Well, that was a quick resolution.

In my last post, I was lamenting the financial vulnerability I had keeping the bulk of my liquid assets in my checking account, tied to an ATM card that I had to use 10 times a month in order to get a preferred interest rate.  My solution to reduce my liability was to move a large chunk of my money out to another savings account that didn’t pay as good of an interest rate.  So, problem solved.

Today, I was just doing some random account maintenance, and logged into my checking account.  There was a small ad/offer/banner that invited me to create a savings account on the home page.  Uninterested, really, but I clicked the link anyway.  It was a savings account that paid 1% on the entire balance, which is exactly what my checking account paid on the excess of the 4% preferred rate.

To most anyone, this would be a big meh.  It’s the same thing as keeping your money in the checking account.  Why bother?  But to me, this is exactly what I needed.  I needed to isolate the bulk of my money from anyone who could steal my ATM card.  There’s so many benefits of this to me, I can count them on one hand! (I’m saying there’s not a lot of benefits, but they are very important to my needs.)

So again, first priority is to isolate my cash from ATM thieves – check.  I can keep my checking account balance limited to the amount that gets the bonus interest.  Any small amount over that gets paid at 1% interest.

Second, keeping the (relatively) good interest rate on my large balance – check.  The compromise in my last post had me move a large sum to another online savings account, which currently pays .5% interest.  That’s actually better than it used to be, I guess since the recent interest rate hike by the Fed, but whatever, it’s still half of what I can get from T-Mobile.

Third, having quick access in case of fraud – check.  I had mentioned in the last post about a worst-case scenario, where a hacker does get your funds.  You can claim fraud, but money is not returned to you until after the investigation.  If you have funds elsewhere, you can move them in to fill the gap and pay bills, so automatic payments don’t fail or things get paid late.  But transferring from an external account can take a couple of days.  However, having the checking and savings account at the same bank?  Instant transfer with no delay.  There’s value to that.

So, yes, I did immediately open a savings account and tested out the funds transfer.  It was immediate, just as I expected.  Now I can begin moving funds back into this account to get my extra interest.

I think in a future post, I’m going to document the complexity of my financial web.  There’s eight bank accounts and two payment services that all link together and it would be a good opportunity to review them and visualize them for example’s sake.

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