Bouncing around internet banks?

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Bouncing around internet banks?

Postby Siobhan » Tue May 01, 2007 12:29 pm

I know quite a few bloggers have accounts with ING, Emigrant, HSBC, etc., and move their money around chasing the highest interest rate. Does anyone do this? Is it worth the effort? I'd always dismissed the idea of doing this, but now that we're approaching $20k in savings (in ING), I've realized that missing out on 1% in interest is equivalent to losing almost half a mortgage payment! So I'm reconsidering.

Thoughts or recommendations?

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Postby brad » Tue May 01, 2007 12:53 pm

I don't do that, mainly because I'm too lazy and don't want to deal with the hassle. With ING I would have to transfer that money back into my bank and then transfer it back out to the new bank, incurring fees along the way.

I've got $70K in my ING account, working my way up to $100K that I'll be using for a downpayment on a house. So a 1 percent increase would mean a lot more to me but even so I can't be bothered. I'm happy with ING, they've worked well for me, and I want to keep my life simple. I don't want to spend my time chasing after every opportunity to make more $.

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Postby jukebox9988 » Tue May 01, 2007 1:59 pm

I agree with brad. Don't worry too much about chasing the best rates. Instead, focus more time on choosing the best investments for your savings. You'll save time over stressing over a percentage point or two in the long run.

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Postby MossySF » Tue May 01, 2007 3:27 pm

I did a bit of switching but mostly chased the signing bonuses. I've settled on Vanguard though. I already had a ton of money with them in mutual funds but I finally took a good look at their money market funds. Switched 70% over to them last month and already received $50+ in extra interest this first month. Moving over that last 20% in the next few days -- my current estimate says I'll get about an extra thousand annually in interest over the 4.5% ING pays.

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Postby brad » Tue May 01, 2007 4:00 pm

A thousand bucks is nothing to sneeze at ;-)

Signing bonus are sometimes worth chasing: does anyone remember the days when AT&T and MCI and Sprint were all sending you $50 and $100 checks to entice you to switch over to them? I cashed them all, it seemed my long-distance carrier switched every few weeks but I didn't notice and it was no hardship to me, so I did it happily, making about $500 before they stopped those offers.

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Postby emlombardo » Tue May 01, 2007 4:06 pm

Does anyone know if any of the online savings banks pull your credit report? I thought about switching but I am planning to buy a house in a couple of months and don't want to damage my FICO score.

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Postby Fillanzea » Tue May 01, 2007 4:17 pm

I'm only getting about $10 a month in interest, so I'm not willing to deal with the hassle for $1 or $0.50 a month. I bet I could find a lot of other more hassle-free ways to save $1 a month. However, I did decide to buy a 6-month CD in the hope of locking in a better interest rate short-term, which I think was a wise decision.

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Postby onebigmortarboard » Wed May 02, 2007 7:58 am

I've occasionally switched for a $25 signing bonus and a better feature set (VirtualBank to ETrade) and gotten a better rate in the bargain, but never simply to get a few more basis points.

If I had tens of thousands set aside, I might feel differently.

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Postby tinyhands » Wed May 02, 2007 8:00 am

My goal has been to maintain an integrated solution, so switching for me would involve checking, IRAs, and brokerage accounts as well. E*Trade doesn't have the highest rates, but I appreciate having a single financial dashboard and (nearly) instantaneous transfers.
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Postby plonkee » Wed May 02, 2007 9:41 am

I switch savings accounts approximately annually. Thats about as much hassle as I'm willing to deal with.
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