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What does the Capital One acquisition mean for ING Direct?

Ramit Sethi

I’ve always pledged to be brutally honest with you about the best and worst companies out there.

Very few people in the personal finance space will name specific names about companies. Some of them are worried about closing the door on a sponsorship deal. Some simply don’t want to be “mean.”

I’ve always found that being ULTRA-SPECIFIC — more than anyone else — shows people you really know what you’re talking about.

So after news came out about Capital One acquiring ING Direct, I got approximately 830 million emails like this:


“Any thoughts on ING getting bought by Capital One? Me & my 2 friends who use IWT book are concerned. (EOM)”



“Now with ING being purchased by Capital One Bank do you think this will change your thoughts?”



“What do you make of Capital One buying out ING Direct??  I’ve been with ING for a number of years and pretty happy with the system, liked it better with higher interest rates, but whadya do?”



…I’ve decided to talk about what the Capital One acquisition will mean for ING Direct. As you know, when I recommended my favorite savings account, checking account, and credit card, I named ING Direct as the savings account that I love and use.

My thoughts on the Capital One acquisition of ING Direct

There are companies that are pure pieces of shit.

Companies that I go out of my way to avoid, and warn everyone else about.

Capital One is one of those companies.

It’s an example of the worst type of financial company that exists to completely screw over their customers with outrageous fees, deceptive benefits, and absurd teaser rates.

For example, here’s a picture I snapped on BART a while back.

3X the average rate!! Wow!!

Oh, wait…you need a minimum balance of $10,000, which is literally written in fine print. Hey Capital One: When you compare the promise of the headline — which screams “EARN 3X MORE ON YOUR SAVINGS”  — with the actual account requirements, your customers feel cheated and hate you even more than they already do.

Would a company like Amazon ever do this? Zappos? Nordstrom?

I also get thousands and thousands of emails every month, and you wouldn’t believe how many people complain about the terrible behavior of Capital One.

Reader Kelly described her experiences with Capital One:

“Multiple horrible customer service experiences with Cap One, plus some really shady/fraudulent credit reporting muck-ups on their end. Not impressed, burned a few times, and now wary.”

In fact, in a recent interview with, where I named my favorite/least favorite accounts, here’s what I said:

“Capital One: I would never use their cards. I hear horror story after horror story from my readers about them.”

It doesn’t help that when the New York Times asked Capital One if they were going to ruin ING accounts, the Capital One rep responded with the most robotic, automoton-like responses I’ve ever heard:

Q. Are you planning any new fees or minimum balance requirements?

ING Direct has built a large and valuable franchise of engaged customers by focusing on a few simple proconsumer products.  We deeply understand the value of the loyalty and advocacy ING Direct has been able to build with its customers.  Everything we do as we integrate our businesses will be thoughtful and surefooted with a focus on sustaining and building that customer loyalty. We will focus on the customers, channels, products, and pricing strategies that build the best long-term customer relationships and deliver the best cost of funds.


Are you serious? THAT is the best response that Capital One — an enormous company that everyone fears will turn friendly ING into a mega-bank that screws customers over — can come up with? I could have crafted a better response while juggling on a tightrope over Niagara Falls.

What the Capital One acquisition means for ING Direct

I can understand the concern. Thousands and thousands of readers have opened ING Direct accounts because of my recommendation in my book, blog, and emails. So now that a terrible company bought ING Direct, what should you do?


What the hell is wrong with you??

Do you seriously think a company — even the demonic Capital One — is going to immediately change ING accounts into a fee-heavy, terrible-customer-service-having, fine-print-obscuring monstrosity of an account?

Of course not. They JUST acquired ING Direct. They are not going to drastically change your account in like 2 minutes.

I understand the hatred of Capital One, but the irrational fear of this acquisition is getting out of control. People have ALREADY canceled their ING account anticipating the horrible changes that are coming. Would you really want to be friends with these people? “OMG…it’s cloudy outside. MOVE OUT OF THE WAY! I HAVE TO GO TO WALMART TO BUY GUNS AND WATER…IT MIGHT BE A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST!!”

Talk about jumping the gun.

Here is what I anticipate will happen over the long term.

  • Nothing will change for a while
  • Then Capital One, like a racist uncle, will not be able to help itself from revealing its true colors. It will make subtle changes to ING accounts to make it more profitable for them…and shittier for customers (timeline: unknown. My guess is around a year for the first changes, but who knows.)
  • It won’t be “so bad” for a while, especially since we’ve invested so much time in automating transfers to our sub-savings accounts
  • Eventually, people will start to realize ING has become “just another” bank, and there are better options
  • After I get fed up, I will browse to and vomit all over my computer just to spite them. Then I will switch to another bank, test it, and write a damning post, causing thousands of people to switch accounts within 24 hours
  • We will pick another bank and life will go on

HOWEVER. NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING YET. So stop being weirdos and anticipating the end of the world before it ever comes. You have MUCH bigger things to focus on than what “might” happen with your bank account. Have you negotiated? Automated? Earned more? Taken the 30-day challenge to save $1,000? Focus on what’s in front of you, not what might happen some day, possibly, somehow.

Seriously, I hate you all.


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  1. avatar

    Your post is the first I’ve heard of this. It’s a little concerning, but as you say it’s probably safe to wait and see.

    My one concern is this: to discourage customers from switching banks, might they enforce some kind of balance transfer fee? Do banks ever do that? Maybe it’s not even legal.

  2. avatar
    Marshall Jones Jr.

    I like how the first line is about being brutally honest, and the last line is, “Seriously, I hate you all.” :>)

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  3. avatar

    Ramit is such a sweetheart.

  4. avatar
    Luke G.

    “Seriously, I hate you all.”
    It must be opposite day! We love you too, Ramit!!

    There are other online banks, although ING did pave the way for quite a while, so we do all have options when that day comes (if ever).

    Good advice, if a little sharp at times…I doubt 100% of your readership are in ‘weirdo’ terror over ING right now…I certainly wasn’t, for all of the reasons you outlined. 😉

  5. avatar

    I’ve had a car loan and savings accounts with Cap One and never had any problems. It sounds like most of the issues people have are with their credit cards. I keep most of my cash in their Interest Plus account and it’s pretty straightforward. If you have an ING account, it’s silly to close your account right now, unless you just want to boycott Cap One.

