While most people consider E-Trade Bank as a premier discount brokerage firm, few know that it offers an online savings account even though the banking arm has been around since 1982. Quietly though, the company has been gathering many customers (including me) through the years and E-Trade Bank is now one of the bigger online banks that offer high yield savings accounts. This is a review of E-Trade Bank as an online savings account provider.
E-Trade Online Bank Features
- No minimums or account fees (although you need at least $1 to open an account)
- Quick Transfer to and from banks (especially to its own brokerage firm)
- Online statements are accessible forever (this is actually extremely useful and rare if you ever need it)
- FDIC Insured (meaning that each person is insured up to $250,000 until Jan, 1, 2010 and $100,000 thereafter)
Signing Up for the Bank’s Online Savings Account
After the easy sign up, I was instantly given the option to fund the account (either by check, wire, direct deposit, ACH transfer, or transfer from another E-Trade account. Being a customer of their brokerage arm, I just had funds transferred from my brokerage arm to the banking side and money was transferred the next business day.
Transferring Money in and Out Using Quick Transfer
It’s quite simple to transfer money using E-Trade’s system called Quick Transfer. Once it’s setup, all you do is choose the account through the drop down boxes, type in the amount as well as the execution date and click “Transfer”.
You can also setup automatic transfers by choosing the frequency, which ranges from once a week all the way to once a year.
Other Quick Facts
- While the rate fluctuations just like any other online savings account, E-Trade always pays the interest on the last day of the month.
- Bill Pay is available for free even with the savings account
- You can assign transactions to different categories and then sort them later.
Thoughts on E-Trade as my Online Bank of Choice
So far, I love E-Trade’s high yield savings account because it’s tightly integrated with the brokerage and retirement accounts I have with the company. I can easily transfer money to and from the brokerage firms and the neat thing is that if I do it under business hours, the transaction and funds are available instantly. As an example, if I transfer money from my bank to the brokerage now, I can use those funds to buy a stock within 3 minutes. It’s that quick.
The flexibility really allows me to earn a much higher interest rate on my idle cash than otherwise possible with any other combination, so I highly recommend the E-Trade brokerage and savings account combo. For those that are looking for the bank as a strict savings account, it’s not a bad choice either because transfers are quick, yields are always amongst the highest and like everyone else, it’s FDIC insured so your money is safe.
Official name: E*Trade Financial Corporation
- Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: Donald Layton
- Chief Financial Officer: Bruce Nolop
- Chief Government Affairs Officer: Betsy Barclay
- Chief Risk Officer: Jim Bidwell
- Executive VP of Capital Markets: Ken Hight
E-Trade Full Time Employees: 3,757 (incl. Banking and Brokerage divisions)
- E-Trade Complete Savings Account – Official Site
- Other Highly Recommended High Yield Online Savings Accounts
- E*Trade Brokerage Account – Official Site