“High returns” these days aren’t what they used to be (in some cases, it may mean “breaking even” if you consider how the stock market’s been behaving lately). It’s all relative of course, and so we set our expectations accordingly.
Under the Emigrant Bank umbrella, we have the online division that is Dollar Savings Direct (DSD), which offers a high yield savings account aptly called Dollar Savings Account. You may not be as familiar with this particular online bank, but as one of Emigrant Bank’s online spinoffs, you may be interested to know that its savings account sports one of the better rates I’ve seen so far in the roster of high yield savings accounts that are well discussed in the financial community. From what I’ve seen, the interest rate from DSD is actually higher than that offered by other Emigrant Bank related savings products.
From Emigrant Bank: Dollar Savings Direct Account Review
What You’ll Earn: Higher Returns
As mentioned, the Dollar Savings Account has one main pull for consumers, and that is its yield as compared to other online savings accounts. It currently returns a yield of 1.00% APY (I nostalgically recall a point in time when it was returning 4.00% a year!), and charges no fees, no hidden costs and no penalties for account inactivity. One small catch though — you’ll need a minimum balance of $1,000 to open the account and you’ll have to maintain this balance in order to receive their best interest rate. If your account falls below $1,000 for a given statement period, you’ll end up earning a 1.00% APY.
As far as features go, Dollar Savings Direct offers the same services as most other online banks do. In my post discussing some of the best high interest savings accounts, I point out several features by which to measure how well a particular savings account and online bank may fit your needs. If you’re an interest rate chaser, it may all boil down to how much money you’ll earn from the account, but in this new era of low interest rates, banks don’t necessarily have that large a competitive edge as they used to. What matters to me are those other extras that the institution offers that keep me around as a long term customer. Here are some of the things you can expect from DSD:
Of course, your account is FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor. It’s easy to open an account: you have the option of funding your account online through an electronic bank transfer (via the Automated Clearing House or ACH), or through an initial check. You must first specify an external funding (checking or savings) account to which your Dollar Savings Account should be linked. To establish the linked relationship with the external bank, there will be some trial deposits made which may take a few days to process.
Another benefit this bank offers you is the ability to access past statements covering up to the previous 24 months, which can be viewed and printed. This is a good thing given that I don’t have this luxury with my current online and brick and mortar banks, which only allow me to print and view statements limited to the past quarter.
Accessing Your Money
Now as far as convenience goes, Dollar Savings Direct only allows you access to your funds through electronic transfers. Although the bank says that you have 24/7 access to your account information through their Dollar Savings Direct web site, once you do make a transfer, it may take up to a few days (usually 2 to 4 business days) before you get that money delivered to your externally linked account.
Like with many other banks, you can also set up automatic scheduled transfers between your accounts and you can set up direct deposits. And while this bank seems to have all the basics covered, I do think they are a little short on the “extras” that are more generously offered by other online financial sites; for instance, you are only allowed up to two external checking accounts to link to (ING’s Orange Savings account allows up to three). They may not have the same caliber of tools and functionality that ING Direct (.90% APY) and FNBO Direct (0.70% APY) both offer freely, and from what I gather, they don’t offer you ATM card access such as the one offered with a Bank of Internet High Yield Savings Account (- APY) or with an HSBC Advance Online Savings Account (1.10% APY).
Despite these differences, Dollar Savings Direct is still a reputable bank where you’ll get a good rate.
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