Friday, September 28, 2007

High Interest Online Checking Accounts!!

I'll be the first to admit I didn't want to take the time to reevaluate my checking account, close it, open a new one, reset up my direct deposits, etc, etc!! Aahhh!! The thought of it frustrated me and I immediately decided to put this on my "to do" list. Simply put, this meant it wouln't get done! And, so it sat. And, sat. Four months later, I finally decided to sit down and tackle the problem of moving my checking.

I have to admit, the most time consuming part was trying to find which banking institute I wanted to use. I like to research and always make sure I am getting the best deal. So, it took me a good two days of searching the web, talking to friends and reading reviews to decide which route I would take. After this initial time investment, the rest went fairly quickly. And, since I have done the research, it should take you even less time.

I decided to go with Salem Five Direct. There are many others out there to choose from, though. Salem Five wasn't a well advertised institute like some other institutes like ING DIRECT, but it is FDIC insured and over 150 years old. They are out of Massachusetts. You can find them at The beneift to me was that they paid the highest return ( 5 % ) for my checking account balance, don't charge ATM fees, and reimburse up to $15 of any other institutes ATM fees a month ( which I do not exceed ). They also gave me a $25 bonus for setting up with them. But, if you want a quick place to go and compare other banks, click here. They change their listed banks frequently, so one day one bank will be on the list and the next day may be another. You may find another institute meets your needs better.

The only downside I saw to internet banking was that I did not have a brick and mortar building to go to in order to deposit my checks. I wasn't comfortable deposting through the mail. What if it got lost? I had no proof I mailed it! So, I have kept my account open at my local bank. I didn't have a minimum balance required ( check your bank, in case you do ), so I deposit my money there. Every Friday, I go online to my local bank, and transfer the money to my new account. It takes seven days for it to hit my new account. But, at least I have the receipt proof of deposit from a teller and a transfer documented online.

Now, let me give you a time frame and numbers to get you motivated. After the initial research, it took me about 5 minutes to sign up online. It then took me mere minutes to print, sign and stuff my application in an envelope. Once I got my account numbers established, I took my last two statements from my previous checking account and went through to see which direct deposit accounts and auto pay companies I needed to redirect. After going to change my information on each site or company website, I spent about another hour. Now, this was the hard part. Actually getting my husband to sit down and redirect his work's direct deposit to the new account. That took me a couple days of harrassing him, but in all, it probably took him about 5 minutes as well. So, in all, it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to establish a completely new account. And, for that minimal effort, I will potentially make an extra $280 this year. As I like to say, that is a pretty good hourly wage for a stay at home mom! And, without doing anything else, I will make that extra money year after year. Time well spent!
So, sit down, log in and sign up for your new internet, interest bearing checking account! You won't be sorry!

Update 2/11/08: I just received another $26 this month in interest. Easy money!

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