About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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SmartyPig Savings Account: Gift for Grads & Improvements for Cashing Out Goals


If you have a family member graduating from high school or college in the next month, you might want to consider a SmartyPig gift card. Here's how SmartyPig describes its gift cards:

SmartyPig gift cards are available in $25, $50, and $100 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 many people (especially young adults) who are always in credit card debt, SmartyPig's focus on savings and goal-setting should be beneficial.

You can purchase this gift card with a credit card, but note, there's a 2.9% processing fee. If you're a SmartyPig customer, you can fund the gift via an ACH transfer from your bank. That will avoid the fee.

SmartyPig's savings account has two nice features for those trying to save:

  1. Competitive interest rate: 1.35% APY on balances up to $50K as of 4/18/2011
  2. Once you have 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%.

Improvements When Using Goal Money for Retailer Gift Cards

If you often buy from the retailers on SmartyPig's list, the cash back feature can be worthwhile. One downside used to be a processing fee when you closed goals to certain retailer gift cards. However, that fee has recently been eliminated. This was announced in a April 13th post at the SmartyPig blog.

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.

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.

Related Pages: SmartyPig, Beaumont, savings account

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