ING DIRECT announced some more account changes that are part of the bank's merger into Capital One. As of November 1, 2012, the legal entities of the two banks are officially merged. One change should be appreciated by customers who often travel overseas. ING DIRECT will begin waiving foreign exchange fees on customers' debit card purchases outside the U.S. This includes absorbing the 1% fee charged by MasterCard/Visa. The change is consistent with Capital One's longstanding policy.
For those with large deposits at both ING DIRECT and Capital One, don't forget that you may lose FDIC coverage in May 2013. I described these changes in my review of FDIC coverage changes for ING DIRECT.
Later this month ING DIRECT should be giving us a sneak peek at their new name. When ING Group sold ING DIRECT to Capital One, it was agreed that Capital One would be allowed to use the "ING DIRECT" name for up to one year starting on February 17, 2012. My guess for the new name is CAP DIRECT.
I haven't heard reports about another Black Friday special. For the last 3 years, ING DIRECT has been offering Black Friday specials. It also has a history with Fourth of July specials which continued this year. So hopefully, they'll continue the Black Friday specials. You can see what they offered in past promotions in my preview of the 2012 Financial Independence Day Sale. One special that has been common is a new-account bonus for the Electric Orange account. So if you're considering opening this account, you may want to wait to see what they offer for Black Friday.
One thing I hope continues at ING DIRECT is competitive rates. After the October rate cuts, I'm worried that they may not remain competitive in the future. I don't think the Capital One acquisition will have a big effect. Before the acquisition, Capital One had maintained competitive money market and savings account rates through Capital One Direct. In fact, the rates were often more competitive than what ING DIRECT offered. And the Capital One Direct accounts were free with no monthly service fees. However, the combined bank may feel less pressure to keep the internet rates high. That can be seen with ING DIRECT CD rates which are low even when compared to brick-and-mortar banks.