Internet banking
June 15, 2006 4:49 AM   Subscribe

Internet banking - I have an account with ING, and they're fine, but I'd like to find an online bank that has a decent interest rate but 1) doesn't hold your deposits forever before they're available and 2) can transfer money back to my checking account rather quickly. Does anyone have good experience with such a place?
posted by dpx.mfx to Work & Money (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Can you define "rather quickly?" As in faster than ING? I'm sure some banks would offer you a wire transfer but they would also make you pay a hefty fee per transaction. A free EFT is not going to be any faster.

There are places with better interest rates, though. Check out for a chart.
posted by grouse at 5:26 AM on June 15, 2006

I think unless you have a checking account at the same bank as the savings account you will have to bear with the waiting a few days to get your money. I am certain the ACH system can probably get your money into your account the next day, but the banks like holding onto your money for the float. Sure they say it is to make sure the account has settled and to avoid consumer kiting, but I really think it boils down to making a few more bucks on your money before they give it back to you.
posted by birdherder at 5:45 AM on June 15, 2006

HSBC's online savings account has a comparable interest rate at around 4.6-4.8% or so, and they allow automated transfers for completely free in both directions that only take about 2-3 days. This is the standard for a non-wire EBT you're going to see, and there's no easy way around that.

Plan ahead, but I think the HSBC account gives an ATM card if need be...

Plus, their support is amazing, and their site security is ridiculously thorough. (You have to click through your password on a Java app instead of typing it, so keycatchers can't grab it. Impressive.)
posted by disillusioned at 6:02 AM on June 15, 2006

HSBC is really good. I have a checking account set up with them and online saving. It's very similar to ING interest... 4.65 I think. And to transfer money back and forth into each account is pretty instantaneous.
posted by unsigned at 6:04 AM on June 15, 2006

You also might consider using PayPal, they have one of the best (if not the best) money market rates and you get an ATM/Visa card to access the funds.
posted by zeoslap at 6:23 AM on June 15, 2006

Citibank has an online savings account that you can link to a bricks & morter checking account if you have one with Citibank. And you can make deposits through their ATMs and bank branches, I think. Sounds like it might meet your needs.
posted by echo0720 at 6:48 AM on June 15, 2006

[Work in banking.] There are several online banks (or banks with online presences) that might suit you, depending upon your habits and needs, as well as how fiscally responsible you personally happen to be. For what it's worth, I would not go totally online unless you are very, very personally responsible with your accounts, and even then, I would maintain a checking account at a regular bank (like BoA or Wachovia) just in case of some sort of extenuating circumstance. (That's what I do.) Bankrate is a good resource, but please be sure to read the disclosures and find out how the bank actually works before you go whole hog. Based on your question, I think you might be able to use a little more information regarding how funds availability works.

The ACH system takes about three days. It's how long it takes. If you don't like how long it takes, talk to the Fed, because your bank isn't running it. Some banks choose to give you credit based on an ACH request prior to receiving the credit (based on my experience with ING, I assume this is what they typically do, but I've not worked there, so I don't know). Additionally, ACH credits typically come over with a notice that states when the credit should apply.

ACH deposits are typically not held, and this includes your direct deposit from paychecks. Wires, similarly, are immediately available but some banks won't wire out on the same day as the wire is received; check your terms and conditions. For checks, you will have to look at the Funds Availability policy for your bank, but generally speaking, you should be getting the funds available on an established account on the next business day up to whatever tolerance the bank establishes -- typically this is about $5,000.00 and the rest will be on hold. The regs allow a hold of up to 11 business days but you are much more likely to see five or seven based on your bank.

Many banks have "Special Rules for New Accounts," and this is a provision that is provided for in the regs (Reg CC if you want to be precise). During the first 30 days from opening (and this is either when you apply for/open the account or when it's funded, based on the bank's policy) longer holds will apply to check items. If you want to have immediate availability, check with your bank to see what kind of items will be immediately available. USPS Money orders and cashier's checks are good guesses.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:01 AM on June 15, 2006

Check the finance forum at FatWallet. They are obsessed with online interest rates and not losing interest during transfers.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 7:21 AM on June 15, 2006

You also might consider using PayPal, they have one of the best (if not the best) money market rates and you get an ATM/Visa card to access the funds.