  6. avatar
    Eric S. Mueller

    I was one of those people who joined ING based on your recommendation. I think I used your affiliate link.I’m sure Crapitole One won’t be able to screw ING up right away. I’ll watch for developments.

    I was really hesitant to automate my finances for a long time. When I was in the Navy, I had my car insurance on an automatic withdrawal from checking and the Navy screwed my paycheck up. I had to scramble to keep my insurance from crashing my account and then cancelling my coverage for non-payment. If that had happened while I’d been at sea, I’d have been hosed.

    So it took me a long time to warm up to the idea of automation. Now that I have, I look at the few last bills that can’t be automated. I want to call my water company up and scream “What the hell is wrong with you people! It’s 2011!” At least my gas company moved up to 2004 and will send me a bill by email now. Still can’t automate payment to them.

  7. avatar
    Chris Horner

    Well written Ramit, as usual. While C(r)apital One is one of the worst examples of a company in existance today, it will take awhile. Besides I’m sure other companies will be watching the developments waiting for a mis-step and have things waiting in the wings to roll the red carpet for disgruntled ING account holders.

  8. avatar


    I just found your site a couple of days ago and am looking forward to putting some of your advice into action. I have a crappy savings account through my crappy bank and am looking to replace it. Is the ING account still a good idea for the next year or so or can you recommend an alternative?

    (also, I really love your writing style. I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve actually enjoyed reading a financial advice blog. That is saying something!)

  9. avatar

    Honestly, I have never had any major issues with my Capital One card though. Only thing I can think of is the real low credit limit on my card initially. Come to think of it, I actually really like the card: I can apply the cash back to my statement (I hate depositing checks) and there is ZERO foreign transaction fee (they have even used reasonable conversion rates in my experience).

    I know that my experience may be different than others and given that CapOne is a “non-traditional” bank almost ensures they are screwing others but this may be a major overreaction, even by the author.

    Ramit, we all still like you.

  10. avatar
    Al Pittampalli

    That corporate PR response was shockingly bad. When did corporate execs become politicians? Any time anyone talks like that, you know they’re hiding something. People use ambiguous language to mask what they really feel, in this case I’d imagine that rep was a little worried themselves. Thanks for pointing to this, Ramit.

  11. avatar
    Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    that is the beauty of the system we have today, when a good apple turns sour, several others crop up. there are several good apples out there if push comes to shove, Ally bank, USAA bank . . . . but the point is valid – calm down, the sky isn’t falling anytime soon . . .

  12. avatar

    This is a pretty normal affair in the terms of the business world. People don’t be sheep, there are other banks in the world that will be happy to hold your money. It’s unfortunate but reality. If I told you to go to Hawaii and seismologist announced the volcano might erupt in 10 years after the fact. Would you cancel your trip and send me retarded letters asking why I would send you there? No you wouldn’t, and if you did maybe you should stop listening to others period out of the fear that what they said could change.

  13. avatar

    I despise Capital One as well. One of the reasons I paid off my credit card debt a couple years ago was solely to get out from under their thumb and sneaky practices. I don’t have my savings in ING since I had long ago put it all in an HSBC direct account since that was the best rate at the time. I never switched to get a minuscule upgrade in the interest rate, and am glad now. Capital One is so disgusting.

  14. avatar
    Scott P

    I’m guessing they won’t re-design their site, which is already horrible. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever used a bank website that wasn’t total pain from a graphics and user interface point of view.

  15. avatar
    Kyle Meyer

    I’ve been using Discover’s online savings account rather than ING for the past year or so after being superbly pleased by their customer service for my Discover More Card. I’ve found the interface and ease of use to be top notch, the interest rate is in line with competitors, and I’m able to do everything recommended in your book with them. If anyone is indeed looking to jump the gun and switch, or is hesitating about opening a savings account with ING, Discover Savings is top notch.

  16. avatar

    The only reason I still have Capital One is because it doesn’t charge me a fee when the card is used overseas. I’m in Europe on a 2yr contract. It doesn’t carry a balance, of course.
    If anyone can tell me of a better CC, please let me know. I haven’t found one yet for particular case.
    I agree with Ramit, I won’t move my money from ING until I see what CapitalOne does first.

  17. avatar
    Alex Humphrey

    How did I not hear about this takeover sooner? That really sucks. ING Direct is an amazing bank that has done fantastic things for its customers. It’s sad to see them sell all that to Capital One.

    Like you, I won’t be switching out of ING Direct right away, but now I know it’s time I start looking around at other banks to see if there’s anything comparable out there. There has to be someone wanting to pick up ING’s customers

  18. avatar

    Great article…the tone of your message was entertaining to me and at the same time I learned about this acquisition. I have had ING accounts for decades and until I see a difference of fee, CS etc. I will keep them there. I also have a Capital One credit card and never had any issues but I pay all balances off every month so it’s an easy business relationship for me. You pretty much told everyone off that was over reacting….that was the amusing part! We all have choices based on the information shared and the good thing about that is you can still chose another path if the first choice doesn’t work out!

  19. avatar

    I’ve been a customer of ING since 2003 and I have been very pleased with them. I’ve recommended them to all of my friends and I haven’t closed my account due to the Capital One news. At least not yet. However, I think that some who already have are doing it on principle. Perhaps instead of running in fear they are simply voting with their dollars and letting Capital One know that there is no way in hell that they are going to do business with them. What is wrong with that?

    Granted, it doesn’t necessitate panicky emails to you. So, yeah, that bit is annoying.

  20. avatar
    John Michael

    Scott, I absolutely agree. I have never found an easy to use banking website, although the closest I have experienced is the Ally site. Very simple, seemingly well made, aesthetically pleasing to the user’s eye.

  21. avatar

    I’ve been a loyal customer of ING since 2002 and will be researching alternatives. Everything that Capital One represents goes against what I want in a bank. In addition to the fees, there are the various cross-marketing initiatives that C1 is going to unleash on us. Car loans, personal loans, credit card offers, fuck that shit.

