bank rates

What’s With iGObanking, Anyway?

I’ve been trying to figure out iGObanking.com ever since I first applied for a CD and was turned down because I had too many “inquiries” on my ChexSystems report.

Although I’ve since opened three CDs at this online division of Flushing Savings Bank, it hasn’t really helped me understand what makes iGO tick.

First, there are the hassles new customers sometimes face trying to open accounts.

Based on my own experience and those of others related in Web postings, iGO seems unusually scrupulous about complying with Patriot Act requirements.

CheckSystems reports are scrutinized; driver’s licenses and utility bills thoroughly examined; home addresses diligently verified – all to establish a would-be customer’s bona fides.

It can be painful.

Then, there are those yo-yo “iGOcd” rates.

The bank occasionally serves up what I consider “flash” CD offerings (it doesn’t call them “promotions”), with rates substantially higher than those of other national rate leaders.

They begin and end abruptly.

Thereafter, rates return to normal levels, which range from pedestrian to awful.

Currently, iGO is posting 0.15% APYs for CDs from six to 24 months, and 0.35% APYs for CDs from 29 months to 10 years.

My basic problem with this is its impact on maturing CDs. Customers have little choice but to bolt.

A very pleasant and friendly CSR confirmed that no special renewal rate was available for my CD maturing in October.

She had no explanation for iGO’s rate policies. (I didn’t expect one.)

Also, there are occasional operational glitches.

For example, iGO’s FAQs state that, if you want to close a CD, you should send instructions via an email link on the website.

But the bank’s maturity notice included a form to print out, fill in, sign and mail.

I mailed the printed form, only to receive a call from a CSR telling me I had to use a third method – sending a unsecure email from my personal email address.

I did so, requesting the balance be transferred to my “iGOsavings” account.

I got a secure email back saying my instructions would be followed.

The bank, of course, mailed me a check.

Finally, there’s GiftsforBanking.com, another iGObanking website. But it deserves a separate post, which I may write – someday.

Yet, for all my grousing, I suspect the next time the bank mounts an attractive “flash” iGOcd offering, I’ll set my many issues aside and muscle my way into line.

That is, if iGO lets me.

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Comments (3)
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3 Existing Comments
  1. pfstock said:
    on October 30th at 05:32 pm

    Great post! At first, I thought that you were kidding, so I went to check it out myself. Their top CD rate is only 0.35% APY! On top of that, they have very stiff penalties for early withdrawals. That really stinks as far as CDs go. I would recommend moving your money somewhere else, like Ally Bank.

  2. Charles Rechlin said:
    on November 1st at 10:35 am

    I just received an e-mail from iGObanking that reads in part:

    “We hope you and your loved ones are safe. We recognize that the recent weather system has created unprecedented circumstances for many of our customers, and we want to do everything we can to help.

    “If there is anything that we can assist you with please let us know.”

    I now inhabit the Southern California desert area, thousands of miles from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. But I lived for almost 20 years in New York City, and I really feel for those on the East Coast.

    I thought this was a particularly thoughtful gesture by the bank.

  3. Mojave said:
    on November 7th at 09:34 pm

    I concur with the rate experience, rather annoying and frustrating. When I’ve gone on board, I’ve gone in via a rate spike on giftsforbanking. The rate was a hair lower than igobanking, but the value of the gift more than made up for the difference.