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Friday, February 15, 2008

My New E*Trade Account Sucks

This weekend I opened a Complete Savings Account at E*Trade. It was at 4.4% interest with no minimum and pretty light restrictions. I want this account to tuck away the money I am saving for my 2008 Property Taxes and Christmas.

The account itself is probably fine (I hope,) it is just the E*Trade Instructions and communication has been horrid! I get a note saying the account is set up, but then I can't see it on the Log-in page. I try to set up My Wells Fargo Checking to be able to transfer in; it grabs my information and then clears out the UI...Over and Over. You can't tell it is set up until you get an error message telling you that you already set it up!

Then you have to verify the account...but it doesn't tell you how, or walk you through it! I finally got that set up and the money is out of my checking ($100 in seed money in case it didn't work). So now I can see my Wells Fargo Account in my E*Trade account...but not my E*Trade account!

Guess what?...no way to email them about it, you gotta call...an EBank? I am busy here folks! In the mean time the 4.4% account that I signed up for is now 4.1%! I knew the rate was subject to change, but wow!

This was also an experiment of sort for me as I have never really had a bunch of accounts to take advantage of higher rate. I just left everything extra in my Wells Fargo Savings drawing a whopping 1% interest. It was tied to my checking account as overdraft protection, which was good as we were not exactly...on it before. It saves us a bunch of late fees.

Here is the new plan:

  • Checking - $300 - After all bills keep amount due to potential medical bills and pharmacy needs. It is interest bearing, but the amount is like 0.25%!
  • Savings - $2000+ - This is our Emergency Fund, Baby Step #1. We have $74 auto-transferred each 15th of the month. This coupled with a minimum in savings ($1000) and using bill pay gives me the best Wells Fargo Rate: 1%
  • E*Trade - (Eventually)$5000+/- - This were I want to save for our longer bills like Property Taxes and Christmas. Now at 4.1%. When we get to Baby Step #3 (3-6 months expenses) we may put that here as well.

Seems like a good plan to me! But feeling a bit stupid that I went with E*Trade. Well I understand why they didn't have a great reputation on bankrate.com (which is a great site BTW).

How about any of you? Been through he same thing? Worse with an online savings account?

I am really glad I am playing Golf this weekend!


Fiscal Musings said...

I went with ING Direct for an online savings account. It was really simple to set up and easy to work with.

The rate fluctuates with the Fed's interest rate changes, and it's currently at 3.4% APY. Let me know if you'd like to give them a shot instead, cause I can get you $25 for as a referral. Free money is always good.

SingleGuyMoney said...

Sorry to hear you had all those problems. I've fortunately never had that problem with my Etrade account and I've been able to link external accounts with no problems. The rate drop does suck but it is still better than most.

Mrs. Micah said...

No e-mail support? Wow. I know they can't do a lot of things over e-mail, but you'd think they'd be able to do something for you....

Sharon said...

I also use Ing direct. Very easy to use. They are a bit lower than 4.1%, but the ease of use is worth it. Sometimes it is a bit too easy to use and may transfer our emergency account to our Neuberger Berman Mutual Fund which is a bit harder for me to get at the cash.

RacerX said...

@Fiscal - I will definitely think about it. Kind of un-happy now, I 'll see how it goes. But sure if I go that way I have no problem with you getting paid! You would do the same.

@Singleguy - The % IS very good. I had an E*Trade account a long time ago with some options and it worked fine that is why I am probably overly bummed out. To make it clear, linking my external WF Checking worked great, although the verification was sort of hidden on the page. It is actually getting to my CET Complete Savings. Just a bit odd. Probabaly user (me) error!

@Mrs M - Yeah kind of weird huh?It just kept sending me to an area to call as opposed to sending in my questions!

@Sharon - Don't know "Berman Mutual Fund" But avoiding easy transfers is a good thing and a smart move!

Thanks everyone for the great advise and visiting, been a busy whacky day today!

wealthy_1 said...

Where's your ING account? I know the interest rate is a little low right now, but it's soooooooo user friendly. Plus the rates will go back up!

RacerX said...

I dont have a ING account, but their service ranks really high. I was just letting Fiscal know that if I did set one up I would click through his affiliate link.

Thanks for visiting!

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