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E*TRADE Bank - Savings Account Promotion and Account Updates

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E*TRADE Bank
E*TRADE has a new $25 bonus for opening the Complete Savings Account. This new one is good through 2/25/2009. 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 2/25/2009 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.

In 2007 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.

Complete Savings Account Update

As of 1/19/2009, E*TRADE's Complete Savings Account yield is 3.01% 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 2008 post with many of the details of this account and the ACH transfer features.

Note, the listed APY applies to all balances. The E*TRADE's promo 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 the listed APY. The interest is paid at the end of each month.

Max-Rate Checking Update

E*TRADE also has a nice checking account called Max-Rate Checking, however, the interest rate of this account hasn't held up so well. As of 1/19/2009 it now only pays 1.50% APY for balances over $5,000. In November this had been 2.90%. 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).

Certificate of Deposit Rates

E*TRADE CD rates have fallen even more than the Max-Rate Checking rate. As of 1/19/2009, only the 5-year CD pays more than the Max-Rate Checking, and it's not by much. The 5-year CD APY is only 1.70%. Every now and then E*TRADE Bank has competitive CD rates, but not today. This is a good example of why you don't want to let your CDs automatically renew without checking the rates.

E*TRADE Bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 30746). It's one of the largest internet banks with $45.6 billion in assets and $31.0 billion in deposits.

Related Pages: E*TRADE Bank, savings account

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Comments
19 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Unless I am mistaken, E-Trade did the same promotion just last month. I think it ended on Dec. 19th or so. I signed up even though I loathe E-trade from a prior bad experience. The $25 was credited to my account before it was even open for 30 days although I made sure to leave it there for the full 30 days just in case. No issues at all. Any idea if I am eligible to do it again? I am always up for free money, especially when it only involves me moving a couple bucks from one online account to another and such a short lock up time.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I would not play with E*Trade any games. They are crooks with horrible customer service. They charge the commissions on your trades that are not in accordance to descriptions. It's a headache to close any account, basically, just stay away. $25 is price for your pain in ...

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am an etrade customer. I agree that they have bad customer service.

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Comment #4 by fife (anonymous) posted on
fife
Banking Guy, I don't know if you reported this yet (my quick search didn't turn up a result):

I received both an email and a letter in the mail from E*TRADE regarding a $10 bonus promotion for current savings members.

The key fine print reads:

We will credit $10 to your Complete Savings Account by March 16, 2009 if your Complete Savings Account closing balance on February 16, 2009 is at least $5,000 higher than its closing balance on January 1, 2009. $10 will be reported as interest income. We will apply the credit to the qualifying account with the highest balance on February 16, 2009. Deposits of new funds from existing E*TRADE Bank and E*TRADE Securities accounts are not eligible for this offer. New funds must remain in the account for a minimum of 6 months or the credits may be surrendered. Offer applies to one account per customer. This offer is not transferable and is by invitation only. Excludes E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corp. associates, and non-U.S. residents. We reserve the right to terminate this offer at any time.

I was considering transfer money to the account just before the deadline but the key line in the fine print is: "New funds must remain in the account for a minimum of 6 months or the credits may be surrendered." If you can get a higher interest rate elsewhere for 6 months (as I currently can at some of the other savings accounts) you have to see if the difference in interest over 6 months is worth $10.

FYI. I hope this helps some people out. Although, I'm guessing most current members received notice from E*TRADE unless they chose to not accept promotional emails/mail.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
fife, I received the same promotional mail from etrade, so I called them to ask about it. The CSR did not know anything about it and tried to transfer me to a different CSR. I hung up the phone since I was put on hold for so long. I sent a secure message to etrade and here is part of the reponse:
"Please be advised that the new funds are applicable only for new accounts. It only means that initial deposit must remain on the account for 6 months or the credit may be surrendered. Since this is not a new account, this disclosure is not applicable on your account."

It seems that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
I am tired of getting info from etrade for this $10 so I decided not to go after this bonus any more, but I knew that the reply was wrong so I sent another message to etrade asking why they sent me the promotional mail if it was not applicable to my account.
This time they confirmed that my account is eligible for the $10 bonus.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I remember they ran something similar last year. You had to have at least $1500 in your account on a certain day to get a $10 bonus.

