Posted by Chuck on July 1, 2015
Checking Accounts

Published on July 1st, 2015 | by Chuck

42

The Diminishing High-Interest Savings Accounts

We’ve written about a number of high-interest savings accounts, see An Introduction To Rewards Checking Accounts. Two of the easier options were the Mango Prepaid card and the Union Plus Prepaid card.

FreequentFlyer broke the news a few weeks back the Mango card is no longer available for signup, although the account is still working for existing customers. This left us with the Union Plus option, which FreequentFlyer wisely advised us to jump on while we can.

The foreshadowing turned out to be accurate as the Union Plus is now no longer available for signup either.

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What’s Left?

There aren’t many easy options left. A few of the options we’ve covered include:

We hope to have up soon some additional options for high-interest accounts.



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JB
JB

Chuck, why do folks always forget to include the Paypal prepaid Mastercard and its 5% before fees, 3.8% after fees? It’s only up to $5k but still pays like clockwork every quarter 😉

Nick
Nick

I was looking into this. Im guessing u need DD for this rate? Do you know what counts as a DD? Also i was curious if i was to get the card, open the savings account, and then close the card after if i would beable to get the full 5% with no fees?

Mike
Mike

Other alternatives are Netspend Products, which have a 5% Savings account attached once you get premier status. Premier Status is attained by making one $500 direct deposit to the card. After that, you can open the savings account in your netspend login, and transfer that $500 on the card to the savings. If you don’t want to worry about monthly fees, don’t upgrade to the FeeAdvantage plan and instead, stay as the Pay as You Go. Depends on you as a person and how you use the card.

One caveat is that they may charge an inactivity fee if there is 90 days of inactivity on the card. This can be mitigated via a recurring push and pull from your bank to the card every two months or so, making charges if you prefer, or via balance inquiries.

You can have 3 Netspend card products with attached Savings account per bank, and 5 products total apparently. I have the Western Union and regular Netspend products.

My referral links are below if there is no problem posting them (otherwise, feel free to remove). If you sign up and perform a DD of $40, we both get a free $20 (note that this is considered interest and taxable).

Netspend: Referral | Non-ref

WUNetspend: Referral | Non-ref

There’s some FatWallet threads that have this and more information and are linked below.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1434408/

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1432026/?start=0

Other alternatives include Ace Elite, Binks,and Paypal (though Paypal has a fee).

Mike
Mike

Whoops. WU Netspend referral was incorrect. Try:

WUNetspend:

Mike
anthonyjh21
MrWho
MrWho

Really, no surprise dying ’cause I hear people just ACH out instead of using the cards to get money out.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Wow that’s disappointing. I missed the boat on Mango so a little over a week ago I opened two Union Plus accounts. Looks like I eeked in last minute. At this rate I wonder how long they’ll continue to offer the APY to current members.

emma
emma

You are welcome to use my referral link for netSpend – https://mynetspendcard.com/prepaid-debit-card/applyNow.m?uref=7683441001

I am happy to answer any question 🙂

emma
emma

Forgot to mention that, using my referral link to open the netSpend account, both you and me will have $20 for bonus.

Eric
Eric

Emma,

I replied to Mike in an above post yesterday but he hasn’t responded. If you answer my questions about Netspend I will signup through your referral link if I decide to join.

emma
emma

They are good questions!

Q: For the Netspend account is the only requirement to get the 5% a $500 monthly direct deposit?
A: The BEST thing for netSpend is that NO direct deposit is required!!!

Q: What is the maximum you can keep in the account at that rate?
A: The first $5,000 for 5% and above that only 0.5%

Q: Do any banks or PayPal qualify for the direct deposit or only an employer’s direct deposit? What advantage does the FeeAdvantage plan have over the Pay as you Go?
A: No direct deposit is required for the interest rate 5%. As long as you open the savings account, you will have that 5%. When you signed up netSpend, the defaulted account is only the prepaid one (working as a checking), so please remember to open the savings account after that.

