For those who didn't finish their Christmas shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you may want to consider another type of gift. SmartyPig offers gift cards that could be a nice gift for young adults. I mentioned SmartyPig gift cards last May for graduation gifts. Here's how SmartyPig describes its gift cards:
SmartyPig gift cards are available in $25, $50, $100 and $500 denominations. They can be given to both current SmartyPig account holders and individuals to whom you would like to Give the Gift of Savings so they, too, can create SmartyPig accounts, become responsible savers and reach their savings goals. SmartyPig gift cards can only be used to start a SmartyPig goal or fund an existing one.
For many of us who are dedicated savers, SmartyPig's goal setting requirements may be more of a hassle than a benefit. However, for the majority of people who spend their lives in credit card debt, the savings and goal-setting approach that is part of SmartyPig could be beneficial if it can deter people from going down the road of credit card debt.
SmartyPig's savings account has two nice features for those trying to save:
- Very competitive interest rate: 1.75% APY on balances up to $50K as of 11/30/2010
- Once you’ve reached a savings goal, you can receive cash back savings by placing it on a Retailer Gift Card. Two current examples of cash back percentages include 3% at Amazon and 2% at Best Buy.
SmartyPig isn't for large balances. If your total balance of your goals goes above $50K, the entire balance earns only 0.50%.
In September I looked at SmartyPig's Retailer Gift Cards and reviewed if this feature was worthwhile. As I described in that post, there are other alternatives to get discounted retail gift cards. The advantage of SmartyPig is that it makes it easier. One thing I noticed is that some of the cash back percentages have gone down since September. Best Buy and Staples have gone down from 3% to 2%.
SmartyPig is now partnered with BBVA Compass. Your money at SmartyPig is held in a separate account in your name at BBVA Compass, an FDIC insured bank.
Please refer to my SmartyPig savings account review for more details about how SmartyPig works.