With the final stages of the Capital One 360 transition drawing ever closer, you may be looking for an alternative to ING Direct.
As I’ve noted previously, I’ve had accounts with the lion’s share of major online banks — ten accounts with nine different institutions, though I’ve since closed most of these.
In addition to our brick & mortar accounts with Bank of America, we still have two accounts with
ING Direct Capital One 360 (savings and checking) as well as CDs and/or savings accounts with Ally Bank and Discover Bank.
Why did these banks make the cut? Well… As of now, no bank stands out in terms of interest rates, with pretty much everyone in the sub-1% range on savings accounts. Thus, I tend to look at other things when deciding who gets my business.
In general terms, these three have excellent online interfaces, outstanding service, and they were amongst the slowest to cut their interest rates in recent years as we were looking to simplify our finances.
For their part, Ally Bank has decent savings rates (on par with everyone else), solid CD rates, and very customer friendly terms — e.g., just a 60 day interest penalty when breaking CDs early. They also offer outstanding service via their chat interface (phone, too, but I prefer online chat).
Discover Bank likewise offers fairly typical savings rates. Their CD rates aren’t quite as good, and they have a stiffer penalty for early withdrawal, but I like their interface and I’ve received excellent phone service in the few cases when I’ve needed to talk to a real, live person.
Both also have low minimums to open an account — $0 at Ally, $500 at Discover.
This isn’t to say that I’m encouraging you to find a new bank. I’ve been quite happy with ING Direct over the years and am planning on giving them a chance through the Capital One transition. That said, I know that some people are looking to move their money, so I thought I’d outline some options.
Finally… If you don’t have an account with Capital One 360 and want to try them out, you can get up to a $50 bonus by opening a new account and jumping through a few easy hoops. Click through for details.