Back in the days of 5% and 6% APY interest rate savings accounts, rating chasing was a great way to get a little extra out of your savings. Be ready when those days return by linking your online savings accounts.
The biggest deterrent to rate chasing, which is the shuffling around of your money between savings accounts, is the transfer time. If you have to transfer your funds from an online savings account to a regular brick and mortar checking account and then to another online savings account, it will take well over a week. One simple strategy is to link your two online accounts together and cut that transfer time in half.
All you need is the bank’s ABA routing number and your account number. If you have a check, you can find the ABA routing number, a nine digit number, at the bottom of the check. Usually, the ABA routing number is the left most number, followed by an account number and the check number. If you don’t have a check, you can look up your bank’s ABA routing number at this website or call and ask. If you search online and find the number, you can confirm it by using a reverse ABA routing number lookup too. Some banks have several ABA routing numbers, the result of mergers and acquisitions, so double check you have the correct one.
Some banks require a voided personal check to link up accounts. This is mostly to ensure you don’t enter in the wrong numbers and cause a big headache, but it’s usually not a requirement. You can always call and say you don’t have any checks, they may acquiesce and link an account without the check.
To save you a bit of time, here are the ABA routing numbers of a few popular online banks:
Ally Bank – 124003116
Dollar Savings Direct – 226070403
E*Trade – 256072691
Everbank – 063000225
FNBO Direct – 104000016
HSBC Direct – 022000020
ING Direct – 031176110
WTDirect – 052173464
This may be one of those “head smacking” type of ideas but still worth mentioning.
Jim writes about personal finance at Bargaineering.com.