ING Bank review; the best online bank in Australia?

ING Bank review from a long term customer, financial independence enthusiast and experienced investor

ING: The Good

  • No Fees! No account or ATM withdrawal fees
  • Multiple Transaction accounts each with unique VISA cards
  • Features instant PayID, OSKO and BPAY
  • Supports joint accounts
  • Bank @ Post available

ING: The Bad

  • Interest Paid on one Savings Maximiser only
  • Must deposit $1000 per month and make 5+ card transactions a month for it to be fee free
  • No physical branches
  • Have to contact customer support to get your sign up bonus

Verdict: ING Bank is a great bank, but read on to see why I also use Up Bank
CaptainFI readers score a free $50 from ING using promo code: FKQ674

I’ve been a personal customer of ING bank for over 5 years now, and to be honest, I couldn’t ask for a better bank. I use it conservatively (no credit cards for Captain FI just yet!) with just a couple of Orange Everyday accounts and a Savings maximiser for my emergency fund.

I don’t think I have ever paid a cent in fees or ATM charges – and I even get a bit of interest paid out to me on the balance of my emergency fund.

This is perfect, since I am frequently travelling the globe and need an easy way to access my cash without getting stung with hefty international transaction fees. ING Bank has actually saved me thousands in fees since I switched!

This article is for anyone with Australian residency who is looking to open up a fee free online bank account that can be used in Australia and around the world.

CaptainFI is reader supported, which means we may be paid when you visit links to partner or featured sites

ING bank review
FREE $50 with Bonus CaptainFI ING Promo code: FKQ674

ING Bank in Australia

ING (International Netherlands Group) bank itself is actually a Dutch international banking and financial services corporation, started in 1991 through the Merger of previous banking corporations. Its global headquarters is in Amsterdam, but it also has offices all around the world.

If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ING bank is the comedian Billy Connolly, then your probably around the same vintage as me. He was featured on a lot of their early advertising, which kind of made ING seem like ‘the Aldi of banks’ – a little different, but good different?

Some of them were just plain cringe-worthy, but most just make me laugh when I go back to watch them these days (especially the ones that featured ‘the internet’ and other ‘cyber’ themes from around the dot com boom).

Of course times have changed, and ING have moved on from Billy Connolly, awkward ‘dot com boom’ era ads and Smooth talking British Orangutans. ING Bank has now settled on the much more attractive redhead Isla Fisher to spearhead the face of their $10 Million dollar PR campaign to re-brand ING bank as a conventional ‘main’ bank rather than a quirky side offering – and boy has she done wonders for the company!

ING bank review
Isla Fisher, the *NEW* face of ING Bank Australia

You might not realise it, but ING Group is actually one of the biggest financial companies in the world with assets over USD $1 trillion (check out ING’s income stats here). It is frequently ranked as one of the top 30 banks world wide, and has and over 40 million customers (with about 2 million of those in Australia alone).

ING Group’s primary business is banking (retail, direct, commercial, investment, wholesale and private), but they also offer asset management and insurance services such as superannuation.

ING began offering banking to Aussies in 1999 with ING Bank Australia Limited, headquartered in Sydney, NSW. ING’s Australian division alone made over AUD $440 million in profit in 2019, by managing (investing) nearly AUD $45 Billion worth of Aussie’s savings, as well as profits from writing AUD $63 Billion worth of loans.

They also signed up nearly half a million Aussies for bank accounts in 2019 (thanks barefoot investor!) So its actually a sizeable player in the Australian banking industry, and has significant capital behind it to ensure customers satisfaction and safety – which is ultimately linked to total shareholder return, right?

ING Banks online everyday account: Orange Everyday

An Orange everyday is the basic transaction or ‘checking’ account I use with ING bank. I actually have a few of these, because I like to separate certain pools of money (such as sinking funds for my car expenses) and I like having a couple of visa debit cards as a backup.

Whilst I don’t think you get much (if any) interest for money in these accounts, for me the real benefit is that they are pretty much fee free. Of course, you need to consult the ING Orange everyday Product disclosure statement to be truly sure of their fee structure, because I am sure there are some things that might potentially cause you to cop a fee (overdrawn account maybe?) its just that this has never happened to me.

ING Banks online high interest savings account: Savings maximiser

The Savings maximiser is ING Banks high interest online savings account. Of course, as official RBA interest rates change, so too does the interest yield on pretty much every banks savings account (and lately the tendency has been for them all to drop). Not withstanding, ING Bank still offer a very competitive rate (compared to other banks savings accounts) when you have a linked orange everyday transaction account and meet a few criteria with it;

“Simply deposit your pay of $1,000+ per month and make 5+ card purchases that are settled (not pending) each month to get these benefits the following calendar month.”

ING Bank Australia

In my opinion, it would be great to be able to have multiple savings maximisers linked to the same (or multiple) Orange Everyday accounts, but alas this is not how it works. So I personally just have one savings maximiser, and I keep some of my emergency fund here in cash (with the majority of my emergency fund being parked in my mortgage offset account).