    What I was really suprised to read was the situation ING put themselves in which mandated that they sell off their North American operations. I always perceived their operations as being extremely conservative, not one that would require the extreme bailout that they recieved from the EU.

    As for what is out there to switch to, you really need to write down what you are looking for in a bank. If you’re a rate chaser, go chase that rate. If you are looking for customer service, look towards your local bank or one like Ally (GMAC rebranded). ING was perfect for me for almost 10 years, however I will probably leave them in the next year for either Ally or BankSimple.

  22. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    I love making fun of rate chasers too

  23. avatar
    Devin Reams

    I think a lot of people originally valued ING Direct for two good reasons:

    1. Higher(ish) savings rates since it was one of the early online banks
    2. Sub-accounts (which was the *only* innovation in banking I’ve seen in my lifetime)

    Now that other online banks offer both of these benefits I feel like (if) when the worst-case scenario happens, there will be excellent alternatives. Until then, I’ll keep calm and carry on.

  24. avatar

    I’m hoping that the Racist Uncle Period coincides with BankSimple going live.

  25. avatar

    When something bad happens, people stop and think “Don’t worry, this too shall pass.” They should remember that when something good happens they should also stop and thing, “This too shall pass.”

  26. avatar


    That quote paired with the racist uncle line is why Ramit always has my ear. Its not always about money and rates, etc. If you didn’t laugh after reading his post, wow.

    Ramit is on point!

  27. avatar
    Felicity Fields

    My bank (Washington Mutual) was bought out by Chase over a year ago. The timeline is exactly as Ramit described: first nothing, then slowly screwing me harder and harder. My favorite is that there are adverts everywhere for how Chase can help you with your savings. And oh, by the way, did you know it will cost you $10 a month for that checking account? Unless, of course, you can guarantee one $500 direct deposit or keep a balance of $1000.

    I am so very very sad that ING sold out to another company. But, I’m practicing switching banks now, so in a year, I’ll be an old hand when ING gets nasty!

  28. avatar

    You’re my favorite.

  29. avatar

    I am in a wait-and-see mode as you advise, Ramit. If I see any crap going down, I will look for a new bank. I just love the ING sub-accounts for my savings, though. It’s so simple to track my different goals. What other banks offer this feature?

  30. avatar

    That ending was better than the last movie I just saw. Because it was actually funny, haha. Thanks for the post Ramit.

  31. avatar

    I am in complete agreement with you on the ridiculousness of Capital One….I have my own story to share if you need more fuel but it seems like you don’t need any more! I do appreciate your honesty. This is why you are one blog I follow religiously—thank you!

  32. avatar
    Rodrigo E.

    I was going to open my ING Direct Orange Savings Account just today. Any other institution I should consider instead now that Capital One Bought ING Direct Orange?

  33. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    You make me sad

  34. avatar

    Yeah,sounds good Ramit. I’ve been an ING customer for 9 years. Been good to me. We’ll see what C-1 does in a while. Yep, C-1 is old school biz with guys smokin’ and drinkin’ in the back room making the bulk of the money.

    If they do become shitheads I’ll go elsewhere. I’d rather not. I love hearing your point of view man.


  35. avatar
    Johnny Mean


    Thanks for the clarity of the situation and the use of colourful language to help get my attention.

    Great post how to best manage changes by filtering them through and established framework.

    1)Assess-The current information and impacts.
    2)Plan-Pre-pare for change.
    3)Implement-Take Action, when appropriate or required.
    4)Evaluate-Go back to step 1

    Avoid the knee-jerk reactions.

    Is ING still achieving the results behind the initial decision to switch in the first place?

    “In Ramit We Trust”

  36. avatar

    So, I’ve never been able to figure out the whole “sub account” thing on ING… when I try to figure it out, i lose patience almost immediately and move on.. quick tutorial, anyone?

  37. avatar

    Ramit, this just made my day. Especially you calling out the commenter who completely missed the point.

  38. avatar
    Rodrigo E.

    Ramit, I am sorry to make you sad. But, could you please answer my question?

    I get the point of “Do not panic, nothing is going to happen in the next year or so”, which is great for people that already have a relationship with ING. But as a new comer, it doesn’t make sense to open an account that will most likely change terms in a year or so.


  39. avatar
    Kathryn C

    DAMN IT! do your readers sleep with one eye open or what? I can’t respond fast enough to these posts.
    People, this is only the beginning of more mergers and acquisitions to come, so get comfortable with all this M&A activity and “CALM THE FUCK DOWN YOU WEIRDOS”

  40. avatar


    Hahaha, great!! 😀

  41. avatar

    This is why I read Ramit! No holds barred – even against his own readers! I’m an avid hater of Capital One myself, and I’ve been following this purchase from the first news article, but I agree, it’s not time to run yet. It took Chase a year to ruin WaMu’s reputation. We have time.

  42. avatar
    Eric F

    I LOVE your blog, I really do. But, could you please cool it with the colorful language. I object not on principle, but because I like to read your blog at work.

  43. avatar
    Riley Cabot

    Ally does, and so does my local credit union. It’s not that hard to find these days!

  44. avatar
    Riley Cabot

    Your work is okay with you slacking off and reading blogs, but not articles that say “FUCK”? You need a new job, or a new brain.

  45. avatar
    John McGlynn

    Ramit, have you looked into Looks promising, and maybe by the time we all have to bail on ING Direct, will be up to speed. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

  46. avatar

    Thanks for the clarity, Ramit. I figured you’d hold your ground (solid as it is), but you also provided a sound argument in the process, and that’s why we’re Sethifiles (groupies if you prefer).

    As the dark clouds accumulate in the distance, we sit tight and observe. We’ve seen similar clouds form, and those who lived in the path of those recent storms know the damage that they can do. In the mean time, there’s no point in boarding up your windows to block out the sun and shut out the breeze if the clouds continue linger off-shore for another year or more.

  47. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    I prefer groupies. Female ones

  48. avatar

    I do keep one Capital One credit card for traveling abroad because it has no foreign transaction fees, but I don’t touch it for anything else. If anyone wants to leave ING, I recommend Ally Bank. I have been using them for over 3 years now, with multiple targeted savings accounts, and I am happy with them. They also have very good customer service, if you ever need to call them.