Eric
Eric

Can you explain the below quoted line from Mike then? Was he wrong? Are there any fees or minimums? If not, I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t open the account.

“Other alternatives are Netspend Products, which have a 5% Savings account attached once you get premier status. Premier Status is attained by making one $500 direct deposit to the card.”

Eric
Eric

I had it down to open the Union account for the past few months but never got around to doing it. Let’s just say that’s not a good feeling.

emma
emma

I do not find “reply” button below your follow-up question. So I will ask them here:

1. “NetSpend products” not equal to “netSpend”. I think here Mike mentioned other products like Brinks (probably), but not NetSpend itself. I do not use other products, so i do not know whether they required direct deposit or not. But for netSpend, I am 100% sure it does not

2. As I mentioned earlier, when you signed up netSpend, the defaulted account is prepaid only. In order to open the attached savings account, you need to upgrade your netSpend debit card account to a premier account. It is very easy to do so because you only need to ACH $500 (NOT DIRECT DEPOSIT) into your debit card account one time from your external bank account. After doing that, your debit card account will be upgraded to a premier account automatically. Because we are not going to use the debit card for shopping, we can just keep the debit card in the pay as you go plan and there is no monthly fee. Otherwise, if you put your debit card in the feeadvantage plan, you need to pay a $5 monthly fee, so don’t do it.

Eric
Eric

It appears that you and Mike actually said the same thing as the difference is only semantics. I’m guessing Netspend technically says there is a one time $500 “Direct Deposit” requirement just like Mango does. However, you are saying that ANY ACH transfer will qualify for that, correct? That is what I asked Mike about in my initial questions. He said that you need to make an ACH deposit at least every 90 days to avoid a different fee. If my card is in the “pay as you go plan” will I still be able to do that? Please confirm that this what I would need to do. Open Netspend debit card through your referral link. ACH $500 from ANY bank account to my debit card (I’m assuming it’s considered a checking account for this purpose). Add a savings account before or after I do the $500 ACH? Leave up to $5K in my savings account earning 5% interest. Keep debit card in “pay as you go plan” to avoid any fees. Are you saying there’s nothing else I need to do after this except to ACH once every 90 days to keep this going? It seems to good to be true. Mango is almost as easy but I need to send a “direct deposit” once a month to keep the high rate.

emma
emma

For those who are interested in opening netSpend account for 5% interest rate, please feel free to use my referral link and you (and I) will have extra $20 for bonus – You are welcome to use my referral link for netSpend – https://mynetspendcard.com/prepaid-debit-card/applyNow.m?uref=7683441001 Here are the detailed instructions for netSpend. Hope they are clear enough for most of you. netSpend itself is a prepaid debit card account, but there is a savings account attached to it. If you have not had a netSpend account in the last 180 days, you can open one and take advantage of this offer. You can put up to $5000 in the savings account and earn 5% interest on it. There is nothing special about the prepaid debit card account and we are only going to use it as the money transfering tool. You can follow the simple steps below to open and fund the account. (1) Find a $20 bonus referral link and click the link to order a netSpend Visa prepaid debit card. (2) It takes about a week or so for the debit card to arrive. Once you have the card, go to https://www.netspend.com to activate it and sign up for an online account. (3) Once inside the online account, you should find the routing number and account number (treated as checking) linked to your debit card. You can use the two numbers in your external bank account to set up ACH transferring so that using your external bank account you can ACH money into or out of the netSpend debit card account. This ACH transferring will be treated as Direct Deposit. (4) Use your external bank account to ACH $40 into your debit card account, this will trigger the $20 bonus. (5) In order to open the attached savings account, you need to upgrade your netSpend debit card account to a premier account. It is very easy to do so because you only need to ACH $500 into your debit card account one time from your external bank account. After doing that, your debit card account will be upgraded to a premier account automatically. Because we are not going to use the debit card for shopping, we can just keep the debit card in the pay as you go plan and there is no monthly fee. Otherwise, if you put your debit card in the feeadvantage plan, you need to… Read more »

