01.A new everyday banking account
Every so often a new financial product or service comes along that raises industry standards and changes the market. And for consumers tired of paying high fees and penalties for everyday banking, ING Direct's Orange Everyday may well be that account.
This account has all the transaction facilities you'd expect, including:
- ATM withdrawals
- debit card with Visa and EFTPOS functionality
- you can arrange bank cheques through ING Direct's website, though there is no chequebook
- internet and phone banking with features such as "pay anyone"
On the downside, the account doesn't pay any interest, and ING Direct doesn't have branches or its own ATM network.
ATM and EFTPOS transactions
ING doesn't have ATMs, but withdrawals can be made at any machine in Australia. The ATM owner, such as another bank, may have a fee for non-customers of about $2. For withdrawals under $200, you'll have to pay this ATM fee. However, ING Direct will refund this fee if your withdrawal is $200 or more, although under "significant risks" its product disclosure statement says this rebate may decrease or be discontinued in the future.
ATM operators also charge for balance enquiries. ING Direct doesn't refund that fee but you can check your balance online or by phone. Using your Visa Debit card for point of sale transactions is also free. At the time of writing, ING Direct says it will lodge 50c to your account each time you withdraw $200 or more cash.
Rewards but no branches
ING Direct doesn't have a branch network but you can do most of your banking online, and it has teamed up with Australia Post to allow Orange Everyday customers to do some transactions at 3300 Australia Post Bank@Post outlets.
As part of its introductory promotion, ING Direct will add $20 to your account the first time you have your salary directly credited to the account, use your debit card and make a direct debit payment from the account. That's a bonus of up to $60 for setting up and using the account. However, this offer is subject to change — check current offers and conditions with the bank. It's currently available until mid-May 2010.
Most everyday transactions are free, but some other costs apply. For example:
- Overseas transactions cost 2.5% of the purchase amount plus Visa's exchange rate margin, similar to the average bank. Overseas ATM withdrawals cost $2.50 plus the exchange rate margin.
- A lost card will cost $50 to replace when overseas, but there's no charge in Australia.
- The account doesn't apply direct debit dishonour penalties, instead applying overdraft interest. ING Direct will only allow overdrafts of up to $200 to go through, and gives customers three days to get the account back into the black before charging interest at an annual rate of 10% (monthly interest of about 0.8%).
- Writing cheques is usually free, but if you need one in a hurry, "expedited cheques" cost $11.
Orange Everyday is a step forward for consumer banking. As our bank satisfaction survey shows, many consumers are unhappy with their bank, but never make the switch. If this sounds like you, Orange Everyday is worth considering.
In our latest low-fee transaction account comparison, Orange Everyday is one of two best buys. The account was also a runner-up in our CHOICE Awards, with NAB's Classic Banking winning the low-fee bank account category.
To open an account you must be aged 18 or older. Full details of the account can be found at ING Direct.