  49. avatar

    So, when can I expect a post on where to put my money?
    P.S. I hate you back.

  50. avatar
    Ramit Sethi


  51. avatar

    Jokes…good post for real. I really do enjoy your blog, it is about the only one I can make it through without nodding off before finishing a post in our overly PC culture…

  52. avatar
    Flaneuse in DC

    The ING customers bailing out right away are sending a clear signal to Capital One that their company has a horrible reputation. Obviously CapOne just don’t care. (Another reason they are crappy). But isn’t “voting with your feet” part of intelligent customer behavior? Mostly I’m wondering why ING felt the need to get in bed with the devil in the first place. I don’t yet have an ING account, and now am unlikely to open one.

  53. avatar

    Ramit, we appreciate that you gave a clear recommendation to your readers in this post. You probably threw Capital One’s PR department into a tizzy, but so what? 🙂 Your readers will remain loyal to you if you keep dishing out honest advice.

    Keep up the real-world advice, continue naming names and avoid the tendency to pimp your own products! Articles like this put you in the company of consumer advocates like Consumer Reports, Clark Howard and Jack Bogle.

  54. avatar

    I’ve been wondering the same thing. This link explains how to do that — it seems like you’ll be setting up an entirely new account, but you won’t be; you’ll just be selecting your main ING account as the funding source for your new sub-account.

  55. avatar
    That Kelly you quoted

    Bwahaha. Jeez, you coulda just re:’d with a ‘CALM THE FUCK DOWN WOMAN’ and called it a day.

    Thanks Ramit, I consider myself sethistised (it’s like ‘chastised‘ only more fun and informative)

    So: Calming the fuck down! Thanks for reminding some of us we’ve got briefcases to work on, no matter how much we’re looking forward to the spite-vomit post.

    Chicken Little & co

  56. avatar

    Same here – WaMu to Chase along that timeline. And now ING. Great. But Ramit’s post is a hilarious & apt that we should keep our eyes open lest we rush into another bad savings account.

  57. avatar
    CLA 500

    lol, he just ramed it up everyones pie hole.

  58. avatar

    I Hate Capital One with all passion within me. Back in college days about 7 years ago, for 50 dollars balance they delinquent my account and sent it to the credit agencies. That shit still on my credit history. I hate them and I will close my ING account.

  59. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    Wow, dude. I love the purity of your hatred. You have my blessing.

  60. avatar

    I’ve been using ING’s checking service for about four years. I hope Capital One doesn’t mess with the overdraft protection, which simply taps a line of credit associated with your account rather than wallop a fee for moving money from a linked savings account to the checking account you just put in to overdraft by buying a $5 latte. While I don’t consider their overdraft a magic pile of money to be tapped in an emergency, it helps with automation since I don’t need to worry about not having enough cash to cover bills I may have forgotten about. If the mortgage is due Wednesday and payday is Friday, well I pay about 20 cents in interest for the couple of days I was a few hundred in the hole. I’ve paid about $10 in interest over 4 years and the peace of mind is more than worth it.

    Time to start researching similar banks… you know, just in case the racist uncle reveals his true colors.

  61. avatar

    There exists a certain amount of expected loss in any take-over. The lost quotient the equivalent of “the fringe” in politics. 10% will always vote for the blue party no matter how egregious its sins, and 10% will always vote for the red party, no matter how many babies it kills. The fringe are mindless. They do not reason. They act on impulse and react on fear.

  62. avatar

    But yes, voting with your wallet or “feet” is the only way to have any impact on a business.

    Here’s where it gets complicated though:

    Assuming Capital One notices a decline in ING customers, they might make any one of the following assumptions. ‘Eh, It’s a bad economy and people are pulling their money out. They’re just fearful people running away from the unknown. Maybe we did something wrong in the past, but this time is different. They were only ING customers because ING wasn’t an American company; those socialist pigs! ING had great rates in the past, but now the rates aren’t good enough to keep them around. Rate chasers.

    My point is, Capital One can use any of a number of excuses for a decline in customers. In my opinion, they only took over the company to increase their unique customers… a variation on the unique visitors website popularity metric. It doesn’t matter how many uniques you have if they only contribute 50 cents and cost you millions. In web metrics, Capital One might simply prefer having 50 unique bots vs 1 unique paying customer.

    You can only improve what you measure. We all know how much Ramit loves his metrics.

  63. avatar

    I called to cancel my ING account and they were super craptacular to me about it. “Why do that when you don’t know what is going to happen?” Uh…why would I stick around for a 1% savings account if they are bought by known evils? Back when they were paying 4.5% in 2007, fine, but they don’t make money for anybody right now so what is the point? In my opinion, anyone not going to a convenient local credit union right now if there is one available is crazy.

  64. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    They are right. You missed the entire point of the blog post. And I guarantee your credit union is not paying much more than 1%.

  65. avatar

    I know Ramit doesn’t want anyone jumping the gun but I already have two Ally accounts and had been thinking of switching over anyhow. If I want to “close” my ING accounts do I just transfer all my money over or do I have to call them and tell them?

    I was even thinking of leaving a dollar in the accounts and transferring the rest?

    I have 3,000 in my ING savings accounts.

    Thank you!


  66. avatar
    Dan B

    Ramit, your switch to Ally is inevitable. Just join already. “One of us, one of us, one of us…”

  67. avatar

    And I still resent what ING did when it took over NetBank….

    Hilarious post, though. Point made.

  68. avatar
    Frisco Kid


    BIG UP RAMIT!!!!!

  69. avatar

    ING Group N.V. (the parent company of ING Direct) was required to liquidate its US assets by the EU Commission for Competition, as a compensation for the bailouts they’d received during the subprime mortgage crisis.

    Capital One was the highest bidder.

  70. avatar
    Jesse Rude

    Props to USAA! I have never loved (or even LIKED) my bank until I switched to them, and I couldn’t be happier.

