T-Mobile Money Has Introduced a New Savings Account — But Why?
As I’ve now written about several times on this site, T-Mobile not only offers its own banking account but it’s also pretty darn good! While the features are fairly basic, the main selling point is that T-Mobile and Sprint customers can earn up to 4% APY on as much as $3,000 of their balance. Sadly, the way you earn this 4% changed last year and now requires 10 debit card transactions per month, but it’s still a solid deal if you strategize. Because I’m a fan, I was excited to see that T-Mobile Money has now launched a savings account as well — but is this addition really anything special?
In an email to customers, T-Mobile Money advertises that their new savings account features “awesome interest, ” the ability to create recurring deposits, and can basically be used to help customers set cash aside for various goals, purchases, or whatever else they have planned. With savings accounts traditionally offering far more interest than checking accounts, I was intrigued to see the details on this “awesome interest” T-Mobile described.
As it turns out, funds held in your T-Mobile Money Savings account will earn 1% APY. To be sure, this is actually pretty strong by today’s standards. However, the thing is that the 1% APY is exactly what the checking component of T-Mobile Money already offered by default. So, what’s the point of the savings account then?
Let me take an optimistic and pessimistic look at this new feature. On the one hand, I’m guessing that this new option is not meant for people like me. Instead, this isn’t necessarily intended to be a big selling point but a way for those who enjoy using the service to start setting money aside on a regular basis. In that aspect, it’s actually a good idea and a welcome inclusion. While the Savings account may not be terribly rich in features at the moment, I do believe that just having a separate account to keep cash can be extremely helpful when you’re trying to build up savings. On that note, I also love that you can instantly transfer funds between your checking and savings accounts.
Although that all sounds nice, I also can’t help but wonder if this could be a precursor to a negative change. Namely, could T-Mobile Money soon remove the 1% APY from the checking account and make it exclusive to Savings? On the one hand, it does seem possible — but it could make things more complicated for them. See, because they now tie the 4% APY perk to debit card purchases, customers will obviously need to have money in their checking account. But, if they worried about falling short of that goal and wanted to settle for the 1%, they’d need to store it in savings instead. Obviously there are some workarounds here, but it seems like it could get confusing for customers.
Honestly, even if they did adjust the rules so that the 1% was only on savings, it probably wouldn’t affect me all that much. Still, having seen how these things go, I’m very curious to see what becomes of this account going forward. In any case, whether you’re a T-Mobile customer or not, I continue to believe that T-Mobile Money is worth taking a look — and the new Savings account feature certainly doesn’t take away from that notion.