I use Smarty Pig for my family's savings goals. I like using Smarty Pig the most because I can setup automated withdrawals. I set them to cooincide with our pay periods. Also being able to set up multiple accounts/savings goals is a huge plus. I can manage funds for vacation, emergency, etc all under one umbrella account. Each withdrawal is seperate but I don't have the hassle of so much paperwork like at a brick and mortar bank when opening/closing goals. A few things that I don't like about Smarty Pig include the fact that there is no option for debit cards. This relates to the second complaint; that if an emergency did occur it's very difficult to get access to your funds. When you have automated withdrawals you can't cancel a goal when a draft is pending, which could take days.
I've had an account with Smarty Pig for years, and recommended it to dozens of people. I loved their old system and platform, and didn't even mind their three day transfer process. Since switching to Sallie Mae, they have messed up my account balance on more than one occasion. Their system has gotten slower, and their customer service has gotten terrible. I ultimately had to close my account as I no longer have confidence that they are managing and monitoring accounts - I had to call multiple times to confirm the amount I had saved. They wouldn't even confirm my balances before closing, and I'm no longer allowed to log in to monitor the transfer while I wait for the three days. I'm unfortunately glad to be rid of them.
Smarty pig honestly sucks. Sure they're able to save your money without strings attached but they have this shitty policy of closing your account after 5 bushiness days and when you do transfer your money, it takes two business days. So if you need your money at a specific time, do not save your money with this bank. I'm just so frustrated with them because I'm still waiting for my funds to come through due to shit policy.
I became a Smarty Pig customer last year 2014 and my account was earning 1% APY. When I first started, I was very intrigued with how many categories it allowed you to save for. When I first opened my account, I had a new car, home, entertainment, kids' college fund, and travel category. Smarty Pig allows you to put the amount that you want to save for each category, known as your goal. Then it allows you to put when you expect to make that goal. Next it informs you of the percentage that you are in your goal. For instance, if you have a new car category and the goal is $15,000 and you put $2,000 in, your percentage would be 13.33%. So you have 86.67% left to save until you meet your goal. I also had to call customer service one day about something, and they are very personable. They treat their customers with care and kindness. I also like the way that you can redeem your savings. One good way is the retailer gift card, where you can earn up to 11% cash back. I would recommend Smarty Pig to anyone.
If you want your funds by a specific date, make sure your goal is closed at least 10 days before you need them. I made the mistake of adding to my goal, thinking I'll have even more money saved for vacation, only to learn it takes 5 business days to actually close your goal from the time they receive your last payment. And another few days to actually get your money back into your account. Looks like I'll get mine AFTER vacation is over. Buzz kill for sure.
I heard of SmartyPig in 2010 on several different financial blogs because their interest rates were one of the highest at that time. Their website is very user friendly and I had no trouble signing up and transferring money to/from my checking account. I really liked how you can designate different savings goals and share those goals with people you choose on social media. Additionally, you are able to purchase gift cards which would give you higher value than if you were to transfer money to the checking account. I had several different saving goals in my SmartyPig account and it helped to see each of them grow. I cannot think of any feature I do not like about my SmartyPig account, except maybe the interest rate which has not changed much since 2010; however, I guess that is the case with every bank these days.
There is no simpler way to save online that through Smarty Pig. I love that I don't have to have much money to earn interest, even if I'm only making a few cents. I also love that I can have the money returned to me either back into my traditional bank, or through gift cards, with even more bonus money added on.
I wish the withdrawals were easier, since I have my emergency fund saved with them. It takes 7 business days, which can be rough.
I'm not sure how most savings accounts work but I love the fact that Smarty Pig accrues interest every quarter rather than providing interest once a year. I've been using this site as my online savings account for about a year or so now to save up money to buy a new car as well as for an apartment and I've recommended it to several people. I also love that it doesn't require a large amount of money set aside in order to open up a savings account and that I can set up several different savings accounts under one account for different needs. I have two separate savings accounts for my car savings and apartment savings as well as a vacation savings which makes it easier to keep all of my fund separate that way I don't end up dabbling in my funds and accidentally spending money that wasn't supposed to be spent. The fact that I also transfer my money into my bank account or turn all or a portion of my money into a gift card is a plus as well. Because I want to save a certain amount of money for some things the tracking of how close I am to my goal makes it easier for me to see how close I am to my financial goals.