    I just always assumed a bank was a necessary evil until I started shopping around and found a bank that actually serves its customers. Everyone should read Chapter 2 in IWT. The recommendations in the book may become out of date, but the point won’t change. SHOP AROUND!

    If ING ends up turning into a suckfest, people will leave. It’s as simple as that. Leaving a bank and opening a new account couldn’t be easier these days anyway. Quit whining and vote with your dollars if your bank stops treating you the way you want it to.

  71. avatar

    I’ve never heard of such a fee on a savings account. Many credit accounts have this feature. I can’t see how Capital One would be able to charge you for transferring your money out of their bank.

  72. avatar
    David | Almost Bohemian

    This was a brilliant piece! Thanks for it. I am glad to not be one of the weirdos. That said, I am canceling my Capital One card bc it has been awful. And I wanted to go with ING… so now I am hesitant. But, I will go forward and follow thee!

  73. avatar
    Matt Licari

    Here’s a novel thought. Maybe this will actually make ING Direct better. I love ING, but as a checking account its lack of ATM locations and lack of checks are by far its biggest flaws. Maybe the muscle of a big bank can correct this…

  74. avatar

    Do folks HELP you by staying with ING for a bit longer if they signed up through your affiliate link? If people are bailing based on principle, the principle of making Ramit a couple extra bucks might outweigh the urgency of jumping the ING ship.

    Agree that it’s stupid to panic.
    Also stupid to stay with ING if there’s another option that offers similar/better service coupled with more peace-of-mind.

  75. avatar

    Hi Ramit, I have a potentially edifying story to support what you’re saying. In the early-2000s I decided to become a Chase customer because of their substantial ATM presence in New York City after becoming annoyed with ATM charges I was incurring because my smaller bank (that, if branches tell the story, I think was acquired by Capital One) only had a few ATMs in the city. BOY WAS THAT DUMB! I traded a few dollars in fees on a true no-fee checking account for fees on using my checks, fees on using my debit card, fees for having an account…you know the drill.

    So, I switched to Washington Mutual when they came to the city and was oh-so-happy. They had a decent amount of ATMs and a real no-fee account. Then, they collapsed and were picked up by the dreaded CHASE BANK!

    I fretted and feared, but the guy at my local WaMu (already owned by Chase) branch told me that as long as I didn’t take the bait to switch to a Chase checking product (and Chase was offering up to $100 for people to switch), I would retain the terms of my no-fee Washington Mutual account.

    So far (going on 3 years), this has held. And now, Chase has ATMs everywhere (including in Duane Reade), so I basically never need to worry about ATM fees.

    I don’t know when, if, or how this can change, but so far so good. Maybe Capital One will leave well enough alone if ING customers can stave off the tempting carrots they will no doubt extend.

  76. avatar

    I love when people are quick to panic. I’ve never quite understood it, but then I’ve always been patient and rational. I’m currently banking with Chase under a college account, and I don’t really have income at the moment, so where I put my money is a non-issue. Priority number 1 is clearly getting that income, be it a part-time job at retail (ew) or somewhere else; or freelance work.

    I look forward to future blog posts, including where you suggest putting our money once ING goes to hell. I like that you do the footwork for us. It gives me somewhere to start from; there’s too much misinformation out there.

    Hate you too, Ramit. 🙂

  77. avatar

    This is a typical lifecycle of banks and other financial institutions (probably works for other businesses too). A bank opens up, offers awesome customer service and great rates. Customers jump ship from big banks that screw them, for the sake of this example we will call big bank WF. Small bank grows, keeps getting more accounts in the area until. Eventually big bank WF purchases small bank to acquire their customer base (many of which were originally WF customers to start with).

    This is normal business and you are right, there will be another new, better, shinier financial institution opening up very soon.

  78. avatar

    Who the F*ck is capital one….

    ING will be fine with the acquisition.
    Nice post Ramit

  79. avatar

    So now I have torn feelings about capital one. I hear all these horror stories about their customer service and dirty tactics but here’s my recent story:

    I called to negotiate my rate which is obviously ridiculously high. They agree to lower the rate but it still doesn’t match my credit union card. Realizing I was going to pay it off(I negotiated a 500% increase on my credit union card) they offer to switch the card to a rewards card that I can use for everyday purchases and gain cash or mileage/cash(no annual fee). I call back later to acquire all of my payoff info. I needed to find out how long it would take the credit union to mail the check so I could get an exact payoff. I was about to leave and the capital one rep offered to stay on the phone while I drove to my bank so I wouldn’t have to call back in and reexplain myself. After I got to the bank and gave cap one the info he gladly transfered me over to someone that handled the conversion to a rewards card. Now maybe this was a one off but they stayed on the phone with me for over an hour total and couldn’t have been nicer. Am I being setup for a huge disappointment……?

  80. avatar

    Ah, Ramit – you are hilarious – I love you. I have a name for those peeps that freak out despite the minute absolute risk… “Apocolypto” fondly after a client at a branch I worked at insisted upon taking every stock purchase out of the account IN CERTIFICATES because “all the money will disappear soon when THEY lose control of their systems..” I suppose he never thought of fire…

  81. avatar
    Andy D

    “FUCK!!!”, “SHIT!” “WEIRDOS?!?” Just wanted to say that… never had so many laughs reading comments.. well ok maybe at it’s pretty funny too..ha ha.. the ironic ones that missed the point of the post were the best.

  82. avatar


    I think the point Ramit is trying to make is that he STILL recommends that you sign up with ING Direct. IF/when it goes downhill, that will be down the road. At that point, then it will be time to move on, and he’ll recommend something new.

    Personally, I haven’t had any issues with Capital One (I have an auto loan through them). They’ve actually went out of their way to help me at times when I couldn’t pay the monthly payment. And IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), Capital One will be foolish to change a lot with ING Direct anytime soon. They have to realize that people will move on. Especially if they make it worse than other online alternatives.

    Have a great day:)

  83. avatar

    Seriously, “I hate you all”? You’re too funny and I love the talk about Capital One, and throwing up on your computer. Who else can talk about checking accounts and say Fuck in the same paragraph. Love the honesty, keep it coming!

