Death to happiness

Man, just when things are going great in my life, I get an email with horrible news. I’m seriously depressed right now. Here’s the email I got from a PDITF reader…

Dear Ninja,

I have some bad news for you, as I know you are a fellow ING Direct customer.

You should say something on your blog about it.

Let’s all share in a moment of silence as I must mourn the loss of one of my best friends ING Direct.


You were always there for me good friend. You maintained my savings account like no one else could. And your marketing campaigns were hilarious. But now, you have sold your soul to the devil and I’m afraid our love affair will soon end. It was nice knowing you.

Was that a bit dramatic? It was? Good! I freakin’ love ING. I freakin’ hate Capital One. While I’d like to think the merge will have little effect on us customers, I can’t be that optimistic. I’m reminded of the time I opened up my online savings account with Countrywide Bank. I know Countrywide had their issues, but their savings account was everything I needed; simple and competitive. Unfortunately, they were bought out by Bank Of America. It didn’t take long for the terms of my account to be drastically changed. The last straw was drawn when BOA decided to start charging me $3 per withdrawal from my savings account. That’s right, THEY WERE GOING TO CHARGE ME FOR ACCESSING MY OWN MONEY!!!!! I quickly pulled out my $19,000 life savings, closed my account, and became an ING fanboy.

It’s time I start shopping for a new savings account. I’ve heard good things about Smarty Pig, HSBC, and Ally bank. Any of you have experience with them? Who do you keep your savings with? For my fellow ING customers, did you shed a tear when you read of their pending acquisition? Do you think you’ll stick around or jump ship? Can anyone out there email me positive news, so I get out of this deep, deep depression?!

39 thoughts on “Death to happiness”

  1. Funny, I thought of you when I got this news. I actually have a Capitol One online savings account through Costco. It has one of the best interest rates out there along with a bonus each quarter. I’m hoping the merger with ING won’t ruin this 🙂 You might want to take a look at American Express online savings account, I will move there if Capitol One changes anything on me for the worse. Maybe you should give Capitol One a chance, why do you hate them so much?

  2. I’ve started using Sallie Mae’s online banking. Interest rates are better than ING and they match 10% of any Upromise earning you had throughout the year (if you participate in the Upromise program).

    The only downfall is that their only checking product is a Money Market account (up to 6 withdrawals/month) that has free paper checks, but nothing similar to ING’s free mailing of paper checks drawn from the account. I’ve been using Sallie Mae for my emergency savings, and ING for my checking but now I may need to switch solely to Sallie Mae or look into Ally or one of the others.

    The only other issue I have with Sallie Mae is I feel like I am supporting the evil student loan companies without having student loans (through Sallie Mae)

  3. I had the same exact thing happen with countrywide. Bank of America ruined it and I closed the account there.

    I actually like capital one’s credit card. I’m sorry for your loss.

  4. Interestingly, I’d been considering switching to Capital One anyways. I’m not sure why it has such a bad reputation considering they’re also one of the top ranked banks…

    I love ING Direct, and CapitalOne actually has superior terms, so unless they have to strip out all that is good from both, I think this isn’t such a bad thing. Plus it will be well over a year or more before any impact makes it to us consumers.

  5. We have our Emergency Fund at Ally. Competitive rates, products and excellent customer service. We get a live person on the phone as soon as we call for anything – and we’ve only had to call twice, once because of user error!

    We love Ally. And Ally has some pretty fun commercials, too!

  6. Well I don’t know why Ninja hates cap 1 but I certainly have my own reasons. Like every one of their customers they raised my apr from single digit to 18% a couple of years ago because of “the economy.” they will not negoitate or lower the rate even though I’ve had my card since 1992 and my credit score is in the mid 700’s. I’d love to close the acct but they are my oldest line of credit. I just don’t carry a balance there anymore but they do truly suck.

  7. I use an online mma at Everbank and have been pleased with it. Might be worth your time to look at it.

  8. Hey Ninja! Definitely came out of the wood work to comment. Try Money Aisle first to see where you can get the highest rate for your money.

    I am currently a customer of Ally and so far am very pleased. Their rate is hovering around 1% right now, but you know they’re good since they are backed by the gov’t and all. Checked into Smarty Pig a while ago, but haven’t heard about it since.

    Let us know where you go.

  9. I friekin love ING Direct.

    But I am in Canada. This article states that they are taking over ING USA – do you think they’ll leave my lovely Canadian accounts alone?????

    please, pretty please!

