Dollar Savings Direct dropped their savings rate to 3.20% (down from 3.5% and 4.0% recently). ING Direct is now at 2.2% (from 2.4%). ING Direct is probably my favorite online savings account because they don’t drop rates drastically like their competitors and they raise rates faster when general interest rates are rising. Get a $25 bonus for opening an account! Just email me. HSBC Direct is at 2.45%.

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ING 1099’s Now Available

January 24, 2009

Just noticed that the 2008 1099 tax forms are available online from ING Direct. Tax season has begun! It’s never too early to start on your taxes. I’m going to be using TurboTax again this year as I’ve done done for the past couple years. Remember, as the saying goes, death and taxes!

interestrateroundup

With all the falling interest rates throughout the economy, savings APY’s are bound to be lower as well. Here’s an Interest Rate Roundup of some online savings accounts that I use myself:

ING Direct (mini-review) dropped to 2.40% from 2.50%. ($25 bonus)

Dollar Savings Direct (review) dropped to 3.50% from 4.00%.

HSBC Direct (mini-review) is at 2.60%.

FNBO Direct (review) is at 2.80%.

Smartypig (mini-review) is at 3.25%.

WaMu Online Savings (review) dropped to 1.00% from 1.50%.

ING Direct Rate Update

January 1, 2009

Just a quick rate update. ING Direct has dropped their Orange Savings rate to 2.50% from 2.75%. With all the recent rate dropping by the Fed and others, it makes sense and I still like ING Direct as my first choice in online banks.

interestrateroundup

WaMu’s (now JPMorgan Chase’s) online savings account is now at a measly 1.50% which I predicted after JPMorgan took them over. Let’s just hope the customer service doesn’t drop like their interest rates! On a positive note, their online-only 5-year certificate of deposit (CD) is earning 4%. Not bad, but I don’t want to lock up my money for that long.

FNBO Direct (read my full review) recently dropped their rate to 2.80% from 3.25%. They also earned Kiplinger’s 2008 best online savings account award (even though their rate was higher then). I still like them, but I wouldn’t open an account if you’re looking for a high interest rate. There are others with higher interests rates out there.

A quick check on Bankrate shows DollarSavings Direct still leads the pack at 4% (read my full review here). HSBC Direct is holding steady at 3% (mini review here). SmartyPig is still at a high 3.90% although it’s a little different from a traditional savings account. I still haven’t got a proper review, but should have it soon for your reading pleasure!

dollarsavingslogo

I recently opened up a Dollar Savings Direct account solely because of the high 4.00% interest rate on it, which is the highest I’ve seen lately. This was created by the same guys that created Emigrant Direct (which I wrote a scathing post about why I was cancelling).

However, I’m still willing to give them another chance, especially for such a high interest rate. It actually makes business sense to create a whole new online brand rather than raising the rates on the old Emigrant Direct. Why? Because they can now attract new customers with the higher interest rate and not have to pay the old customers the new rate. Not good for consumers, but it’s relatively easy enough to just open another account.

dollarsavingssteps

The opening process was easy and completely online (unlike the old Emigrant Direct). All you have to do is enter your information, link a checking account with a routing and account number, deposit at least $1,000 and submit! The process was very simple and quick. My account was opened in two business days with my initial deposit! They used trial deposits to verify the account (beware, they do withdraw them).

The layout is very similar to Emigrant Direct. It has tabs on top like Accounts, Transfers, Profile, Statements, etc. The account screen shows the current balance, interest rate (currently at 4%), year-to-date interest, and interest earned this month (this was actually a request of mine from the old Emigrant Direct). Interest accrues daily and posts monthly.

Emigrant Bank is an old bank established in 1850 with over $14 billion in assets and this account is fully insured to the FDIC maximum (currently $250,000). The $1,000 minimum opening deposit is a bit high compared to other online accounts but there is no minimum to earn interest so you can have less than the $1,000 and still earn interest. There is a five business day hold on new deposits.

I would definitely recommend this online savings account as it currently has the highest rate out there with no fees and no minimums to earn interest (although there is a $1,000 minimum to open). It’s a great place to park that emergency fund! It looks like they have improved upon Emigrant Direct and have a truly online savings account with no mailing involved. There is room for second chances, after all!

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Just got an email from FNBO Direct saying that their rate for their online savings account went down to 3.25% from 3.50%. WaMu (JPMorgan Chase) also quietly lowered the online savings rate to 3.00% from 4.00%. ING Direct is at 2.75% (instant $25 bonus for new accounts with at least $250). HSBC Direct is currently at 3.00%.