What Truly Matters to ING DIRECT Customers? Many Say Interest Rates
This February ING DIRECT will officially become Capital One 360. In an email to customers and in a blog post, Jim Kelly, the head of direct banking of Capital One 360, wished customers a happy new year and updated everyone on the transition. In addition, he listed the following 2012 highlights for ING DIRECT in terms of new features:
- Giving you access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs: You still have access to 38,000 fee-free Allpoint® ATMs, plus now you can grab your money at 2,000 Capital One ATMs.
- Launching CheckMate: You asked for the ability to make mobile check deposits and we delivered CheckMate. And it turns out you really meant what you said – we’ve logged over 1.2 million CheckMate deposits (and counting).
- Getting rid of foreign transaction fees: Say goodbye, so long and see ya to foreign transaction fees – we won’t charge you for using your Debit Card outside the U.S.
- Unveiling My Savings Goals: Now you can set a savings goal and track it with this tool. On a side note, more than 15,000 of you shared what you’re saving for in our Savings Most Wanted promo. Every time I see your pictures and read your stories, I’m floored.
What I found more interesting were the comments in the blog post. Many customers said in the comments that the most important feature for them was the interest rate. Here's one from a commenter named "Frustrated Saver":
Jim, that's all very nice, but I joined ING a long time ago based upon the high interest rate for savings accounts. That is all that truely matters to me and probably alot of other savers. So, when is ING going to at least match Ally Bank's rate which currently is 0.95% apr?
This comment has received 166 likes as of this morning. It appears that Jim Kelly (or another ING DIRECT official named Jim) replied to several of the comments. I have to give ING DIRECT credit for reading and replying to many of these comments. Here is his reply to the interest rate complaints:
@ Kpyachtsman, @ The Man, @Pablum0734 – Rates are important, we get it. But we also know that our Savers have come to expect a terrific online experience, fee-free checking & savings, and ability to chat with real people. We’re working to bring you the best combination of value and experience out there, and we hope you’ll stick around to see us live up to that.
A commenter named "Mary" asked when they will have the ability to designate beneficiaries for the savings accounts. Her comment currently has 19 likes. Jim also had a reply for this:
@Mary, @Pymcat – While there’s no way to designate a formal beneficiary on your savings account, you do have the option of registering your accounts in a Trust at http://helpcenter.ingdirect.co.... When you register your accounts, you’ll have the ability to designate beneficiaries. If we make any changes, we’ll be sure to let our Savers know.
I can understand why ING DIRECT may not want to be a rate leader, but I don't know why it can't allow customers to designate beneficiaries. Many have requested this feature for years.
Even though ING DIRECT has rarely been a rate leader, its savings account rates have been close to the average for internet savings accounts. Over the last year, it has been a little above the average that we've calculated for internet banks. However, this average has been pulled down by several internet banks that have pretty much given up on being competitive (i.e. HSBC, CNB Bank Direct, Charles Schwab Bank).
ING DIRECT's Electric Orange checking account has consistently offered rates up to 10 basis points higher than the savings account rate for large balances. These rates are competitive for internet checking accounts.
ING DIRECT savings and checking account rates could be better, but at least they have been fairly competitive. That's not the case for ING DIRECT CD rates. They are way below the rates offered by several other internet banks. For example, many of Discover Bank's and Ally Bank's CD rates are currently 2x to 3x the CD rates at ING DIRECT.
I really doubt that Jim is really answering all the comments. Thats an employee pretending to be him.
I understand why they bought ING. And they didnt do it to pay the highest rates. And they know that many of us will stay as long as they are reasonably competitive.
Rates were 6% when I opened the account. And almost nbobody had better rates. Now, lots of places do but will most of us really switch over .10-.15 of 1% ? I guess thats 10-15 basis points.
I could see if they wanted to add fees or account minimums to low value accounts. But apparently they dont want to go that route.
If & when rates go back up, Im sure lots of us WILL move over 50-75 basis points.
I have been forced by the Federal Reserve into "risk assets". It seems to me that bank accounts are the biggest risk of all so I avoid all but those without time committments. With the Fed pumping so much counterfeited money into the economy, the dollar is doomed in the long run, regardless of how long it may take to start runaway inflation.
Mostly, I now buy gold for savings. Recently, I bought platinum when it went down to $1,400, and some commenters on this site were suggesting it. It has gone way up, and I've made more than I would in the bank. I wish I could still get low risk from the dollar and banks, but the risk is higher than buying metals.
So, I will continue doing what I am doing, and use Capital One and the others only for liquid accounts. However, this is still the greatest site on which to find checking and money market accounts, for temporary fiat currency storage with the best rates (dismal) and flexibility (online ACH is a great invention!).
The question is what is value do these dollars have in buying power. If you pump gas whatever gains you're getting are these savings is easily lost to cost increases for the acquisition of resources.
Trying to hold onto yields in this environment is nearly impossible with so much intervention in the market. Equities recovered, as the Fed has inserted 5 trillion in liquidity by increasing its balance sheet.
Opened up a checking at Ally and that will be my primary checking.
Found a local credit union with a 1.26% rate and it just so happened that a relative is a member which allowed me to be.
But, Ive also decided that I am going to be more aggressive in buying some kind of stocks. Thinking about a local utility that yields about 4.5% and has a fantastic long term track record, about matching the nasdaq over the long run. And increasing dividends.
The bottom line is I have WAY, way too much in cash. Over the last 10 years, with no other income besides stocks & interest, Ive been less willing to take risks & reinvest like I used to.
Ive got plenty in CDs to pay my living expenses, probably for life. But if not, I wont need more for at least 12-15-20 years. (Depending on medical costs, I have a high deductible)
Im leaving my ING account open, just hoping that they get with the program because I really like their interface and easier log in compared to Ally. But, I will manage.
The difference, on a $500 avg balance between .2% and .4% is $1 a year.
And the ING interface is easier to deal with for me. My upcoming transfers in & out are all listed on the same page.
Ally has a cool overdraft feature. If you dont have enough to cover your balance, they will automatically pull $100 increments from your savings or money market to cover the check with no interest or fees.
ING just charges interest at 11.25%
So, While Im not pulling ALL my money out of ING, I am pulling out 99% for greener pastures.
I expect I will keep a small amount in my savings and an even smaller amount in my checking.