This review is for: Advantage Savings
The BOI Advantage Savings account doesn't seem to be very different from BOI's Money Market account. The one difference I can find seems to be the addition of Online Bill Pay - which is strange - as I would expect the Bill Pay to be attached to the Money Market, not the Advantage "Savings" account.
Either way - it's a subtle difference, which at this point seems to cost 0.05% interest for the addition of Bill Pay. Not unreasonable.
The bigger issue to consider with this account or any account at BOI is the lack of an ACH system - something which I am still surprised by - but at least for me isn't really an issue, as I'm happy with the ACH systems at my local bank (checking account) and BOI is happy to let them move money in and out of accounts.
Posted by qmaine -- Sept. 16, 2009
This review is for: High Interest Checking
I don't have a lot of cash to manage right now, so the most important thing to me is a good, one-stop account that will meet my everyday needs. I don't want requirements as to how much I have to spend, or activities I need to perform each month just to keep my account and rate. I just need checking, an ATM card, and the best rate I can find.
I thought Bank of Internet and their High Interest Checking account might be the account for me. They have a free set of initial checks, free online bill pay, and a Visa Check/ATM card where they reimburse up to $8 in charges per month - which is all great. However they also have a $7.50 per month fee for the account, which gets waived only with a $5,000 average daily balance. That is the type of stuff I'm not excited about, and frankly, it's not unrealistic that I would occasionally dip below that amount. And I know that even when I do have more cash (hopefully soon!) having that much just sitting in my checking account is not the kind of temptation I need.
I may not be able to find the account I want, with a rate that I'm happy with, but at least for now, Bank of Internet's Checking account doesn't work for me.
Posted by MsLucy -- March 28, 2009
This review is for: Money Market
Let's start with the fact that this is one of the coolest names for a bank out there. Bank of Internet. It's not "Bank of The Internet" - just Bank of Internet. I think George Bush took the other "The" for when he searches "The Google."
Moving beyond the name, I suppose I should mention that they're a small bank in San Diego...not sure I have a lot of faith in San Diegan (sp?) bankers being at the top of the game - I fear the situation where I get put on hold while trying to transfer a mortgage down payment while my CSR heads out to catch a killer wave.
But luckily for me, when I called to get more details on the Money Market account, everybody was back from the beach, and apparently very refreshed because the customer service rep I spoke with was very helpful, and didn't even call me "Dude" once!
In general, they seem to be your typical Internet bank with a reasonably competitive rate - albeit a little on the smaller side. They don't have their own ACH system, so money transfers in/out have to be done via your other bank. But they allow joint accounts and no limits on the number of beneficiaries - the CSR was very proud to report.
A big bonus for me - which I know is a minor detail and not worth choosing a bank account over, but humor me - is free postage-paid envelopes for mailing check deposits - I get enough checks throughout the year that I love not having to worry about stamps, and at the end of the day...it shows they really care.
So just a soft credit check, and signature card required for an application and this seems like a pretty good account if the lack of an ACH system and surfer bankers doesn't hold you back.
Posted by nyc77 -- March 20, 2009
This review is for: High Yield Savings
Bank of Internet's clean website, and very competitive rates warranted a call to find out more about their High Yield Savings account. Is it a leader in the online banking space or a wannabe?
The rep I got on the phone was a little sassy and well-versed in the details of the account. She mentioned that the only way to apply is online, all statements are online, and they only perform a soft credit check. She did concede that a signature was required to be mailed in, but frankly, this gives me some level of comfort, and regardless it doesn't hold up the opening/operation of the account. They allow for joint accounts and beneficiaries, and there's no maximum balance for any of the accounts.
The one place where Bank of Internet appears to have dropped the ball is their lack of an ACH system. The rep said they're working on it, but Bank of Internet has been around since 2000 so I have my doubts on their intentions of actually developing/implementing their own system. Here's my thinking...
As a bank, if you don't have an ACH system, it may actually work for your benefit. Bank of Internet is designed for online bankers, so the assumption is that their customers will probably have another, existing bank that they could use to transfer money. Well, why not push the cost of maintaining/servicing that system on the other bank? Bank of Internet doesn't have to worry about a complex online banking system and also doesn't have to worry about talking to disgruntled customers when their transfers don't happen immediately, or the transfer limits are too low - they can blame it on the other bank. Plus, it may just be enough of an inconvenience for some customers to consider switching all of their accounts (Checking & Savings) over to Bank of Internet, where account to account transfers are easy and plentiful! Of course I could be totally off, but that's my conspiracy theory.
So Bank of Internet may have made the decision to skip an ACH system (my personal opinion) or are in the process of developing it (their rep's opinion). Either way, they're a solid bank, offering great rates and have been in the online game for over 8 years. I think they're a legitimate banking option.
Posted by Maxx -- March 20, 2009
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