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Save for financial goals by using the right tools such as a high yield savings account (HYSA), can make all the difference. Not only do high-yield savings accounts give you more interest on your money, but you can also find accounts with features that make it easy to set goals and achieve them.
SmartyPig is one of the high-yield savings accounts designed to help you achieve your financial goals. Known as an “online piggy bank,” this high-yield savings account from Sallie Mae offers several perks, including a high APY, tools to help you reach your savings goals, no commission, and more.
Pros and cons
- There are no minimum deposit or balance requirements
- No upfront or ongoing fees
- High Annual Percentage Rate (APY)
- Ability to set and track financial goals
- No access to debit card or ATM
- Online only
- Without a checking account
- No cash, check, wire or money order deposits
What is SmartyPig?
SmartyPig is it internet bank that helps customers save money to meet their financial goals – whether they’re saving for a big purchase, vacation or even a down payment on a home.
Michael Ferrari and John Gaskill founded the company in 2008 in West Des Moines, Iowa. The idea for the company came when Ferrari was saving money for his son’s college. They originally envisioned the platform as a high-tech way to encourage people to save for specific goals.
By the end of the second year, SmartyPig received $212 million in deposits. Sallie Mae has since acquired the company and built the platform into what it is today.
Features of SmartyPig
|Accounts||Economy, Verification, Money market, compact discs|
|Access||Internet, Application for iPhone, Program for Android, Blackberry application|
|Number of branches|
|Compensation of ATMs|
What does SmartyPig offer?
SmartyPig is designed to help its users save for their financial goals. It does this in several ways, which we will discuss in the sections below.
Online piggy bank
The main feature of SmartyPig is its online HYSA piggy bank. The account allows you to set up automatic monthly or biweekly deposits from your bank account. You can also make deposits or withdraw money at any time.
In your SmartyPig savings account, you can set deadlines for specific savings goals. For example, you might have a Christmas savings goal with a December deadline, a vacation savings goal with a six-month deadline, and a home down payment savings goal with a two-year deadline. Once you set your goals, you can easily track your progress by putting money aside for those goals.
One of the key features of SmartyPig that sets it apart from many other HYSAs is the ability to allocate your savings to different financial goals. You can see your goals and the amount of money you have allocated for each of them.
A SmartyPig account will not only help you save money, but also help you earn money in the process. HYSA pays an annual percentage rate (APY) that is much higher than most traditional savings accounts. As of September 2022, SmartyPig accounts offer 1.7-1.8% APY depending on your deposit size.
Another feature SmartyPig offers is a mobile app. This app makes it easy to manage your financial goals while you’re on the go. With the app you can:
- View and edit your financial goals
- View your transaction history
- Transfer money to or from an account
- Set new financial goals
- Set up automatic transfers to your account
The SmartyPig website has several calculators to help you set and reach your financial goals. Here are examples of some of the calculators available on the website:
- Emergency Fund Calculator: Using this calculator, you can plan how much you should have emergency fund.
- Vacation calculator: This calculator lets you estimate how much your vacation will cost and how much you’ll need to save each month to reach your goal.
- Wedding calculator: Using this calculator, you can estimate how much your wedding will cost and how much you will need to save each month before your wedding.
SmartyPig was developed by a father who wanted to save money for his son. Because of this, it seems fitting that the company now offers a kids’ corner that provides funding for children. Here are some of the resources included in the Kids Corner:
- Do-it-yourself piggy bank: This printable tool is designed to help children develop the same saving habits that SmartyPig hopes to develop in its adult users.
- Coloring pages: SmartyPig has several printable money coloring pages. These are helpful tools for parents to start the savings conversation.
- Smart Cash: Parents can use this tool to help their kids get used to saving by turning it into a game.
- Word search: This printable word search is a fun activity that includes words related to money and saving.
- Interactive puzzle: This online activity allows parents to solve a money-themed puzzle together with their children.
- Tips for parents: Parents can download How to Teach Kids Great Money Habits as a tool to help teach kids about money.
Read more >>> Best Savings Accounts for Kids 2022
SmartyPig fees and prices
Sallie Mae doesn’t charge fees for its SmartyPig accounts: You won’t pay any account opening fees or monthly maintenance fees, no matter how much (or little) you have in your account. Unlike some other HYSAs, there are no minimum account sizes, meaning you won’t need to deposit a certain amount when you open an account or maintain a certain account balance.
Is SmartyPig safe?
Like other legitimate financial institutions, Sallie Mae keeps its customers’ money and personal information safe. First, you have money in your account FDIC insured, meaning if the company goes bankrupt, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will reimburse you for up to $250,000 in damages. Considering SmartyPig’s maximum account balance is $250,000, you can trust that all your money is protected.
Sallie Mae keeps money in your SmartyPig account with security measures. First, the company uses secure login to ensure that no one but you can access your account. In addition, Sallie Mae uses bank-level data encryption to keep your account secure.
How to contact SmartyPig?
There are several ways to contact SmartyPig customer support. First, you can call the company toll-free at 877-751-6884. Regular hours of operation are 9 am to 6 pm EST, Monday through Friday.
You can also send SmartyPig a secure message using the message center when logged into your account. According to the company’s website, you can expect a response from someone on the support team within one business day.
Finally, if you would like to contact SmartyPig by mail, here is the address: SmartyPig LLC, 175 S. West Temple, Ste 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.
If you’ve ever explored HYSA before, you probably know there’s a lot to choose from. While choosing the right account can be overwhelming, the variety of options means that if SmartyPig doesn’t suit your needs, you can easily find one that does. Below, we’ll talk about the two best alternatives to SmartyPig.
CIT Bank — now a division of First Citizens Bank — consistently has some of the best high-yield savings rates on the market. CIT Bank’s Savings Connect account offers as of September 2022 2.70% APY, one of the highest you will find. Unlike SmartyPig, the account requires a minimum deposit of $100. But once your account is open, you don’t have to worry about monthly payments or minimum balances.
CIT Bank offers many conveniences to customers that SmartyPig lacks. First, it has an eChecking account, which makes it easy to access your money. Unlike SmartyPig, you get a CIT Bank debit card and more deposit and transfer options.
Union Bank is another great SmartyPig alternative. It offers one of the most popular high-yield savings accounts on the market. And as of September 2022, Ally offers a 2% APY rate. Like CIT Bank, Ally offers many conveniences that SmartyPig does not, including a checking account and additional deposit and transfer options.
One feature that makes Ally Bank such an attractive alternative to SmartyPig is its buckets feature. When you open your Ally Savings Account, you can set up separate buckets within your budget to allocate your money to specific categories. You can also set savings goals for each segment and track your progress. Given Ally’s more robust technological capabilities, it essentially offers the same service as SmartyPig, but better.
Find the HYSA that’s right for you >>> The best high yield savings accounts for 2022
Sallie Mae’s SmartyPig HYSA has several attractive features, including a high APY and the ability to set savings goals.
However, it may not be suitable for everyone. First, all the bonuses offered by SmartyPig can be found at other financial institutions. As we mentioned above, SmartyPig’s APY isn’t as high as many of its competitors, and its savings features aren’t quite on par with other banks that offer the same service. It is also more difficult to deposit and withdraw money, as the company does not offer checking accounts and limits deposit options.
That being said, the SmartyPig could be a great option for some people. Depending on your financial habits, having a savings account that is completely separate from other banking products can be an advantage. This makes it more difficult to spend, which means you’re more likely to reach your financial goals. If you think this kind of separation could help you on your savings journey, maybe SmartyPig is worth considering.