  84. avatar
    Super Dave

    I love the way you write. If you’re ever in Dallas you should come ride out at Station 25. I just recommended the ING direct savings account to a young guy at the station like 2 days before this news came out. I don’t think he took my suggestion anyway. But if he asks, I’ll tell he should go ahead and open an account and see what happens. Stay groovy.

  85. avatar

    CapOne bought Chevy Chase Bank, the bank I had been using for many years. They ruined it.
    Terrible red tape at the tellers, bad and untimely record keeping, poorly detailed statements, non-timely accounting, no balance on receipts, awful automatic phone service, questionable accounting–they once charged me a line of credit fee then sent me the amount back with no explanation.

  86. avatar

    I hope the end won’t be similar to the case when Chase bought Washington Mutual. I was a very WM customer until the day Chase bought it. (Yes I use also a Chase credit card, and a happy Chase credit card customer). BUT now I got hit with 2 fees

    1. $5/year for Saving balance < $300
    2. $10/month service fee if I fail the below (and I do miserable b/c I don't live in the US and keep this account only for some payment for shopping on US online stores)

    Have at least one direct deposit of $500.00 or more
    , keep a minimum daily balance in your checking account of $1,500.00 or more
    , keep an average qualifying deposit and investment balance of $5,000.00 or more
    , pay at least $25.00 in qualifying checking-related services or fees

  87. avatar

    I was screwed in the ass hard by Capital One–zombiefied debt, selling a debt they didn’t even own, and refusing to make corrections on my credit report when I had a shit-ton of evidence to prove my point. I closed my account with them in 2003 and didn’t see the last of them until last year when their bullshit *rolled off my credit report.* Until that day, I was still engaged in a huge paper war that probably killed a good section of rainforest.

    (I’ve since stopped fighting, as they’re off my credit reports, so in a cost-benefit analysis, to continue fighting is a waste of time, money, and energy.)

    Because of that, I’m currently researching other banks to give my money. My ING Direct account remains open, but trust me when I say that as soon as I’m satisfied that I’ve found one that won’t fuck me in the ass repeatedly with a spiked cockring on, then I’m getting the fuck out of dodge. I know you think I’m a reactionary weirdo, but CapOne anally raped me so hard, I’d be more like the victim of spousal abuse coming home to find her new, loving boyfriend had been replaced by her asshole exhusband who broke her arm and cut out her eye.

    “Well, he did violently abuse me and leave me blind and disfigured, but eh, let’s wait around and see what he gets up to this time.”

  88. avatar
    Ryan Glover

    @Bob – ING was much larger than C1 in terms of banking and brokerage assets. ING just made some bad decisions and had to accept a bailout from the EU, which forced them to sell off their ING Direct USA division.

    I’ve decided to start moving back to Charles Schwab. I love their customer service, banking features, and diverse offerings for savings/investments.

  89. avatar

    Elizabeth, I think you are prob the love of Ramit’s life.

    the rest of us groupies will have to find someone else’s eyebrows to lick.

  90. avatar

    Everyone who’s afraid of Capital One, go ahead and take your money out if you’re that paranoid. Yeah, C1 is kind a slimy, so what. Just kick back and keep your money there. Even if you go to another big bank they’ve done the same crap as ING, in that they have screwed up and lost shitloads of cash because of bad investments. Then getting partially bailed out by either another financial institution or the government.

    Where else you gonna keep your bucks? In a vault in the ground with a concrete foundation? You’re better off keeping it with ING. No fees or junk other banks sidle us with. At the most keep an eye on where your investments are going. Like Mutual Funds, which I think are a rigged game.

    Other than that keep your bucks with ING, work your JOB and make some extra bucks starting a business you understand and can create value for others with. Still paranoid like a criminal? Take your money out then.

    I’m not.



  91. avatar

    “Seriously, I hate you all.” ??

    Gee, thanks??

    I got an email from ING telling about the acquistion, I wasn’t panicking, didn’t know I was supposed to. For awhile nearly every bank I was with eventually got bought out by another one. Pretty soon it will be just one called “Bank.”

  92. avatar

    Ramit – what a pottymouth.


  93. avatar

    Ramit, I know you are both smarter and harder working than I am. This means you get a lot more stuff right than I do.

    But I disagree about waiting to switch. This acquisition made me examine my local banking options more closely, and I discovered that there was a credit union near me offering BETTER rates than Ing ( as long as I jump through a few hoops – all stuff I already do anyway).

    By switching ahead of the curve, I will enjoy better rates now, and grow my relationship with my new credit union. Also, this way, I don’t have to sit around and wait for it to suck. Plus, I can always go back to Ing if I am unhappy.

  94. avatar

    Ramit, I love you.

  95. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    Hey! I respect your opinion but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I hate those “hoops” like minimums, minimum number of transactions with debit cards, and all that nonsense.

    I have enough complexity in my life, so I don’t want to have to think about minor fine print whenever I’m using my financial system.

    So for me, I value simplicity and “it just works”-ness. If you value a relationship with a local credit union, then I’m all for you switching.

  96. avatar

    Totally agree with your assessment here.

    They won’t change what made ING immediately, but slowly it will be phased into their existing services. They aren’t buying the model, they are buying the customer base and purchasing loyalty.

    No worries though, there are TONS (ALLY bank immediately comes to mind) of alternatives and they are very easy to set up and transition into. There are also a ton of brick and motarless credit unions that are gaining popularity. They have some really good savings accounts too.

  97. avatar

    I totally agree. I heard the news and I was less than happy about it, having opened my new ING savings account just two weeks ago. But, until the evil snake pokes its head out of its hole, I have no reason to worry. Changes made in accounts should come with some notification/warning. I also trust that since you have your accounts with ING that you will be watching them like a hawk and letting us now well in advance so we can take action and find somebody else who will treat us with respect and care. Thank you for being our financial champion! It really is great knowing there is someone out there who is looking out for us little people.

  98. avatar
    gordimir magdic

    Hi Ramit, thanks for the follow-up. I disagree with you on a couple of points:

    I have been an INGDirect customer for at least 8 years because they had much better rates but I noticed last year that they had drastically reduced their interest advantage with a series of reductions. I was puzzled at this change of behavior until the news of their being sold came out.

