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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.