Update 11/28/09: The Black Friday specials have been extended.
ING Direct is now offering their Black Friday specials. Here are the two deposit deals:
- 2.00% APY 12-month Added Value CD (25 basis points higher than their current 12-month CD) Must fund the CD from an external account
- $121 bonus for opening the Electric Orange Checking and using the debit card to make 3 signature-based purchases within the first 45 days
I'm a little disappointed in the 2% CD special. In early October ING Direct came out with a 2.10% APY 12-month CD. A few days after that they introduced the Added Value 12-month CD which provided a rate 15 basis points higher than the regular 12-month CD rate. The only catch with the Added Value CD is that it requires you to fund the CD with an external account. With an extra 15 basis points, the Added Value 12-month CD APY was 2.25% which had been very competitive. Rates overall have gone down a bit since October, so 2.25% APY was probably too much to expect. However, there are still a few banks and credit unions offering 12-month CD rates over 2% (see my 12-month CD rate list).
ING Direct doesn't allow beneficiaries on their accounts. They do allow joint accounts, living trust accounts and IRAs. Other than this beneficiary issue, there's a lot to like with ING Direct CDs. They make it easy to open and manage the CDs. Refer to my ING Direct CD review post for more details.
Electric Orange Bonus Review
This deal is better than what I had expected. For those who don't have an Electric Orange checking account, it should be an easy $121. I don't remember past bonuses ever being over $50. According to ING Direct, they chose the amount to highlight the fact that $121 is the average amount consumers pay in overdraft fees annually. ING Direct doesn't charge fees for use of its overdraft line of credit. You'll only have to pay interest. Of course the best approach is to avoid spending more than what's in your account.
Here are the details to qualify for the bonus:
- Open an Electric Orange checking on Friday - Be sure to use Reference Code EOSAVE to be eligible for the $121 bonus when you open your account.
- Use your Debit Card to make 3 signature transactions (non-PIN) within the first 45 days.
- On day 50, ING Direct will put $121 in your account.
- No minimum deposit
There may be a hard credit inquiry in the Electric Orange application which can temporarily ding your credit score. According to this ING FAQ: "As part of the account opening process, we may or may not obtain information about you from a consumer reporting agency (a 'hard pull')."
Update 11/27/09: According to the ING Direct CSR, if you already have an ING savings account but not an Electric Orange account, you can qualify for this Electric Orange promotion.
Other ING Direct Black Friday Specials
In addition to the two deposit product specials, there's also a mortgage special:
ING DIRECT will offer $683 off Easy Orange and Orange Mortgage (our mortgage products) closing costs for anyone who applies on Black Friday. Why $683? That’s what the average American will spend on gifts this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.
And on Cyber Monday, November 30, ING Direct’s brokerage, ShareBuilder, will offer a 20% rebate on trades.
ING's Divestiture of ING Direct
The Dutch parent of ING Direct, ING, announced on November 18th that the European Commission has formally approved the restructuring plan which includes the divestiture of ING Direct (see press release). The plan to divest ING Direct was first announced in October. It's the consequence of the government assistance ING received during the financial crisis. In the October press release, it was disclosed that the divestiture will not be completed before the end of 2013. So there should be no short-term changes at ING Direct. We'll have to wait and see what happens after 2013. With ING Direct's brand reputation, it would seem likely that any bank that acquires ING Direct would keep it operating as it is today.
ING Direct's rating for safety and soundness has dropped to 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com based on 6/30/09 financial data (it had been 3 stars based on 3/31/09 data). It continues to be 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial based on 6/30/09 data. It has been a FDIC member since 2000 (FDIC Certificate # 35489).
Other Black Friday Bank Deals
ING Direct isn't alone with a bank-related Black Friday special. Service Credit Union is offering a low-max CD special (see post). If you see any other Black Friday bank specials, please leave a comment.