Why Banking With ING Direct Rocks

I NEVER thought that I’d be writing about how much I love banking! As a matter of fact, I’m laughing and shaking my head in disbelief as I write this…

This article is a bit of a followup to my previous article about borrowing from big banks, which sparked quite a lively and interesting debate. Today, I’d like to spend time addressing banking as it relates to personal checking and savings accounts. More specifically, I’m going to share a bit about how I finally found a bank that works for me, and what a blessing that is!

Why so sour on banking?

Good question! After re-reading my article about big banks from two weeks ago you’d think that I was Anti-Bank Man — brought into this world to highlight and condemn all the failures and atrocities of the entire banking world. Perhaps I could even have a super hero outfit… But I digress.

In truth, my disdain for the banking industry has come through good, old fashioned conditioning. Sooner or later, every bank I’ve dealt with has disappointed me in one way or another. While I recognize that some of the fault lies squarely on my shoulders, my contempt for banks is largely driven by something as widespread and rampant as any infectious disease the world has ever known: FEES.

It’s amazing the way banks ALWAYS seem to nickel and dime me to death (no offense Nickel!). Fees upon fees upon fees upon fees… That’s been my biggest complaint over the years. I haven’t been wrongfully charged, but bank policies are typically designed to maximize the fees they collect their customers. And why wouldn’t they? After all, they’re “for profit” businesses with shareholders to answer to?

I felt so inspired so I whipped up a little poem about it, I hope you enjoy…

Bank Fees by Matt Jabs
Fees for this and fees for that
Fees for skinny and fee’s for fat
Fees for breakfast to start the day
Fees for business and fees for play
Fees for moms and fees for dads
Even for lasses and even for lads
What can you do to keep fees at bay?
Open an account with ING Direct today!

So what’s the answer?

I can happily and honestly say that, up until I started banking with ING Direct, I was never a satisfied customer. For me, it was always about deciding who sucked the least and then banking with them.

Regarding credit unions, I’ve never had the right relationships, or known the right people to get in. Thus, I was always left picking amongst banks I knew I wasn’t going to like. It’s kind of like having to pick between the two non-athletic kids for your basketball team in high school. Ugh.

I was motivated to open my ING Direct accounts after reading about them on scores of other personal finances blogs. After five months of working with ING Direct, I’m happy to report that I’ve never been happier with a bank. In fact, if it was possible, I’d walk up and give them a big kiss.

And so today I’d like to share with you the top five things I enjoy about being an ING Direct customer for both personal checking and high yield savings. In the end, I’m hoping to convince you to join ING Direct just as I did. It really has been a blessing.

Why ING Direct Rocks

  1. Clear, honest, and upfront about fees. Does ING Direct charge fees for some things? Yes, but they are 100% clear and upfront about their fees. Not only that, but they don’t charge exorbitant amounts like other banks. In addition, their fees are all for things I’d expect to pay for. What I’m most impressed with is how they almost always offer you a free alternative before having to charge you the fee. Fees are only charged for:
    • Overdraft Line of Credit – This is a “line of credit” on which you pay an interest rate… Not a $29+ fee like every other bank I have ever dealt with.
    • Overnight Delivery of a Check – The fee for this is $20, but they also offer free check delivery through standard first-class mail if you can wait a couple of days.
    • Overnight Delivery of a Replacement Card – The fee here is $25, but there is no charge for standard delivery of a replacement card
    • Stop Payment – There is a $25 fee to cover administrative costs, and presumably to discourage unnecessary check stoppages.
    • Foreign Transactions – If you use your debit card for a foreign transaction, they add a fee 2% of the transaction amount to your charge.
  2. Easy creation of as many sub-accounts as you want. My wife and I absolutely love this feature! We use it to set and stick to our savings goals.
  3. Automatic savings plan. This is ING’s nifty feature that allows you to — as the title states — set things up such that your savings contributions automatically get divvied up into different accounts.
  4. Overdraft line of credit – While I don’t really need this thanks to my $1, 000 checking account buffer, it’s comforting to know that it’s there. Instead of getting nailed with a $29+ fee if they make a mistake, customers are given a line of credit and charged a minimal interest rate based on their credit score.
  5. Electric Orange bill pay. I know a lot of banks have a bill pay service, many charge a fee while ING offers it to their customers for free. Beyond that, ING’s bill pay interface is by far the best of all that I’ve tried.