  10. Say it ain’t so! I love ING. I will wait until the send me a notice regarding if and what changes they will make before I jump ship though. I don’t like Cap One. They bought a regional bank we use and it’s been a headache ever since. I am not sure if PNC or citibank is any better. Up until now, ING was the best, except for the fact that didn’t have too many actual braches and you had to wait 3 days for cash flow, which I didn’t have a problem with.

    Maybe we PDITF readers should start our own bank. Yay for PD Bank. It’ll do all thing right things a bank should do. =)

  11. I had migrated the bulk of my savings to Ally, so I guess I’ll go ahead and move the rest over, too. Ally Bank has been pretty easy, and besides having to dig into the transfer area to see pending transfers, they’re pretty intuitive too.

    I’d vote Ally.

  12. I personally have been frustrated with ING for some time now. When I first joined 3 or 4 years ago, I was really happy with the interest rate. Then it dropped to the point of really not being better than what my brick-and-mortar bank offers for a savings account. And we all know how low THOSE rates are.

  13. I’ll probably leave my ING account along until Capital One does something to make me move my money. I haven’t really looked to much at the alternatives since the rates are so low everywhere and ING was so easy to use.

    I am considering closing my smartypig since the rates seem to constantly drop, but again, I don’t know of many places that are really any better.

  14. I just want to point out that Capital One acquired Chevy Chase Bank (mid Atlantic bank) a while back and as far as I’ve read and heard, all that’s changed there is the signage and the advertising campaigns so far. So at least for now there’s probably no reason to panic and you can look to what they’re doing with the other acquisition for ideas of what might change. ING is a for-profit entity too.

  15. I wouldn’t jump ship too quickly! Capital one just spent a lot of money for a successful company, they don’t want to lose a bunch of customers. They may not change anything!

  16. I certainly wouldn’t worry for a while. The deal has been announced – it won’t close until the end of the year or later. Won’t hurt to start looking around, but I’m not running for the hills yet.

  17. I was pissed when I read about it on Consumerist…I’ve been a longtime ING customer and love it! Although, as an online bank, I didn’t understand why they couldn’t accept scanned check deposits like Chase does (I hate buying stamps)…anyway, I’ll stick around for awhile to see how it goes, but at the first hint of doom, i’m running for ally.

  18. I love ING…now I can’t sign up for Ally fast enough! I’ll come back in a year if things end up being okay. For now, I just can’t be a customer of Capital One. Same reason I jumped from Chevy Chase Bank (which also went down after that merger).

  19. This fucking sucks. 8-year ING Direct customer. Capital One is a horrible company that I want nothing to do with. God dammit.

  20. Don’t be fooled about Ally Bank, either. They are GMAC Bank, just renamed a la ‘Blackwater’. Renamed themselves after bad PR in the Government Motors ongoing debacle.

    • Yeah, but that means they are willing to pay a higher interest rate in order to get our business. I haven’t been unhappy with my service.

  21. This will suck in the future, but for right now it’s fine. You’re not going to see any changes to your account for at least a year. I’m going to keep my money where it is until they either start charging fees or reduce the interest rate to where it is no longer competitive

  22. I’ve moved part of my emergency fund over to Sallie Mae… but I have checking and like 10 sub savings accounts at ING… Not to mention a FEE free roth IRA with cds/savings in it…..

    I don’t want to loose my little ING account…. I’ll hold out until there are unsavory terms and fees…

  23. We’re happy customers with HSBC bank. Been with them for over 3 years now and haven’t found a reason to change. No monthly fees and no dramas.

  24. MMMm I’m pretty peeved about this too… LOVE LOVE LOVE ING, actually just opened a checking account there and was hoping to switch completely from my regular bank in the next year orso… but I hate capital one, with a passion. We’ll see what happens, I won’t jump ship unless they start changing things… if they do I can easily dump everything into Ally, which is a great bank too… and then there’s always the backyard… :p

  25. Actually, I’m a Capital One fan. Reason being, I came from Citi Bank who wanted to impose a $12 charge per month if your checking account balance dipped below $1,700 a couple years ago. I don’t know if they did it, but I didn’t stay with them long enough to find out.

    When you use a zero-based budgeting system, there’s no need to have $1700 in a checking account. At least for me there wasn’t. So, Capital One with the truly free checking was my savior in a land of checking accounts for people who don’t budget the way I do.

