Beware! Some Banks Lie About No Minimum Balances

A great thing about online savings accounts with no minimum balances is that theoretically you can just move all your money to the one currently paying the highest interest! (If it’s worth it.) But, from e-mails I have gotten and other reports on the web, you might want to leave some more spare change in those accounts. Specifically, Capital One 360 and Emigrant Direct have closed people’s accounts without warning for having balances of less than $1. On top of that, Emigrant doesn’t pay interest if your account is closed before the end of the month!

But they have no minimum balance you say. Yes, but in their fine prints they can also close your accounts at any time, for any reason. So I’d advise keeping $5+ in your accounts to avoid account closure and lost interest. This way, if the rate leaders change, your options stay open.

Comments

  1. Woah! Close your account at any time… what would happen if they decided to close someones account that had $1000 in it? That wouldn’t go to them would it?

  2. No, your principal is safe… but if you had $100,000 in Emigrant, and they closed it on January 30th, guess who doesn’t get paid any interest for the entire month of January?

  3. That is ridiculous! What would prompt them to close an account aside from having no money in it?

  4. What I know is that they mention a minimum balance of $1. I have $1.36 in ING and $1.41 in EM.

  5. AA – Where? Not in either of their legal disclosures that I read. Each specifically state no minimum balance.

  6. well, $1 is listed in bankrate.com.

  7. I think they’ve closed my account.

    I’ve been trying to contact them but they’re giving me the run-around.

    same story I think, jumped ship from ED to ING.. and now I can’t access my account.. got a statement ending on Jan 26, with average daily balance of $16,000 ish but interest earned is 0.

    if this is really the case, I’m going ape on them.

  8. yeah i just got off the phone with a CSR, and she told me my account was closed and reopened.

    looks like they ditched me because I’m not a profitable customer.. and they ditched me early to avoid paying me the measly $37 in interest.

    hmm. getting ready to go ape…

  9. alright after trying a few diff CSR, yeah my account was closed. Don’t let the account get to $0 people! CSR is telling me I need at least $1. they will “automatically” close accounts with $0.

    I just looked at my “last” statement, 25 interest bearing days with average balance of $13,984.60.. earning APY of 0%, with interest earned of $0.

    nice.

    so thats about ~$38 or so eh?

    ape time :)

  10. It looks like Bankrate lists everything at $1 no matter if they have no minimums. Weird.

    I would be okay with an inactivity charge or a minimum balance of $1, as long as they are upfront about it. I mean, just look at the main page – emigrantdirect.com. “No fees. No minimums.”

    Give ‘em crap Cap!

  11. i tried to open an account with emigrant in the beginning of january. they made the initial deposits to my funding account. i used the link they sent me to verify those deposits and then i patiently waited for the information i needed to log onto my account online. i never got anything else until i recieved my ?final statement? in the mail dated 1/17/06. ?total days in statement period: 14? what the hell? they never even took the one dollar out of my funding account for the initial deposit. and needless to say i did not get my bonus.

  12. They closed my account too… this really bothers me!

    All the best,
    Stefan

  13. I think Bankrate lists $1 minimum because that is the minimum that is required for them to pay you interest. I know this is the case for Emigrant, maybe others too. If you $0.99 sitting in the account, it will never grow.

  14. why would you not even leave an amount? I agree that it is rude to close an acct w/out a warning but they do say no interest is earned if below $1. leaving $1 in ur acct won’t kill you

  15. This is a useful post. You should consider adding a link to it on your “Online Bank Comparison” page.

    Last year, I reduced my Emigrant balance to $1 for a few months. Then I reduced it to $0. Emigrant closed my account mid-statement and issued a final statement to close the account. It wasn’t hard to reopen the account and keep my account number when they had the better APY months later. Now I keep a dollar in there. ;)

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