Update: ING Direct is now Capital One 360. Check out our review here.
When you think high interest savings account and colors, a few come to mind. Ally Bank is extremely purple, HSBC Advance is all about being red, and ING Direct is best known for being orange. In fact, ING Direct is the only online bank that advertises their colorful brand, offering electric orange checking accounts, orange savings accounts and orange CD’s. One of the most well-respected banks in the online space today, there’s a lot more to ING Direct than you might think.
The name ING is a unique one and stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep (International Netherlands Group in English). The bank was founded in 1991 and its headquarters are currently located in Amsterdam. ING Group has over 100,000 employees located in over 40 countries making it the most international of online banks. You might not know it but ING Group is the largest financial institution in the world (in terms of revenue generated), and if the picture of its headquarters below tells you anything about the bank, it’s that they like to show off.
ING Product Offering
Unlike other online banks, ING Direct offers a wide variety of products and services you’re not used to seeing. Whether you’re an individual, or a business, ING Direct has deposit accounts, loans and even retirement plans that can help you manage your finances in a more responsible way. The current accounts available from ING Direct are as follows:
- Orange Savings Account
- Electric Orange Checking
- Orange CD’s
- Easy Orange Mortgage
- Orange Mortgage
- ShareBuilder (online discount broker)
- Business Savings Account
- Business CD’s
- ShareBuilder 401k
If you can remember that far back, there was a time when a customer was loyal to one bank for all of their financial needs. This meant home loans, checking and savings accounts, CD’s, installment loans … all came from the same brick and mortar bank down the street. ING Direct is the first and one of the only online institutions where this ideal is even possible, making them a customer favorite since they launched online in 2000.
ING Direct Savings Account (Orange Savings)
The ING Direct Orange Savings Account currently offers a 0.80% APY, which is on the low end of most online banks today. It wasn’t long ago that ING Direct was offering on the high end, but this was one of the first banks to drop rates on a regular basis.
One of the cool things ING Direct is currently offering is a sweepstakes to win $5,000 or $50,000 towards you’re monthly savings goal. All you have to do is open up an ING Direct Savings or Checking account, contribute $100 a month (as a recurring deposit) towards a savings goal and you’re automatically entered.
Opening a savings account with ING Direct is a simple, four-step process:
- Enter your personal information (name, address, etc.) and create your pin number
- Read and accept the account disclosures
- Make your first deposit electronically from an existing checking or savings account
- Review and submit your application.
ING Direct Checking Account (Electric Orange)
If you’re looking to take advantage of what ING Direct has to offer, then look no further than their Electric Orange checking account. The current interest rate in tiered in the following way:
Account Balance Interest Rate (APY)
Under $50,000 0.20%
Between $50,000 and $100,000 0.85%
Over $100,000 0.90%
In addition to the great savings rate, the Electric Orange account from ING Direct also provides the following benefits, free of charge.
- Free MasterCard debit card for all purchases
- Free Online Bill Pay
- Free access to over 35,000 ATM’s
- Free postage on checks initiated from within your account (Coolest of all features)
ING Direct Certificates of Deposits (Orange CD’s)
If you’re looking for a great place to start your CD ladder, make sure you avoid ING Direct because while they are fantastic at providing competitive interest rates for their online savings and checking accounts, the CD interest rate they offer is abysmal compared to the best CD rates available. Looking at the CD table below, you can see that the product offering isn’t quite good enough to consider opening up a CD account.
The overall verdict on ING Direct is a positive one, with a stable brand, expanding business and product selection that is like no other online bank today. Unfortunately ING Direct’s savings account and CD offering is lacking in the interest rate department, however, if you have at least $50,000 in capital to put into a checking account, you’ll find a great set of tools to help you manage that money while earning a solid interest rate.