For many years, I was a user of ING Direct and their online banking products. When word went out a while back that the US branch of their online bank was being sold I began to worry that a good thing was about to be ruined. When we learned that the company that was buying them was Capital One, it didn’t exactly help me not worry. I’ve had a credit card from Capital One for longer than I’ve had an account at ING Direct, and while I’ve never had a terrible experience with them, I’ve never really felt that I was anything more than just another cardholder; easily replaced and nothing worth going out of their way for. If that level of service came to the online bank side after the purchase of ING Direct, I might have had to find something else.
The prospect of having to move my accounts at what was ING Direct to somewhere else upset me a bit. I’ve tried several of the online bank options, and so far, haven’t found one that was as easy to use as the accounts were with ING Direct. Now that ING Direct US is no more, and it’s been sold to Capital One, and re-branded to Capital One 360, what has my experience been?
Surprisingly, I have no complaints. I truly expected that they’d start squeezing in some new fees, or making it harder to get things done, but the experience so far has been very similar to what it was with ING Direct. There’s the obvious rebranding that came with a change of logo and color scheme, but for all intents and purposes, they’ve done a very good job of keeping the function and service levels where they were when it was ING Direct.
I suppose there may be some things behind the scenes that I don’t see that are different. And they may just be biding their time before they start implementing some new fees and roadblocks, but if so, they are taking their sweet time doing it. In the mean time, many of the features that I really loved about ING Direct are still resident in the Capital One 360 system. It’s still super easy to create a new account, making it simple to have an account for each purpose and being able to segment your money by purpose. Every other place I’ve tried this at, make it much more difficult to create a new account and that process becomes a roadblock to use.
The interface of Capital One 360 is very easy to use, with all of the major functions and features that most bank customers use right at your fingertips (or mouse pointer I suppose). The rates that they pay on their savings and CD accounts still aren’t the best around, but they remain competitive with most other online banks, and they are double and triple what my local banks and even Credit Unions are paying.
The connection between Capital One 360 and Capital One Sharebuilder remains, making it easy to transfer money to investment accounts and IRAs at Capital One Sharebuilder. Does that make a huge difference? Not really, but it is convenient.
Overall, I think Capital One has done a really good job of bringing the Capital One 360 accounts into the fold and not rocking the boat. I hope that they remain dedicated to keeping the excellent service and system in place. Even with a new name, Capital One 360 is still my favorite online bank.
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