{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe January 13, 2009 at 12:29 am

What’s the $250,000 and $100,000 insurance difference? Is it specific to E Trade? Someone please explain.

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BillShrink_Guy January 13, 2009 at 1:23 am

Joe: Due to recent economic condition, the FDIC deposit insurance temporarily increased from $100,000 to $250,000 per depositor through December 31st, 2009 (hence it’ll go back to $100,000 in 2010), as MoneyNing has mentioned.

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MoneyNing January 13, 2009 at 1:57 am

Joe: BillShrink pointed you in the right direction. At the time FDIC made the decision (around Oct – Nov, 2008 time frame), everyone was scared about the safety of their money, especially after hearing about people losing money they had in excess of $100k when banks failed. This created a huge stress on banks like Wachovia and Washington Mutual (later gobbled up by JPMorgan Chase). The FDIC didn’t want the fear of the general public to exaggerate the bank problem so they temporarily increased the guarantee to $250k until the end of 2009.

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Justin "The Night Trader" January 13, 2009 at 6:56 am

Great review and I would totally agree. I have my employee stock plan through E*Trade, so that got me started. The commissions are too high for my active trading, but I still have a Roth IRA and my Emergency Fund with E*Trade as well. Even transferring money to my external account is simple, it just takes about 3 business days to get the money. Which is fine for an emergency fund, and the interest rate is better than anything local :-).

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MoneyNing January 13, 2009 at 7:39 am

Justin: Definitely agree with the speed since I’m a happy customer as well. I’m jealous of you and the stock option plans though since I’ve never worked for a company big (or ambitious) enough to have stock or stock options.

Emergency funds are a great way for people to take advantage of these types of high yield savings accounts. I wish more people are computer savvy enough to open these instead of the 1% savings accounts that they get from the local bank.

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Sandy January 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I have an e trade savings account as well and they’ve been great (although all I use them for is transferring some money automatically every month).

The thing I don’t like is the fact that when I joined, the interest was like 5%and it’s only 3% now. But then I look at everyone else in the < 2% and I’m happy with them again.

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Calvin January 13, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Perfect timing. Anyone know how the 1099 forms from them look like and when they will be sent out? I was wondering about this and up pops this review.

Btw, I already have an account with them and they’re great.

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MoneyNing January 14, 2009 at 9:45 am

Sandy: Look at the good side (still have 3%). It’s impossible to look back because I’m sure at one time the interests for savings was like 10% in the 80s.

Calvin: I believe they send the 1099s out by the end of January so you should get them in the next few weeks.

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Ross January 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Great review.

On a separate note, it’s amazing that although ETrade’s always been the poster child of bad mortgage bets, they are actually much better at weathering this than everyone else.

Look at all the big banks – Citi already went back again and again to get TARP money, Bank of America just announced that they will because of Merrill Lynch’s bad books. Who knows about Wells Fargo? They might have done well by itself, but what about Wachovia’s books? Is that safe?

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Complete Savings January 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Nice review. You have neatly pointed out pros and cons and the present scenario. Such blogs help in making informed decisions. Thanks for posting.

Tracy.

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Allison January 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Great review about etrade. I have an account and I always find the customer service people helpful at etrade. I highly recommend them.

Btw, why does no one make a standard for the official name? There’s e*trade, etrade, e-trade, and even e trade on the web. What’s really the right one? Does anyone even know?

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MoneyNing January 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Ross: Those banks are certainly very scary right now. It’s hard to tell how long this whole mess will take to settle down and which banks will be left standing. All I can say is to stay away from financial stocks just in case the government steps in and wipe out the shareholders.

Allison: I don’t know why there are so many names. Maybe because the official name is E*Trade (with a “*”) and since it’s a star, then everyone just adds their version of it.

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Allison January 29, 2009 at 7:48 am

MoneyNing, Thanks for the explanation. I will stick with etrade (that’s what I will call it) or ETrade if I want to get formal.

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Nick January 29, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Great review. I agree with the quick transfer speed from my etrade savings account to the brokerage being the best combination. When I move money back and forth, it is literally instant. It’s also nice now that etrade has one of the highest savings rate being offered anywhere too.

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Melanie February 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm

MoneyNing,

I’ve been reading your reviews about e*trade savings and FNBO. They’ve been so helpful. I’m currently a wamu customer but I’m planning to close my accounts now that they’re becoming chase (had a bad experience with a chase cc a few years ago that didn’t instill much confidence in their account security). Anyway, do you still like e*trade now that you’ve had it for a while? Or do you prefer FNBO? I heard that e*trade has a nice ACH system for external banks. I don’t plan to use the brokerage side. TIA.

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MoneyNing February 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Melanie: I’m glad you find the bank reviews helpful and sorry to hear about your bad Chase experience. I’m still quite new to the whole FNBO interface but they do pay a higher yield currently.

I’ve been sticking with ETrade for a while now and don’t have any complaints at all so it’s hard not to recommend it. I am bias though since I’ve had the brokerage account with them for ages now and it’s been very easy.

I think the easiest thing is to setup both and then see which one you like as there are no minimum balance required. If you like both, then just put all the money into the one that has the higher yield. Once you get the hang on it, you can even setup a transfer between the two online savings accounts for times when rates change.

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Cheryl Washington February 24, 2009 at 3:55 pm

My husband and I had a terrible experience with ING and pulled our money out. We have been looking at Venture Bank Direct who has a pretty high yield checking account right now. He’s been researching e*trade for us, but I’m rather stuck on my banking ways.

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Island Girl February 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Does E*Trade have a saving card for withdrawal on ATMs?

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Liz February 25, 2009 at 8:46 am

I have a E-Trade account and I got an ATM card from them so I’m pretty sure new customers will still get them.

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vittorio April 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

I agree that the savings account is probably a good idea but I would really suggest that you stay away from their brokerage. Not just because of the high fees but the very poor customer service.

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