ING Direct Sells to Capital One: PerkStreet Financial, Here We Come

I’ve been an ING Direct customer for several years. We have a portion of our emergency fund stashed there, and we have a number of small sinking funds there to save for things like vacations, car tag renewals, insurance premiums, etc.

News broke a couple weeks ago that Capital One has acquired ING Direct. I cringed. I had a Capital One credit card back in my spendthrift days, and after many problems with their lack of customer service, I decided to mail them their card back…in pieces.

It might be a bit premature to expect that same level of customer no-service for their former ING Direct customers, but I’m not going to stick around and find out.

The PerkStreet FinancialSM Checking Account With Rewards

Over the last several months I’ve been hearing good things from fellow bloggers about PerkStreet Financial. Over the weekend, I decided to give them a shot, and plan to move part of our tri-level emergency fund there, as well as our sinking fund balances (I’ll just keep the balances separate in a spreadsheet, since it looks like the sub-account feature may not be an option).

One of the most impressive offerings at PerkStreet is a 2% unlimited cash rebate on purchases for your first 3 months (and longer, if you maintain more than a $5,000 balance). If you keep less than $5,000 on hand, they will still give you 1% cash back after the initial offering.

Throughout the year, they also offer 5% (with a $250 annual limit) on various categories and retailers. That’s a fairly generous offering for a checking account!

We currently use one credit card for similar rewards,  but even they aren’t as generous. I’ve always felt a little conflicted about using a credit card for paying household utilities and the like, so if I can move these expenses over to the The PerkStreet FinancialSM Debit MasterCard®, and earn an even higher cash rebate, well that sounds even sweeter.

I’ll probably have some of my regular paycheck deposited at PerkStreet to cover our regular, recurring household bills (utilities, Netflix subscription, etc), and run those charges through their debit card. Might as well earn some cash back on things I’m already paying.

Applying for an account was simple – just the standard contact information. You can fund your account using your existing checking account or a credit or debit card.

If you are interested, here’s more information from PerkStreet on their checking account offering:

 

Comments

  1. The article says that the stock portion of the deal makes ING the largest shareholder of Capital One. I’m not sure who owns whom.

  2. I’m with you, Frugal Dad, I’m moving my money out of ING as well. I still have not decided what to do with my sharebuilder money but I know I will not bank with Capital One.

    • I was a fan of Sharebuilder back when I was accumulating some individual stocks, but the market chased me away for now. When the time comes to move my “mad money” back into stocks, I guess I’ll have to shop around various discount brokerages.

  3. Count me in as another ex-INGer. Once I heard that CapOne was getting their greasy paws on ING, I decided to find an alternative as well. I’ll check out PerkStreet, but I’ve also opened accounts with Ally and CharlesSchwab.

  4. Jason, thanks for the heads up about the sale.
    One suggestion: I similarly segment money in my savings account so I know how much is dedicated to home improvement, vacation, emergency fund, etc. I used to use side spreadsheets and Mint for tracking/budgeting but then I found MyJibe.com. It does both of these and actually has the best UI I’ve seen (not all the clutter & ads of Mint).

  5. PerkStreet doesn’t actually give you cash back. They can give you Visa Gift Cards, which is a lot different than getting cash as you can’t keep the money, only spend it.
    I was considering them strongly until I read their terms and discovered this. No thanks, I’d put my money into HYSA , MMA, etc long before I’d put it into PerkStreet. They way they misrepresent themselves keeps me from trusting them.

    • Ugh, I didn’t notice that until rereading the Terms and Conditions myself. It would be nice if they added a “statement credit” option so you could return the reward earnings to your account in dollars, rather than convert to a gift card. At least the option to convert to a Mastercard gift card is there – I’ll probably just do that and put it towards the grocery bill since they can be used anywhere Mastercard Debit is accepted. Not quite the same as cash, but I’ll take it.

  6. Looks like PerkStreet has a ton of fees. Not sure they compare favorably to ING. I have ING and Ally right now and am looking for options for my ING money, but they are great, so I’m dragging my feet. When CapOne makes the first anti customer deal on those accounts, I’m out!

    • Even though it won’t affect me, I don’t like the “Inactivity fee.” The other fees look like standard fare as far as banking fees go these days. I think your strategy is a good one – stick with ING until they prove themselves to be customer unfriendly and then have a backup plan in place to move money away. That could be said for anyone you bank with – there are plenty of options out there.

  7. We had a similar situation a few years ago with our Virgin Money credit card being bought out by one of the large banks with a track record of poor customer service and higher fees.

    Fortunately they have honoured the original Virgin slogan of ‘No Annual Fee, Ever’ and so we have stayed with them (for now).

  8. I currently have a Perkstreet account but have to keep my BOA account due to the $1,500 daily limit Perkstreet has for it’s debit cards. I’m putting a second child in daycare next month and the total cost will be over the $1,500 daily limit. I can call Perkstreet each month to get the amount approved but I really don’t know which day the actual charge will come through. I can also write a check from Perkstreet but that defeats the whole 2% cash back deal. As the customer service agent instructed me, I wrote a letter to Perkstreet to ask for an increase but was informed that they are not giving increases to anyone at this time. I will have to go back to my credit card for the monthly daycare expenses which is not what i wanted to do and is the main reason I opened a Perkstreet account. My wife and I are both CPAs and we pay off the cc every month so we are very responsible with our money. I’m just extremely disapointed in the company policy and wanted let others in my position who think they can put everything on the debit card know that you really can’t, no matter how much you have in the account.

    I was very happy with Perkstreet until I ran into this issue. I hope they will consider each customer on a case-by-case basis in the future.

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