ING offers two standard savings accounts – Savings Maximiser and Savings Accelerator. Both are fee-free accounts. Savings Maximiser pays bonus interest for customers who also have an Orange Everyday bank account and deposit at least $1,000 per month. Savings Accelerator pays bonus interest for balances of $50,000 to $149,999.99 and even more bonus interest for balances of $150,000 and above. ING also offers term deposits, credit cards, home loans, insurance and superannuation. ING’s domestic headquarters is in Sydney, while its international headquarters is in Holland.
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ING, like most banks, offer a range of savings accounts to consumers. Choosing the right one will depend on your circumstances, spending and saving habits, as well as your saving goals. Here’s what you need to know about ING savings accounts.
Who is ING?
ING has been trading in Australia since 1999, making them a relatively new player in the banking scene. However, their parent company, ING Group, has a much longer history, originating in the Netherlands and tracing back as far as 1845.
Nonetheless, ING offers Australian consumers one alternative to the big four banks. They have only one branch, located in Sydney and advertised as the “ING Lounge”. The majority of their customers’ banking is done online, with the use of both online banking and the ING mobile app.
What is a savings account?
A savings account is an additional bank account that many consumers hold, in addition to their everyday transaction accounts.
The reason for this is that a savings account is a separate account to store and accrue money that you wish to save. We all know that if we leave our savings in our transaction account, they often don’t stay savings for long.
Having a savings account makes it easier to keep track of your savings, and harder to “accidentally” dip in when money gets tight. Many savings account also deliberately come without ATM access, making it even harder to spend your savings (although certainly not impossible.)
What should I look for in a savings account?
The goal of your savings account is – unsurprisingly – to help you maximise the money you save, while minimising your chances of spending your savings.
The main thing to look for in a savings account is a high interest rate. You want the money that you are saving to accrue as much interest as possible, in order to grow your savings. Many banks offer savings account with introductory or “honeymoon” interest rates for the first three months or so. These may seem enticing, but remember to check the base interest rate too, as this is what you’re signing up for in the long term.
You should also check for any additional fees. These might include account-keeping, transaction or even deposit fees. Make sure that you’re not signing up for an account that will drain your savings in fees.
What can I expect from an ING savings account?
ING has won multiple awards for their savings accounts, which is a promising start. Because ING banking is done predominantly online, overall operations costs are lower than a traditional “bricks and mortar” bank. These savings can then be passed onto consumers, with lower account-keeping fees and higher interest rates.
ING offers a range of savings options, including traditional savings accounts and term deposits. Start by comparing savings options and their interest rates, and make sure to take into account both the standard and variable interest rates.
What’s the difference between standard and variable interest rates?
The variable interest rate is another name for a honeymoon or bonus interest rate. As previously mentioned, this higher interest rate could be applied to your savings account for the first few months. This is common practice among many banks, to entice new customers to switch banks.
A variable interest rate could also be applied to your savings account as an incentive for certain activities. For example, your bank might apply the variable interest rate if you deposit a certain amount of money each month, and make no withdrawals. These activities encourage more savings for you, and also mean that the bank is handling more of your money, so they are happy to incentivise them.
The standard interest rate is, to put it simply, the interest rate on your savings account when the variable rate no longer applies. This could be because you’ve reached the end of the honeymoon period, or you haven’t met the required activity to be rewarded with the variable interest rate. Make sure to take the standard interest rate into account when considering a savings account, as it is usually significantly lower than the variable interest rate.
It’s also important to remember that interest rates - both standard and variable - are at the bank’s discretion and can change at any time.
Is an ING savings account right for me?
Whether a particular bank or account is the right option for you will always depend on your personal circumstances, income and spending and saving habits.
If you’re considering an ING savings account, be sure to compare this account with other competitors too, to make sure you’re getting the right account for you.
If you prefer to bank online, ING could be a good option for you. But make sure to consider all of your options before making a decision.
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- Has no ongoing fees
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It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.
Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.
A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.
Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.
Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process.
You may be required to provide:
- Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
- Tax file number
- Employment details
Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.
Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.
Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.
Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.
The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency.
Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.
A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.
Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.
Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.
Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.