Check out ING Banks Savings Mazimiser Product Disclosure statement for the full terms and conditions

ING Banks mobile application

ING Banks mobile app is simple, straightforward and everything you need. It displays all of my accounts, transaction history and is very easy to make transfers with. This has been very handy both at home and when overseas, especially making purchases I didn’t quite understand (for example trying to figure out ‘inbuilt gratuities’ – tips, at American bars I just open the app to see just how much they have debited).

Its also handy when I need to make sure I have enough money in my account and quickly load up my card by transferring between accounts.

ING bank review
ING mobile application

Face to Face transactions with ING Bank

Most people don’t care, but some *cough* Boomers *cough* don’t like that ING doesn’t have any physical branches in Australia.

One of the ways ING Bank is able to maintain such a low fee service is by maintaining low cost overheads – and one way of doing this is to actually avoid having physical branches all together. As a typical millennial, I salute this move as it means there is a lower chance of me ever having to stand in a cue in a bank and have to deal with another human being (I still occasionally have to do this for business banking with other providers or when I need cash overseas and I dislike it!).

During COVID-19, ING Bank actually had something like 80% of their employees working from home – and why not, since they all technically work ‘remotely’ from the customer anyway?

There are of course some things I need to do ‘in person’ banking for – for example stashing cash I have earned from my side hustles or selling things, or cashing sweet sweet affiliate marketing checks from my eCommerce businesses (although this hasn’t happened much unfortunately!). Luckily, ING Bank have a deal with Australia Post – you can simply go into any post office branch to deposit checks or cash in person.

Features I like about ING Bank

  • PayID – I don’t have to give out a BSB, account number and name anymore – I just set my PayID which keeps my details protected (super handy for selling things)
  • ING Bank supports OSKO instant payments – this really helps when buying or selling things second hand
  • ‘Round up’ – I can round up purchases to the nearest $1 or $5, and send the difference to my brokerage account which encourages me to invest more.
  • No Fees – I don’t ever pay any account keeping, transaction, international purchase or ATM fees – EVER! ING actually even refunds me ATM and international transaction fees when I am charged by other companies or banks.
  • Good interest rate – I get a competitive interest rate on the emergency fund in my savings mazimiser (Side note – it might not be the absolute highest available but I could not be bothered changing banks to earn an extra 2 cents per month in interest though)
ing bank review
ING Everyday Roundup feature helps me save money

Other products from ING Bank

ING Bank do have other products and financial services; of course they offer Credit Cards, but they also offer personal loans and home loans, and sell Insurance and Superannuation products. I don’t have any personal experience with any of these other products, but you can find out more on their website if you are interested.

Security and safety with ING

I was recently a victim of identity theft / fraud whereby some loser opened up a mobile phone in my name using an old address they scammed (presumably from a data spill or stolen old mail) and tried to use it to scam me by switching financial services to it for 2FA.

Thankfully, ING bank were all over this. I spoke to a security expert on the phone for over two hours where she went over everything needed to fix this situation – including helping me with my other financial accounts (even other banks) and a statement for police.

They asked me not to go into too much detail on here due to social engineering concerns, but rest assured I was very impressed by the level of security and how helpful they were.

ING Bank sign up promo code

For now though, if your dead set on joining ING Bank, they have given me a promo code to share with you which should credit your account with $50 or $100 depending on what bonus they are offering at the time – you just need to create an Orange Everyday and a Savings Maximiser, deposit $1000 and make 5 transactions on your Orange Everyday Visa Card. Money for Jam in my opinion!

ING Promo code: FKQ674

Frequently asked questions about ING Bank

Answers to frequently asked questions about ING Bank

Is ING bank a good bank?

Yes. ING is a good bank to bank with, and consistently ranks highly among customer satisfaction surveys.

Is ING bank safe to bank with?

Yes, ING is incredibly safe to bank with. ING has nearly 60,000 staff members and over 40 million customers over 40 different countries – with assets in excess of USD $1 Trillion. They have mature security protocols and an excellent fraud team.

Who is ING bank owned by

ING bank Australia is owned by the Internationale Nederlanden Groep, a dutch banking company.

Why is ING the best bank?

ING is one of the best banks because of their focus on customer service and low fees. They provide an excellent product at an industry leading price.

Is ING a big bank?

Yes. ING (Internationale Nederlanden Groep) is one of the worlds largest banks. Globally, ING has nearly 60,000 staff members and over 40 million customers over 40 different countries – with assets in excess of USD $1 Trillion.

Is ING an online bank?

Yes, ING is an online bank in Australia. This is how they provide such cost effective services with lower overheads and thus pass on lower fees to customers.

How Strong is ING bank?

ING is considered an extremely strong bank, with excellent security and safety protocols. Globally, ING Bank has nearly 60,000 staff members and over 40 million customers over 40 different countries – with assets in excess of USD $1 Trillion.

What does ING bank stand for?

ING bank stands for Internationale Nederlanden Groep which is the name of the Dutch company that owns ING Bank Australia. Internationale Nederlanden Groep is one of the worlds largest savings bank.

