ING DIRECT is now offering their Black Friday specials. The offers are available through 11/25/2012. As is usual, there's a bonus for new Electric Orange customers. The bonus is a little larger than last year's promo, but it's smaller than the bonus at this year's Independence Days Sale. Here's a summary of the deposit promotions:
- $125 bonus for opening the Electric Orange Checking Account and making at least 10 purchases using your Electric Orange Card or CheckMate deposits (or any combination of the two) within 45 days. Bonus only available for new Electric Orange checking.
- $10 bonus for opening a Kids Savings Account. Either you or your kid must be a new customer. I did a review of ING Direct's Kids Savings Account in 2010.
- Receive a $100 bonus for the first 2 friends who open an Orange Savings Account with a minimum deposit of $250 using the link in the referral email or your personal referral link between November 23rd - December 15th. Each of your friends will get a $25 bonus (if they open the account with at least $250).
- Use your Electric Orange Debit MasterCard November 23rd - 25th and earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Electric Orange Account Promotion
If you don't have an Electric Orange (EO) account, this is a good time to open one. This Black Friday bonus of $125 is over twice the common $50 bonus that's available throughout the year, and it's a little higher than last year's Black Friday bonus of $107. However, it's lower than this year's Independence Day bonus of $152.
ING DIRECT has made several improvements to their EO account in the last two years. In 2011, ING DIRECT started to allow paper checks. I have the full details in my ING DIRECT paper checks review. It also made improvements to its Person2Person payment service which makes it easy to send payments to friends and family.
In April 2012, ING DIRECT launched its online check deposit service that's called CheckMate. It allows checks to be deposited from a PC or from a smartphone. As you can see in the EO promotion, ING DIRECT is giving the new service some additional exposure.
Kids Savings Account Promotion
The $10 bonus for Kids Savings Account is less than the $27 bonus that they offered last year. For those with children, the Kids Savings Account can be useful. Like all of ING DIRECT accounts, it's easy to open and you don't have to worry about minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Adults open these accounts as joint accounts with their children. Unlike the standard joint account, the kid has limited access. Only the adult has permission to transfer money. I reviewed the Kids Savings Account in 2010.
The $100 Refer-a-Friend bonus is larger than the bonuses offered in previous Black Friday and Independence Day sales. It's $24 more than the Refer-a-Friend bonus in the 2011 Independence Sale, and it's $80 more than the standard refer-a-friend bonus that you get for signing up two people. Just like the standard refer-a-friend bonus, it requires that the new customers make a minimum deposit of $250, and the friends will get a $25 bonus each. Your friends must be new customers as the primary owner of the account.
1% Cash Back with EO Debit MasterCard
Use your Electric Orange Debit MasterCard November 23rd - 25th and earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. This is the first time ING DIRECT has offered this type of bonus. It may be a way to reward existing customers. Unfortunately, the 1% cash back isn't much of a promotion for most of us who have cash back credit cards. The only nice feature of this cash back promo is that the bonus will automatically deposited into your account by November 30th, 2012.
One important point is that transactions must post to your account between November 23rd to 25th to be eligible. Since PIN-based purchases qualify for this promotion, you may want to make PIN-based purchases since these are typically posted quicker than signature-based purchases.
Other ING DIRECT Black Friday Specials
The other two Black Friday bonuses require opening ShareBuilder accounts. It's important to note that ShareBuilder accounts are brokerage accounts and not bank accounts so they generally lack any FDIC deposit insurance.
The first ShareBuilder bonus is a $125 bonus for opening a new ShareBuilder Individual, Joint or Custodial account between November 23rd and 26th and making 2 real-time trades in the new account by December 31st. There's no account minimum and you can invest any amount. For the ShareBuilder Basic account, market stock and ETF trades cost $9.95.
Last year this bonus was only $100. However, there have been $200 ShareBuilder bonuses this year that were not widely advertised.
The second ShareBuilder bonus is for rolling over your 401(k) to a ShareBuilder IRA. You can get $360 for rolling over at least $50K. Smaller bonuses are available for rolling over smaller amounts. There is a lot of small print with this offer so make sure you review the ING DIRECT IRA promotion page.
It's another good promotion for those who don't have ING DIRECT accounts, but for existing customers, there's not much to get excited about. In ING DIRECT's first Black Friday Sale in 2009, it offered a special rate on its 12-month CD. Unfortunately, ING DIRECT doesn't appear interested in attracting more CD customers. With a standard 1-year CD rate of only 0.40% and a standard 5-year CD rate of only 0.90%, there is little reason to choose ING DIRECT CDs over the CDs at many other internet banks.
ING DIRECT Transition into Capital One 360
This is the last year of the ING DIRECT Black Friday Sale. If they continue it next year, it'll be called the Capital One 360 Black Friday Sale. ING DIRECT will be changing its name to Capital One 360 in February 2013. The ING DIRECT bank and Capital One, N.A. legally became one bank on November 1st. I reviewed the impact on this merger to customers' FDIC coverage in September.