I've been using Smartypig for over 18 months now and I love them! I love being able to set up individual goals. I try to always keep a small "emergency fund," and then also set up ahead of time for birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc. The interest rate is very competitive, it's completely free, and it's actually FUN! I've never been a good saver (still struggle!), but Smartypig helps a lot. I take money in and out all the time and I've never had a problem. There is sometimes up to a 2-wk wait after deposit to be able to turn around and withdraw, but that has been good for us b/c we aren't as likely to spend what's in there. When we do move money back into our BBT Checking account (more than we should!), it's always been very fast, within 24-48 hours. I just love this bank/website and I recommend it to everyone!
I tried to open an account and kept getting an error "Your username has not been recognized" contacted support and its been several iterations with them. while they are polite, i do not think they are very competent.
I think this is not yet a fully mature company and they still have a lot of work cut out for them. i am now hesitant to park my money with them.
I have nothing but great things to say about Smartypig. Anytime I have locked myself out of my account, I am always easily let back in by answering my security questions. I haven't had the need to talk with the bank that actually holds the money I have with Smartypig, so I have no idea if they are easy to work with. I have also been able to get my money out in partial amounts or my entire goal. It might take a day or so to get your money into your account, but I like that. I always have trouble saving money in a savings account with my normal bank because it is hooked to my checking. I like having this separateness, so I am okay with the day or so it takes to get my money. I also love being able to see what percentage I am to my goal, as well as the ability to add money using their mobile app! I haven't use put my money into a gift card, but the ability to get cash back from doing so is making it something I will definitely look into in the future!! I definitely recommend Smartypig to anyone!
I think Smartypig is a fun and creative way to allocate funds and save for goals. I also like the idea of being able to use social networking sites to publicize your goals and accept gifts and donations to what you are saving for. Their interest rate is pretty decent compared to what's out there now. I would recommend using Smartypig for anyone interested who want to have fun with savings.
I wish I could give "negative" stars to Smartypig. Even one star is too many. There is nothing smarty about this pig.
My account has been locked for a week now for the reasons that I don't know. I am not even provided any explanation. Each and every time I contact the customer service, I am told that the account is being "reviewed" by BBVA (the "real" bank that SmartyPig operates with), and that someone is going to contact me. That's all I got! Even Smartypig is unable to get into my account, and they don't know what BBVA is doing. Not only I can't get any explanation from Smartypig, they also don't provide any contact information where I can seek an explanation. My money is being held up by someone for some reason and I am denied to have access to it! Is this legal?! In any case I deserve an explanation, which would be provided If I had chosen a reliable financial choice over Smartypig.
As of now (after a week), noone has gotton back to me yet, and Smartypig is (apparently) unable to do anything until BBVA gets back to them (or to me). All I have been told is to wait. Why and how long, no clue... I didn't know Smartypig was just a puppet company of a bank, with no power over that bank. I would certainly have never chosen Smartypig if I had known I could be locked out of my own account indefinetely for the reasons that even the Smartypig customer service is unaware.
I am currently planning to contact BBVA (found the contact info in Google). I am also considering to pass this issue to an attorney.
Be aware that smarty pig doesnt actually hold your money, and should there be any problem with your account, or should you need to withdraw funds, you have to jump through hoops. They wont even give you a contact number at BBVA Compass - the bank that holds the funds -- they tell you to hang by the phone and the bank will call you. Inexcusable. I've been locked out of my account twice in a week and both times the bank has taken 2 DAYS to contact me to resolve the isue.
If you can put up with the hoops, they do have a decent rate compared to other options out there. It's an interesting concept, and I like the original idea of having the availability of different categories of savings to keep yourself organized. But, they've dropped the rate steadily (like everyone) such that it's no longer such a good deal. Additionally, they've added "features" like a prepaid card that I am suspicious will add more to their revenue stream than to their depositors' wallets. Still, it's worth a look.
They have a very wacky and confusing system of "savings goals." It appears designed to lock you in to them, and make you jump through a bunch of hoops in order to get the promised rates. I became very frustrated with this scheme and cancelled my account.