As part of my continuing quest to find the best online savings account, I opened an account with E*Trade last night. In case you’re not familiar with E*Trade, they’re not only one of the best online discount brokers, but they also offer a full complement of banking services. This includes a high yield savings account with no minimum balance requirement, and no fees.
The signup process was very simple and straightforward. In the first couple of screens, they ask for all of the standard info: name, social security number, address, phone number, and driver’s license number. If you’re setting up a joint account, you’ll also need to enter this information for the joint account holder. After that, you need to choose your account type.
As you can see, we opted for the “Complete Savings” account, which is currently paying 3.30% APY. They also offer the opportunity to buy CDs of varying lengths, but the rates weren’t particularly compelling.
Next up, funding the account… I opted to fund it online, so I had to enter a bit of banking information. Note that you can do it via wire transfer or by sending in a check if you prefer.
Interestingly, they don’t make trial deposits for account verification. Rather, they just pull the funds directly out of your account. That being said, they limit your initial transfer from an unknown account to a maximum of $100, which is presumably designed to minimize their liability. As you can see below, they should initiate the transfer within one business day.
And finally, shortly after completing the process, we received the following e-mail:
We’ve received your application and will begin processing it immediately. As soon as all of your information is verified, we will open your account. You will then receive an email when your account is opened and visible online.
In the next business day, we will be also be initiating an electronic transfer totaling $1.00 to fund your account(s). In some instances, you may see funds going out of your existing account prior to depositing in your new account.
Until then, if you have any questions or need more information please call us at 1-800-ETRADE-1 (1-800-387-2331) from 7 a.m. to midnight ET, send a secure email to email@example.com, or visit an E*TRADE branch near you. Visit etrade.com/centers for a listing of locations near you.
We appreciate your business and look forward to serving your financial needs for many years to come.
And now, we wait… Our account should be up and running within a few days, and I’ll be sure to update when as things develop.