When it comes to saving money, I’m a big believer in doing whatever it takes. If having too much tax taken out of your check each week so you get a big refund helps you save, do it. While you’ll lose interest on your money while Uncle Sam is holding on to it, that’s better than blowing it on stuff you don’t need. Besides, interest rates today are anemic at even the best online banks. And that brings me to the Wells Fargo (formally Wachovia) Way2Save savings account.
Way2Save is a basic FDIC-insured savings account with two twists. The first is that it pays 2.96% interest on balances of less than $501. While that’s not a lot of money, 2.96% interest is about three times greater than the highest interest rate savings accounts today. That’s the good news. The bad news is that for balances of $501 and higher, the current rate is just 0.05%. And that’s the first reason I ask whether Way2Save is a gimmick or a gold mine.
The second reason has to do with what Wells Fargo calls the Save As You Go option. Save As You Go requires you to have a Wells Fargo checking account in addition to the Way2Save savings account. With both in place, Wells Fargo will help you save by transferring $1 from your checking account to your savings account when one of the following occurs:
- You Make a Check Card purchase (using a PIN or signature).
- You Pay a bill online with Wells Fargo Bill Pay.
- You Have an automatic payment deducted from your linked checking account.
As I said at the start of this post, I’m all for doing whatever it takes to save some dough. And if the Save As You Go option helps some save money, that’s great. Still, it seems like more of a gimmick to me. And if you keep relatively small sums of cash in your checking account, the last thing you may want is for money to be transferred to savings. Wells Fargo won’t make the $1 transfer if it would cause the account to be overdrawn. But keeping track of your balance while $1 transfers are being made could be a real headache.
So what do you think about Way2Save, and what other tricks have you used to help save money?