Egads, no! Paypal is *not* a bank- your money is not safe the way it is in a savings account at a bank. There's lot about this on the web- first hit for "paypal horror stories" via Google was It's a great instant tool for transferring money (helped me out when I needed a floater loan for a deposit a few weeks back) but you'd be a fool to keep money in your account.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:31 AM on June 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you're in Canada, President's Choice Financial would probably be a good fit for you. I don't have any holds on deposits (though I think with PC Financial, holds, as with overdraft, are related to your credit rating) and transfers from savings to chequing account happen next day. Plus, I get free groceries and no transaction fees.
posted by ChuckLeChuck at 7:40 AM on June 15, 2006

How about E*Trade Bank? They're always trying to recruit me; wonder if there's any reason not to join.
posted by Rash at 8:32 AM on June 15, 2006

Do these online banks offer direct deposit? I am at HSBC but can't find anything on their site.
posted by xmutex at 9:37 AM on June 15, 2006

With regards PayPal I realise it's not a true bank but it is owned by humongo Ebay and has treated me well for years.
posted by zeoslap at 10:07 AM on June 15, 2006

I use both Emigrant Direct and ING, and have used HSBC and VirtualBank. You're not going to get faster transfers than ING. ING credits my account the day of a scheduled transfer (a day before it shows up as a debit in my checking account). Emigrant Direct and VirtualBank takes one extra day, and HSBC takes two.

As far as funds availability, all of them hold your money for a week, except VirtualBank, which holds it for a couple of days.

For me, it comes down to convenience, website and THEN rate. Of course, your priorities might be different, particularly if you have a large balance. Emigrant Direct and ING are my two favorites.
posted by letitrain at 10:26 AM on June 15, 2006

Do these online banks offer direct deposit? I am at HSBC but can't find anything on their site.

All online banks offer direct deposit. HSBC actually requires it to waive some of the fees on their checking accounts.

I suggest GMAC Bank. Their rate is quite high and the reports I've seen indicate that transfers to other institutions go through in 1-2 business days rather than the 3-5 that other banks require. Plus, they give you a checkbook (it's actually a money market account and you're allowed a small number of checks each month) and an ATM card.
posted by kindall at 10:38 AM on June 15, 2006

BTW, with GMAC Bank there is a monthly fee if your balance is less than $500.
posted by kindall at 10:39 AM on June 15, 2006

Emigrant Direct is rolling out a new website soon. The notice I got implied there would be additional functionality.

I have used Netbank since before it was Netbank. Their interest isn't quite as high as ING or Emigrant Direct, and their ATM coverage can be spotty, but transfers from my money market account to my checking account (and vice versa) go in minutes (they say it'll take until the next business day). Of course, between banks takes a bit longer. I've not caught them in an error yet, either.

(I use Netbank for checking, money market and bill pay, and have savings accounts at ING and Emigrant Direct, too.)
posted by QIbHom at 12:17 PM on June 15, 2006

USAA is freaking fantastic. Refunds your monthly ATM fees, and you can set up a money market account and get ~4.5% interest. Best bank ever.
posted by sdis at 2:50 PM on June 15, 2006

Medieval Maven should get a Best Answer on this one. I also work in banking, and I often tell customers that if you want your money to be available right away, it needs to be cash. Even US Treasury Dept checks (tax returns) are not available until the next day, and even then only up to $5,000.00. This is all determined by Federal regulation.

One thing you may want to consider: I believe certain states (Nevada and Arizona are two) have state laws that require all (most?) deposits to be available immediately. If you can figure out some way to open an account from within that state, it might be worth your while.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:23 PM on June 15, 2006

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