E*TRADE has a new $25 bonus for opening the Complete Savings Account. This new one is good through 12/17/2008. The terms seem to be the same as before including the requirement of only a $1 deposit to earn the $25. Here's the important small print:
$25 will be credited to your Complete Savings Account within 30 days of the account being funded with a minimum deposit of $1. Payments will be reported as interest income. Accounts must be opened by 12/17/2008 to quality for the $25 offer. Must be a new account opened with new funds. Offer applies to one new account per customer. Not good with any other offer.
Last year I received this $25 bonus without any problems. However, several commenters have mentioned that they had to call before the bonus was credited. So be sure to record when you sign up, keep a copy of the promo page, and if you don't receive the bonus within 30 days after funding the account, be sure to call. Based on the comments in this previous ETRADE bonus post, most seem to be receiving the bonus although several still had to call.
Credit for finding this new bonus goes to FIRE Finance.
Complete Savings Account Review
In July E*TRADE increased the yield of the Complete Savings Account from 3.15% to 3.30% APY. Since the time this account was launched in November 2006, the rates have been competitive. In addition, E*TRADE's ACH transfer system (Quick Transfer) is one of the best. I did an updated review of the Complete Savings Account in this July 2nd post with many of the details of this account and the ACH transfer features.
Note, the 3.30% APY applies to all balances. The E*TRADE's page makes it look like you may need $25K, but this is only to compare it to other accounts with a $25K balance. I have much less than $25K in my Complete Savings Account, and I can confirm that I'm earning 3.30% APY. The interest is paid at the end of each month.
E*TRADE also has a nice checking account called Max-Rate Checking which pays a competitive yield of 2.90% APY as of 11/24/08. My main dislike is the $5K minimum balance requirement to earn the top yield and to avoid a $15/month fee (as described here, there are a few other ways to have this fee waived).
Latest E*TRADE News
E*TRADE Financial stock has been trading below $1 last week, but as this 24/7 Wall St. article describes, E*TRADE has reported an increase in brokerage accounts and in trading activity. So their future may be okay. E*TRADE has lost $236 million this year because of bad home-equity loans, and it has recently applied for $800 million in funding from the Treasury's TARP Capital Purchase Program.
As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay under the FDIC limits. ETRADE Bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 30746). It's one of the largest internet banks with $46.7 billion in assets and $31.8 billion in deposits.