Last year, Capital One announced its intention to acquire ING Direct. ING is still a company, but its consumer banking operations in the United States are now owned by Capital One. As part of the re-branding effort, ING Direct is now Capital One 360.
I have accounts with what is now owned by Capital One. I have a Sharebuilder account (my emergency fund), as well as a checking account, savings account and a joint savings account with my son.
However, ING Direct is not a major part of my finances; I use the automatic savings plan with the savings account for taxes, with a monthly amount transferred automatically.
The checking account is mostly for ease, it’s connected to the savings account, and I have a debit card so I can access the money quickly without paying fees. My son’s savings account is fairly self-explanatory.
What’s Different About Capital One 360?
For now, not much is different with the service. My login information is all the same, and I can get in with ease, and see all of my accounts (including my Sharebuilder account) from a central summary. It’s easy to go from one account to the other and I can access my Sharebuilder account from my Capital One 360 dashboard.
The account details pages, though, are a little easier to read. You can easily see your current yield on accounts, as well as quickly navigate to make changes to your account — whether it’s changing the secondary person on a joint account or adding your account to a revocable living trust.
I like that you can see actions to take to improve your situation. My son’s savings account isn’t on automatic, but there is a suggestion to try it. Additionally, you can quickly navigate to answers related to commonly asked questions about your account.
Since Capital One has taken over ING Direct, there have been some positive changes. Capital One has added remote deposit options, and it is quite easy to upload images of the checks you want to deposit into the account, or use the mobile app to snap pictures with your phone.
Also, the addition of Capital One’s network of ATMs augments ING’s existing networking, doubling the fee-free ATMs in the network. Capital One’s policy of not charging foreign transaction fees on its credit cards carries over to the Capital One 360 debit card.
Interest yields on ING accounts had been falling prior to the acquisition by Capital One, but they are still not terrible — even if they aren’t as competitive for what you would get at a bank like Ally. At this writing, the savings APY is 0.75% and the checking APY is 0.20% to 0.85%, depending on how much money you have in the account. The teen checking account earns a variable 0.25%.
You can also still access a range of mortgage products, from fixed rate, ARMs and home-equity options. Rates are competitive, and in line with the currently low mortgage rate environment. Watch out for closing costs, though, which are more than $2,600. Compare those costs to other options.
ING Direct vs Capital One 360: The Bottom Line
So far, Capital One 360 isn’t a lot different from ING Direct. Right now, the main changes are to the colors and some web site upgrades.
If you are a rate junkie, you might want to look elsewhere for higher yields, and Sharebuilder is only mediocre compared to the other options out there. We’ll have to wait to see if Capital One makes more serious changes down the road.