E-Trade Account Activation and Review

Just a day after opening our new E-Trade account, we received an e-mail saying that our account was open and ready for business. Sure enough, when I logged in, I was greeted with this:

As you can see, we have a balance of $1.00 (the initial transfer), although that’s not available yet since the transfer hasn’t completed. Overall, the interface is very clean and easy to use, and it’s very straightforward to add things like a checking account or a linked brokerage account — just click the “Open Another Account” link on the right side, and you’ll be presented with a full list of options.

Oh, and remember when I mentioned that they didn’t require verification of our bank account? Well… As a commenter on my original post correctly pointed out, that was just for the initial transfer, which was limited to $100 max.

Before you can make additional transfers, you have to click the “Verify External Accounts” link in the bottom right. You’ll then be presented with two options: (1) verify online, or (2) use trial deposits. I opted for online verification, and I had everything up and running in just a few seconds.

While we’re looking at the bottom of the graphic, notice the nice “Quick Transfer” interface that they have. This is a huge improvement over what most banks offer. No more click, click, clicking to transfer money. Simply scroll down, enter the details, and click the “Transfer” button. Easy peesy, lemon squeezy.

Since I don’t have available funds in the account, I haven’t executed any online trades. I am, however, looking forward to trying this out, as E-Trade was recently rated the best online broker by Smart Money. I should also note that they offer 100 free trades during your first thirty days, which is a nice little bonus.

All in all, I’m quite impressed so far, and I have to admit that having a high yield online savings account and discount brokerage all rolled into one is quite an attractive combination.

10 Responses to “E-Trade Account Activation and Review”

  1. Anonymous

    E*Trade can be incredibly useful, I agree. But I wonder if they market their products and services enough as promoting the overall financial health of their customers. Do you think a large percentage of their customers have non-mortgage debt, even credit card debt that revolves from month to month?

  2. Anonymous

    I have been a happy customer of E*Trade for over ten years. Over that time I have been impressed with both the banking and brokerage operations and the company’s customer service. I have often wondered why its high yield savings products don’t get more ink in the blogosphere.

  3. Anonymous

    @ Jody — What kind of account was posting interest every six months? Also, it sounds like you were using wire transfer to withdraw your funds if you were charged $25. Why did you not have them write you a check for $15 or do an ACH transfer for free?

    I’ve been with them less than a month, but the savings account is supposed to be credited monthly. If it’s not I’ll post back! Here’s the complete list of fees and account type details: link

    Now I will admit their email support is a bit… lacking. But they were good when I called them.

  4. Anonymous

    I have to chime in with a very negative personal experience with eTrade. I am a current customer of theirs, with both a complete savings and a brokerage account. When I have emailed their customer service dept with questions that concerned me giving them MORE business, I received responses within just a few hours. However, recently they overcharged me for $45 on a stock trade and when I emailed their customer service dept to get this situation rectified, I received no response (48hrs later). So, I emailed them yet again (been another 48hrs now) and still no response. I am clearly in the ‘right’ given the data/information I’ve provided them, but they seem to be playing the “let’s pretend we don’t see him and maybe he’ll just forget about the money and go away” game. Well, at the end of this month I will be removing my $20K from the savings account in response to their inaction on my requests.

    Also note that they pay interest once every 6 months. So, if for some reason you need your money (say for an emergency) in 4 months, you won’t get to withdraw the interest you’ve accrued, because it won’t be posted to your account as an eligible amount to be withdrawn. Each withdraw will cost you $25, so when you take our your funds, then and only then will your accrued interest show up and if you want that interest money back then you’ll have to do yet another withdraw, costing you yet another $25. So, in essence, unless you withdraw your funds on Dec. 1 or June 1 (interest is credited on Nov. 30 and May 31), expect to lose much of the interest you earned in their account, or else be stuck paying another $25 fee to get that money out.

    All is not ‘perfect’ in the eTrade world my friends, so take it from someone who has been a customer of theirs for a few years now.

  5. This isn’t any different from a whole host of other banks that are struggling right now. They’re FDIC insured and, even if they do run into problems, there won’t be any paperwork headaches. Remember when WaMu failed? Smooth as could be. I had an account when it happened so I can say that with absolute certainty.

  6. Anonymous

    ETrade is what I use to do all my trading and where I put the majority of my cash. It has some great features and it is really easy to use. I recommend it to most of the people who ask me about brokerages, and a lot of people ask me.

    Good luck if you have decided to start trading. It’s a nasty little market out there now.

  7. Anonymous

    I have been using eTrade since Feb 2007, and I am more than happy with their system.

    I don’t do enough trades to get the Power eTrade Pro, but the regular system works well for charting for me.

    The system works great, I love their product.

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