ING Direct Review

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Click here to start saving with ING DIRECT!Several years ago, ING Direct made a name for themselves when they introduced the Orange Savings Account. At the time, the concept of an online savings account was as foreign as its owners, Dutch-owned ING Group, and many folks wondered if the offer was a scam. At the time, I know my credit union’s savings account APY was sub-1% and here ING was offering 2.60%! It was unheard of!

I had my reservations though. First, the company was Dutch so I didn’t know if that had any implications (it doesn’t). I was new to managing my own money so I was always wary of doing something stupid (I still do stupid things). Lastly, I didn’t want to jump too quickly even with the ING Direct $25 referral bonus dangling out there. Fortunately, my comfort with all things online coupled with my inexperience pushed me towards opening an account at ING Direct and I’m glad I did.

Since then, many banks have begun offering high interest savings accounts and ING Direct has ceased to be one of the top interest rates out there… but it still has some merits and a warm place in my heart.

Account Signup

Signing up for an account takes mere minutes and is actually one of the strengths of ING Direct when ING first started. Back then, opening an account online was practically unheard of. You always had to visit a physical branch so that a teller or account representative could go through the screens themselves. Now, a quick account signup process is the norm.

Account Features

One feature that is noticeably absent from many other online banks is the ability to add new accounts as quickly. Once your first account is opened, subsequent accounts can be added in mere seconds. Everything managed through the same login, which recently benefited from a face lift, and it really does help you save more.

For example, opening new savings accounts are trivial and, given the ability to name them whatever you’d like, you can easily open an account for the purposes of a saving goal. If you have a big expense, such as a vacation, coming up in the future you can set up an account specifically for that. Once you set up an account, you can establish automatic transfers between all of your linked accounts (ING Direct accounts are automatically linked). So, you could set up a monthly transfer from your checking account to your ING Direct savings account and then intra-ING Direct transfer from your main ING Direct account to your vacation savings account. This transferring feature isn’t unique to ING Direct but the ability to add new accounts so easily is.

ING offers a CD laddering form that makes CD laddering a cinch. While the interest rates aren’t especially competitive, the 12 month CD is 3.40% APY and the 60 month CD is 4.00% APY (compared to FNBO Direct’s 3.50% APY high yield savings account), this feature is the only one of its kind I’ve seen available anywhere. When their CD rates become more competitive, I can see this form getting a lot more use.

Overall, I was very pleased with ING Direct. While their rates have lagged their competitors lately, I think the intuitive and friendly interface really puts new online banking customers at ease. I have accounts at Emigrant Direct and HSBC Direct and their banking screens look very antiseptic and austere. While you can’t judge a book by its cover, ING Direct does a great job putting the softer elements into its interface that puts someone at easy.

{ 46 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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46 Responses to “ING Direct Review”

  1. audbarr23 says:

    Thanks for this review. I opened an account and I am very happy with it.

  2. Mark says:

    Yesterday I contacted ING about transferring money that has been in their account for 4 or 5 years. The representative that answered the phone for them had the audacity to ask me, “Why are you transferring money is this to pay a bill or why do you need this done.” My response was not very nice and I promptly asked him what business it was or why he needed to know that information. What business is it of a bank as to why I transfer any monetary amounts between accounts. Ing’s response has been rather formal and has not addressed the issue of what or how their representative made me feel. Why in the world do you need to have people answering phones who ask about personal business or to why something is done. IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. If this continues I will close my accounts and take my money elsewhere. Horrendous

  3. Chip says:

    BE CAREFUL I had my mother set up with ING for 2 years to get interest on her money. She has Alzheimer’s and I have a power of attorney for her. Since I set up the account and had all the passwords this was not a problem until we needed to file for Medicaid and I made the mistake of transferring the last funds back to her Regions Bank account and chose YES when asked if I wanted to close account. DO NOT EVER DO THIS is you want to ever get your data again. ING locks out your account and you can no longer get your transaction history or statements. It has taken me 5 phone calls, 2 secure emails and a fax just to get a letter for my Medicaid package that said the account was closed with a zero balance. It’s taken 2 more phone calls and 2 more faxes to finally get them to send to my mother her statements. They do not recognize a power of attorney. I have NEVER had this much difficulty with a financial institution to provide documents for which I am legally entitled.

    BE CAREFUL the current low interest rates are not worth the fact that you have to deal with them by phone and their onerous policies. All their correspondence to me basically said TS.

  4. shane says:

    I just got a 5 year mortgage (not an arm but a 5 year with a balloon payment) in October @ 2.55%

    The closing went easy with most of it doen online. I choose to do final closing at my house which went well.

    Payments are every 2 weeks. I set up a principal only payment for once a month. Everything is running like clock work. I came from a 30 year mort with 6.125 interest rate at the cred union. Ive had the load since 2002 so have been paying on it (with extra to prin) for about 9 years. Im taking the difference between payments and putting that directly to principal so I should have the mortgage paid off as of month 60.

    Rally glad I did this.

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