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Opening an Emigrant Direct Savings Account

Written by Nickel - 23 Comments

Well, I finally got around to opening a savings account at Emigrant Direct. I’ve been keeping an eye on interest rates in general, and have finally decided that it’s time to stop settling for what ING Direct is offering and to move on to greener pastures — as of this writing, Emigrant Direct offers a 4% APY, whereas ING is at 3.4% APY. Thus far, the account opening process has been very easy. It took about five minutes to fill out and submit the application, and now I just need to keep an eye on our linked (external) checking account such that I can verify the amount of two small deposits (and matching withdrawals). This should happen within 2-4 business days. Once I’ve verified ownership of my checking account, they’ll pull our initial deposit from it (I opted to fund the new account via ACH) and we should be ready to roll. Then it’ll just be a matter of establishing a link between Emigrant Direct and ING Direct ($25 account opening bonus), such that we can move our money between them without having to use our checking account as an intermediary.

Published on October 24th, 2005
Modified on March 21st, 2006 - 23 Comments
Filed under: Banking

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Related articles...

» Opening an Emigrant Direct Savings Account, Part II
» Linking ING Direct and Emigrant Direct
» Opening an Emigrant Direct Savings Account, Part III
» Old Emigrant Direct Accounts Numbers Still Work
» Emigrant’s Dirty Little Secret
» How to Link Additional Accounts to Emigrant Direct
» Emigrant Direct’s Online Incompetence
» Emigrant Direct Improves Their Reward Credit Card

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23 Responses to “Opening an Emigrant Direct Savings Account”

  1. 1
    mth Says:

    ING at 3.6% APY, is that a typo or are you getting .2% higher than I am?

  2. 2
    Guest Says:


    I’ve been thinking about Emigrant too but haven’t gotten around to it for a simple reason. I keep opening accounts and chasing yields and it’s getting tiring. I started with Countrywide bank which offered high rates 3%+, then ING offered higher rates 3.4%+, now Emigrant offers higher rates 4%. I have a suspicion that as soon as I open a new account, XYZ Bank will offer 4.5%!

    What to do?

  3. 3
    nickel Says:

    Ooops. Yeah, I’m getting 3.4% at ING, not 3.6%. Fixed it. Thanks.

  4. 4
    Cap Says:

    I’m in the same shoe, finally bite the bullet and open up the ED account.

    Sure took awhile though, I submit the application last month and I’m still trying to get access on the site.

    It’s not always the case for everyone, so that sorta sucks.

    I wanna transfer funds over from ING already. So far I have ‘em temporary sitting at HSBC, which I open like 2 weeks after but got finish setting up much much faster…

  5. 5
    Cap Says:

    oh btw, that 4.5% one?


    25K minimum though.

  6. 6
    nickel Says:

    Guest: Just leave your accounts open so you’re free to transfer back and forth if one bumps its rates to beat another.

  7. 7
    Matt Says:

    I tend toward the attitude that if the balance is high enough for

  8. 8
    Guest Says:

    Is there a way to do a direct funds transfer from ING Direct to Emigrant Direct or do you need to use a checking account conduit?

    If I need to use the checking account then I would imagine a two – four day wait to go from ING –> Checking then another two – four day wait to go from Checking –> Emigrant or vice versa right?

  9. 9
    nickel Says:

    Yes, you should be able to link your ING account to Emigrant (and vice versa). The ABA routing number for Emigrant is 226070319, whereas the ABA routing number for ING is 031176110.

  10. 10
    Blaine Moore Says:

    I opened up an emigrant account last month. It takes a few weeks all told before you have web access, because they send you login information through the mail as a security precaution. I have not seen where to set up new accounts for transfers in the interface, but I have not looked too hard at this point. I just transfer the money from my checking account, since that is where the majority of my funds are at the moment anyway.

  11. 11
    SMB Says:

    I too wanted to link my ING account to my Emigrant account, but I’m having a hard time finding on the Emigrant site where I can link additional accounts. Does anyone know where it is? I emailed the bank on the 25th, but haven’t yet gotten a response.

  12. 12
    SMB Says:

    Ne’er mind; I found this on their site:

    Can I have more than one checking account linked to my American Dream Savings Account?

