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ING Direct’s Four Responsible Banking Features

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Have you ever tried to open up a second bank account at your existing bank? Usually you need to go in, fill out some paperwork, and go through the dog and pony show you went through the first time. They take your ID, they do a thirty second credit check, and they basically waste a ton of your time doing something they were going to approve you for anyway. Why would a bank ever say “No, we don’t want you to put your money here. We don’t want to charge you overdraft fees and we don’t want to charge you account maintenance fees.”? If that’s the case, why waste your time by forcing you to actually show up somewhere to do something that’s absolutely meaningless? Well, that’s only one of the reasons why I like ING Direct despite its laggard interest rates compared to other online banks.

After a little poking around recently, I noticed that they had a whole bunch of very simple features (none of which are really “wow OMG I can’t believe they offer this!” type of features, but all of which are make it easy for someone to be a responsible banker) that were definitely pluses if you’re thinking about opening an account somewhere and getting the highest interest rate (and rate chasing) isn’t your thing.

Creating New Accounts

Saving for something special? Creating a firewall bank account? All you need to do is log in and go to “Open An Account,” which will take you through an abridged version of the account opening process since they already have your information. I’ve created a firewall account to interface with my PayPal account, keeping only a dollar in there just in case something bad happens.

Automatic Savings Plan

The whole “pay yourself first” mantra is so easy with their interface of an “Automatic Savings Plan.” Granted, it’s really just automatic debits and many banks offer this but the fact that they put it out there and make the interface so simple is a plus.

Laddering CDs

Opening up a Certificate of Deposit takes maybe a minute (it’s considered another account, so really it’s a similar process to the above) once you learn the process and I currently have set up laddered CDs using their ultra-competitive 6-month CD rates. I’m currently two months into the process with two CDs, one earning 5.25% and maturing in 08 March and one earning 4.90% and maturing in 01 April of next year.

Interface

While the bulk of my funds currently reside at Emigrant Direct (they are slowly being laddered into ING CD’s month after month), who recently dropping their rates from 5.05% to 4.75%, ING really does make things remarkably simple through their online interface. I think ING sets the bar when it comes to interfaces among online banks and I challenge anyone to point out one that’s any better.

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8 Responses to “ING Direct’s Four Responsible Banking Features”

  1. Traciatim says:

    I agree. I live in Canada so I decided I wanted to open up a US dollar saving account through ING, since I figure even if it’s a year or two the Canadian dollar will probably be lower soon.

    I logged in, clicked open, selected my account type, told it how much initial funding I wanted and it’s all done. The whole process maybe took 1 minute (maybe 2 since I’m not the fastest reader).

    I’ve been with ING for quite some time, from opening an account, moving funds, to finding information, everything just seems straight forward and well planned.

  2. thomas says:

    I love everything about ING except their rates. You are spot on with all your points.

    The only thing I don’t do/like is cd laddering. right now, if you don’t have a large sum of money, it seems to be a lot of work for very minimal gain. But, it’s investing and a penny saved is a penny earned, however slow it may be.

  3. lulu says:

    I am another big fan of ING. I currently use their electric orange as my main checking account because it pays interest and is so incredibly easy to use. I keep trying to get my friends to open accounts with ING but so far only two people have done so.
    I see that ING’s rates are lower than some other places but I am not making a big deal about it. They are very easy to use and that balances out the rate for me. Besides, any rate is better than zero!

  4. I LOVE ING Direct. Their website is extremely user friendly and have a great track record. I do wish their rates were a notch higher and that transferring to and from was quicker (but I guess that is the nature of online banks).

    I agree with you that ING has some rock solid uses for their accounts and pretty much everyone should take advantage of this.

    Chris Kakaras
    http://www.chriskakaras.com

  5. RV says:

    Is it possible to open more than one Joint Account at ING? Example:

    1st Account: Emergency Funds – Joint Account.
    2nd Account: Investments – Joint Account.
    3rd Account: Savings For Home – Joint Account.
    4th Account: Savings Account for Kids.

    Can all the above 4 accounts be linked to a single checking account?

    Cheers
    RV

  6. Ron White says:

    RV,

    Yes, it is possible. In fact, it’s quite easy. Once you have logged into your account, simply create a new account and it will show up instantly in your account list.

  7. RV says:

    Ron White,

    Thank You for your input. It is highly appreciated.

    Cheers
    RV

  8. Steve says:

    ING is so very user friendly. So friendly, in fact, that it has spoiled me. Recently I opened a small online account with a local bank to get $50 for setting up a direct deposit, and another $50 for setting up bill paying. WOW… what a difference… talk about difficult. The online web pages at the local bank look like a regular account which has been adapted for online banking. The site has 2 balances. One balance (Available Balance) is updated instantly. The other balance is updated overnight. I just went online to see exactly what they call the 2nd balance.. and can’t get online!!

    ING really did their homework when it comes to online banking. Yes, their rates are slightly lower than others. I’ll live with that. What I really love is when I transfer money from my ING Savings account to my ING Orange Checking, the transfer takes place INSTANTLY.

    GO ING !


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