Just like every other article I write, I’m sure there will be those that disagree with some of my points, and that’s fine with me. The important thing is that I’ve developed a system that works GREAT for my wife and I. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I’m happy with my bank! Yay!

What about you?

Does your bank rock? If not, are you looking to move? Are you an ING Direct fan like me? I highly recommend it, but if you bank elsewhere and love it, please let us know.

51 Responses to “Why Banking With ING Direct Rocks”

  1. Anonymous

    1. Cheap Way to Purchase Stocks

    Can’t afford the entire portfolio of custom picked stocks? ING has what I like to call “fractional investing”; this interface allows investors to create and diversified bundle of securities by allocated a specific amount of money toward the purchase of those securities. So instead of throwing large sums of money at the market or at certain stocks all at once and hindering individuals disposable income, they have the ability to build toward the purchase of the stock in question. This allows new and fiscally modest investors to be diversified with out owing the entire stock of a company. By putting money aside daily, weekly, or monthly, investors can grow their allocation slowly and not have to worry about not owning a company with large stock price.

  2. Anonymous

    That post might convince some security-minded people to open an ING account. It’s easy to log in, and you can use a name of your own choosing rather than a customer number if you set that up. I have so many passwords that I have a hard time getting into places online, but ING is easy because it is answering questions and a simple PIN.

  3. Anonymous

    re: ING Security.

    1) If I’m on a public computer or a computer that is not mine, than the 3 steps are required. THANK GOODNESS.

    2) If I’m on MY computer, it’s a simple one time process to “register” my computer and have ING “remember” my customer number. The only thing I have to input on my personal computer is my pin #. And that is shorter than my email password.

    Security when it comes to my money and my identity is very important. However, I wanted to clarify the complaint above because it is NOT accurate.

  4. Anonymous

    @Jeff: Is it really that much work… seriously?

    To those who do not have ING here is what you have to do to login:

    1. Enter customer #
    2. Enter 2 security answers
    3. Enter your pin #

    I mean, it is more than you have to do to get into your email… but this isn’t email, it’s banking. You be the judge.

  5. Anonymous

    I just closed out my ING savings account. Their security is soo excessive to the point of rediculous. I answered all their security questions and the CS guy asked me if my high school mascot was plural or singular… lol… what a joke. I was stoked about ing when i opened my account, but it would be nice to be able to use their online tools once in a while w/o all this security nonsense. Banking should not be this frustrating.

    “We take security seriously”… lol No, it would probably be easier to get into ft. knox than into your ing account.

    funds transferring to my other bank now. Good bye ING.

  6. Anonymous

    @Mike #44: thank you for the links, I’ll give them a shot and see if I can find any good info. I’m still looking for a local that belongs to a great CU and can refer me.

    @Hello #45: In my experience they have always charged transactions simply… as they come through.

  7. Anonymous

    @Bernard #42: I will have an invite on the way as soon as I get your last name. I need it for the invitation process.

    For future submissions… I need your Fname, Lname, and email address. Also remember that you have to open the account with a minimum of $250 in order to get the $25 bonus.


  8. Anonymous

    I want to get back with ING mainly for the unlimited free transfers! I had Wamu but now that Chase took over its fees all around.
    I know about the $25 new acccount bonus by August 22, is there a referral bonus? Is so refer me would ya.
    I want to open one by tomorrow the latest.



  9. Anonymous

    I’ll be firing my local bank. They have adopted a habit of hanging on to deposits and running all of my debits first in order to wring overdraft fees from me. The worst part: I’ve been a customer of this bank for six years. Customer loyalty is out the window when a bank starts pilfering money from my account.

