SmartyPig Review Plus Two $50 SmartyPig Gift Cards Giveaway

smartypigHow do you like the idea of letting other people, family members and friends, help you reach your saving goal?

If that, letting others help you reach your saving goal, is what you are looking for, then SmartyPig could the answer.

How SmartyPig Works

The concept of SmartyPig is quite simple: You set a saving goal, make monthly saving, inform family members/friends and let them contribute to your account, reach your goal and redeem your savings.

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What’s unique about SmartyPig is that you are not the only contributor to your saving goal. By letting friends and family participate, you could reach your goal faster.

How to Save Money with SmartyPig

Of course, it’s free to join SmartyPig and open an account. Once you open an account, you need to set up a goal, which can be anything between $250 and $250,000, and start to make mandatory saving of at least $25 $10 every month towards your goal. There’s no fee for making monthly contribution to your SmartyPig account from your checking or savings account. However, it’s going to cost your friends and family $4.95 every time they help you save (this fee has been eliminated). See their fee schedule for details of fees.

Is this a deal breaker? Maybe not necessarily, but I really don’t like anybody being charged a fee for helping me save. That could very much make friends and family member who are willing to contribute but only a small amount, such as $25 or $50, think twice whether it’s worthy it.

What You Can Do with Your SmartyPig Savings

Well, it seems you will have to spend the money once you reach your goal (that’s what you are saving for, right?) because SmartyPig will not give back your savings in cash. Instead, if you want to redeem funds in your SmartPig account, you will receive a SmartyPig MasterCard debit card or a retail gift card, or request a check which will cost you $25.

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The savings account at SmartyPig is offered through West Bank, a community bank based in Iowa that was founded in 1893. West Bank is a member of FDIC and savings at SmartyPig is FDIC insured. The savings rate at SmartyPig is currently at 4.30% APY, which is quite high comparing to other online savings accounts.

To apply for a SmartyPig account, you will need to provide SSN, driver’s license number, and DoB, just as opening a bank account.

If you like the idea and want give SmartyPig a try, I have two $50 SmartyPig gift cards, courtesy of SmartyPig, that I want to giveaway to help you reach your saving goal. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment at this post. Winners will be announced on April 1st.

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32 Responses to “SmartyPig Review Plus Two $50 SmartyPig Gift Cards Giveaway”

  1. Meagan |  Mar 25, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    I have been curious about Smartypig! I love your blog.

  2. Jon Gaskell |  Mar 25, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the post! Wanted to let your readers know that within the next few days we will be restructuring our public contribution and gift card fees. SmartyPig customers will be able to make contributions to other SmartyPig users’ goals and buy gift cards at NO cost if they use their existing SmartyPig funding source, i.e. their checking or savings account. Our fee to make a contribution or buy a gift card using a credit card will be set at a flat 2.9%, and we are also planning on releasing a few other payment options in the future, as well, so that using SmartyPig will be economical for all users. It is also worth noting that a user can make their account “Private” so that nobody but him or her can look at or contribute to their savings goal. Thanks, Jon Gaskell, Co-Founder SmartyPig

  3. VG |  Mar 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Please include me.

  4. JB |  Mar 25, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    i’m not interested in this either, but I’ll take a shot at the $50! thanks.

  5. Lisa |  Mar 25, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    think I can get enough for a down payment on a house?

  6. ryan |  Mar 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    throw my hat in.

  7. Andy |  Mar 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I posted about this account on my blog. I think it is a pretty good deal if you’re saving for certain items. It doesn’t really work if you’re saving for retirement or an emergency fund though.

  8. Tom |  Mar 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I like the concept but I’m with you, I don’t think my relatives would even care let alone check out my site for my goals.

  9. stngy1 |  Mar 25, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Since they are eliminating the $4.95 charge, I think this will be a great way to rope in family, friends to help on common goals. Could be a community project, as others have suggested, could be a wedding, could be furniture for the baby, whatever. I think many would love to know they could contribute towards a savings goal instead of a present which will sit in the back of the closet!

  10. Kay |  Mar 25, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I was thinking about using Smartypig for my children’s savings acct.

  11. Harley |  Mar 25, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    count me in!!

  12. SaRa |  Mar 25, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Count me in for SmartyPig gift card!

  13. Den |  Mar 26, 2008 at 1:48 am

    I think this “smartypig” is pretty much is same as paypal.
    You can do the same with a saving account or paypal account. Maybe not automatic, then do it manually.
    1….4.3% is like the money market in paypal. (a bit more or less)
    2….$4.95 fee (or 2.9% fee) is like paypal’s 30 cents + 2.9% fee (almost the same)
    3….both smartypig and paypal can have other people “give” you money.

  14. ES |  Mar 26, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll use it to start a savings account for my upcoming newborn.

  15. Mr. Nickle |  Mar 26, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Sorry, I got an error when I tried to post my comment, so I am reposting. I apologize if this ends up being a duplicate.

    I think this is a good idea, but the only scenario I can see where other people will be willing to contribute their money to help someone else reach a savings goal will be contributing to the account of a young person for education or some other major life event (like a wedding, graduation, etc). I don’t see many people being willing to give me $20 towards saving up to buy a KitchenAid mixer from Amazon. I think if they do more to promote this as helping family members save to reach financial goals, this will be more successful.

  16. John |  Mar 26, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I’m in for the gift card. And if I redeem it for something on amazon I should be looking at this more closely.

  17. Tom |  Mar 26, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I signed up and have a couple goals for furniture in the system. Why not sign up if you are saving for something specific? You get 4.3% APY and an extra (up to) 5% to a specific company.

  18. Rachel @ Master Your Card |  Mar 27, 2008 at 7:48 am

    I would love other people to help me towards my financial goal, but like you I would feel very awkward asking them. Like you I do not lik ethe idea of them being charged either – if they just gave me some cash or a cheque they would not be charged so I cannot see any advantage in doing it through Smartypig.

  19. George |  Mar 27, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    All is smarty.

  20. Jonathan |  Mar 27, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    pick mee!!!!

  21. Kaxx |  Mar 28, 2008 at 7:54 am

    $50 would be a GREAT way to start saving for that trip to Japan

  22. Matt |  Mar 28, 2008 at 9:02 am

    $50 would help me on my way to a ps3!

  23. RC@ThinkYourWayToWealth |  Mar 29, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I think the concept is a good one, but i agree that the fees are unattractive, and someone contributing towards your account in small amounts for a birthday or some other occasion may get turned off by paying a fee.
    Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
    RC

  24. J.G. |  Mar 29, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Please count me in!

  25. PT |  Mar 31, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    I could use the $50 to get started. Thanks!

  26. Jason |  Mar 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I just stumbled across SmartyPig tonight while researching interest rates. I’ve just gotten engaged, so money planning is definitely a priority for me. SmartyPig seems pretty interesting, and I’d definitely like to enter for a chance at thay $50 card to get started with it. Thanks!

  27. Denzil Villarico |  Apr 01, 2008 at 2:36 am

    I just created an account with SmartyPig and I definitely think it’s a concept that will soar in the U.S. Not that I have a difficult time saving money but it’s hard to beat a 4.30% APY!

  28. Ellen Leiserson |  May 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I checked your blog to see if you thought this was a legitimate bank. My husband and I have always wanted to be able to save toward different goals and in the past have had to keep a log of what we were saving for. This will be a lot easier.