So what I did was waited until 1 day before that day, transferred $1500, then withdrew everything the week after. The 6 month thing is probably because of that loophole.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
all that for $10... please use your time better!

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I tried the E-Trade $25 bonus promotion in Dec & was "rejected".

E-Trade is lousy.

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Comment #9 by empty pockets (anonymous) posted on
empty pockets
why would anyone open a 5 year cd for 1.70% apy?

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The most likely reason someone would open a 5-year CD for 1.7% is because 5 years ago they opened a 5-year CD for 6% and it came up for automatic renewal. For whatever reason, they didn't bother to check the rates (they were busy, they forgot, they assumed E*Trade Bank always paid good rates) and just let it automatically renew.

That's why a lot of banks have their special rates on 11-month or 13-month CDs instead of 12-month CDs. The terms on these promotional CDs say they will renew as 12-month CDs. They then set the rates on 12-month CDs very low to profit off the people who just let the CDs automatically renew.

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Comment #11 by gaelicwench (anonymous) posted on
gaelicwench
To anonymous at 7:38pm, I, too, applied the other day and was "rejected." What I don't understand is back in December when they ran the promo, they invited me to apply and were looking forward to having me as a customer.

Go figure! ::::eyeroll::::

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
When you apply online and then get an immediate rejection, it means that a credit check was done using the online application process and the results were not satisfactory. I had this same experience when I tried to apply online for a Wilmington Trust Savings account that offered a bonus if opened by the end of last year. My co-applicant has no credit history (no loans or credit cards, but does have other bank accounts) and was rejected when I attempted to open an account. Some online banks will allow you to open an account if you mail ID information later after the application is submitted. But some online banks won't accept that. I opened a lot of Etrade accounts back in the 1990's when they were offering all of that bonus money. Now they don't do that much anymore. Be aware that Etrade may "freeze" your account if you don't add or withdraw any money from the account after a year has passed. I found that out when I tried to transfer money to Etrade account and write a check. The check bounced because the funds were not transferrred. Oddly, the website first said that my request was completed and then a couple of days later, I got a message stating that it was not completed with no reason for the rejection. The rep couldn't find any reason. I suspect it was an internal "freeze" that was applied for a dormant account. Needless to say I was ****ed and closed one of the accounts. The remaining account has only a very small balance which I only use to write checks out of.

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Comment #13 by Matt (anonymous) posted on
Matt
ETRADE did not credit my account with the $25 bonus for the June promotion automatically. However, I pointed this out to them using a secure message, and my account was credited very quickly. Would have been best if I had that money when I was supposed to and earned interest on it, but I can't really complain...

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
to Anonymous, at 5:58 PM, January 20, 2009

Good points, E-Trade doesn't sound too great.

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To: gaelicwench, at 6:23 AM, January 20, 2009

Yeah, banks do that, then you spend 30 minutes on the app, then they say "NO" @ the end. It's dumb, banks are so dumb.

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I tried the E-Trade $25 bonus promotion NOW & was "rejected".

E-Trade is lousy.

We're Sorry...


We regret we cannot open your account at this time. Your application was processed by a reporting service that reviews various items of information we consider in evaluating an application. The information you provided in your application did not meet our requirements for approval.

In evaluating your application, a consumer reporting service provided us with information that in whole or in part influenced our decision. This service did not make the decision to decline your account application and is unable to provide you with specific reasons why the decision was made.

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Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The application process sounds similar to applying for a credit card. I used to get a lot of rejection notices when I first applied for a credit card (obviously since I had no credit history). Finally, one bank accepted my application and I got my foot into the credit card game door. Banks must be getting something from either the credit reporting bureaus or from some database somewhere during the application process. If you don't appear on the database or have a credit history report, you are rejected.

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Comment #18 by Srikks (anonymous) posted on
Srikks
E*trade has reduced the online savings account rate from 2.50 % to 2.15 % APY

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Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have a Complete Savings account. I am having huge problems activating transfers out of the account. Customer service is lousy. Seems they want your money in but won't easily relinquish it out.

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