Looking for a good alternative to ING Direct.
June 22, 2011 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend an online savings bank I can use instead of ING Direct, now that it's being bought.

ING Direct is being bought by Capital One. I have nothing but praise for ING Direct; I've used them for seven years with no problems whatsoever. But given CapOne's reputation, I'm worried about the change in ownership.

Can anyone recommend another online bank with relatively good rates and great customer service?
posted by Tin Man to Work & Money (16 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:43 PM on June 22, 2011

Ally used to be GMAC Bank, so . . . I'd keep looking.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:47 PM on June 22, 2011

Not launched yet, but Bank Simple may be worth looking into.

Is it possible to hook Mint into a credit union's account? You'd get Mint's interface (but also whatever baggage you feel re: it being owned by Intuit) but the credit union's benefits.
posted by davextreme at 1:52 PM on June 22, 2011

USAA frequently receives good marks. Their insurance products are, I think, membership restricted but I don't think their banking is anymore. I have an account with them and I like the way you can deposit checks by scanning/emailing and the online stuff Just Works. The few times I've had questions I've gotten to speak to a real live person on the phone who was very helpful. Otherwise, yeah, I've had very good luck with my local credit unions for service and then Mint [or I was using Yodlee for a while, less good] for doing dataviz stuff.
posted by jessamyn at 1:57 PM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have had excellent experience with Charles Schwab. I moved my online checking account there from NetBank when it was purchased by ING.

I had reason to call the Schwab help line on a Saturday afternoon, and the line was answered right away, by a live human being.
posted by megatherium at 2:10 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I use Schwab as well and am completely happy with it.
posted by gaspode at 2:17 PM on June 22, 2011

I like credit unions. I have been able to get all all the help I need either onlne or telephone and I have had no trouble using my credit union atm when I have been out of the country.
posted by snowjoe at 2:33 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Find a credit union with good online presence.
posted by lalochezia at 2:45 PM on June 22, 2011

While USAA is indeed awesome, the interest rates they pay are less than a good credit union will give you -- my boyfriend got a USAA account so we could have a joint account, but keeps the bulk of his money in his credit union because the interest is much better.
posted by telophase at 2:54 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Might not be popular but American Express Savings gives me a better rate than my credit union.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:25 PM on June 22, 2011

It's not online-only, but I've had very good experiences with HSBC Advance (nee HSBC Direct) over the past 6 or so years.
posted by Alterscape at 7:02 PM on June 22, 2011

Seconding USAA, they have consistently high customer service ratings and are on the leading edge of online banking. I'm just waiting until my Wells Fargo checks run out to switch.

Regarding interest rates: if you're keeping a substantial amount of money in a savings or checking account you're doing it wrong. If you have a few thousand dollars lying around you should buy a CD, and for comparable minimum amounts and bank credit rating they should all be about the same (though I can't confirm that). Anything less than a few thousand dollars only amounts to a few cups of coffee a year.
posted by cupcake1337 at 7:09 PM on June 22, 2011

Ally is awesome. They were pretty good while they were GMAC and have only gotten better. Good interest rates, decent website, and they rebate all your ATM fees so you can use any ATM anywhere.

They are going to IPO at some point soon, so I'm hoping they won't start sucking. I've banked / had credit cards with most of the big firms and my experience w/ Ally has been far better than the next runner up.
posted by bsdfish at 2:35 AM on June 23, 2011

Response by poster: If you have a few thousand dollars lying around you should buy a CD, and for comparable minimum amounts and bank credit rating they should all be about the same

What's the advantage of a CD over an online savings bank? When I've looked into CDs in the past, it's always seemed like CD interest rates were about the same as for places like ING.
posted by Tin Man at 7:14 AM on June 23, 2011

For CDs with typical banks I've found there is no advantage unless you're willing to get one for a prolonged period. Interest rates are low across the board due to low lending rates. The online-only banks like Ally and ING typically have much much better rates, no matter the product.

The real advantage of a CD during this time of low interest rates is psychological - it's easy to save when it's difficult to access money that's in a CD.

If you do have a lot of money sitting around, you might want to look into a mutual fund instead of savings or a CD. It's not FDIC insured, but you'll reap the benefits of a (hopefully) upward trending market. Of course, more volatility = more risk, always.
posted by skest at 3:39 PM on June 23, 2011

Response by poster: Cool, thanks skest. That's what I thought.
posted by Tin Man at 6:05 AM on June 24, 2011

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