By now I’m sure you’ve seen the reviews of SmartyPig all over the personal finance blogosphere. I debated whether or not to join the ranks of bloggers who did a review. I wanted, at the very least, a little bit of time to evaluate Smarty Pig before I formed an opinion.
Now that I’ve had a chance to play with SmartyPig for a while, I have definitely formed an opinion. And some things have changed since the first reviews have come out, and I think it’s important to point out those changes.
SmartyPig is a savings program that encourages you to save your money for specific goals. And it’s a social program that lets others see and contribute toward your goal. When you sign up for Smarty Pig, you will have to create a goal. I decided to save money for Christmas. The minimum deposit to fund a goal is $25.
I didn’t have any trouble signing up. I know other bloggers have had a few issues, though. The most troubling part for me was trying to figure out a goal, but that’s not SmartyPig’s fault. :)
Lest you worry about the security of your money, funds added to SmartyPig are deposited into West Bank, which is FDIC insured. The current APR is 4.30%, which is even better than ING savings right now.
In order to fund SmartyPig, you need to add a bank account to your profile and give SmartyPig permission to make recurring withdrawals from your account.
If you make your goal public, your friends and family can make contributions to your savings goal, helping you reach your goal faster. Friends and family are not charged to contribute to your savings goal if they have their own SmartyPig account and use their existing funding source. If they don’t have a SmartyPig account and want to contribute by credit card, they will be charged a 2.9% fee.
Once you reach your goal, you have a few options for withdrawing your money. You can elect to receive a SmartyPig debit card, which is accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Or you could opt to receive a giftcard from one of SmartyPig’s Best-in-Class retailers, which will get you an additional bonus of up to 5%.
If you’re saving for something where using a debit card is impractical, such as a down payment on a home, you can elect to receive your SmartyPig balance in the form of a check at no extra charge.
Children cannot open SmartyPig savings accounts on their own, but a parent can open an account and add a child as a co-owner. I think I may try this out with my children sometime before next Christmas. Maybe I can encourage the family to contribute SmartyPig gift cards for the kids instead of overdoing the gifts. :)
When their website is updated, their system for withdrawing your money will be fully automated. There will be no more checks, and you will be able to transfer money back to your funding source at no charge. That is a HUGE plus in my book!
Overall, I really like SmartyPig. I like the interest rate, I like the site layout, and I LOVE the customer service. Even though it’s one more account for me to manage, I think it’s worth it.
Have you tried SmartyPig yet? What do you think?
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I state that I have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.
Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. I do my best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.