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I'm looking for a good savings account that's 100% online and provides a good interest rate. I saw ING Direct (http://home.ingdirect.com/products/products.asp?s=OrangeSavingsAccount) and it this looks decent. Has anyone used this? Anything to look out for?

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You should make your requirements more obvious. So far, I gather that you want 1) 100% online banking 2) a "good" interest rate 3) some information about ING Direct Orange Savings from someone with experience using it 4) possible issues of which to be aware. –  George Marian Sep 3 '10 at 4:39
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up vote 10 down vote accepted

I've used ING Direct for several years. Never had any problems with them. They were (and maybe still are?) ahead of the curve on security arrangements.

You don't need to have a brick and mortar bank to transfer money in, but it is faster and easier if you do. (At least this is true with my mail account -- see next item.)

You don't have to have an online account. You can bank entirely by mail if you want. (At least I have one account set up this way, I assume you can still open an account by mail.)

They offer CDs with somewhat mediocre rates that are easy to open and fund online from your savings account.

The website is relatively simple to use.

I have never had any problems with transfers in or out.

When you have to call, you get a human on the phone, quickly. Someone who speaks American English with reasonable diction. (At least it used to be this way, I don't think I've called them in over a year.)

I'm a fan of ING, but I do wish they managed to keep their rates on top of the chief competition.

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"Ahead of the curve" on security arrangements would be real two-factor authentication: having a little RSA keyfob or equivalent. (E*Trade will actually do that and has a banking service not unlike ING, but with inferior rates.) The numeric PIN and "security question" dog-and-pony show is really more security theater than anything else. –  fennec Sep 8 '10 at 4:58
    
@fennec - Very true. I guess they aren't really ahead of the curve any more. When I opened the account several years ago, they were ahead of others. Their arrangements haven't changed much over the years. Unfortunately, they're still ahead of other financial institutions that I work with. –  bstpierre Sep 8 '10 at 13:04
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The one time I had to call ING for help, a person answered within 30 seconds of my dialing—it caught me off guard because I was expecting to sit on hold for a while! –  Drew Stephens Sep 12 '10 at 22:35
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It serves its purpose.

  • It is online, although you will still need a brick and morter bank to transfer money to it.
  • It has a decent interest rate, although it hasn't been at the top in a while (compare rates).
  • Takes about a week to get money transferred back from it, which is typical of others as well.
  • It has a habit of not working with third-party management sites/software (they have actively worked to prevent Mint from working.

I have an account there, but transferred most of the funds in it to an American Express account a while back. The primary reason was that, unlike ING, AE actively worked with Mint.

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You can direct deposit to it, so you don't need a brick and mortar bank if you use it for direct deposit. –  justkt Sep 3 '10 at 11:45
    
It was a while ago, but I don't remember it taking a week to transfer funds to my online bank from an ING savings account. –  Leigh Riffel Sep 6 '10 at 2:23
    
On the contrary, ING has actively worked to work well with Mint in a secure way. You just have to set it up Mint as an authorized access to the account using a special PIN somewhere in the ING account setup. Since I did that it's worked great for me. –  Zach Nov 7 '11 at 17:54
    
Yes, this is a recent change in policy on INGs part. Previously they took a hard-nosed stance that any accessing of the website by anyone or anything other than the person the account belong to was a violation of their Terms of Use. It's good they were finally pressured into changing their policy, but about a year too late to keep me as an active user. –  David Culp Nov 7 '11 at 19:14
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I used to be both a customer of theirs, and of NetBank. When ING bought NetBank, I felt like they handled the transition very poorly from a customer-service standpoint. I felt like they didn't really value me as a customer, and they didn't do anything to make the transition easy for me.

For that reason, I decided to pull my money out from all of my accounts I had with them, and I have never looked back.

I now get considerably better rates with a high-yield rewards checking account at my local brick & mortar bank. I am still able to pay bills online, or mail checks into my local bank if I don't want to physically go to a branch or ATM.

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They are pretty good. But for better rates, shop around. I'd suggest Ally or Alliant Credit Union.

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(I just merged your account brought over from money.stackexchange.com into the new one you just registered; you should have your rep & history back. Sorry for the inconvenience!) –  Chris W. Rea Sep 3 '10 at 22:49
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If you're looking for an alternative, HSBC also has an online only savings account that used to be called HSBC Direct, but is now called HSBC Advance. They offer high interest savings (currently 1.1%) with no minimum balance, CDs and give you an ATM card. I've been a satisfied customer for a few years.

https://www.us.hsbc.com/1/2/1?code=MIW0000431

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HSBC is also nice as you can make deposits in HSBC ATMs. –  duffbeer703 Dec 5 '10 at 1:29
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It's a good saving account from the persepective of usability. Easy to open, easy to manage, and free at least in Italy.

Anyway be aware that in 2008 you would not probably have been so happy to know that your saving were in bank that was close to go banckrupcy. On October/19/2008 the Ducth government had to inject 10 billions euro into ING Group to save it from a probable collapse.

At least the CEO Michel Tilmant was fired, and also 7000 poor employees was cutted off.

After that, it seems they just went on selling themslevs in pieces in order to restructure

  • 2009: ING closed retail banking in Ukraine
  • 2009: In order to save €1.4 billion, ING announced that they would be cutting about 7,000 employees from their payroll. The CEO, Michel Tilmant, also resigned.
  • 2009: ING Group sold all of its ownership stake in ING Canada (Property & Casualty Insurer operating in Canada which was renamed to Intact Insurance Company of Canada).
  • 2009: ING Group’s Restructuring Plan announced, stating that ING needs to divest ING Direct USA by the end of 2013.
  • 2009: ING announces that it will move towards a separation of its banking and insurance operations.
  • 2009: ING secures €7.5bn rights issue and repays €5bn to the Dutch State. 2009: ING Australia and ING New Zealand (superannuation, investment and insurance business) are sold to the Australian ANZ Bank.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ING_Group#History

But they also partially repaid the Dutch goverment and now their rating is around A, so it seems to be a safe place to put your saving for now.

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In any case, the health of ING Group is more or less irrelevant to ING Direct (USA) as it is now owned by Capital One (and will be changing its name in early 2013): home.ingdirect.com/capitalone/new-family –  Alex Dupuy Oct 24 '12 at 8:14
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similarly for ING Direct (Canada), which was recently acquired by ScotiaBank: moneyville.ca/article/… –  Alex Dupuy Oct 24 '12 at 8:21
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That's the one I use. They've been around a long time. I've had no problems.

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I've used ING and have no complaints with them, but right now if you can work with their restrictions, SmartyPig.com has a better rate than ING and better than any listed on SavingsAccount.com.

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