    I have worked in corporate America long enough to learn the drill (mergers and one outsourcing). So the above was pre-emptive behavior to make themselves mere salable (sellable?). So, to your main point, changes for the worse have already been made. The current INGDirect is already very different from, say, 3 yrs ago.


  99. avatar
    Ramit Sethi


  100. avatar
    Ryan Glover

    da-da-da-da-da-da-da-dada RATE CHASE!

  101. avatar

    Ramit – we hate you too. (Being brutally honest here).

    Seriously – have you SEEN my inbox recently? It’s overflowing with spam like
    “earn 1k closes tonight!”
    “The hard sell – be very afraid!”
    “why aren’t you signing up for earn 1k?”
    and “are you brain-dead? I commanded you to sign up for earn 1k! Hello?!”

  102. avatar

    I moved my checking and savings accounts to USAA Federal Savings Bank about 20 years ago (yes – 20 years!) and have never looked back. Think about this: it’s been over 20 years since I’ve been charged a fee!

    A few years later I got one of their credit cards, and have been getting 1% cash back (with NO annual fee, no bogus fees, and a very reasonable interest rate, for those months I need to underpay) ever since.

  103. avatar

    Like ING – loathe Capital One, One of the happiest days of my financial life was chopping up my Captial One card and sending it back, making them pay the postage – What’s in your wallet? – NOT!

    We’ll wait and see, because there are other options out there!

    Many thanks, and have a bright, bright, bright, bright ING Orange day!


  104. avatar

    As for Capital one acquiring ING, I don’t really share the same Hatred for them. Capital one is awesome when it comes to Credit cards. Best Cash returns on purchasing for grocery/gas, etc. Can make any picture on the cover of the card (lame, but the wife loves it.) And their International fees being waived is perfect for our traveling needs.

    I’ve never heard of Capital one being considered so horrible until your E-mail about this blog post. The worst thing about them is that they wont increase my credit limit..

    I’m Sure Capital one isn’t too happy with you now 😀

    Ramit, you provide great value for us. You work is the only reason I started Saving!

    Due to your book and Blog, our family created MANY ING Direct Saving accounts. not for the interest, the interest is horrible. Not for the company either.

    We opened these accounts because:
    – Takes 5 days to withdraw (lots of re-consider time against pulling my savings)
    – Can open as many as I want without Normal Bank Bitching & Flak (minimum monthly deposits of $25 or minimum balance of $300, lol I hate chase bank as much as you hate Capital one)
    – Can Name them anything (goal setting)
    – Love the feeling of Auto-piloting my Savings out of my primary checking bank.

    In fact, we use these ING direct accounts as more of a Hub before sending the money out to our investments: Roth IR, Lending Club, etc..

    I guess I need to get educated about Capital one. But I don’t any issues yet. Guess we have a year before anything happens though.

    Thanks Ramit for all you’ve taught us!

  105. avatar

    Well, ING ran their web server off of Windows and used .NET. They were bound to go under.

  106. avatar

    Ramit gets more female groupies this way? Potty mouth and all the ego in the world can’t shake the obvious. One of the reasons for your hard work on these blogs and your program Ramit is to find someone to love. So what happens if she ends up being a dumbass with a great ass that only loves your ass but laughs at the viking kid with the beard on the Capital One Commercials for Vikings? I-N-G SCHMI-N-G…I will happily find you a nice girl Ramit. For a fee of course.

  107. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    I don’t trust your choice of female friends

  108. avatar

    Especially not for a fee, that’s what the big banks would charge… Can’t get anything for free anymore. sigh

  109. avatar
    Jen M.

    It’s not about FEAR for me. It’s about not wanting to do business with large, horrible, corrupt companies. I simply don’t want my money tied up with an organization like Capital One.

    I hate Bank of America, too, in principle; however, my mortgage is with them, and I am unable to refi away from them right now. I have had no problems with them in this current arrangement, but I want to leave them, because they are evil and awful. I want to keep my money local.

    Thank you for your input on this matter, though.

  110. avatar
    Jen M.

    Yeah. I was really sad when they bought out Chevy Chase. I used CC for a long time.

  111. avatar

    Because paying for service suddenly means it’s horrible? Get for free what you can, pay for things when it’s worth the extra money. Pay that annual fee on your credit card if the rewards are worth it (Which they are.); think about it, so what if there’s $60-100 annual fee, when you save easily twice that in rewards? Capitalism lets you earn the amount of money you do; don’t be surprised when others want money as well.

    I love this site because it speaks true to something I’ve noticed in my 22 years of life – people always seem to save, but there’s only so much you can cut back on. Eventually you’ve saved all you can and you’re still barely scraping by, or like my family, you’re still in debt. The solution then becomes obvious – earn more. Except not everyone wants to make that happen.

  112. avatar

    It takes far more to acquire new customers than to keep old ones. They were simply doing what they had to to keep you as a customer. Maybe your service rep was a smart one, and offered to do that, but I highly doubt that kind of service is common. Are you setting yourself for disappointment? I don’t know. Read over all that fine print in your contract again, that will give you your answer.

  113. avatar

    Just be sure to keep us updated. Your blog and book have become two of the few places I have found sound financial advice. It was after reading your book and doing my own research that I realized BoA was really constricting my money, and thanks to your info I was able to bail about 6 months before their shitty fees started cropping up EVERYWHERE.

  114. avatar


    Thank you so much for the link!!

  115. avatar

    American Express Personal Savings offers subaccounts like ING, but it takes a little hunting around to figure it out. You can even give them nicknames. The interest rates are competitive and obviously there are no fees/minimums or I wouldn’t recommend the account.

  116. avatar

    How can you read this article and come away thinking that he would recommend that someone open a NEW account with ING now???

    There are lots of online banks out there now. Do some research!

  117. avatar

    *I* think the point Ramit is trying to make is that ING Direct is likely going downhill, but not for awhile so there’s no need to panic.

    I also think that your comment made him sad because you are taking this as a reason not to do anything with your money, and procrastinate on opening a savings account. Opening with ING Direct is better than doing nothing.

    If you don’t have an account with ING, open with someone else. Everyone on this thread seems to like Ally. Go open an account with them.

