With the way things are going in the world at the moment, I felt it appropriate to investigate the unconventionally awesome ING Thrive Chequing account. Boasting virtually no fees, and a shiny orange debit card, the ING account is not short on bells and whistles. On first glance what impressed me is the lack of fees, which is of course what they advertise, but there really are no fees on normal day-to-day transactions — and no monthly fee. Of course there are fees on slightly unusual things like stop payments, and international withdrawals, but even those are more reasonable than most of the big banks. Anyway, see my pros and cons list below, and if you're convinced sign up for the Thrive Chequing account using my Orange Key 48275703S1 to receive $25 in your new chequing account. I know that's a bit blatant, but ING really does have a good bonus offer, and I write this blog for free, so it's a small way of contributing to the cause. You really can't go wrong. After all, it's free!
- No fees for chequing, interac payments, deposits, etc.
- $2 for international cash withdrawals
- Extensive network of ATMs through the Exchange Network
- Automatic $250 overdraft without interest until after 30 days
- Decent iPhone app
- No monthly fees
- No traditional branch support
- Free ING email transfers take several days. Interac e-mail transfers have a $1 fee and are relatively instant
- Deposits are held for 5 days until you have had a minimum of 9 successful deposits over $100. Then you get a $500 automatic exemption, and sometime after that $1000. Because it is an entirely web and machine based system, there is no way around this, and no teller discretion. Basically you can't have a relationship with a website.
- I'm struggling with this...
While I still maintain a bank account at my big bank, this has allowed me to virtually eliminate any fees from my account as I do so few transactions with them now. If ING had a business chequing account I would likely move away from the traditional system altogether. Also, for travelling this card has been invaluable in saving me a ton of international withdrawal fees, and is likely the best travel debit card for Canadians.
ING is a large Dutch bank and therefore has an extensive ATM network throughout Europe and the world. I like the non-traditional approach as I don't often bank at the branch. All-in-all I feel like the savings from eliminating the expensive bricks and mortar setup are passed down to the little guys like me. I'd recommend this product.
**Update: February 24, 2012
I have been using the ING Thrive account for the past couple of months now, and have found it a great way to manage my money. I have been using it for daily expenses as there are no fees incurred from using it for frequent interac payments. I went through with depositing 5 deposits of $100 or more that unlock your ability to deposit cheques without holds up to $1000, and things have been smooth. Interac e-transfers are instant, with the exception of late at night/early in the morning. I'm a west coaster, and it seems that making a transfer late at night my time is during the system maintenance time out east, so best to restrict your e-mail transfer from your traditional bank account to ING to more normal hours. I have made two calls to customer service and found them to be prompt, helpful, and very friendly. Overall I'm really liking the ING banking experience.
Thank you also to those who read this and used my Orange Key to open an account. It's much appreciated and helps to fuel my coffee habit! Not only do I receive a bonus, but you also receive a bonus of $25 if you use my Orange Key 48275703S1 and make a deposit of $100 or more.
Chris Stenberg is a Canadian travel photographer, filmmaker and researcher. When he’s not wielding a camera or raising a family you can find him running, biking and boarding in the mountains or eating an apple under a tree in an orchard.