We’ve been getting pretty regular ads to get a cash bonus for opening various checking accounts for a few years now, but so far we’ve ignored them because with our Credit Union account and our Wells Fargo account we’ve been pretty much getting what we need without a lot of hassle or spreading our emergency fund too thin. Wells Fargo kind of sucks but it is very easy to deposit checks on the go, find an atm, keep track of deposits, and write checks with it. It’s not the best, but so long as we keep $2,500 in savings and $7,500 in there overall we don’t have to pay any fees or set up any complicated deposit systems. Our credit union also is less attractive than it used to be, but it provides free services whenever we need a notary or certified check and all of our automatic deposits are set up to go there. And if we ever do need a car loan, it has some pretty amazing deals.
What changed? We got an ad from Capitol One for a 1.3% APY savings rate (money market account, so FDIC insured). Right now we’re getting 0.01% on our Wells Fargo account and 0.2% with our credit union account. This didn’t matter so much when we just kept our summer emergency fund in there and the outside options were only a little bit better (so we were losing maybe $200/year), but with our income increases we’ve bulked up the emergency fund. We don’t need all that emergency fund easily accessible, but we also don’t want to put it all in the overinflated stock market. So I would like to put $50,000 into this online savings vehicle. That will provide $650 in interest this year plus the $200 bonus (minus taxes, minus the APY opportunity cost from the credit union account). And I no longer have to look at the savings account and see 80K in there when I know we really only need 30K for a short-term emergency. So this may cut down on our spending too (maybe not though– it’s probably good that we’ve increased donations and we probably should do some renovating at some point). There are also no fees ever and we don’t have to play stupid deposit games, just put money into the account and leave it there.
Will we ever close down our Wells Fargo or Credit Union accounts? Maybe. Right now they’re not causing any difficulties, but if they do (I’m looking at you, Wells Fargo), it will be easier to drop one or both of them.
Actually doing the opening of the account wasn’t too bad, though we did have to switch from Firefox to IE in order to add DH to the account because the box for confirming his email wouldn’t fill out (it did fill out in IE though). And it took five days for the money that had left our credit union account to actually show up in the capital one account. :/
I also have $600 in an Etrade account from back when they had high interest savings. I’m just sort of letting it sit there doing nothing. Let’s just pretend it isn’t there.
How many banking accounts do you have? Why did you add/change banks the last time you did?