  118. avatar

    “it speaks true to something I’ve noticed in my 22 years of life – people always seem to save,”

    Lololololol!! OK, I can’t really talk, because I’m only 25. But this cracked me up. It’s a perfect example of why experience breeds wisdom! People always seem to save?? Then why is the US savings rate *negative*?

    I’m guessing you read lots of PF blogs or books, and are tired of advice on frugality and saving. Like lots of Ramit’s readers. But remember, Ramit self-selects for people who are already in a decent financial situation. The reason so many PF experts harp about saving is because *people aren’t doing it*.

    Also, I’m surprised by the coherent replies to Deborah’s comment, because I can’t make head nor tail of it!

  119. avatar

    Damn. Hit the wrong reply button, sorry.

  120. avatar

    Totally agree with the article. I won’t do anything until I see what Capital One has to offer. They might bring some positive things. I love ING but they’re not perfect either (no international wire transfer feature etc.), Capital One might be able to make for ING direct’s weaknesses.

  121. avatar

    I currently have the Personal Savings with American Express. How do you make sub accounts with it?

  122. avatar

    To make a subaccount, open a new savings account. During the process, AmEx will ask if you already have a Personal Savings account. Answer “yes”, enter your account info, and it’ll skip over the identification validation. To give your accounts nicknames, go to the Customer Service tab and click “Customize your accounts”. Here you can change the names of your savings accounts and your linked external accounts.

  123. avatar

    I agree with Ramit but I’m not waiting for ING Direct (my beloved online bank) to turn into an ogre next year. I’m signing up for Ally right now in another browser. Between PerkStreet and Ally I won’t need to worry about the demons over at Cap One.

  124. avatar

    Thank you Ramit. Informative, funny, harsh (but not to me; I’m not one of the weirdos, lol). Thanks for all of your advice, which helps steer me, educate me, and at times just confirms what I’m already doing is right. 🙂

    @GuyJeb, Just hold on, Cap One may increase your limit…eventually. 🙂

    I too had never heard anything bad about Capital One until this email. As I read all of the comments I’m still wondering how I’ve been so lucky.

    I had bad debt when I was young, which I paid off after a long while. [The way I was dealt with is why I’ll never return to Chase or Citibank (I forget which was worse).] Some time after, Capital One came through, albeit with a small $180 balance credit card. But hey, it was something I could always pay. I eventually ended up having 3 cards with them totalling a few thousand, then merged them. Then they did fuck me over, by reducing that card to practically nothing when I paid off the balance (serves me right). That was a few years ago.

    However, I don’t pay annual fees, have no issues with them or their customer service when I’ve had to speak with them, and they’re there for me when I need them. Am amazed that so many hate, so I guess I’ve been lucky. 🙂

    Without my asking for it/out of the blue about a month or two ago they increased my credit by 1000%. I was in complete shock. It’s more than I need (so I treat it as a much smaller amt) and almost twice as much as the combined card I’d previously had. Sure, they want me to spend more than the cautious little I’ve purchased and pay off all of the time, but wow. Rewarded for being a good paying customer, for a change. I’ve been very happy with Capital One (though I only have a credit card with them).

    Although I am sad that ING has been sold, I have no plans to leave ING, that would be stupid. I have too much invested with them that is still working for me. Nothing has changed, and I don’t need to leave until(if) it does, and will just keep watch for it, and will continue to read you Ramit.

    ~A very happily informed reader. 🙂

  125. avatar

    Ramit you make me lmao.

    I too have had horrific experiences with CrapOne and had a minor panic attack when I heard of the buyout. But that’s passed now. I am automated out the yinyang with ING and I’m not going to hassle with a switch until and unless it becomes necessary. (I expect it will, but no sense jumping the gun.)

    I did do some other research during the initial panic attack; I found lots of unhappy customers of Ally, and I can’t even access the Amex savings site, no idea why. What. Ever.

  126. avatar
    mike c

    Points well made, Ramit. It’s not worth the additional time to do anything until an automate-friendly alternative is found. In defense of the weirdos: leaving ING immediately to prove a point that Capital One is the devil’s butthole is not a terrible protest. Canceling Netflix on the other hand is just plain retarded. PS I hate you, too.

  127. avatar
    Yes, a Brand is More Than a Logo or a Website, But What Is It? | Mrinalini Kamath freelance copywriter & marketing strategist

    […] One, on the other hand, has a reputation for tacking on mystery fees, misleading advertising, being harsh debt collectors, raising interest rates with little to no warning, not honoring […]

  128. avatar
    Cory Vore


    Could you start dating these blog posts just to let us know how current the information is? I just discovered you a month ago and am slowly inching my legs into your pool. (LOL. Sometimes, I also like to use weird metaphors)

    Anywho, I am finally reading your book and trying to get around to optimizing everything. I am 25, 800 credit score, damn near debt free, and am STILL learning A TON! I wish to connect with you soon. I will write some sort of enticing email to do soon.

    Respectfully Sent,
    Cory Vore

  129. avatar
    ING Direct Canada devient Tangerine ! | Mes Finances Perso

    […] Banque Scotia, Capital One n’est pas une compagnie très aimée… Pour en savoir plus, cliquez ici pour lire le billet de blogue qu’il avait écrit quelques semaines après l’acquisition pour aider les gens à mieux […]

  130. avatar
    Closest Capital One Bank Near Me | loanspecialists

    […] What does the Capital One acquisition mean for ING Direct … – Honestly, I have never had any major issues with my Capital One card though. Only thing I can think of is the real low credit limit on my card initially. […]

  131. avatar
    Best savings account for 2016 - Make Money Online

    […] By the way, if you’re wondering if I still endorse this account, click here to see my thoughts on the ING-to-Capital-One transition. […]

  132. avatar

    Keep doing your thing Ramit. We love you!

  133. avatar

    LMAO great post. Thanks for the hate! And the great tips!

  134. avatar

    I bought your book years ago but just started reading it. I’m about to open accounts and am looking for current information on your website. It would really be useful to know when this article/blog post is dated. There are no dates on the post nor on the comments, which reduces the value of the information.