Review: SmartyPig Savings Account

I have read a lot about SmartyPig lately and decided to have a deeper look at their service. They are an online savings bank that works based on goals. You open an account and set up automatic monthly deposits to reach whatever goal you set. It is a good idea and a great way to get started saving or to save more!


  • They currently offer 2.01% (as of 2/23/2010) interest rate which is the best I can find at the moment.
  • Friends and family can add to your account via "gift cards" which are essentially online deposits from them
  • You can have multiple goals set up. Examples: emergency fund, new car, new house down payment, etc.
  • You can redeem the money in the form of gift cards. Some with up to 12% bonus on top.
  • No penalties to withdraw or close account.
  • You can add one time deposits at any time to boost your goal progress.
  • You are stuck with automatic monthly deposits. If you are looking just to park money to earn interest SmartyPig isn't built for that. The minimum monthly deposit is $10.
  • You must have at least 1 goal. Along the lines of the above item you have to have a target amount and date to reach the goal.
  • Another 1099 each year. One more form to remember and wait for at tax time.
  • They don't offer CD's. I think this would be useful for longer term goals to have part of it in a CD earning more interest
  • Quarterly interest payments. I like monthly better personally.
Overall I like SmartyPig. They offer a great, albeit specialized, savings account service. I intend to use it myself as long as they stay competitive on the interest rate. The disadvantages of it are far outweighed by the advantages in my mind. It is nice to create goals and have the money earmarked and all in the same account.

This is a great tool for those out there looking to start an emergency fund. All you need is the $25 minimum deposit and a minimum of a $10 monthly transfer. Most of us can handle that to start with. It takes the hard math of "I need to save $10,000 in 5 years. How much do I need to contribute each month?" away from you as their site does it for you!

Happy saving!