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Testimonial of ING DIRECT savings account by a customer
It's nice when you can say some nice things about a bank, and I'll tell you about my own personal experience with ING DIRECT. A few years ago I started seeing ads for a new savings account which apparently offered a considerably better rate of interest for savers than other places at the time. I'm quite careful with money, so I am keen to find the best interest rate account at which to invest my money. I'm also very cautious about risk, so I wanted to make sure the money was being kept somewhere that was likely to stay in business. Looking around at different savings accounts and their different interest rates, I realised that ING DIRECT had the best interest rate for me at the time.
This was a surprise as I usually find the best interest rates are at places where you get a better rate if you invest a larger amount, and as ING DIRECT has the same rate regardless of the size of the amount being invested, it was odd to see it outdoing banks who only offered a really good rate if you wanted to invest a very substantial sum of money. Also, with many good interest rate accounts, there is a condition that the money is tied up for a long time. At ING DIRECT, there was no such condition, and the place seemed quite happy to look after my money and pay me a decent rate of interest on an account which was INSTANT ACCESS. So, I invested the money (that my website had made) in a new account which I opened at ING DIRECT.
To start up the account I had to send them a cheque by post for one pound, then later move the actual savings to the ING DIRECT savings account, and the account was arranged so it could only have transfers to and from a special nominated personal account at a highstreet bank. But this was no problem, as I could operate the account over the phone and see the interest on the savings coming in on monthly statements. Over the years, there have been other banks and building societies offering interest rates which were comparable, but these usually had some catch or other, and were seldom more than a fraction of a percent better at the time, and the rates varied. In contrast, ING DIRECT kept paying a good rate of interest which didn't change much and was consistently good.
When I leave the UK for tax purposes, one of the few things I will miss is having an ING DIRECT account (they are only available if you live in the UK, USA, and a few other notable mainstream countries). I'll be doing well to find an international offshore account which is as easy to use as the ING DIRECT account and actually pays a decent interest rate!
If you are interested in opening an ING DIRECT account for yourself, you are welcome to have a look at the dedicated page: ING DIRECT. That's if you live in the UK. If you live in the USA there is a similar arrangement which you can see at ING DIRECT USA, which was updated at some time to have a comparable interest rate. With any of these financial matters you should make your own mind up, and I think you should know I'm writing this as a customer speaking well of the place, according to what I've seen myself in my own situation rather than being any kind of qualified financial advisor able to tell you what you should do with your own money. From my own perspective, I know that I made a good decision.
Update 2011: The interest rates at ING DIRECT suddenly dropped at some time during 2010 to a negligible level. Many people left their money in, unaware that it was no longer such a good investment.