ING Direct has provided three sources of income:
3a. Interest earned.
3b. Sign up bonus.
3c. Debt card use.
3a. INTEREST EAREND: The first is interest earned. As with any interest bearing account ING Direct provides a competitive return for your stored money. When you decide to go with an on-line bank you will usually earn a better return as there is little to no overhead for the bank because they do not need to keep a brick and mortar branch open.
Initially I was searching for a place to store my emergency fund that offered a good rate of return. I found this in ING, what I also found as a bonus was a way to link my brick and mortar bank accounts. Through ING Direct you are able to link up to three external bank accounts that you can transfer money to and from (All for free).
I have been a member since 2004 and have found only one drawback though for some this drawback might be a blessing. The time it takes to transfer money from one bank to the other is approximately 2-3 days. For those of you that need money on the spot this will be an issue, to negate this issue I opted to store $500 dollars in my regular checking account which also is a secondary overdraft protection for my main checking account. For those of you that are compulsive buyers, this drawback might be a blessing as it will take a few days for you to receive your money which in most cases is enough time for you to decide if you really need the item.
BONUS: Watch for a future post of the use of credit cards and interest bearing savings accounts as a form of passive income.
WORK INVOLVED: Open account, link external accounts and deposit money.
COMMITMENT: 30 Days, Initial set up is $250 dollars for a $25 dollar bonus then a minimum of 1 dollar must be maintained in account to earn interest.
PROJECTED EARNINGS: Interest is compounded daily (You can see the money grow in the website) then deposited on a monthly basis. Currently 2.75% APY.
3b. SIGN UP BONUS: ING Direct offers a $10 dollar bonus for each new person/account (Up to 25) that you assist in setting up. Basically you send the offer to a friend or family member and they use the link that you send to set up the account. They must open the account with $250 dollars. Within 30 days they will receive $25 dollars (An immediate 10% profit on their initial $250 dollars, then currently 2.75% thereafter) and you will receive $10 dollars. If you can get 25 people to sign up, you will receive $250 dollars free (They count it as interest income on taxes).
WORK INVOLVED: Once your account is established, contact friends and family and see if they are interested, if they are, just send a link, they do the rest.
COMMITMENT: Maintain at least $1 in account to keep it active.
PROJECTED EARNINGS: $10 per sign up bonus up to a maximum of $250 dollars. Since I have been a member, at one time they reset the number of sign ups. This provided the opportunity for 25 new sign ups.
NOTE: You can also sign up for an electric orange which is a checking account (See 3c below). This account will allow the same sign up bonus as the savings account. If you can find 25 people to sign up for each of these accounts your potential profit is $500 dollars.
Also, if you would like a link for the free $25 dollars feel free to send me an e-mail or post to this thread and I will send you a link: firstname.lastname@example.org
3c. DEBT CARD USE: This requires the set up of an Electric Orange account. The Electric Orange account is a checking account that ING Direct offers. This account is interest bearing but provides less than the savings account (See website for details). ING Direct often has a $20 dollar bonus program that entails you using your debt card that is linked to this account five times within a month. This program does not happen every month so you need to pay attention to your e-mails and watch for it.
WORK INVOLVED: Establish an Electric Orange account; wait for program to be announced, transfer money on planned purchases (If you do unplanned purchases you will not be making any money because you will be spending any profits) to the account, use debt card for at least five purchases for a minimum of $10 per purchase within the month
COMMITMENT: Maintain at least $1 in account to keep it active
PROJECTED EARNINGS: $20 dollars per event (Currently I am tracking that they have done this event twice)
NOTE: We took advantage of this once (We did not see the first one until after the month was over). The bonus was received within the 30 days.
Free money: Venue 3a. b. c.