When I started paying attention to my finances, one of the easiest decisions for me was to start banking at a bank that would pay a high interest rate on my savings. I started by researching a few local banks and found that interest rates were around .5%. Not exactly the type of return I was looking for.
After a little research online, I found out about ING Direct. ING Direct was like no other bank I have been to. Instead of having actual banks where you can walk into and speak to someone face to face, ING was completely online. ING’s low overhead and operating expenses, allowed them to offer about 8 times as much interest on my checking and savings account then I was receiving with my local bank.
Can you also benefit from banking with ING Direct? Read my review to find out if ING Direct is the best option for your savings and checking.
ING Direct Review | Advantages
After careful thought, ING Direct was exactly what I was looking for. Here are some of the advantages to banking with ING Direct.
- High Interest Rate on Checking and Savings- ING’s current rates are not the highest in the industry like it once was, but it’s close enough to the top and still pays a lot more then any brick and mortar bank.
- FDIC Insurance – My account is insured up to $250,000.
- Free Automatic Bill Payment - With ING Direct Orange Checking, I can set up bill payments to go out automatically each month. Plus, I don’t have to pay for mailing.
- No Fees – I will never forget going to sign up for a checking account at a local bank and having the teller explain a list of fees that I could potentially be charged. ING Direct has no fees.
- Very Simple Interface – It’s not the biggest deal to me when I’m choosing a bank, but ING Direct website is very simple to use.
- Sub-Savings Accounts – This is one of my favorite aspects of ING Direct. I can open sub-savings accounts in seconds for each goal I have. Here is a screen shot of what my account looks like:
- Low Minimum Balance – You can open an account with $1.
- Paperless Statements – Having paperless statements reduces my mail and chance of someone stealing my identity through the mail.
- Customer Service – Every time I call ING, I get a person on the phone instantly. There is no phone tree to go through.
- Free ATM Network – By opening a checking account you receive a Mastercard Debit Card. Which comes with access to the Allpoint ATM network, where I can make free withdrawals.
ING Direct Review | Disadvantages
In this review of ING Direct, it wouldn’t be fair if I don’t go over the disadvantages to banking with ING Direct.
- No Physical Bank - This was a new concept for me when I first started banking with ING Direct. However, I got used to not having a physical bank really fast.
- Higher Rates are Available – When ING Direct first opened, they offered one of the highest savings rates you would ever see from a bank because they were they were the only online bank at the time. Now with many online banks opening up, there is a great chance you will find a higher rate from another bank. However, I expect those banks savings rates will eventually come down also. To me rate chasing is a game I don’t want to play. I would much rather spend the time with family and friends then earning an extra hundred or so dollars in savings every year. Plus, there is a lot more risk to rate chasing then some people think. Banks make money by investing your money. The higher the rate they pay you, the riskier the investment they have to make. The risker investment they make, the higher chance of default.
- No POD or Named Beneficiaries - This is one drawback that I hope ING changes soon. A POD or naming a beneficiary is just a simple way to transfer money to someone if you passed away. Not very important to me right now, but could be down the road.