Opened 1 account 1 week ago. Very easy account opening application but be sure your equifax report is not frozen as this is what they use for verification.Opened a 2nd account 1 week later but because of some problems there that I had inadvertenly caused, the reps easily had the account opened quickly without the usual fanfare you would get at the big box banks. As a smaller bank much less levels of bureaucracy to deal with. Calls answered in seconds not minutes without long phone menus. Reps were great! Next day ACH pulls and pushes of any amounts is something not available at many other banks. APR'S tend to be in the top 10-20 as I have seen while monitoring them in the past year. Unfortunately only a savings account available. Wish they also had CD's.So far a much better experience than with the big banks and other online banks.
I took a wordpad document, and copied and pasted all the info that I wanted to keep about this bank, and many others, as I archive everything about online banks. I'm getting up there in age, and sometimes I think, that my memory isn't as good as it used to be.
But if it's still as sharp as ever, I know one day, eventually, it might start slipping. So I want this info to come back to, or even keep it for history's sake, or even to let someone else know a fact or two about a bank, they might be curious, or interested in.
And so anyway, to get to my point (see, I'm slippin, lol)....I have found 3 times, where this bank's website, has said (not literally!), that the minimum balance to receive that rate, is 500.00. But now, on their homepage, and ONLY on their front page, I believe that minimum has been changed, since the last time, I've checked this site out, and it's now 1.00.
I don't know if I missed that last time I examined this whole site, as it has been awhile, since I've been here on their site, but if it's 1.00 min now, couldn't they update their website, to reflect that change? To NOT confuse someone? I sure would like to know, and I would be VERY happy, if it's that min now, as there's no way, I could give that much money (500.00), at one time. I also wish I knew how long that minimum would be active, before it changes it back to 500. IF, that is what is going on.
I see I can click on how many stars, for my opinion about different subjects about the website. Too bad they don't have one for this subject... lol. (Can't come up with a word for it, first time I've come up on this situation).
What do others think? Is the minimum balance to open the account, 500 dollars, or 1? Guess I could go ahead and fill out the application, and be declined, for not having the full minimum....:)
But I hate wasting any minutes in my busy day!
I tried to open an account on line, completed detailed application including beneficiaries, external account info and security questions, and was given the confirmation and account number. Received an email confirmation. After waiting for few days, and nothing else happening, decided to call to inquire. Well when you call , there is only one specific person who can answer regarding on line accounts, you have to keep calling to reach her. Finally got a hold of her, just to find out that my application declined due security alert on my credit report. That is ridiculous, the bank can still access my credit report, and I have no credit problems at all. She Sandy, did not have any explanation why she did not return my call, and why nobody cared to inform me about the account to be declined fir so many days. The rep attitude was , she did not care at all. Poor customer service. Avoid this bank for online accounts.
1) Some transfers are stopped by SFGI, causing problems – it's caused by esoteric SFGI coding blocking certain transactions. Therefore, can't be trusted for paying bills. No similar difficulties with other banks.
2) Only one external account accepted.
I attempted to open an account with SFGI direct, and received confirmation of my application. After a three-week wait with no word, I called and was told that my application was denied because of a fraud alert on my account (had a freeze, too, but lifted it with a big window) and that I have to "lift the fraud alert" which isn't really desirable or easy.
This is a really non-standard practice. Fraud alerts are there for the financial institution to verify the person's identity (as many other financial institutions have done). They can still access the credit file.
It seems like SFGI Direct is too lazy to actually go through the trouble to verify identities, or to even send out a notification when an application is declined because of this.
If you have a fraud alert on your credit report, don't bother with SFGI Direct.
I searched these folks out around 10 years ago and have been with them ever since. I've never had a problem with anything....ever.
Yea..rates go up and down but they're always amongst the best out there....consistently. The Web-site is simple and no frills and it always works as it should.
Been here for a couple years and the service is pretty solid. I Always get a human being on the phone. The money transfers are limited to wire to my checking, but I just maintain a decent balance in the check to buffer any rotating costs. Great experience so far.
I have made several huge deposits to SFGI, and withdrawn most of it keeping the account min, with no problems. They have kept their 1.06% APY rate since the start. I'm only worried about a rate cut. This bank was very trustworthy. I like SFGI Direct alot. The interest is always paid and the ACH worked perfectly every single time. No problems. I withdrew all but near the account minimum via ACH with no problems. Never a fee. One detail, to get statements you have set it up over the telephone. They do offer statements, but you have to call them to set it up. I am very happy with SFGI Direct and keep money in this bank.