    At the present time, an individual may have 2 checking accounts linked to EmigrantDirect, including the checking account you used for your initial funding deposit. To add a second checking account you must mail in a check made out to EmigrantDirect for at least one dollar with your EmigrantDirect account number and the words “additional external account” on the Memo line. The name on the accounts must be the same. We can only accept your personal check as a second linked checking account. For your protection, EmigrantDirect places a temporary restriction on transfers to new linked accounts for up to 8 business days

  13. 13
    ashley Says:

    i was wondering if someone who already has an emigrant direct account could email me and let me know exactly how it works. i am planning on opening up a checking & savings within a few days. really all i wanted to know is do they pay you 4% interest daily, weekly, monthly or yearly? ashleyrpoole@yahoo.com
    thank you!!

  14. 14
    dacyma Says:

    The web site says it compounds daily and posts monthly. That is actually better than ING that compounds and posts monthly. The difference is not huge but it adds up. Compounding daily means that the interest is added every day. So on day 2 you earn interest not only on your deposit, but on the interest you earned yesterday, and so on and so on and so on. It adds up over time and the more you save the bigger the difference. Add this to the fact that Emigrant has a higher rate and it should be a no brainer.

  15. 15
    Jeremy Says:

    Has anyone seen free money offers for opening an account at ING or Emigrant? I’ve seen the offer for $25 at HSBC.

  16. 16
    Nikki Says:

    After reading this blog for awhile I finally signed up for an account at emigrant direct for the 4.0% recently. I found out yesterday that hsbcdirect is offering 4.25%..is it worth it to change? Any opinions?

    Btw..great job nickel, I get great info and entertainment!

  17. 17
    FMF Says:

    Nickel –

    Can’t you get accounts with ING, ED, HSBC and hook them together — transferring to the highest rate?

  18. 18
    nickel Says:

    I’m not sure about linking HSBC with the others, but you can definitely link ING Direct with Emigrant Direct. See here here for details.

    I would imagine that you could do the same with HSBC. That way, as you say, you could chase the highest yield with the click of a button.

  19. 19
    scott Says:

    Do you know if chase charges a fee for transferring funds to and from the emigrant account?

  20. 20
    Anjana Says:

    The nice thing about opening accounts over is getting the bonus. I have been inertial on the ING account for a while now – haven’t ever opened the Emigrant Direct. But now I will jump to HSBC and collect the $25 per account, that’s a nice $50 between me and the husband. We did the same thing at ING a few years ago, and got a nice $60 between us.

    All my money earning 4.8% in HSBC till 30 Apr 06, with perhaps 4-5 days lost in transit, and interest compounded daily:


    Only new deposits earning 4.75% till 15 Apr 06, while the rest earns 3.8% in ING with interest compounded monthly…

    No brainer indeed.
    My question is whether there is ANY reason to leave my ING account still open ?

    After HSBC is done with the 4.8%, I can open an Emigrant account if the rate is higher… And since it’s been consistently higher than ING for the last year and a half (Oct 2004 – Feb 2006), I can expect to wait a while before going back to ING, and thus collect on another bonus account opening…

    Thoughts to the contrary ?

  21. 21
    djmike Says:

    Leaving your ING account open is a good idea especially if they run specials like the winter save up in the future. Its more like a temporary savings for me. If they arent running a special, my balance is no greater than 5 cent nickel…

  22. 22
    SavingAdvice Says:

    I think that ING has pretty much given up on competing with the other online banks for top interest rate…there sign-up is still so much easier than most of the other online banks that unless the person is really committed to getting the highest rate, they will likely default to ING due to the ease.

  23. 23
    Wiley One Says:

    Here’s scoop:
    HSBCDirect: still the highest rate for a few more days at 5.05. Has the best website because of the ability to link many external accounts. Can connect directly with Quicken, without going through the website.
    EmigrantDirect: 5.00 for now, but will overtake HSBC on Monday July 24th when they announce 5.15% APY. Can only link 2 external checking accounts and must be done by mail.
    I also have their credit card that rebate a winning 1.4% if you keep 10K in savings.
    ING: as another user has mentioned, they seem to have given up on competing with the others. They also don’t play nice with others, refusing to allow external transfers in or out except to one checking account. I closed my account.
    GMACBank: current paying 5.05 just like HSBC. Can have multiple external linked accounts. However, without the ability to download into Quicken, I reluctantly closed my account.
    The others: OneUnited, UmbrellaBank, Access National, Amboy Direct, Capital One, citibank, E*Trade all have either low yields, high minimums, or problems with their websites that make them poor choices for an online bank. I know, because I’ve tried them all.

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