Update: The waiting list is currently full. Keep reading Consumerism Commentary (or subscribe) to be notified when the waiting list is open again.
ING Direct is one of my favorite banks due to their savings account. While ING Direct’s Online Savings Account does not offer the highest interest rate, they are consistently towards the top offering much more to savers than a typical brick and mortar savings bank, have a fantastic website, and offer a smooth experience when dealing with customer service.
Here are some of the ways I currently use ING Direct:
- Every two weeks, my pay check is automatically deposited in my ING Direct checking account (known to the locals as “Electric Orange”).
- Each month, several services deposit money directly into a couple savings accounts at ING Direct.
- My money at ING Direct is split into twelve sub-accounts, ten personal and two business, with names like “Orange Vacation Fund” and “Orange Emergency Fund.”
- I have two PayPal accounts, and one sub-account at ING Direct corresponds to each. This way I can maintain very small balances in the linked accounts to prevent problems with PayPal. When I withdraw money from PayPal into ING Direct, I can move the money to a different sub-account immediately.
- ING Direct works with Quicken‘s Direct Connect feature, which means I can download my bank transactions from the software and reconcile the account automatically.
- My credit cards are configured to automatically deduct the full amount of my bill from my ING Direct checking account on the date the payments are due.
Although ING Direct’s interest is not competitive with the newest online banks, you can match or exceed the income generated by this savings account by using the bank’s referral feature. For each friend you introduce to the bank, ING Direct will thank you with $10 for you and $25 for your friend in the form of an interest bonus. You have 50 opportunities to earn the $10 bonus for a total of $500.
Unless you’re extremely well-connected, it is unlikely you have 50 friends who are interested in opening an account in ING Direct (though they should be). So for the last year or so I’ve been helping Consumerism Commentary readers by connecting them with potential new ING Direct customers. Through this announcement last year, I’ve already helped over 300 readers earn some extra money towards their $500 limit.
I am running out of names of readers waiting for their turn to earn a bonus so I am re-opening the waiting list. If you are interested in earning bonus interest from ING Direct, comment here (comments on this post are now open) or on any earlier article about ING Direct and mention you’d like to be added to the waiting list. I will cut off the waiting list at about 100.
Update: The waiting list is full again as of 11:15 PM ET on August 18, 2009, eleven and a quarter hours after this notice was posted. Thank you, everyone. I’ll post a new message in a few months when the waiting list is open again.