Sallie Mae Bank Reviews: Money Market, Savings and CD Rates

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Sallie Mae Money Market Account

Sallie Mae Bank’s Money Market Account offers a competitive interest rate, no fees or minimums balances.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

1.75%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly maintenance fees: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $19 insufficient funds fee

This is a competitive account. While the interest rate is not the highest out there, there is no minimum balance or deposit, which is hard to find for such a competitive rate. Since Sallie Mae Bank operates as an online bank and account holders don’t receive an ATM card, this account would be best suited for someone who doesn’t plan on touching their money very often. Sallie Mae offers online and mobile banking with e-deposit for daily account management. The account comes with free checks when you open an account, but checks cost $5 to order more later.

Account holders are limited to six withdrawals or transfers in one calendar month, per the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D. Exceeding this limit results in a $10 fee per transaction. Transfers into and between Sallie Mae accounts are free, but a $20 fee is charged on transfers to another bank. Sallie Mae does not initiate international wire transfers.

How to get the Sallie Mae Bank Money Market Account

You can apply for a Sallie Mae money market account online. You’ll be prompted to enter and verify your information, and in some cases, you may need to verify your identity by submitting your driver’s license. It should also be noted that if an account sits dormant with a balance of less than $100 for 12 months, Sallie Mae can close the account.

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How Sallie Mae’s money market account compares

Sallie Mae’s money market account is competitive compared to other current money market accounts. The rate isn’t the highest on the market, but no other money markets accounts offer as high a rate without a minimum deposit or minimum balance requirement.

Sallie Mae Bank’s savings account options

High-Yield Savings Account

Good, competitive interest rate with no fees or minimum balance requirements on this savings account.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

1.70%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly maintenance fees: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $19 insufficient funds fee

Sallie Mae’s High-Yield Savings Account stands out by offering a competitive savings rate, without any monthly fees or balance requirements. But while there are better savings rates in the market currently, this account would work well for anyone looking for a hands-off way to put their savings to work.

Sallie Mae’s High-Yield Savings Account does not come with a debit or ATM card, making the account less accessible to those who want to access money frequently. Account holders are also limited to six transfers or withdrawals from the account every month, per Regulation D (this regulation applies to all savings accounts). One important thing to note is that this account can only be funded via ACH deposit or check. Sallie Mae does not accept cash or money order deposits.

How to get the Sallie Mae Bank High-Yield Savings Account

To open the account, you’ll need to visit Sallie Mae’s website, fill out an application form and provide some personal information like name, date of birth, etc. In some cases, you may have to verify your identity further by submitting documents like your driver’s license. Once approved, you can fund your account via ACH transfer, check or an existing Sallie Mae account. New accounts are subject to a 10-day hold if money is deposited via ACH or check.

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SmartyPig Account

This free savings account helps you set (and achieve) savings goals, pays a decent rate and has no minimum balance requirement.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

1.75%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly maintenance fees: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Sallie Mae Bank’s SmartyPig account is meant to help you save for specific goals and would be a good fit for someone who wants to organize their savings goals, while earning a decent rate and not paying fees. The account is advertised as having multiple APY tiers based on the savings account balance; however, all tiers currently offer the same rate.

With a SmartyPig account, account holders have a primary account, which holds all deposits. From there, you have the ability to set up multiple savings goals under the primary account. Each savings goal goes into a sub account, letting you track the progress you’ve made towards your goals. Account holders have the ability to set up automatic deposits into the account. The account does not come with a debit or ATM card and is subject to the Reg D limits of a maximum of six withdrawals/transfers a month.

How to get the Sallie Mae Bank SmartyPig Account

To open a SmartyPig account, you must be 18 years of age. Once you complete the application process (which requires some basic personal information), you can fund your account. Funds will be on hold for five days from the date of deposit.

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How Sallie Mae’s savings accounts compare

Sallie Mae offers a variety of interest-bearing savings accounts. While none of them are currently offering the best savings account rate in the market, they all offer competitive rates and have noteworthy features that emphasize the importance of creating smart savings habits. The fact that all of Sallie Mae’s savings accounts have no fees or minimum balances or deposits places these accounts on par with some of the best offerings currently on the market. However, one important factor to take into consideration is that none of Sallie Mae Bank’s savings account offer ATM access.

Sallie Mae Bank’s CD Rates

Earn competitive rates on a certificate of deposit with a higher-than-average minimum deposit.

Term

APY

6 months

1.75%

9 months

1.80%

11 months

1.90%

12 months

2.10%

13 months

2.10%

15 months

2.10%

18 months

2.10%

24 months

2.15%

30 months

2.15%

36 months

2.15%

60 months

2.20%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • CD term is less than 12 months: 90 days’ of simple interest
    • CD term is greater than 12 months: 180 days’ of simple interest

Note: if there is not enough interest, Sallie Mae will deduct the above early withdrawal penalties from the principal balance.

The rates on Sallie Mae Bank’s CDs are overall pretty competitive compared to current market offerings. But these accounts fall short when it comes to minimum deposits, as there are rates on par or higher than Sallie Mae’s that don’t require a minimum deposit or balance to maintain an account.

It should be noted that this account automatically renews when your CD matures. Upon maturity, account holders have a 10-day grace period to withdraw funds from the account before it renews. Withdrawing interest earned on your CD can be done at any point throughout a CD’s term without penalty.

How to get Sallie Mae Bank’s CDs

To open a CD with Sallie Mae Bank, you’ll need to apply for an account online. You’ll be required to enter some personal information, and in some cases, take extra steps to verify your identity. Currently, the only way to put money in an account is through ACH transfer or by check.

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How Sallie Mae’s CD rates compare

While you can find slightly higher rates, Sallie Mae offers solid CD rates. The biggest downside is the $2,500 minimum balance and deposit requirement, which is not the case for other offers paying the same — or better — CD rates.

 

Overall review of Sallie Mae’s banking products

Sallie Mae’s account offerings are competitive, though they are not the best of the best. However, its online and mobile banking has all the features you’d need to save and manage your money on a day-to-day basis.

None of the above accounts come with a debit or ATM card. While limited account accessibility may be a big downside to some, this could be looked at as a positive, if you’re prone to dipping into your savings frequently.

What makes Sallie Mae products stand out is the emphasis they take on the importance of creating smart savings habits. The fact that all of their accounts don’t charge any monthly fees and earn some form of interest means you won’t do yourself a disservice by opening an account. Still, Sallie Mae’s rates aren’t quite high enough to give them the title of “the best.”

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Jackson Wise
Jackson Wise |

Jackson Wise is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jackson here

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