bank rates

SmartyPig Beats Top Savings Accounts

If you’re rooting around for the best nationally available savings deal, SmartyPig beats out the competition by a snout.

With its 1.35% APY, Smarty Pig tops SFGI Direct, which offers a 1.31% APYA word of caution: As readers have previously noted, your SmartyPig account can be challenging to manage. You need to make sure to read the ins and outs before hoofing it to open an account.

OK, we’re done with the puns.

With its 1.35% APY, SmartyPig tops SFGI Direct, the online division of Summit Community Bank in Moorefield, W.Va., which recently dropped its savings account rate to 1.31% APY. It takes a minimum deposit of $500 to open an SFGI Direct account.

Unlike a traditional savings account, SmartyPig makes you set a savings goal.

It could be anything from going on a cruise to buying a new computer. Plus you can set multiple goals, like buying a bicycle and a new flat-screen television. Goals can be for as little as $250, and each goal requires an initial deposit of at least $25.

Then you need to link each goal to a funding source, like your checking or savings account, and set aside money regularly to meet that goal.

You can add extra money to your account, like if you get a hefty tax refund or a raise at work, and you can use social networking to ask your friends and family to kick in cash.

Once you reach your goal, or if you decide to stop funding it, you can send the money you’ve raised, plus interest, back to your bank account.

You can also put your money on a SmartyPig Cash Rewards Card and earn up to 10% cash back at more than 9,000 retailers. Or you can put your money on a retailer gift card and earn up to 14% cash back. You can also do a combination of the three.

While the process is far different from a typical savings account, your money is held by a real bricks-and-mortar bank, BBVA Compass, which has more than 700 branches across the South.

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Comments (4)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.13 out of 5)
4 Existing Comments
  1. Sonya said:
    on March 3rd at 07:31 pm

    Smarty Pig sounds like a viable option for short term goal. If you are like me have a hard time alocating funds for those want purchases on your list.

  2. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on March 16th at 08:52 pm

    SmartyPig’s rate is still available as of March 16, 2011.

  3. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on March 30th at 08:46 am

    You can still get this rate as of March 30, 2011.

  4. Kathy at Bankaholic said:
    on May 26th at 09:40 am

    You can still get SmartyPig’s rate as of May 26, 2011, but SFGI Direct’s savings rate is now 1.21% APY.