  10. Anonymous

    Yes ING Direct Rocks–Big Time! Checking account; savings account; IRA account; Sharebuilder investment account and now a Easy Orange Home loan. I love banking with ING Direct!

  11. Anonymous

    @Matt, actually the interest rate is 7.25% on over draft line of credit regardless of credit score. Being approved, is based on your credit score as well as how much over draft you are offered – some folks are only offered small $ and others are offered more than the 1k you speak of. One of my friends was offered $165 and I was offered that all the way up to 3k, my mom was offered 10k!

  12. Anonymous

    Well crap, I thought I left a comment a few days ago but it’s not showing up..

    Anyways, I agree with the general consensus. ING rocks my world as well! It’s funny, when I rave about ING to my friends/family who maybe aren’t quite as nutty about personal finances as myself, I never get much of an excited response back. I guess it probably is hard to believe that a bank can really separate itself that much from local options that many people stick with!

  13. Anonymous

    Because I have an Electric Orange “checking” account, doing sub-accounts for a variety of things that have to be saved for seems pointless. The ability to easily transfer back and forth and then use the debit card to withdraw cash or make a purchase makes it so easy. Not the goal I am certainly looking for; the bonus to this is one wants to transfer to an external checking account takes 3-5 business days. Immediate satisfaction to buy something “yesterday” wouldn’t transpire; so, that noted, it would hopefully prevent me from going through with a transfer.

    The glass half full would be that I cut up my debit card, preventing me access to it….perhaps having my SO hang on to it would be another way to keep from spending the savings…. 😀

  14. Anonymous

    Thank you SO MUCH for linking to the tutorial on how to open sub-accounts. I opened an ING account solely based on the recommendation of this website (the $25 was just an added bonus), because I thought I had read on here that you could do sub-accounts and that’s what I need to keep my savings organized (and un-touched!). I couldn’t figure out to do it though, so this was great.

  15. Anonymous

    I’m a big fan of ING, enjoying a savings account, checking account, and a nice 12-month CD that I locked in last year at a great rate. I was just on their site, and as of today they have a new 6-month CD rate of 1.65%, which is fantastic, comparatively speaking.

  16. Anonymous

    I like ING a lot. I’ve never paid a fee, but haven’t done that with any bank. I’ve got 6 banks and a credit union, and the only one I’m thinking of getting rid of is Wells Fargo. Mainly because I see consumer complaints on the local news show. I haven’t had a problem with my money being there, but they offer cash bonuses for new customers and then don’t pay them. I watch bank news, and noticed that they and B of A are not paying back the government relief money yet. Sometimes I think that Wells Fargo is trying to compete with the badness of B of A!

  17. Anonymous

    @Sasha #31: You can choose between different amounts up to as much as $1,000 when you open the Electric Orange account, but they base the interest rate they charge you on your credit score.

  18. Anonymous

    I was wondering with the ING checking and the line of credit overdraft protection, do you have to apply and be approved for it or is it an automatic overdraft thing that comes with the account?

    I have the ING Direct savings account, and I am considering opening the checking with them too because it would be more convenient for me than my local credit union (how ironic!). This is a major move for me because I would be starting my all online banking with this jump…

  19. Anonymous

    I hate ing. I had their savings account for a year but trying to login was so difficult. security is one thing but their system is hard to use. I have lots of login accounts on other web sites and ing takes top prize for usability problems. they also charged me a big withdrawl fee on my 401k when I had to pay my cancer medical bills (separate from early withdrawl penalty, tiaa-cref didn’t charge me extra).

  20. Anonymous

    I have a savings a/c with ING for over 6 years. Based on thier ads, I opened a checking account as well. It asked me 2 options for overdraft protection levels – there was no option for not needing overdraft protection. Not sure what the amount of overdraft was, it was $65 or $165, while I keep a few thousands in ING savings. Only later I came to know they ran a credit check on me – I would never have opened the a/c if I knew they would run a credit check – I use ING for saving and that is it. Was really disappointed with that. I now use ING as a transit account for transferring money between banks electronically to avoid the need to visit a branch – hardly keep any money except for routing to sharebuilder.

