I opened my account with ING back in January 2007. Back then they had a special running to open an account with no minimum deposit and they gave you $25.00 in bonus money for doing it. The interest rate at the time was in the neighborhood of 4.5%. I had 2 checking accounts at 2 different banks at the time and neither of those were paying me any interest so I thought I would give it a try.
Opening the account online was pretty straight forward and simple and took about 5 minutes. If I can follow along, anyone can. I opened it with $25.00 dollars to start plus the $25.00 they gave me. I was able to print all my information and it took 10 business days for the initial deposit to clear. They made 2 small deposits to my checking account in order to verify all the information I had given them. As I felt more comfortable with it, I started to add more money to it and still have it today. To open a account, you need to tie it to one of your checking accounts. From there you can make free transfers in and out of the checking account and the ING account. The accounts are FDIC insured up to $250, 000. You can view your account online 24 hours a day and make transactions at your leisure.
The only problem I have with ING is how long the transfers take. Transferring money is supposed to take 2 business days. For money going from the ING account to my checking account that seems to be the case. For money that I have moved from my checking account into the ING account, it does show immediately on your ING account and interest does start accumulating on it at the 2 business days but they traditionally hold that for 5 business days before you are able to withdraw it again. So if you are in need of moving your money, you must plan ahead because it is not an immediate thing like a traditional bank.
The interest rate has dropped dramatically since I first signed up for it from the initial 4.5% I was getting to now only 2.75 % but that is due to the economy and not the bank itself. Even at 2.75% that is still more than I was earning on my non interest checking accounts. I have actually grown to like the fact that the transfers are not immediate since it has saved me from making some impulsive purchases over the years. For me ING has been a great online way for me to save my money.
Update On Mar 26, 2010: Sadly the interest rate on this account has dropped once again from the original 3.40% APY when I signed up for it to only 1.10% APY today. Hopefully the economy will turn around soon and rates will go back up again to where they once were.