Ever heard of Money Aisle? I didn’t before a reader asked me to check them out. It turns out, Money Aisle lets banks compete for your savings via an online auction. All you do is pick your investment (savings or CD’s), the amount you will invest, the duration of your savings (if choosing a CD), and your state.You then see a screen that lets you know what round of bidding you are on as some banks get eliminated. Once all banks but one have been eliminated, you are shown your results. You can then enter your info to get set up with the bank on the results page. Here are a few examples of my experience on the site:
I did two searches for savings account on Money Aisle. The first was for a minimum deposit of $1,000. The results came up with a bank in MA that offered a 3.55% interest rate. It turns out that that interest rate is the same that they offer on their website. So did they really “bid” for my business? I would say no.
The second search for a savings account was for a $10,000 minimum deposit. The results came up with the same bank in MA for the same interest rate. Once again, it does not seem there was any type of bidding.
Certificates of Deposit
I did two sets of searches for CD rates. The first set was for a 12-month CD for $1,000 and $10,000. The $1,000 12-month CD came back with a bank in MI that offered a rate of 3.25%. Turns out, they offer that rate on their website as well. The $10,000 12-month CD yielded the same results at the same bank.
The second set was for a 36 month CD in denominations of $1,000 and $10,000. The $1,000 CD search netted me a bank that was willing to offer me 3.5%. After searching their site, it turns out that they do not offer that rate to customers. I would have to say that they bid on that one! Their rate on their site is for 3%, a half percent difference. The search for a $10,000 CD netted me a rate of 3.21% that happened to be the same on the banks website.
Comparing it to BankRate.com
I personally still like BankRate.com. I did the same searches on their website and came up with better results. The nice thing about BankRate is that they have financial strength ratings. It turns out, most of the banks that Money Aisle recommended were not the best financially. Even though all of the banks offered at MoneyAisle are FDIC insured, unsuspecting customers may sign-up with a bank that is financially unsound.
However, it seemed that for at least one of my searches on MoneyAisle, banks actually bid for my business. I would recommend using MoneyAisle to search for some great rates (hopefully they actually bid) and then check BankRate for the stability of the bank. You can also search on BankRate to make sure you are getting the highest rate possible.