    Also, their Sharebuilder fees are too high – though their DRIP is a really good option – as I hardly need the trivial amount that comes from dividends and it is too expensive to buy shares with the small amount. so they have weaknesses, but, overall a good experience and worth keeping. I am not closing the account anytime soon

  21. Anonymous

    I love love love ING and can’t say enough good about them.

    I’ve been a savings account member since 2001 and opened an electric orange a few years ago when it first became available.

    We had never used our ING account for instant funds, so the transfer delay was fine for us.

    By the way, the maximum number of accounts you can have is (1) checking and (25) savings and yes, we’ve maxed it out! I keep my kids savings under our account (I don’t mind the interest reporting, it’s better than the income that’ll count against them for grants for college).

    I love that we can use our debit card for large purchases without trouble, I love that we have automatic savings plans set up without any ongoing maintenance necessary. I love that our funds are direct deposited without hassle. I love that I can make a quick deposit by simply dropping money into my credit union account and have it automatically transfered over to ING.

    Of course, I was with E*Trade for years prior to switching to ING’s electric orange so exclusively online banking has been in my blood for many years now. I do not mind the very minor inconveniences of having an online account. Totally FREE and flexibility far outweigh any minor negatives.

  22. Anonymous

    @JY #24: This post is written in regard to checking/savings accounts. I have never used ING for mutual funds, although I do plan on looking into it.

    @GM #25 & Thomas #20: ING definitely does NOT have the highest rates, but they are a much more conservative institution than many others. Their conservative stance has enabled them to steer clear of bail out money.

  23. Anonymous

    I’ve been an ING customer since 2003, and I’ve been mostly happy with them, but I still keep accounts elsewhere because:
    1. It takes a few days to transfer money in and out of the account.
    2. I can’t deposit checks at an ATM (I’m not 100% sure about this)
    3. They put a hold on newly deposited balance so you can’t withdraw for a few days.
    4. I didn’t like their marketing tactics for their mutual funds. For instance, their “index funds” are not really index funds and come with very high expense ratio. I do not feel that ING is “clear, honest, and upfront” because of this.

  24. Anonymous

    @ Angela, in regards to opening kids accounts so that you do not have to claim the interest on your income tax, you just have to open an account with the child as the primary. Since children can not have a pin number you do have to call ingdirect to OPEN the account but then after that because I am joint with my children I can manage the accounts on line since I am their joint account holder! It works great, the kids get the tax statement at the end of the year and since they do not make enough income to claim income tax they just file the paperwork away – good luck!

  25. Anonymous

    I’ve been happy with ING as a savings account. There is one thing keeping me from utilizing them as my main bank. It’s there depositing of checks.

    You have to have a linked account to transfer funds or you mail them the check.

    My local Credit Union allows me to scan my check on my local scanner and send it through their web-interface. I get access to the money the next business day. If INGDirect did that, I’d be all over it as a checking account.

  26. Anonymous

    I’ve been with ING in savings for 4 years. I love the ease of use, no min deposit to open, referrals paid, $25 bonus for opening with $250 or more, ease of adding subaccounts, by which I save for emergencies, clothes, holidays, 3 kids at $25/mo each, and so on.

    I’m so glad for ING. I do wonder, however, what market share they’d gain by increasing their interest rate to .1% over the national average. Lately I’ve been tempted by the fruit of another, offering 1.9% which would mean $120/year to me. I try not to be a rate jumper.

  27. Anonymous

    @Rebecca #18: Thanks for sharing you experience. I know that ING has been reading this post, so hopefully they treat your comments as gold and use your experience to continually improve upon their existing systems & policies.

  28. Anonymous

    @Jessica #12: I feel you on switching banks.