    I also really like Capital One’s customer service.

  26. I’ll stick with ING Direct for now, but I guess I should be shopping around for a bank with better interest rates, anyway. I stuck with it because it was easier that chasing rates at another bank. I’ll see what Capital One does with this merger/acquisition, and hopefully things will work out.
    I guess when looking for new savings accounts, you can check out:

    Interestingly, I just did a search, and the top MMA was Capital One. Go figure…

  27. I had problems with Capital One bought out Chevy Chase bank and subsequently closed my savings and checking account with them. If they screw with ING then I will be moving my money some place else!

    I do have to ad, that I like their Venture credit card though. As far as CC’s I’ve never had an issue with Cap One, it is just their Banking that I hated.

  28. Re: alternatives to newly debased ING Direct: what about Hudson City Bank? They’re number one in terms of interest (1.25% for $2500+) on savings accounts when you search on Google advisor. I think that’s where I’ll be headed.

  29. I panicked as well! I have had ING since 2000 and have always been extremely happy with their service. I had a credit card with capital one once and they were horrible to deal with. I will probably end up moving my money.

  30. I use SmartyPig. The rate has been dropping but it is still competitive.

    1. The retailer gift card discounts are pretty nice. I got an extra 11% when I took out $250 on a Macy’s card to get a new work wardrobe.
    2. The interest rate is still competitive. Rate-chasers will be sad to note that I don’t think they’re the best rate, but it beats a brick and mortar bank by a longshot.
    3. The site is built for saving for specific goals and redeeming them when you do. If this is how you want to save, it’s very effective.

    1. You have different sub-accounts or goals, like ING. However, to withdraw from them you have to close the goal and take out the entire amount. (You can transfer between goals, though.)
    2. If you have more than $50,000 ALL of your money in your account drops to a very pitiful interest rate.
    3. The site is built for saving for specific goals and redeeming them when you do. If you are trying to house an emergency fund that you will hold onto indefinitely, you will need to work around it.

    They have social tools for sharing your goals, and people can donate to your accounts, but I’ve never tried it, as I have no reason to post a big pink button on Facebook asking my friends and relatives to subsidize my next vacation or laptop.

  31. I work at ING DIRECT. I am also a loyal customer but I think in this situation, being an employee matters more for this discussion.

    I am sad about the purchase but here’s the thing. We were going to get sold no matter what. Our parent company in the Netherlands took money from the Dutch government during the financial crisis and part of the deal was that they would sell us off by 2013. I am just glad that it wasn’t BoA or JP Morgan Chase. We don’t have the kind of numbers needed to go IPO, so that was never a real option, no matter how much I wanted it to be.

    At this point, nothing has changed. The sale isn’t complete yet and ING DIRECT is business as usual. We should know more about what Capital One wants to do with the company later in the year. But all that we’ve heard here is that they are really excited about how we do business. They love Arkadi’s Orange Code and they want to find out how we get and keep customers so loyal. (Personally, I think it’s not jerking them around and charging them fees for everything but that might just be ME.)

    I wouldn’t jump ship yet. I think they want to keep us as we are, mostly because we are successful in ways they aren’t and they can’t afford to make changes all willy nilly without risking losing what they are willing to pay $9 billion for. One of our execs mentioned that no one pays $9 billion for a comany to rip it apart- that doesn’t make sense. So, you know, we just have to wait and see.

    My thought is that Capital One will try to roll their directbanking side into ING and not the other way around. If they are smart (which is debatable) they will try to maintain us as we are, with perhaps a slight name change. They did purchase the rights to the Orange Ball, which is a good sign. That makes me think that they aren’t going to get rid of ALL of our branding and customer recognition.


  32. I love Ally. Other than above average rates on CDs and online savings, you can use live chat to manage accounts. I love that I can use their chat while sitting on a telecon or other mundane work task. The chat is with real people who can actually DO something! I’ve put almost all of my emergency money and even some that is earmarked for my kids’ future summer camps.

  33. We are sad about that too, as they currently hold our emergency savings and a large revolving savings account.

    But we did recently find another option with a WAY better interest rate, albeit a few more strings. It’s best for our super-duper emergency fund, that we won’t touch unless we both lose our jobs and sh*t hits the fan. I haven’t set one up yet, but my husband has and he likes it so far.
    5.10% APY (on the first $5000), FDIC insured

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