I remember reading in some financial blog or other (I have no idea which one, as I read about a billion), that the high-yield savings accounts come with a hidden price: low-yield customer service. It makes sense – the less people they have to employ, the more of a return they can offer you.
I set up an online savings account with Emigrant Direct in, October? I don’t know, exactly, because I’ve never actually had the chance to use it, so I haven’t keep decent track of it.
I’ll be honest here – it’s as much my fault as it is theirs. When I opened the account, I had trouble finding the correct routing number for my Bank of America account. I’ve had some strange troubles with them, because I opened the account right as I was moving to LA at the beginning of the summer, and the whole thing is all kinda wacky. When the routing number I put in yielded no results, I tried another one. No dice. Finally, I ordered a set of checks from Bank of America (it was about time to do that, anyways), and after I finally received those, I finally went back to Emigrant and entered in the correct routing and account numbers.
And then I waited. And waited. Along with entering the numbers in online, you have to send in a voided check. I did that, nearly right away. Still, the account continued to say “Check Pending.” Finally, in December, I sent them an email. They got back to me in a few days, said they had received the check, and that it would be processed in 1-2 days.
So I waited another month. Nothing. So finally, the other day, I emailed them again, and they got back to me, saying “Your request has been accepted and will be processed within 1-2 business days.” I was fairly ready to say “Yeah, I’ve heard THAT before!” But just now, I checked the account, and it says “Small Deposit Pending.” A huge step forward, although exactly how long it takes before this is completely sorted out remains to be seen.
I don’t mean to bash Emigrant, and I hope no one thinks that. I’m merely trying to point out that, yes, when you go high yield, you do, in fact, risk a drop in customer service. Also, I’m documenting my own shortcoming in waiting a month or more between each action.
I’m a silly, silly, procrastinating girl.
From what I hear, ING has excellent customer service, as well as a sweet website with some great security features. I have an account there now, too, although I haven’t needed to contact their customer service for anything yet. I get 4.30% APY with their Orange Savings Account, no fees or minimums, and a $25 bonus for opening with a $250 deposit. The APY is is bit less than Emigrant’s (4.75%), but that’s only really a big deal if you’re keeping a lot of money there. For the first year, $1000 would only earn $4.50 more at 4.75% than it would at 4.30%.
Update: It’s now the very next morning, and the two small deposits required to verify my checking account were posted. I verified them, and now I’m all set up! Now, to just find some money to put into the account… anyways, thank you Emigrant!
Also, last night after writing this post, I found on MyMoneyBlog that if you sign up for an Emigrant Direct account through MyMoneyBlog, you get a $20 signup bonus! I wish I had known about that back in October! I also know that ING offers bonuses to referred parties, so if you ask me, I can track down a referral link for that, instead.