While browsing a personal finance forum in April, I came across information about a new online banking site called Mango (www.mangomoney.com
). Their big draw was a 6% interest rate savings account. Sounds too good to be true, right? This quote from their site explains the rationale: ďHow can we afford it [6% interest]? Basically, weíve shifted a big chunk of our marketing budget to paying our good customers instead of advertising channels Ė no TV or print ads. We think word of mouth is much better. After all, having good customers is good for business, but having more good customers that find value in our values is even better
This post will detail my experiences with Mango, from the initial investigation, through the sign up process, to where I am now. I am quite satisfied with Mango after using the service since April, and I believe I have enough experience using the bank to properly explain the details. Full disclaimer
: at the end of this post, I will paste my referral link, as Mango offers a $10 referral bonus. If my information was useful to you and you decide to take advantage of the rate Mango is offering, please consider using that referral link.What is Mango? https://www.mangomoney.com/what-is-mango
The cornerstone of Mango is their prepaid debit card. This is what youíre signing up for to get access to the savings account. The prepaid debit card is quite simple: a debit card linked to an online checking account, which canít be charged beyond the balance of the checking account, avoiding potential overdraft fees. Mango also touts their ďmobile bankingĒ service, but Iíve completely ignored this aspect, as I donít even have a smart phone. The prepaid debit card account has a flat $5/mo fee, which can be reimbursed at the end of each month, as explained here: https://www.mangomoney.com/simple-fees"Charged on a 30 day cycle. Customers who load at least $500 per calendar month are eligible to receive a $5 credit at the beginning of the following month, commencing November 1, 2011. Excludes funds received from a transfer from another card account.Ē6% interest savings account!?
If you use direct deposit, you qualify for the 6% interest savings account (you also receive a $20 bonus for using direct deposit). Signing up for direct deposit is, in my opinion, the most significant hurdle in this process. Once I signed up with Mango, I was able to access the Bank Name, Account #, and Routing # (all present on a printable form if you click on the direct deposit enrollment button). I filled out a new direct deposit form with my employer, and began splitting $50/mo of my paycheck to the new Mango account. From the fine print of Mango: ďThis offer is available to first-time Direct Deposit customers only. To be eligible, customers must start Direct Deposit within 90 days of opening their RÍv Card Account. The account will normally be credited within 30 days of the second direct deposit if Direct Deposit is still active on the account. Each recurring direct deposit must be $50 or more, and must be from a paycheck or benefits check
The other catch: only the first $5,000 in the savings account is eligible for the 6% interest rate
. After that, it plummets to something like 0.10%. This makes sense, as a 6% interest rate wouldn't be sustainable if extremely wealthy folks were able to deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars here.Worth it?
Iíve been using Mango for about 4 months now, and feel that the 6% interest rate, in addition to the $20 enrollment bonus, is worth the initial work of modifying my direct deposit, and the ongoing upkeep required.
Since the $5 monthly fee can be reimbursed if at least $500 is added within that same month, I transfer at least $400 with an ACH transfer from my primary credit union to my Mango account every month. The $400, plus the biweekly $50, has ensured Iíve been reimbursed for the $5 fee every month.
The other upkeep required: if Iím putting $500+ into the account every month, but only receive 6% interest on the first $5,000 in the savings account, Iíll eventually fill up the account. At this point, I have to decide if itís worth continuing to load the extra $400 every month to continue being reimbursed for the $5 monthly fee. I think avoiding the $5 fee is worth the extra work, which brings up the other significant hurdle which comes along with Mango.Getting your money out of Mango is harder than putting it in
Although your Mango checking account will accept ACH transfers as deposits, it will not allow ACH transfers out. After all, this service is designed for their prepaid debit card, so youíll need to be using the card to get the money out.
So youíve got a few options. You can let the excess money continue to pile up in the savings account, and just treat is as part of your emergency fund. Or, you can use the debit card to buy your groceries and anything else you need, rather than your rewards credit card. Simple enough, but I love my rewards credit card! So there are a couple other workarounds.
First, you could withdraw the cash from an ATM (up to $600), then deposit that cash at your own bank/credit union. Mango charges a flat $2 ATM fee. Be careful, because the ATM you use may charge additional fees.
My favorite method for getting money out of the Mango account: cash back at the register. At Costco or other grocery stores, I can pay for one or two items on the Mango card and get cash back. I use my Amex rewards card for the rest. If I end up with too much cash in the wallet, I deposit it back into my credit union.
The final option: if you completely close your account, a check for your balance will be issued, minus a $10 fee.My thoughts
Iíve been using Mango for over 4 months now, and Iím quite satisfied with the service. It took a fair amount of work to understand all the nuances, such as the fees, the direct deposit enrollment, and pulling excess cash back out. At this point, itís simple to keep up. If the amount of cash in the account goes too far above $5,000, I donít mind too much, because the effective interest rate is still better than any other savings account I can find. Of course, most of my investments are in index funds, but it's quite nice having some cash parked at an interest rate that doesn't make me cringe.
Check out the Mango site, especially: https://www.mangomoney.com/what-is-mango
. If you have any questions, please post below and Iíll answer. Also, Iíd love to hear if anyone else uses/used Mango, and what they think about it.
Lastly, if you decide to take advantage of the 6% interest rate with Mango, please consider using my referral link below. Itís $10 for me, and Iíd like those 10 bucks if you were going to sign up anyways!Referral Linkhttps://www.mangomoney.com/share-the-love?REF_ID=ST&REF_USR_ID=QVEx75aXkVQ=