Eric
Eric

Emma,

Thanks for the great write up. I just have a few additional questions. I don’t have close to $5K available right now but I want to open this account right away in case it closes to new applicants like Union Plus did. Is there any kind of time limit to ACH this money? If so, how long do I have? How soon after making the ACH transfer does Netspend notify you that you qualified for the $20 and separately that you reached Premier Status? How do they notify you? I was planning on using TIAA Direct for the ACH transfers but you didn’t mention that bank at all. If they email updates soon after I am willing to try that. If it doensn’t work I can try Chase or one of the others.

emma
emma

Hi Eric,

I do not think there is a time limit on the ACH. You can do any time when you are ready.

You will be upgraded automatically when netSpend got your >=$500 ACH and have that $20 immediately (I would like to say…just in seconds?).

For me, I used Chase, and it works. Some of my friends used Capital 360, Discover, and Fidelity. They all worked.

Eric
Eric

I just signed up through your link so hopefully it will work out. What is the FLASHPAY ID used for? How do I get my account #? For anyone that lives in CT and NJ it looks like we don’t need to do the ACH quarterly. I copy/pasted this from the terms regarding the monthly fee for no activity: “This fee is not applicable to residents of Connecticut and New Jersey.”

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

I just realized I have a netspend account from more than 3 years ago that I never used. I’m assuming I won’t qualify for this until I close this account and wait 180 days?

Mike
Mike

Emma, you copied and pasted this from the link I included above. It would be better etiquette to just give proper credit to the original poster (on FatWallet) and just link to his thread, than copying and pasting word for word the information he/she worked for here.

Eric
Eric

Mike, by the time I noticed she copy/pasted that I had already went through her referral link and signed up yesterday. I agree it’s not right that she implied that she did that whole write up herself. Can you answer the questions I asked her that she has so far ignored?

Mike
Mike

Eric,

It would definitely be useful to read through the entire thread linked above. It’s only about 5 pages, and has useful information about banks and such people have used that work for the service. The FlashID is just used to transfer money to other netspend users/accounts. If you don’t yet have a card, DO NOT try to deposit funds to the account online. You can get the account number from the DD page when you login.

Eric
Eric

I wasn’t planning on making any deposit before I received the card. I just like to be proactive with these kinds of things. I went to the DD page last night and only saw the routing # listed. Is it possible my account # isn’t there yet because I just opened the account. Please advise any other referral links you have for the other accounts you mentioned. I will check them out when I have a chance.

Mike
Mike

No idea if TIAA will work unless others specify. I wouldn’t try to add it to the account either until the card is received and activated in case it needs to make trial deposits. I was able to see my account number either via clickingon “show direct deposit info” below the flash id on the main page, or clicking features- > move money -> DD. If its not there, you may need to wait, but it showed up right away for me.

My Western union referral is above if you intend to open a new account, but don’t worry if not.

emma
emma

Hi Mike,

Thanks for pointing out that I should give the credit to the original author. However, the case is that the introduction was written by one of my Chinese friends from his blog.

I did not read what you posted until Eric asked me about questions in your comments…

Eric
Eric

I saw on another forum that Mango will probably be shutting down soon. Which of these other prepaid card deals are easy, reliable and pay 5%+?

Eric
Eric

Emma,

Can you answer the questions I asked you?

Rose
Rose

Bummer about Mango – I missed the boat by a day, shucks:)

Darron
Darron

I can also refer someone for netSpend for $20 bonus. If you need a referral send me an email at dnasmith1499@yahoo.com. Thanks for supporting a military member!

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[…] reported that the Mango prepaid/savings accounts are no longer taking new customers, and subsequently Union Plus announced all existing card accounts will be discontinued by […]

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