ING Direct - Banking Reviews

The ING Direct Orange Savings Account

Note: Capital One bought ING Direct in 2011, and all accounts were rebranded to Capital One 360 accounts in 2012. For current information, read about Capital One 360 offerings. Capital One continues to offer free online banking, high-yield checking, and online savings accounts under the new name. 

The ING Direct login process was converted to Capital One's system, so ING customers need to use the Capital One website.

What about Electric Orange checks?
If you still have checks from your ING Direct Electric Orange account, customer service representatives from Capital One suggest that you do not use those checks. You can order new checks by contacting Capital One 360.

ING Direct, Pre-2012

With prominent and sophisticated marketing, ING Direct is collecting a substantial amount of deposits. That orange ball gets consumers’ attention.

Below you’ll find my understanding of the offering at the time of this writing. I won’t quote interest rates because they constantly change. You should visit the bank’s website and read all the fine print if you’re thinking of using their services.

The Offer

ING Direct is a simple online savings account with several additional features. The main attraction is the APY (Annual Percentage Yield). You can typically earn more than brick-and-mortar banks. Furthermore, there are no fees for the service or minimum balance requirements. You can literally open an account with $1.

With ING Direct, you keep your existing checking account and link it to your ING Direct account. To move money back and forth, you log in to your ING Direct account and request a transfer. Transfers are free on the ING Direct side, but you should check with your bank to make sure they won’t assess any fees.

For details on other ING Direct offers, see the following:

  • ING Direct Electric Orange Checking account (pays interest)
  • ING Direct Orange for Business (business savings)

Again, ING Direct no longer exists for U.S. bank accounts. Instead, you can bank with Capital One 360 (who took over ING Direct accounts) or other online banks. Capital One offers business accounts under the Spark name.

The Extras

Besides a simple savings account, you have several other options at ING Direct. You can get certificates of deposit CDs ranging from 1 to 5 years. The rates are competitive, so if you’ve got some cash that you’re not going to spend, you can zap it into a CD.

They also do mortgages and home equity loans, but I have not evaluated those offers.

The Competition

Be sure to compare ING Direct with the other leading offers to get what's best for you:

The banks above currently offer fee-free savings accounts, CDs, and more.

The Process

You can open an ING Direct account in a variety of ways. The first option is to submit your information online and skip any paperwork. You can also print their application and mail it in. Either way, you’ll need all your basic information and a checking account number.

The setup process can take several weeks. ING Direct creates a few small transactions in your linked checking account to make sure that they got all the numbers right (and that the account is really yours). After you verify these transactions and validate your PIN (which comes via mail), you are ready to roll.

Requesting the transfers at ING Direct’s website is really easy and intuitive, and it seems like they go through quite fast. If you want to get a savings plan on auto-pilot, you can also set up an automatic monthly draft.

Customer Service

ING Direct operates efficiently by urging users to do-it-yourself. Sign up for the financial value, not the customer experience. While I've heard some great customer service stories, I'm not yet convinced that the service level is the highest available, and maybe it doesn't need to be (update: Since the original writing, both ING Direct and Capital One 360 have a reputation for responsive customer service teams).

In 2004, ING Direct reported that they actually fire customers that are too high-maintenance. More recently, customer service is reportedly much better.


One of the first things you hear if you call ING Direct is “We take security seriously” – and it seems like they do. Each time you change something on your account, they will freeze the account for several business days and send you a letter. While this can be a hassle and slow things down, it’s probably for the best.

Just remember that this is for short-medium term cash. If you’re going to spend the money next week, you probably shouldn’t zap it into your online-only account. Both ING Direct and the bank with your checking account may place a hold on funds that you zap back and forth.

More: Best Savings Account Interest Rates

The Balance offers a comprehensive comparison of the best savings account interest rates. We teamed up with Bankrate to survey approximately 4,800 banks and credit unions nationwide. Depending on how much money you’re looking to deposit, this list will show you some of the best options available today. All of the banks and credit unions listed are insured by the FDIC or NCUA.