Customers aren’t biting on prize-linked savings accounts

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Prize-Linked Savings Accounts: A Smart Way to Build an Emergency Fund Would you rather have 0.06% interest on a savings account, or a chance to win a much larger sum? Matthew Frankel, CFP

States Are Allowing Bank Accounts to Link Savings to Prizes. Customers Aren’t Biting.. Twenty-nine states now permit credit unions or banks to offer "prize-linked" savings accounts,

But even with a chance to win money, most customers still aren’t saving. Twenty-nine states (including Wisconsin) now permit credit unions or banks to offer "prize-linked" savings accounts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Admittedly, prize-linked savings accounts might rely on something of a gimmick to encourage that first step into savings, but it’s not a whole lot different from the classic practice of banks giving out toasters or other deal-sweeteners to new customers. Combining a prize-linked account with some complementary wisdom about the power of saving.

Banks hope to draw customers with prize-linked savings accounts that promise chances to win cash and other prizes.. And if you don’t keep money in your account you aren’t eligible to win cash.

The wind behind the introduction of prize-linked checking accounts is the intense competition between banks and credit unions for new customers, so prizes keep getting sweeter, Rogers says.

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Within 18 months, the bank had more prize-eligible accounts than regular ones. These new customers, many of them poor, saved an extra 1 percent of their incomes, a recent study found and boosted their overall saving 38 percent. A prize-linked savings account won’t help raise incomes, and it won’t lower the costs of health care or housing.

Prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts encourage people to save money by adding a lottery-like feature to deposit accounts. Deposits into savings accounts or certificates of deposit (CDs) are held in a financial institution risk-free (just like traditional savings accounts or CDs), and depositors are entered into a drawing based on the number or size of their deposits during a given period.

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Prize-linked savings accounts exist in other countries, and they’re rather popular. While everyone loves prizes, they’re aimed at a specific part of the population: lower-income people who.

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