Keep the Change, Way2Save Not Worth It, Says Consumer Reports

10.07.08 | Online Savings Accounts | 3 Comments | by junger

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Didn't believe me that Bank of America's Keep the Change program isn't worth it? I'm not the only one saying it.

Consumer Reports, probably the best consumer-advocate publication available today, agrees. In their upcoming November issue, they basically make the same argument I made in late August.

In its latest report, the Consumer Reports Money Lab took a look at three of the more well-known spend and save programs: Bank of America's Keep the Change, Wachovia's Way2Save and American Express One. CR found all three were limited and perhaps more rewarding options exist.

"Saving money can be tough. These programs offer the hope that something good can come from spending more, but when we crunched the numbers, we found the overall savings to be limited," said Noreen Perrotta, Consumer Reports money editor.

According to Consumer Reports's number crunching, it would take 1,728 transactions (averaging $.50 each) to get the $250 total Keep the Change match the first year. In the second year, it will take 10,000.

Wachovia's Way2Save isn't much better. The program, which moves $1 from your checking to savings account with every transaction, limits additional deposits to $100/month. And while it offers a 5 percent interest rate the first year, it drops to 2 percent for the second.

If you're looking for a good place to stash your money, consider an online savings account from DollarSavingsDirect (3.75% APY), FNBO Direct (3.50% APY), WT Direct (3.26% APY) or HSBC Direct (3.25% APY).

Ignore the Hype: Consumer Reports Money Lab Finds Spend and Save Bank and Credit Card Programs Don't Help to Save Much

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