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News Coverage on the Savings Programs from Wachovia, WaMu and Bank of America


Wachovia's Way2Save savings program was highlighted today in this Wall Street Journal article. The article also mentioned WaMu's Savings for Success program and Bank of America's Keep Your Change program. I have the details of the new Wachovia's program in my Way2Save review. As the article described, the restrictions on these programs will prevent any large benefits. For those with small balances who want help saving, these programs may be helpful.

Are the extra hoops to jump through worthwhile compared to other alternatives? A high yield online savings account, a high yield checking account, or a high yield reward checking account may be better (see my weekly summary for the latest rates on these). However, you may be able to make a little extra money in these programs without too much work.

In my Way2Save review I calculated an extra $72 earned in the first year on this program for someone who does a good job at the transactions and deposits. This $72 is an approximate amount that you would earn over just keeping your money in a high yield savings account. The program has a limit of $300 for the year-end bonus, but this would require 400 debit card, online bill pay, or automated debit transactions per month in the first year. This FW thread has some additional ways to max out the bonus.

For WaMu's Savings for Success program, I calculated an extra $67 that can be earned in this program for someone who maxes out the monthly deposits (see my review).

For Bank of America's Keep The Change program, the size of the bonus all depends on how much you use your debit card. Refer to Bank of America's KTC webpage for the details, and check out this FW thread for ways to max out this bonus.

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this article in the comments.
Related Pages: checking account, savings account, Bank of America

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Junkiam | | Comment #1
I just open a the Way2Save account. It is easy to open but setting up the transfer is a hassle. You have to do it over the phone or at the branch. If you are opening a checking and way2save together make sure you set it up right away with the automatic transfer. They say setting up this process take 10 business days. So it seems it is best to open in the beginning of the month so you can have the full 100 X 12 instead of maybe 100 X 11. Best of luck!
Bozo | | Comment #2
To: Banking Guy and All
Re: Recent Experience with Wachovia

Dang, how I miss my World Savings. Well, anyway, over the past year or so I have moved what I consider to be not insignificant sums out of Wachovia on maturing World Savings CDs. In each case, the branch manager has been within three feet of the teller, and never once raised an eyebrow. Indeed, on one occasion, the teller asked me where I had found a better rate and term, not from commercial interest, mind you, but to follow me.

The biggest insult, in my opinion: Wachovia took out the free coffee urn in its Lafayette, California, branch.

I will, however, keep $10,000 in a CD there so my wife can have the free safety deposit box. Until they close the Lafayette branch and turn it into a McDonald's drive-thru.

I am so glad I locked up what I could for as long as I could. My "real money" CDs (targeted for retirement) should yield an average well above 5% for the next eleven years, given the ladder and the maturities.

Well, keeping my eye out for deals in April, when I have to move my Patelco CD. Cross your fingers.


Anonymous | | Comment #3
Stay away from Bank Of America

I got the promotion on their $250. cash back offer with the Iowa National Alumni Credit card. You had to spend the same amount $250.

It was intiiated in the branch and was verified that the offer was still available and all the aspects of the program were correct. I got a BOA rep to give me his card and he actually called the credit card company from the branch. I gave them my information and received the card and spend $1600. and now they refuse to give me my money.

I have called everyone including the CEO. I went into a branch and they spoke with the head of the customer service for the program and he said that card is not the one that has the program for rebate.

Has anyone taken BOA to small claims court because I have all the paperwork and am willing to stand up to this deceiption to accept responsibility for their programs.

They asked me to close the account and I refused. I will call 7 on my side, consumer advocate, but wonder if anyone has been able to resolve this problem.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Banking Guy
Banking Guy | | Comment #4
Sorry to read about your problem. You may want to review the comments in that $250 BOA post @ this link. There are also links to SlickDeal and FatWallet threads in that post. From those you may be able to find other people who've been cheated out of this bonus and see if they had any luck in fighting it. I hope this helps.
Poornachandran Kandhalu
Poornachandran Kandhalu | | Comment #5

I believed Wachovia, opened Way2Save account and did multiple payments and online purchases to move a good amount of money to way2Save account. But once they found that I have good balance in my way2save account (for which they need to give the interest rates and bonus mentioned above), they just closed my way2save account. The reason they give is that I made multiple payments. Nowhere in their terms and conditions they have mentioned that we should not make multiple payments.

It seems quite obvious that they closed my account is only to avoid giving the 16% interest and the 5% bonus on first year for the Way2Save account. This is an unfair act of not honoring the promotional offers which they have already advised to lure the customers. I have never seen any bank which has been unfair like this. They behaved so cheap.

Hence please be aware with Wachovia before believing wachovia's promotional offers as they will deceive the customer at any time like this.

Banking Guy
Banking Guy | | Comment #6
It does sound like they're not complying with their own terms and conditions. They already have safe guards against gamers by limiting the total bonus after the one-year anniversary period to $300.

What did they consider as multiple payments? Were those debit card payments or ACH payments?
Anonymous | | Comment #7
Be careful if you open up a Way2Save account with Wachovia that they don't use it as an excuse to try to hit you with other service fees. I signed up for the service since it was free and seemed like a good supplemental way to methodically save. However, when the Wachovia person enrolled me, for whatever reason he "linked" Way2Save to my checking account in replacement of the money market account that I have that allows me to avoid service fees by having the combined totals of both of the accounts above a minimum amount. So they start burying a $20/month service fee in my checking account statement that fortunately Mint.com flagged. The Wachovia representative I called acted like this was somehow my fault and only after I pressed the issue did he agree to refund the service fees and prevent this going forward. Way2Save can be a decent idea but watch out for a service fee hungry bank!