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ACH transfer/payment??? Is that essentially a transfer from the Wachovia checking to any online checking/savings account (Wamu)? Therefore, causing that same Wachovia checking account to then transfer $1 into the Wachovia Way2Save account? I would really appreciate it if someone could clarify?

1
Comment #17 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
An ACH debit can be done by your utility company or credit card company when you give them your Wachovia's checking account routing and account number. The company then makes an ACH debit from checking account. This will trigger a $1 transfer from the Wachovia checking to your Way2Save account.

An ACH debit can also be done from another bank that has an ACH transfer service. At the other bank, you enter your Wachovia's checking account and routing number, and that other bank will create a link to your Wachovia's checking account. Typically, this linking requires you to verify trial deposits to ensure you are the owner of that account. After the link is created, you can initiate an ACH transfer out of your Wachovia checking account and into your other bank account. This is done while you are logged into that other bank account. I've confirmed that these transfers will trigger a $1 transfer into your Way2Save account.

Unfortunately, not all banks allow a $1 transfer. Some online banks have a minimum transfer amount of $10. These seem to be all those which use the CashEdge transfer service. These include FNBO Direct , HSBC Direct and Grand Yield Direct. Citibank doesn't seem to use CashEdge, but they also have a $10 minimum.

Banks that allow $1 ACH transfers include ING Direct, ETRADE and GMAC Bank.

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was doing small ($1 to $5) transfers from Wachovia to ING, Etrade and Chase, to initiate $1 transfers from Wachovia checking to Way2Save. I found that it works fine, until I got a call from Chase's fraud dept asking what's with all the small transfers. They seemed pretty ****ed off. So I stopped all the small transfers. I was only doing one transfer per day per account, which hardly seemed abusive to me. But I agree with Chase that there really is not a good reason for a daily $1 or $2 transfer other than milking a bonus. I figure its not worth getting reported to the Chex system over it.

1
Comment #19 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. Glad Chase called instead of just closing your account. I think banks are free to close your accounts even if you're not technically breaking the rules. I know many have reported ING Direct closing accounts for customers who are costing them too much.

1
Comment #20 by Darvin (anonymous) posted on
Darvin
Hello. I find your blog is very interesting. So much has already been said about banks – good and bad. Wachovia Bank is one of the most popular among the dissatisfied customers, the majority of reports have been posted about it. You can find lots of claims on www.****edconsumer.com. Everyone can file his/her feedback on the site to share experience with others.

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