With consumers racking up more than $2.2 trillion in credit card purchases and cash advances, and lenders collecting a record $18.1 billion in penalty fees â€“ last year alone, one thing is for certain: Americans simply cannot afford to keep buying on credit. SmartyPig, a new online savings solution provides credit-cautious consumers a smart, secure and simple way to save for specific goals and rewards them like never before for doing so.
Unlike other savings accounts, SmartyPig has three unique twists that actually help consumers reach their savings goals faster:
1) SmartyPig is the only online savings tool that leverages Web 2.0 technologies allowing account holders to make their savings accounts public so family and friends can securely contribute to their savings goals.
2) SmartyPig currently offers a 4.3% (Annual Percentage Yield)a interest rate and will always maintain a competitive interest rate for account holders.
3) SmartyPig gives consumers even more for their money by offering additional cash boosts (up to five percent) from best-in-class retail partners like Royal Caribbean, Pottery Barn, Best Buy, Cabelaâ€™s and Home Depot, when they reach a savings goal.
SmartyPig is ideal for families saving for a vacation, for grandparents wanting to help a grandchild purchase a new bike or computer, for homeowners needing a home improvement or for newlyweds saving for a new piece of furniture.
Users set up their savings accounts at smartypig.com and choose to fund it on a monthly basis through electronic transfers from existing outside checking or savings accounts. Users can also choose to make their SmartyPig account public, allowing friends and family to help contribute to their savings goal. SmartyPig account owners must be 18 years old; however, parents can give minors access to specific goals, making the experience an educational and rewarding one for kids. SmartyPig accounts are held at West Bank, an FDIC-insured bank. FDIC insurance covers an individual account holder for up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
When account holders wishes to close their saving goals, they can receive their principle savings plus a competitive interest on a flexible SmartyPig MasterCardÂ® Debit Card that can be used anywhere MasterCardÂ® is accepted, including ATMs. Or to stretch their savings dollar even further, they can receive their savings plus interest on a gift card from some of the countryâ€™s top retailers with additional cash boosts of up to five percent on the total savings goal achieved.
Opening and maintaining a SmartyPig account is free, and customers can have as many savings accounts as they wish, each with an unlimited number of savings goals.
Originally posted on April 7, 2008 @ 2:06 pm