The other day, ING sent me a mass-mar­ket­ing email with the sub­ject line: “Scott, re­fer a friend and you can both get $100.”

Now, given that my book rec­om­mends set­ting up a cou­ple of ING ac­counts . . .

And given that my book has sold more than 500,000 copies . . .

And given that ING has just an­nounced it has achieved “a record 50 per cent jump in cus­tomers this year” . . .

Why the hell am I even writ­ing this? Why aren’t I sip­ping a Bac­ardi in the Ba­hamas?

Oh, that’s right — old Dumbo here doesn’t ac­cept any kick­backs.

To be se­ri­ous for a sec­ond: I have no al­le­giance of any kind to ING. My only al­le­giance is to my read­ers, and I only rec­om­mended those ING ac­counts be­cause they have zero ac­count fees, zero ATM fees and they pay a (rel­a­tively) high rate of in­ter­est.

Why am I telling you all this? Be­cause I feel a re­spon­si­bil­ity to keep these bas­tards hon­est. And this week ING an­nounced some changes to the ac­counts. So I feel it’s ap­pro­pri­ate to check them out.

First, ING is of­fer­ing zero ATM fees glob­ally (speak­ing of the Ba­hamas) cou­pled with the fact that the com­pany al­ready of­fers the whole­sale ex­change rate from Visa with­out a clip — which is why I’ve found I get a bet­ter rate than with cards from other banks.

Sec­ond, and more im­por­tantly, ING also elim­i­nated in­ter­na­tional trans­ac­tion fees on all over­seas pur­chases — a sav­ing of 2 per cent. Big news if you buy on­line (which some­body in my house seems to do quite reg­u­larly).

The fine print is that you need to de­posit $1000 a month into your ac­count and make five trans­ac­tions — in other words, make it your ev­ery­day ac­count. And why wouldn’t you? It’s an all-in-one rip­per: good for ev­ery­day bank­ing, good for buy­ing crap on­line, and good for hol­i­days over­seas.

Just do not take the ING up­sell on its sleazy new credit card . . . af­ter all, that’s what’s cross-sub­si­dis­ing all this fee-free gen­eros­ity!

Tread Your Own Path!

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