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How to Combine ING Direct Accounts

My lovely wife and I both opened individual ING Direct [3] accounts before we were married. In the latest step towards consolidating our financial accounts, we’ve decided to take all of our individual accounts and work towards combining them when it made sense. We’ve left investment and retirement accounts alone but online bank accounts [4] are perfect for combining. Our latest move was to combine those ING Direct accounts into one.

I called a CSR yesterday to discuss consolidating our accounts and learned that the process is much simpler than I imagined. You can’t consolidate two separate ING Direct login accounts but you can add a joint account holder to an existing savings or checking account. This will turn an individual savings account into a joint savings account, let’s see how easy it is.

Adding a Joint Owner

If the other person is an ING Direct customer, you will need them present to login (or have that information yourself).

Wasn’t that simpler then you would’ve guessed? Both you and the person you’ve added will receive an email (subject “Account Ownership Update”) in a few days notifying them that they’ve been added as an account holder.

Both individual account holders keep their respective logins and the joint account appears the list of accounts they own. For all intents and purposes, the account appears the same, there are just now two ways to access it (the primary account holder and the joint). If there are any differences, I haven’t been able to tell.

What about FDIC insurance? Making a joint account doesn’t give you more FDIC insurance if you already have a joint account. According to the FDIC [6]:

…each co-owner’s shares of every joint account that he or she owns at the same insured bank are added together with his or her other joint account shares at the same bank, and the total is insured up to the SMDIA, currently $250,000.

If I didn’t have a joint account already, then I would get an additional $500,000 of FDIC coverage for the joint account ($250k for me, $250k for my wife) plus the $250k for individual accounts. By using two individual accounts and a joint account, a couple has $1,000,000 of FDIC insurance at any one bank.

If you already had a joint account, you get no extra protection but you do get to cross off a few accounts on your list and make for a simpler system!