    I just moved and got a new local bank account. I wanted to change my linked accounts online because I got a student checking account which didn’t include free checks. Being a college student and not really needing paper checks (I pay everything online), I skipped buying them. Well, because I just moved, I went in to change my information on ING Direct. Then I went to link my new checking account with my ING account. It wouldn’t let me. So I called customer service and asked what the problem was. They told me that because I just changed my phone number, I cannot add a link online for 30 days. Well, I need to close my linked account and switch to my new one. I asked if there was any way around that. The only options they gave me was to move my money out into my existing account before closing it, or get a checking account through them. They then told me that once that 30 days is up, I might not even be able to link my account because my new outside source checking account might not be compatible. After speaking with the manager and being insulted (the manager told me that I don’t understand security measures–he didn’t know I work in Information Security dealing with sensitive information, encryption, bank numbers, protected health information, etc — at Stanford University School of Medicine), not getting any assistance in resolving my problem, and being continually told my only option was to open an account I don’t want, I decided that I would close my account. I will never bank with ING Direct again. I’ve been a loyal customer there, had plenty of money in my sub-accounts, and had recommended them on various occasions, but I was shafted in the end. I regret recommending them.

  29. Anonymous

    re: ing security

    Well, the default way to enter your pin is to click buttons with a mouse… that seems to me to be better, because then people can’t get your login information from a keystroke logger. Which means better security.

  30. Anonymous

    I am an ING customer/investor and trade with ING; 11.45 one way on option is steep; platform needs serious upgrade;to 21st century; batching times to post are annoying; but overall a truly great resource; a few pennies more but aggravation saved by internet command and control is cool; ING solves many unique problems in considerate ways; not every investor is Warren Buffet; mucho bueno ING; Super Concept, followed through with; sorry about the dangling prepostion; thanx for the time to write; have the best weekend

  31. Anonymous

    I love ING and have been recommending it to everyone I know since I opened my savings account several years ago. I started my account because they were offering the best interest rates around. I did open a checking account there but haven’t tried it out yet.

    I also have about 5 sub-accounts for different savings goals. It’s so easy to open the additional accounts; it only takes about a minute. I love it.

    In response to a previous commenter: As for the security, I’ve never had trouble logging in and I like that they make me jump through some hoops. It doesn’t seem any less secure than my other bank’s site and my credit cards’ sites (which are all major banks). I’ve also had many friends open accounts without any problems using the bonus links I’ve sent them.

  32. Anonymous

    @Mike #2: I’m trying to find a SOLID local credit union to use in addition to my ING Direct.

    @GaelicWench #6: I have yet to try their IRA savings.

    @Baker #7: Agreed!

    @Angela #8: The sub-accounts are INCREDIBLY useful. I need to utilize them even more.

    @Ryan #9: I have an invitation ready for you, just need your email address. Keep in mind that you have to deposit at least $250 to get the bonus. My address is Matt[at]DebtFreeAdventure.com

  33. Anonymous

    What you say about ing direct is true. However, after the experience I had yesterday, I’ll be transferring my account asap. When I tried to log in, it asked me my ‘security questions.’ I answered them, correctly. It denied access and offered a help option. I clicked that and was asked the same security questions with the same results.

    Here is the really troublesome part: I shut down the site and then returned, just a moment later. Got in with no trouble at all, slick as could be — even though, just moments before, it apparently appeared to them that someone without authorization was trying to access my account.

    I tried setting up an account with ing sometime ago using a ‘bonus’ link and could never get in. Because of the enthusiastic reviews i’d seen, mainly on this site, I tried again, without bonus and was accepted.

    Now I’m shopping again. Use ing if you want to — but be aware that their security is severely lacking.

  34. Anonymous

    I LOVE ING! I have several savings accounts there plus an electric orange checking account. I just opened a Roth there this week although I’m still trying to figure out what to invest in.

    The subaccount feature and automatic savings plan rocks. I can’t recommend it enough!