I've had a SFGI savings account for over a year now and am thoroughly happy with them. I have nothing but praise for SFGI. Interest is posted on the first of each month. Withdrawals are shown in red and deposits are in green which helps visually. Accrued interest is shown every day, so you know how much interest you've earned daily. For example, Tuesday you've earned $11.40; if you log on Wednesday the running tab will read $12.09. I especially like this daily-interest-earned update feature. Using another bank's ACH capacity, there's no limit on how much you can withdraw. There have been no fees whatsoever. The website is easy to navigate and offers many options to personalize your needs. After reading what other banks have done to Bank Deals readers, I thought I should post a glowing review based on my experience. I did make a few calls when the account was opened for help and the customer service reps were informed and very helpful. And the 1.01% is a real 1%. Other banks may be offering 1% but I'm sticking with SFGI due to their excellent service.
Have been banking here for a couple years from a variety of remote locations.
As a previous poster has said, service is quite good. ACHs are particularly fast (pushing money out takes half the time it would take for me to pull from my external account). Some headaches:
1. I have a joint account with my husband. We are both co-signers and therefore both are authorized to take $ out without the other's signature. I locked myself out of the account because I had recently changed the password and forgot. The account was opened using my husband's SSN, and that's what they reset the password to. I forgot that piece of info (yes I'm a space cadet), so I called again to get it reset. Then the call center woman figured out that the SSN wasn't mine. She insisted that my husband call in and reset. My husband is busy working his day job. I should have been able to reset. She refused.
2. The account mentioned above is actually our 2nd account with them. The first was originally opened by me when I was single. After I got married, I wanted to add my husband as a beneficiary. We asked for the paperwork - they had none and refused to create any. This meant that in the event of my death, any remaining balance would have to go through a costly and time consuming formal probate process (normally if you sign a separate beneficiary document those fund can pass outside a probate). Hence, we had to close this account and open up the account referenced in point #1 above, and become co-signers. MARRIED COUPLES WHO WANT TO ADD EACHOTHER AS BENEFICIARIES BUT NOT AS CO-SIGNERS, YOU'RE OUT OF LUCK HERE. I escalated this to the bank president, who said they are not allowing this for liability/fraud issues. I find that very odd. Almost all banks allow benefiiary designation.
3. This is probably true of other "high" interest rate savings accounts as well, but there is absolutely no way for you to get money in/out other than initiating a transfer to/from your registered external account. I had an emergency once, and believe me, I tried everything - but no cashier's checks, no wires, no bill pay, no nothing. You can change the registered external account at any time, but it will take several days to set up as they have to do the trial deposits/whatnot. Also, the process to change the external account requires you to email customer service (it is not self-serve/automatic)
So for these reasons I'm considering moving my money elsewhere. For me, point #1 above was the last straw.
I've banked with a couple of online banks over the years and these guys are pretty good. You need $500 to open a savings account, but after it is approved and funded your balance can decline down to $1 with no penalty while still earning interest. I think they do this to limit the number of low-margin, money-losing $5 accounts that can hurt a bank's bottom line. As a potential depositer, you have to clear the bar, but once you're in, you're good.
They have a secure online email system which I used to change my external account. The responses were turned around in 24-hours and were respectful and helpful. Apparently they also have customer service phone support, but I didn't use it, so I won't comment on it.
I haven't found any hidden fees or sneaky policies. In fact, their agreement with the depositor is notably brief and consists mainly of "we do this, we won't do that, you do this, you shouldn't do that"-kind of things. There were no monetary penalties or oppressive language that I could find. In fact, I scoured their website looking for a hidden Disclosures document, but I didn't find anything, and believe me, I clicked on every single hyperlink on that site.
I was pleased with how fast they initiated and completed an ACH debit to my external checking account. It posted in 2 days. Not bad considering how others hang on to your money for the float.
Overall I'm liking the simplicity, lack of hidden policies and fees, good reputation across the web, and speed of transactions.
I've had no surprises or bad experiences. I also set up a portion of my paycheck as a direct deposit, and it has worked flawlessly.
It has also become apparent to me over time that SFGI/Summit has a real commitment to being in the internet space. They're not a huge bank--although not tiny either--but they've obviously done a lot of hard work to have a viable presence on the web. I have a local credit union account, too, because it's convenient, and they're about the same size as SFGI/Summit, but their web experience can not compete with SFGI's. I personally find it impressive that SFGI has invested in the infrastructure to keep a viable web presence up and running, and continue to make incremental improvements. That can't be easy or cheap. Good for them, I say.