I’ve had a high interest savings account with ING Direct going back to 2003.
I was at my parent’s house doing my taxes on their computer with Turbo Tax. At the end of the session an ad popped up with an offer to sign up to ING Direct’s online savings account and get what I recall a $50 bonus. I had heard of them before but being 2003 I was skeptical of online banking. But since ING Direct required only a dollar to sign up I figured it was worth doing for nothing more than the $50 bonus.
So I signed up and waited out the bonus period. Then I realized the interest rate I was getting with ING Direct really was a lot better than my brick and mortar bank. I kept the online account and added to it. And added to it. And bought CD’s. And set up automatic transfers. And told all my friends. Today I can honestly tell you that I have made thousand in interest in my ING Direct savings account! I would not have that with my brick and mortar!
Let me count the ways I love ING Direct:
1. You give me much more interest than my brick and mortar bank.
I recall rates being near 5% at one time. That was great! Even though rates are much lower these days they are still MUCH more than what my other bank offers. Everything counts and everything earns more interest. What I would get in cents with my other bank is dollars with ING Direct!
2. You make it easy to save with automatic transfers.
Setting up automatic savings is such powerful tool to start to accumulate wealth. I always used to tell myself I would put money into savings but by the end of the month whatever was left after bills and rent would get spent leaving nothing for savings. With automatic transfers into my savings account the money goes into the account before it has a chance to be spent.
3. You allow me to create sub-accounts to save for different purposes.
A great option with ING Direct is the ability to create sub-accounts. You can use these accounts to save up for specific purposes. When we were getting married we had a 0% interest offer from Amex. We signed up and charged whatever we could to the card (within our budget of course). Instead of paying back the full amount we only paid back the minimum (remember 0% interest). We tool the balance of the money and put it into a sub-account we created called Amex. When the 0% offer ended we took the money out of our Amex sub-account, which had been earning interest all along, and paid off our balance. We used ING Direct to earn money off of our Amex charges!! That’s just one of the sub-accounts we’ve set up. Another is a sub-account for our daughter to save in so she can see her money grow and learn the power of compound interest.
4. Your customer service is to notch!
I’ve called many a company and service center. ING Direct is consistently one of the best in customer service. They are always nice. They are always helpful. And they know what they are talking about. I’ve called them many times over the years and I haven’t had a bad call experience once. Many a company out there can learn a lot from ING Direct customer service!
5. You give me a bonus for referring friends and give them a bonus too.
ING Direct has an awesome referral program. If you refer a friend and they open an account with at least $250 then they get a bonus of $25 and you get a bonus of $10. Your friends can then refer their friends and so on… Make sure you get to all of your friends and family first!!
6. I save with your CD’s and sometimes you even give me a bonus for rolling them over.
ING Direct CD’s are easy to open up. Like savings, they offer competitive interest rates. They let you set up where you want your money to go when the CD matures including rolling it over into a new CD. Sometimes ING Direct will give you a higher rate to roll over a CD.
7. You bought ShareBuilder.
I was intrigued with ShareBuilder when they were separate but didn’t sign up. When they were acquired by ING Direct I knew they were being handled by a company with great customer service and products and my trust in them grew exponentially. I now invest through ShareBuilder’s automatic investing program (and some real trades). I can now say I own a little piece of Warren Buffet’s empire. Oh yeah, ShareBuilder allows for fractional shares with their automatic investing.
8. Your Electric Orange checking is innovative and you have more ATM location than my brick and mortar.
We recently signed up for an Electric Orange checking account so we’re still discovering ways to use it. Right now it makes for a great way to budget a debit card by only putting a specific amount of money in the account. They also offer interest on their checking as well as bill/pay for your bills. They will even mail out checks for you! What really surprises me is they have more local ATM’s than my brick and mortar (a well known national bank) does.
9. You have a cool Tips & Tools section as well as We The Savers.
Long before frugal was popular, when folks were spending like water, ING Direct had a Tips & Tools section on their site full of savings tips. I read the every month! Then they created a blog, We The Savers, offering readers additional information as well as guest articles from awesome personal finance bloggers (check out my contribution: I’m Not Smart Enough To Save On My Own).
10. You sponsor the NYC marathon.
Awesome! I’ve run it twice and both times it’s been the ING NYC Marathon. Does this help most customers specifically? Maybe not, but the NYC Marathon raises millions for various charities every year and find it real cool that ING Direct sponsors it.
11. You make saving easy and fun!
It always feels great to see how much I’ve earned in interest. I love that they tell you the total since you started with them on their statement. Signing up with ING Direct was a huge turning point in my fight to take control of my finances and eliminate my debt. I earn interest. I save. I continually see the power of compound interest. Seriously, ING Direct is one of my favorite financial products.
These days there are a lot of banks out there that offer online accounts with competitive rates. But I’ve always been happy with ING Direct and their customer service and usability is great! I honestly tell all of my friends about ING Direct and I’ve gotten many thank you’s and no complaints.
Do you have an ING Direct account? What is your experience with them?
(This article contains affiliate links for which I receive a referral fee if you sign up through the link. I love what ING Direct offers whether you sign up through the links here or not.)