How do I deposit cash ING Australia?

The easiest way to deposit cash into your ING Australia account is using Bank at post – at Australia post, tellers will scan your card and take your cash, depositing it into your account.

How long does a transfer from ING take?

OSKO and PayID and BPAY transfers are instant, and standard Bank transfers take between 1-2 days.

Can I pay with my phone ING?

Yes, with ING bank Australia you can configure Google pay and Apple pay as a fast, secure and convenient way to pay using your phone.

ING bank review
Google pay set up in ING bank mobile app

Conclusion

ING Bank are a typically a free free and convinient bank which have helped me in my journey to Financial Independence. They are especially useful for me because of how much I travel internationally, because they do not charge internatonal transaction or ATM fees. I switched to ING Bank over 5 years ago when I realised I was paying over $300 per year in account keeping and transaction fees with my previous bank. Not only have they saved me over $1,500 in fees since, they also have provided me competitive interest rates and a very easy to use online platform.

A better bank than ING?

So what about the competition for good old ING bank? Well I was recently made aware of what is probably their most potent competitor: Up Bank.

up bank review
Up – ING banks main competitor

UP Bank is an innovative Australian digital bank that offers entirely digital, cloud based personal banking through the Up mobile application. Because of this, and their strong focus on technology and rapid development, they are often categorized as a ‘neobank”. With over 200,000 customers, Up bank is targeted at a millennial audience and has had two years of proven functionality with outstanding reviews, winning Up several industry rewards such as ‘Digital disruptor of the year’ and ‘Best digital bank’.

I have recently opened an account with Up Bank, and you can check out my Up Bank review here. They seem to have basically combined ING bank and expense tracking software like PocketSmith or WeMoney. As far as I can see, Up are a massive disruptor in the banking sector and have been poaching ING customers left, right and center. Check out my review and see for yourself!

Some of my Favorite ING Advertisements

They always say to leave on a joke – Checking out old TV advertisements can be a laugh and a bit of a blast from the past. Check out three generations of marketing from ING below.

A Classic free to air TV ING Bank advertisement that takes me back to my youth
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10 thoughts on “ING Bank review; the best online bank in Australia?

    1. I’m abit confused over the 5 transactions on the visa card. Is this a credit card? I barely use my credit card and wouldn’t use 5 transctions per month. This is what stopping me from changing banks. Yet in your post, you say you don’t have a credit card. Can you clear this for me please?

      1. Hey Valerie, Yes I do not have a credit card, and this is a debit card. I’m sure you could get a credit card if you wanted from ING, but I have never had a credit card and just avoided that kind of debt. If you can use them carefully and pay it off before the end of the month then you can get sign up bonuses and sometimes up to 2% cash back. Say if you had $2000 of monthly expenses then by investing that money and paying the credit card off at the end of the month on average you’d be making yourself about $15 in investment compound interest, maybe between $20-40 in cash back, plus whatever sign up bonus you could get (usually around $100-200 value each year so call it $10 per month). So in that way, using a credit card might potentially make a savvy card churner something like $50 a month – which isn’t really too bad but I just haven’t been bothered doing this because of the effort and also the risk since one months missed payment might nearly eliminate all of this gain.

        with regards to the 5 transactions, many banks use this as a criteria to get bonus interest, because they sell your purchasing data and want to make sure that you are using the card so they can track what you buy and monitor your spending so that it can get fed into the banks financial information systems. This is how they offset the ‘cost’ of providing you such a horrendously low interest rate… oh the irony…

  1. Hi there. Just for interest, UBank has a high interest savings rate of 1.6% (ING has just dropped theirs to 1.5% as of a day or 2 ago) but much more importantly, with UBank, you can have multiple Savings accounts (USave), with one linked to a transaction account (USpend), and the bonus interest rate is applied to ALL your savings accounts, providing you meet the criteria…$200 minimum deposited each month, no more than $250,000 balance across all accounts. This to me is a real advantage over ING , who I am also with, by the way. Being a Barefoot follower, my everyday accounts are with ING and my Mojo is with UBank, but I also like to separate my money into different pots to save, and UBank is the way I will go to do this in future.
    Thanks for the great post,
    Sharon

    1. Hey Sharon, UBank are also great and I do have an account with them where I was storing my property deposit funds, although I haven’t been using it much since I ploughed it all into the development. I actually love their sweep functionality which can keep a threshold amount in a checking account, and then you can have the majority in the savings. I am actually in the process of doing up a bit of a review on UBank at the moment. Boy does their customer service and network suck though, I have been locked out of funds before when the whole system has gone down.

  2. My term deposit just matured, and they are now offering me FAR less than before (0.22%) – in fact quite a lot lower than some of the other commercial banks in Australia, with whom I also have accounts. Other banks offer ‘loyalty bonuses’ and the like as well. Just saying.. they WERE good, once upon a time 🙂

    1. I say, move your money to where the best interest rate is so long as its got the 250K government guarantee. Or consider alternate investments

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