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Money Ramblings of a Financial Underdog

Best bank for saving money?

Here’s how I define “the best bank for saving”:

  • It has to be absolutely free. I haven’t paid any service fees in years, and would never pay for banking. No, even free banking in exchange for a minimum balance won’t cut it – it has to be absolutely free!
  • Funds have to be guaranteed by CDIC - Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation ( ). If your bank goes bankrupt, CDIC will cover your funds up to $100,000.
  • It has to be flexible. If we need to open an account, it has to be done quickly. Transferring money should be quick and painless. No, I don’t want to go to their branch every time I need to open up an account.
  • Money should be accessible at any time - online, over the phone, or through an ATM.

Why I’ve chosen ING DIRECT

I’ve been an ING DIRECT client for over 10 years and I still consider them the best bank for saving money. I still remember their cheesy TV commercials when they first came to Canada – energetic gentleman telling us to “Save your money!” with a Dutch accent. It sounded so fresh and different from other banks; I had to check it out! Well, the mind-boggling interest amount paid out they’ve been proudly displaying online didn’t hurt.

1.  ING Direct is absolutely free. No fees, no minimum balances.

2.  Talk about accessibility! ING Direct has an absolutely awesome mobile app to access your account along with online banking, phone banking, and access to ATMs. I’ve never had problems with getting a hold of customer service people, and their mobile web site is top notch. As a younger person, it is especially appealing to me – as transferring money on my iPhone sounds way easier than a trip to the bank branch.

3.  ING Direct actually pays interest. While it’s not super high (1.35% last time I checked), it’s still higher than any “brick and mortar” bank such as RBC or CIBC.

4.  You can deposit checks into your account (if you happen to have a checking account with ING) in your bedroom! By taking two pictures of a check with their app, you can deposit money straight into your account without the time-consuming trip to an ATM.

5.  You can create as many accounts as you want. They all appear instantaneously online once you create them. Just as easily you can close them, move money between then, and set up savings goals. Every time my wife and I decide we have to start saving for something, we instantly open up an account and set up a monthly transfer goal.

On top of it, they also offer other products such as no-fee chequing account (Thrive account), GIC’s, mutual funds, business accounts, and mortgage loans. On a side note, they happen to be the only bank in Canada that posts their real mortgage rates, as opposed to playing “bait and switch” game that other banks are famous for. I’m not familiar with their other products, so I’m not going to say much about them.

If you want to open a new account with ING…

It is surprisingly easy to open a new account – just go to their website ( , and have your SIN number ready. You’ll be surprised at how you lived without them after a while! It’s a great business, and people who run it take great pride in helping people save their money and reach their financial goals.


I hope you enjoy my column. If you would like to comment on this or tell me how wrong I am, please visit . Also, let’s chat on twitter:

Read more Money Ramblings of a Financial Underdog articles


About the Author

As somebody who grew up in a poor family, I lacked common knowledge about money from day one. If you can think of one dumb thing to do with your money - I did it. No paid college education for me. No inheritance, no financial help from my parents.

I may be a financial underdog, but through building good personal finance habits and educating myself about how money works, I hope one day to achieve financial independence for myself and my family.

Yes, I do believe an average person can enjoy a wealthy lifestyle as a result of smart decisions. Given enough time and proper education, anybody can change their financial future for the better. This can happen even if you start very late into the game - but your financial habits have to change.

If you'd like to know more about my struggles and wins with money, feel free to visit my website where I ramble about everyday money issues.!

Contact me by email at:  [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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