Note: ING DIRECT USA was acquired by Capital One in 2012 and is now called Capital One 360.
ING DIRECT, a pioneer in the realm of online-only direct banking, is backed by ING, a global financial institution of Dutch origin. ING has built its reputation in the U.S. by offering innovative online checking and savings accounts, as well as other unique financial products.
While many have joined ING in the direct-banking business in recent years, ING is still striving to produce the original, convenient financial products necessary to keep it at the front of the online pack. The company also prioritizes competitive interest rates on its accounts, as evidenced by its multiple appearances in recent MoneyRates.com's America's Best Rates features.
ING DIRECT offers a wide range of deposit accounts, including its interest-bearing Electric Orange Checking. This account includes free ATM use and bill pay, and also allows you to deposit checks with a mobile app or computer. The MONEY account, designed for parents and teens to manage money together, includes a debit card and bank account geared toward the needs of younger consumers.
For savings accounts, you can choose between an Orange Savings Account or Kids Savings account, the latter of which is designed specially for children. Both of these savings accounts have no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirement. You can link your savings accounts to your current bank or to another ING DIRECT account.
In addition to these, ING DIRECT offers certificates of deposit (CDs) and business savings accounts. Orange CDs are available with terms from 6 to 60 months, and you can choose to reinvest your interest or have your interest earnings deposited in another account monthly or annually.
As an ING Direct customer you can also use P2P transfers, a method of sending or receiving money for free between friends and family.
In addition to deposit accounts, ING DIRECT offers retirement accounts, mortgage loans and a ShareBuilder account that allows consumers to buy stocks. The ING DIRECT website includes a Tips and Tools section with financial planning information, and a special section designed to help parents teach children about personal finance.
All account services with ING DIRECT are handled online, by phone or by email since the financial institution does not have traditional branches. However, ING DIRECT Cafes are now open in several cities where you can sip coffee and learn more about the company's range of services.
All ING DIRECT deposit accounts are fully FDIC insured up to the maximum of $250,000 per customer, though customers with deposit accounts with both ING and Capital One Bank -- the company that purchased the U.S. division of ING in 2012 -- should review their accounts with the banks to make sure their deposits above $250,000 will be fully covered in the future. This only applies for customers who have deposits between the two banks that total more than $250,000.