  35. Anonymous

    I opened an ING savings account earlier this year. I did quite a bit of research on it and liked the option of sub accounts. Because we live paycheck to paycheck, we opt to get a tax rebate (I know…that may be a subject for another time) because that works for our family. When I get it, I break it apart into my sub accounts: Housing Taxes & Insurance (we don’t escrow), Life Insurance, Preschool/Daycare, Car Tabs, Newspaper/Costco Membership, Emergancy Account. I know this money is coming. We put the money in this account because it is not easily accessed – but easy enough if we need it to be. Those types of bills which would be co-mingled into 1 savings account, maybe used up because of one emergancy. I really like this type of set up and appreciate the ease of setting up a direct deposit weekly into my emergancy savings account as well. Not much goes in weekly, but over the long haul, it will make a very big difference.

    One other thing I liked is when I opened my account, I openeded it with money I had been given from Birthdays/Christmas from people. I opened it and got a $25.00 bonus for opening it. That was extra money I did not have.

    One thing I am looking to do in the near future is to open up sub accounts for my kids (so far I have not found how I will be able to open kids accounts so I am not taxed). My kids don’t have much money in their savings accounts so being hit for taxes will not really be a big deal. If anyone knows if they offer childrens savings accounts, please let me know!

  36. Anonymous

    “How can we help you save today”

    Is one of the coolest ways to answer the phone in the world. It’s one of the primary reasons I still bank with ING Direct.

    There customer service is why even though they DONT do international wire transfers that I kept my account! 🙂

  37. Anonymous

    Gotta admit that ING does indeed “rock.” One feature of theirs I truly love is the electronic check I can send through the recipient’s email address.

    One time I needed to send my son some money, so, did it electronically. He gave me his bank account information and email; all I did was put in the information and amount and my son got it in about two days. A really great feature.

    What are your thoughts on their IRA Savings? Is it worth it?

  38. Anonymous

    I can’t say I’ve had much of a problem with banking fees. I don’t use ING Direct, but one of large national banks and have enough money in CDs to get commission free trading through their brokerage arm, which is a major perk for me.

  39. Anonymous

    I’m with you Matt. I’ve been an ING customer since 2001 and I’ve never had a problem with them. I started with a savings account in 2001 and switched to their checking account about 6 months ago.

    I still have a small no fee checking account with BOA, so that if I have any checks that I need to deposit I don’t have to mail them to ING. I can simply deposit them into my BOA account then transfer it to ING.

    I also like getting interest on my checking account, instead of paying a fee. I don’t make much in interest, but hey every penny counts.

  40. Anonymous

    I have an ING savings account because of the high interest rates; but I do love my regular bank – USAA Federal Savings Bank, for everything else. There are no ridiculous fees, it is mostly an on-line bank (I think there is an actual branch in San Antonio). They do not charge ATM fees, AND even pay me back the fees that other banks charge!!! I also use them for my auto & home owner’s insurance. Their Customer Service is PHENOMENAL!

    There are special requirements in order to get their insurance, but I believe Banking with them can be from anyone. USAA is AWESOME!

  41. Anonymous

    I use a Credit Union and it rocks. In Missouri for many Credit Unions there are no requirements to join.

    My Credit Union gives 4% interest on my checking account (it was 5% until about a month ago) for any balance up to $25,000 (then it’s 1% on any amount over $25,000). They require three things from you to get the 4% interest rate. First, you have to get paperless statements (so they save on mailing you monthly statements). Second, you have to have a direct-deposit occur at least once a month (like a paycheck from your work; social security payments as well as military retirement payments can count). Third, you have to use your debit card 13 times a month.

    We usually use our credit card to pay for things so we can get the points/bonus cash. So in order to meet the “13 times a month” we simply use our debit card on any store purchase under $5. This way we don’t lose out on too many points/bonus cash through our credit card company.

    If you don’t meet the requirements for a certain month, then you get 1% interest on everything.

    The great thing about this is that it is a Checking Account not a Savings Account.

  42. I got my start in online banking with ING Direct, but have since branched out. We have CDs with Ally (formerly GMAC) and savings accounts with ING, HSBC, FNBO, and a couple of others. I opened these for a variety of reasons, including higher rates, curiosity, and also to be able to write accurate reviews of them here on FCN. We don’t use them all, but have never gotten around to closing them.

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