ING Direct Review

The thrill of investing for most people is making high returns, if you do well the gains over a number of years can add up to a significant sum, even if you start with a relatively small amount of money.

The question is what do you do with all that cash? Well the smart answer is to reinvest it, but it’s always prudent to keep some back for a rainy day.

But as my father used to say, you should always keep money working for you, even if you don’t want to take any risk with it. So in that case, where’s the best place to put it?

Well a good place would be an ING Direct savings account, the main reason to choose ING Direct, is because they offer  high interest rates without requiring a minimum balance. All too often these days you find banks offering incredible APY rates that require a minimum $10,000 deposit maintained at all times.

I like to keep my cash reserves fairly fluid, I often use a savings account to deposit my dividend checks until I’ve found a suitable investment for them. Having money tied up for long periods of time earning low rates of interest is not a very efficient use of capital.

ING Direct Online offers an APY of 1.0% with no minimum deposit on their Orange Savings account. Compare that with a 12 month Certificate of Deposit at 0.75 APY from the same vendor and you’ll see what a great rate that is. Similar savings accounts from other vendors typically pay only 0.18%.

Of course ING Direct offer a lot more than just savings accounts, you can open a regular checking account and get Contracts for Difference (CDs)  from them as well. I have to admit I’m not a great fan of CDs, they tie capital up for a minimum of twelve months and offer lower rates of interest than a standard ING Direct savings account, which doesn’t have early withdrawal penalties.

ING Direct is primarily an online savings bank, usually banks of this sort don’t have a local branch network, but ING Direct is different. They’ve been quite innovative for a bank, creating a small number of ING Direct Cafes across the country, so you can call in for a coffee whilst opening your account and they do a mean tomato and mozzarella ciabatta as well.


I love this kind of approach from a bank, the banking sector is seen as a rather stuffy old fashioned industry with dusty wood paneled board rooms and humorless cigar smoking managers. ING Directs approach is a breath of fresh air through a rather staid industry and hopefully it’ll increase innovation throughout the rest of the banking sector as well.

Would I recommend ING Direct? Yes I certainly would, they offer some of the best interest rates around, plus their customer service is excellent for a company of this size. All deposits up to $250,000 are covered by the FDIC insurance scheme so don’t worry your moneys in safe hands.

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