This post will be about how I am going to save and/or create money for you. Be excited.
In the midst of all the banking scandals, meltdowns, bailouts, et al., last year, I opted to open up an “Orange Savings” account through ING Direct. What drew me in was the promise of no-fee, bi-weekly direct deposits into this savings account from my normal bank account, and the promise of high interest earnings. Now, if you clicked on that link like you were supposed to, you’ll notice that the interest rate is a whopping 1.1% [/sarcasm]. However, when I signed on, it was 1.5% and steadily decreased to the now 1.1% for the past 6 months. Why am I telling you this in the same breath that I’m telling you to do yourself a favor and open one of these accounts? Well, two reasons actually: a) ING as a company is very upfront and transparent about its interest rate calculations (lets face it, savings interest rates are extremely low everywhere right now), and b) it’s still a hell of a lot higher than what you’ll find anywhere else. But with the bad news out of the way, lets get to the good: the interest you earn is capitalized every month and added to your balance. Why is this good news? Because the interest that starts accruing the next month is calculated not only off your principal balance, but with the added interest balance as well. That’s you earning interest off your earned interest. How is that not cool? Naturally, the higher your principal savings balance, the more you earn in interest.
In the event that you need to transfer money out of your ING savings account (though I like the approach of just making it untouchable monies and watching it grow), then there are no fees associated with doing so. None whatsoever. Nope, no pesky little $4, $5, or whatever dollar fee to transfer money out. Just arrange it online, and presto, you’re done.
After about a year with a successfully managed Orange Savings account, ING notified me that I was eligible for an “Electric Orange” checking account. I’ll be honest, it took me a good 6 months before I finally decided to try this out and I’m so glad that I did. I am seriously considering the possibility of turning my original checking account into a bills and rent only account, and my ING checking into an all other type of spending account. With an Electric Orange account, you can access most ATMs (including other banks’ ATMs) for free, transfer money for free, and set up an online bill pay for free. But one of the most salivating benefits? If for whatever reason you go into overdraft, say goodbye to those, what is it now, $30-something overdraft fees? If you go into overdraft with ING, you simply pay whatever the interest rate percentage is for that day (right now that’s roughly $0.20 a day). Yep, $0.20 vs. $30-something dollars. Which would you pick? Oh, and you automatically qualify for overdraft protection if you qualify for an Electric Orange account unlike some other banks *cough cough* I’m looking at my bank, who wait a good 6 months or so before you qualify for it. Finally, the balance in your checking account earns interest as well, though it is not as impressive as what you see with the savings account. For one thing, the balance fluctuates in a checking account because, well, it’s a checking account. That you’re using regularly. Not to mention you have to have a ridiculous sum in there in order to earn anything substantial, so don’t sign up for the checking account in order to earn interest. Sign up for it because it’s awesome.
There are also other nifty things for investors, mortgage holders, etc., and I can’t personally testify to those, but if they’re anything like the products I do use, then you can’t go wrong. I spoke to their customer service in order to set up the checking account and it was fast, simple, and the guy was really nice. They even have nice customer service representatives! How is that possible with a bank? So what are you still doing here reading this? Go. Go over to their website and check it out! You can thank me later with cookies and SmartWater.