Need Help Starting an Emergency Savings Account? US Bank's S.T.A.R.T. Account Program Could Help.

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US Bank's S.T.A.R.T program rewards savers with $50 for the first $1,000 saved, and another $50 if they're able maintain a $1,000 savings balance for a year.

It’s hard to set aside money for an emergency fund, especially during tough economic times. US Bank has a program that offers financial incentive for savers and rewards customers obtaining and maintaining a $1,000 savings account balance.

The bank’s S.T.A.R.T program works by requiring monthly saving account transfers via either specified monthly reoccurring transfers, or set transferred amounts per each US Bank Check Card or Credit Card. Once you reach $1,000 in your savings account, US Bank will reward you with a $50 US Bank Rewards Visa Card. After you maintain that $1,000 minimum balance for a year, US bank will give you another $50 Rewards Card. Additionally, you can chose to automatically transfer any cash rewards received through the US Bank FlexPerks Cash Rewards card into your savings account to accelerate savings.

To take advantage of this program, you must open and maintain a US Bank package, which includes a checking account and a money market savings account. A minimum of $50 is required to open a checking account, and a minimum of $25 is required to open a savings. Of course, you must also maintain the qualifying transfer schedule for the rewards as well.

US Bank Rewards programs can be added to any checking account. The FlexPerks Cash Rewards Check Card gives Gold Package customers 0.25% cash back on all non-PIN based purchases, and the FlexPerks Cash Rewards Credit Card gives all customers 1% cash back, with Gold Package customers receiving an additional 0.25% (for a total of 1.25%). Gold packages are free if you have direct deposit, AutoPay or AutoInvest. Otherwise, it will cost you $6 a month. Basic silver packages have no monthly fees.

The interest rates for the savings account vary by region and are minimal overall (0.05% APY for money market balances up to $999 and 0.10% APY for $1,000-$9,999 balances for account holders in the Boston area). As such, this account wouldn’t be ideal for someone who is already a disciplined saver, but the program could help someone who needs that extra boost to get started.

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