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.)
I’ve been contemplating opening an ING savings account, and your testimonial has just about convinced me. Although I am seeing other ads for Ally (there’s even one at the bottom of this post!), I don’t know much about its track record.
Ally is a newer online account. I don’t have much experience with them but they do offer higher interest rates.
I can tell you that ING Direct has awesome customer service! That should be something to consider when looking into accounts.
I like my ing account too, my only problem is that it takes at least 2 days for me to access the account to transfer locally . Is it any quicker for you?
It is true that it takes a little time to transfer from ING to another bank’s checking. That can be great if you are looking to protect savings from impulse buying!
If you want quick access to your ING savings you can open up an Electric Orange checking account. They give you an ATM card that has access to lots of locations. Then you can transfer your savings to checking and withdraw it through the ATM.
Thanks for the info. I opened my ING savings account (through your link) and reconnected with my dormant ShareBuilder account in about 10 minutes total! This was just what I needed…and I only discovered your blog 3 days ago. Thanks again.
Awesome! Glad to hear it. I love that I can see my investment account at the same place as my savings. And transferring to Sharebuilder is easy and quick too and it goes right through!
The only thing keeping me from going with ING is paper checks. No matter how many bills I pay online there’s always those few occasions where you need a paper check. I don’t want to keep two checking accounts just for that purpose.
I hear you. But if you check out ING’s Electric Orange, they will send a check out for you. You don’t need to buy checks anymore!
Understood but like I said, there are many instances where only a paper check will do. That is a deal breaker in my book.
.-= Jude´s last blog ..Bre Pettis demonstrates cheap 3D printer =-.
Even though I’ve used a ton of online savings accounts, I always come back to ING. It’s the easiest, most user-friendly account available, and even though the rates aren’t always the highest, the pros far outweigh any cons.
.-= Jason Unger´s last blog ..Is It Time to Start Enforcing Antitrust Laws Again? =-.
Absolutely! Rates change but their customer service is always high quality.
I have nothing but good things to say about the 2 ING accounts we have. The setup was easy and the automatic transfer options work great….making savings effortless.
.-= Ken´s last blog ..Help Wanted: Organizing Our Finances =-.
The automatic transfers started me off on a road to saving years ago!
I adore my ING account! I’m just a youngin starting out (actually only just starting my first 9 to 5 job next week). I am very excited about being able to save a decent amount of money. ING makes it very easy to do this. Even while I was a uni student and working part time, I was able to make quite a bit in interest on the small amount of savings I had. Unfortunately though, here in Australia there don’t seem to be as many of the perks, no bonus for joining, no bonus for friend referral or anything like that. I still think it is great though!
Sounds like you are starting off much better than I did. It took a long time to get through my thick head the importance of savings.
I’ve been hearing more and more about the sub-accounts in conjunction with the automatic transfers. Sounds like exactly what I’ve been trying to do with multiple credit union accounts with little success. I’ll be giving ING a shot to get cash saved for xmas 2010.
Setting up a holiday savings account is a great way to utilize the sub-accounts!
ING Direct used to be *the* big name Internet bank here in Europe (I believe they were from The Netherlands originally) but over the years they’ve dropped off the pace – and worse, their rates.
Good to hear they’re still doing the business over there… hopefully they’ll come back to form here eventually, rather than cutting your rates, too!
I believe you are correct about them being from the Netherlands. As for rates, the Fed Funds rate has been hovering just above zero here so all savings account rates have lowered as a result. Still, ING’s rate is way ahead of my brick and mortar rate and always has been.
I recently opened up my ING account. I’ve been meaning to for a bit, finally got off my butt and did it after reading this and several other posts about the awesomeness of ING Direct.
Guess where my tax refund is getting socked away?
.-= Mike Lutter´s last blog ..Good Posts You Should Read =-.
Nice! All the best with it.
I like ING. although their interest rates are terrible these days. Otherwise, they are excellent.
I think most banks have pretty low rates compared to a few years ago. Still, I have always found ING’s customer service to be top notch.
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.
Jude, ING Direct now allows you to get a paper checkbook from them.
My experience is that ING is the best of the discount banks. However, Asian banks are vastly superior when it comes to customer service. In addition, Asian banks have better capitalization ratios.
I’m a little nervous about European banks due to the PIIGS crisis.