There are a number of online savings accounts available to consumers. There’s a lot of competition around for your savings. Companies are offering all sorts of deposit bonuses and high interest rates for consumers who are willing to open a savings account with a bank that doesn’t have a branch that you can visit. They have some positives and some negatives, but overall they can be very desirable because of their high interest rates.
Today we’re reviewing Grand Yield Direct. This is a brand offered by The Apple Bank in New York. It was chosen because it has a four star rating from Bank Rate in terms of customer services, and has consistently had one of the higher interest rates available in online savings, however it’s recently dropped below the competitors to a dismal 2.75%. Fortuantely, you can get a $25.00 bonus for opening a new account.
Signing up for the account was relatively painless. Grand Yield Direct makes use of the Cashedge signup system, so it is very similar to other online savings accounts. You will give them some personal information and information about your checking account. After you create your account, you will also have to signup for online banking which is another form. They will make two small deposits into your checking account, you enter how much they were, and they have then verified your account.
In order to transfer money into or out of the account, you have to signup for an “external transfer” service, which involves filling out another form, and doing another double small deposit verification. Overall, it was kind of a pain to setup all of the different features, whereas at most other accounts you only have to fill out one form.
The online banking site they have was less than impressive. Beyond the numerous repetitive and confusing forms that you have to fill out, the interface and tools they offer are about a decade behind places like ShareBuilder and ING Direct. It’s very clunky and difficult to make use of. In addition they do not use SSL security, so your password is sent to them in plain text. This is a major security issue. They do however ask you three security questions if you sign on from a different computer, which mitigates that a bit.
Even though Grand Yield Direct offers a great signup bonus and has low fees, it shouldn’t become your primary savings account anytime soon. The signup process is very difficult and unintuitive, the web interface is very behind the times and the current interest rate of 2.75% could definitely use a bump up.