bank rates

SmartyPig Is Still A Smart Buy At 2.15%

SmartyPig has been paying top rates on its unique brand of savings account for more than two years now.

During that time it’s attracted more than its share of moans and groans on our posts: “It’s too complicated,” “You can’t take part of your money out,” “You can’t do this, you can’t do that.”

But we still think this is a worthwhile savings plan.

SmartyPig requires you to establish a goal — maybe $2,000 for a 52” LCD HDTV, $400 for a bicycle or $10,000 for home repairs – and then set aside enough money each month to reach your objective.

That’s not a bad thing. And you earn 2.15% APY on your savings. That’s a very good thing.

SmartyPig is paying two-thirds of a percentage point more than the best nationally available savings accounts.

As with all savings accounts, the interest rate is variable and has been going down.

When SmartyPig opened its online doors in April 2008 it paid 4.15% APY.

But it remains one of the best deals around, paying more than the average 5-year CD.

The procedure for setting a goal and establishing a monthly payment schedule is clearly explained on the SmartyPig Web site. Your money is held by BBVA Compass, an FDIC-insured bank with more than 720 branches across the south, from Florida to California.

SmartyPig also encourages social networking.

Instead of getting an ugly sweater from Aunt Mary for your birthday, let friends and family know that donations toward your goal would be appreciated.

Once your goal is reached, you can have your savings plus interest deposited directly into your personal savings or checking account, receive it on a debit card or have it put on a gift card from one of SmartyPig’s big-name retail partners.

The advantage of getting a gift card is that you earn an additional 12% APY on your savings. If you were to get a BestBuy gift card for $2,000 for that TV, you’d add on an extra $240.

If you need the money before you reach your goal, you have to withdraw all of it and close the account. It’s a “not-to-be-touched” savings account.

The other thing to be aware of is the $50,000 maximum to earn your 2.15% APY. If you go over it, even by a penny, you will earn only 0.50% on your entire balance – not just on the overage.

But if you want an off-the-charts rate, then you have to deal with some off-the-wall rules.

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Comments (2)
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2 Existing Comments
  1. Debra said:
    on September 2nd at 06:17 pm

    I am recently signed up with SmartyPig and they just informed us that they are decreasing the 2.15% to 1.75% in a few days.

  2. DealMaven said:
    on September 3rd at 10:17 am

    Thanks for the tip, Debra.

    We just verified that the savings rate on SmartyPig savings accounts will fall to 1.75% APY on Tues., Sept. 7.

    Although this rate is still considerably higher than the top nationally available rate of 1.40% APY you can get from a traditional bank, we’re sorry to see it happen,