What’s the catch?

I just opened an account at ING Direct·, an online-only bank that provides 2% interest in an “orange savings account” (vs. 0.5% at my regular bank) with no fees, minimum balance, etc..

What’s really surprised me is their privacy policy·:

ING DIRECT’s privacy policy exceeds the standards required by congressional legislation. One requirement of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999, or GLB, requires financial institutions to provide customers with the ability to “opt-out” of information sharing. ING DIRECT has adopted an “opt-in” privacy policy, which means that we will not share your data unless you explicitly request that we do so.

I don’t think I’ve ever received a privacy policy from a financial institution that say much more than “we promise we’ll comply with the law!” Compare my credit union, whose privacy policy says: “We share member information with discretion. We may share some or all of the non-public, personal financial information we collect about you, but we pledge to share such information with prudence and only as permitted by law.” Great—prudence—I’ll definitely be able to enforce that one!

The mailing I got from ING Direct is even better:

Banks have assumed for too long that they can share information about you, and then ask if you mind; requiring you to tell them not to, or “Opt-Out” of their information sharing. ING DIRECT will not share your information unless you ask us to, or “Opt-In” to us sharing your information.

The only thing I find a little irritating so far is that they always answer the phone with, “ING Direct, how can I help you save more money?”

So what I want to know is: what’s the catch?


  1. Chris Jan 28

    There isn’t one as far as I can tell. I was surprised that you can’t use the debit card at stores, but they are just like any other bank other than that. Except they’re making money the old fashioned way and not nickel-and-diming you to death.

    (I am referring to the Canadian version of ING Direct, so things might be different for you.)

  2. F.G. Jan 28

    One catch (for me in the US):
    * You must be a US citizen or permanent resident with a valid social security number.
    Another potential catch:
    * Although ING DIRECT does not charge fees, ING DIRECT cannot control the fees charged by your existing bank. Generally, banks do not charge for electronic funds transfers

    (source : ING website)

  3. Sara Jan 28

    I am an advertising student at the University of South Carolina and our client for my campaigns class is ING Direct Orange Savings Account. I was wondering if you could give me some information like why you chose ING Direct and what they offered you that traditional banks did not. Why was ING Direct appealing to you? How did you hear about it? If you could give me any information, I would be very grateful. By the way, I have researched the savings account and I haven’t found any catches so far. Their main tagline is to “make your money make money” and with their high APY they can guarantee that. You can read customer opinions on epinions.com. It’s helpful. Thanks so much.

  4. Adam Rosi-Kessel Jan 28

    If you have a question for me, please email me at the contact address–the weblog comments area is not really a proper place to have a conversation.

  5. Skijališta Oct 21

    I don’t think there is a cach. ING Direct FTW

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