10 Things We Didn't Know About ING Direct

March 10th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Mango's ING Direct account is another one of these things that makes him go, "Shoot!  Why didn't I do this years ago?"

  • Through their association with THE EXCHANGE ATM Network, ING Direct effectively has well over 2000 Canadian ATMs.
  • Owe someone money?  Giving a gift?  You can transfer money to any Canadian bank account, as long as you or the recipient know the transit, institution, and account numbers.  It works in a similar way to Interac e-Transfer, but it's free.  (They also offer Interac e-Transfer; receiving is free, sending costs $1.00.)
  • There is no transaction fee on ING Direct's Investment Savings Account.  You'll earn a higher interest rate than the big banks, AND you can use your savings account for as many bill payments, pre-authorized debits, and direct payroll deposits as you like.  (Similarly, there is no fee and no minimum balance required for their chequing account.)

  • In addition to being able to call them on the phone, one can chat with a banker over the internet.
  • ING Direct's website is the most capable of any banking website we've ever used.  For example, you can open new accounts entirely online instead of spending 30+ minutes in a branch.  Now we all have multiple savings accounts and other investments for various purposes.  Or you can change whether to redeem or roll over your GIC at any time.
  • ING Direct runs promotions from time to time such as a $100 bonus (!!) when you set up direct payroll deposit to your THRiVE chequing account.
  • ING Direct's call centre staff are Canadian.
  • Free overdraft protection is included with the THRiVE chequing account.  If you want to keep most of your money in your savings account, and forget to make a transfer before you write a cheque, there's no problem if it's under $250 and you bring your balance to $0 within 30 days.  They'll even send you an email if that happens.
  • ING Direct charges no fee if you decide to transfer your TFSA to another financial institution. 
  • Electronic Funds Transfers to ING Direct arrive first thing in the morning rather than last thing in the evening.

  • We realize that these points are not all completely unique to ING Direct, but everything mentioned doesn't exist with at least a few other Canadian banks we've used, both small and large.  We think ING Direct is a great alternative to the big banks, with better interest rates, lower or non-existant fees, and better benefits.  This is due to, they claim, the fact that they have just five branches (they call them Cafés) across Canada.  If you prefer to do your banking online rather than in a branch, we highly recommend ING Direct.

    ING Direct has a referral program.  If a friend refers you to ING Direct and you deposit $100, you'll both receive a $25 bonus.  As per usual, we don't participate in referral programs as we feel it dilutes our recommendations.  However, if you know someone else with an ING Direct account, why not ask them for their "Orange Key"?

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