Last night I finally found the time to open an account with DollarSavingsDirect. For those that are familiar with it, DollarSavingsDirect is a new(ish) high yield savings bank. Amazingly, despite month of falling rates, they managed to stay atop my list of online savings account interest rates with a juicy 4.00% APY.
While DollarSavingsDirect is a relative newcomer to the online banking game, it has an older sister named Emigrant Direct. In fact, both banks are owned by the same company (Emigrant Bank), and even share an FDIC certificate (and thus they have a common FDIC insurance limit). In fact, aside from the name, it’s hard to tell them apart — they have the exact same online interface.
Oh, and then there’s the small matter of their rates… As noted above, DollarSavingsDirect pays 4.00% APY, whereas Emigrant Direct is languishing back at 2.50% APY. While I’m not sure of their motivations, it appears that Emigrant Bank wanted to attract new money without paying their existing customers a premium.
Opening an Account
Whatever their motivation, the current rate at DollarSavingsDirect is high enough to get my attention. While I doubt it’s sustainable, I’ll take it while I can get it.
Step 1: Select your login credentials.
The application process starts by asking you to choose a username and password.
Step 2: Enter your personal information.
The next step is to enter your personal information, including your social security number and driver’s license info (this is standard fare for banks).
Step 3: Enter your address and choose an account type.
Next up… Your address. They actually need both your current address (along with your time at the current residence) as well as your previous address. I’m guessing that this is part of their identity verification process, as they can check both addresses against your credit record.
If you choose a joint account, you’ll be asked to enter all of the same information for your joint account holder.
Step 4: Fund your account.
The final step is to fund your account. As usual, I chose to link the new account to our local checking account. Note that DollarSavingsDirect requires a minimum deposit, so it’s not quite as forgiving as some of its online banking brethren. We went with the minimum for now, and will move more money once everything is up and running.
And that, my friends, is it. As things stand, we’re awaiting final approval — apparently, it’s not fully automated, and I applied in the middle of the night. I will update with more details and screenshots once they provide us with full access.