Sallie Mae Online Bank Account Review

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When you or I think of Sallie Mae, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t their online savings account. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure that the 1,000th thing to come to mind would be a savings account. Yet, Sallie Mae has recently launched just that, and with a current savings rate of 1.40%, its worth a look.

Now you might be saying “A 1.40% savings account rate is worth a look?” Believe me, if this were any other year, I would agree with you, but like it or not, savings account rates are extremely low, and Sallie Mae is in the top 2% of all banks nationally. Another thing that Sallie Mae has going for itself is brand power. When you think of other online banks, like Ally, WT Direct, SmartyPig etc., you’ve really never heard of them before learning about their online accounts. Banks like Discover, American Express and Sallie Mae have a little pop behind their product, and they don’t mind showing it off. Let’s take a look at the product line Sallie Mae has to offer.

With any new bank, the product line is going to be a bit limited during the initial launch, then as the bank becomes more comfortable, you can expect bigger and brighter things. Sallie Mae has decided on showcasing the basics … an online savings account and a group of CD’s.

ONLINE SAVINGS ACCOUNT

Sallie Mae offers a very basic, simple and easy to sign-up online savings account that currently sports a 1.40% APY. Funding and withdrawals are made with the touch of a button and one of the cool features that Sallie Mae offers is a 10% Upromise match. Anyone familiar with Upromise knows that it’s a way to save for your child’s education and if you currently have a Upromise account, you can set up a Sallie Mae savings account and have an additional 10% of your annual Upromise earnings deposited directly into your account.

Upromise is a program pays you back a certain percentage of every purchase you make on name brand merchandise. As long as the merchant is part of the Upromise program, you will slowly and steadily increase your balance, that over the course of 10 to 15 years, becomes pretty substantial. Now, with your Sallie Mae online savings account, you can earn an additional 10% each and every year, making it a must have if you work hard at building your child’s education through Upromise. In order to take advantage of the Upromise bonus, you must either initially fund your Sallie Mae account with $5,000 or set up an automatic monthly deposit of at least $25 within 90 days of opening your Sallie Mae online savings account.

CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT

Making the decision to put your money away for years, without having access to it is not an easy decision, certainly made tougher with the low interest rates available today. Sallie Mae has done an excellent job in making their rates competitive, as well as easy to comprehend.

Currently, only three available CD terms are offered and they are illustrated on the table below.

CD Length
Rate (APY)
12-Month1.55%
36-Month2.40%
60-Month3.00%

When you compare the rates available with Sallie Mae to other online banks, you’ll find them well above average. If that’s not reason enough to consider them, take into account the Upromise bonus that’s available with their online savings account and Sallie Mae becomes an extremely attractive option for your online savings needs.

Published or Updated: March 15, 2013

Comments

  1. Soccy says:

    I’m not familiar with CD’s. Can you make monthly deposits into them, as you would any Savings account? I like Sallie Mae’s rates, but the same question applies. Also, do they need a specific amount to start with?
    Thanks.

    • Michael says:

      Hi Soccy

      CD’s are also known as Certificate’s of Deposit and unlike Savings accounts, you cannot make regular contributions. CD’s usually provide higher interest rates than savings accounts but the higher the rate, the longer your money is “locked” meaning until the time period ends, you will not have access to it. (You cannot withdraw it either).

      To answer your second question, there is no minimum amount to get started if you open a Sallie Mae Savings Account.

  2. Charles says:

    I have a salliemae account not only do they offer a good rate you are also connected with Upromise which when you shop it for clothes or groceries Upromise pays you back a 1 or 2 or more% which when it reaches $10.00 it can be transferred to Salliemae

  3. They just lowered their rate to 1.30% APY from 1.40% APY last week but they still remain at the top of the charts for interest rates on either online savings accounts or money market accounts.

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