Clear Sky Accounts Offer High APYs and Free Way to Track Spending
Article Submitted By: Riki Meier
Do you want more than just a high interest rate from your online checking account? Online Clear Sky accounts, provided by Chesapeake Bank, offer MoneyTracker, so you know exactly where your spending is going.
As I've discussed in previous BestCashCow articles, online-only bank accounts often higher APYs since the accounts have lower overhead costs. But with so many online bank accounts to choose from, how do you know which one to pick? It’s certainly important to weigh things like the APY offered and whether or not there are requirements you must meet in order to have no monthly maintenance fee. However, you may also want to take into consideration additional perks that go beyond the immediate monetary benefit. A perfect case in point is the Clear Sky accounts, by Chesapeake Bank.
Although Chesapeake Bank was founded in 1900, Clear Sky accounts are online-only, so they are able to offer higher-than-average APYs. The Clear Sky Checking account comes with no monthly maintenance fees (and no minimum balance requirements), a free check card with Clear Sky rewards (points that are redeemable for certificates for services and merchandise), and free ATM access (they will reimburse up to $20 in monthly fees). The interest rate is very competitive for checking accounts: $1 - $9,999 earns 0.90%, $10,000 - $24,999 earns 1.00%, $25,000 to $249,999 earns 1.10%, and $250,000+ earns 0.25%. While these are all great benefits, you’ll find comparable features in several other online accounts. One thing that makes this account unique is your free access to Chesapeake Bank’s MoneyTracker.
On the MoneyTracker account summary page, you’ll not only see a snapshot of all of your accounts with Clear Sky and Chesapeake Bank, you can also add accounts from other outside banks as well. The MoneyTracker dashboard (which is fully customizable) automatically categorizes your spending into groups like dining (for restaurants), gas, and so forth. You can create category reports to see exactly how much you’re spending in certain areas, and you can create graphs and charts to compare spending over time. This free software also allows you to search by category and dollar amount. However, perhaps one of the neatest tools of MoneyTracker is the way it helps you keep to your budget. If you assign a certain category (like dining) a monthly spending limit, you can set up an alert so that an email or a text message is automatically sent to you as soon as you go over budget. And, we can all use a little help when we’re trying to stick to a budget.
If you already use a program like Quicken, MoneyTracker may be redundant. If you currently don’t use a budget software program, it’s a nice free bonus.