How to Open an Online Savings Account


Without any sort of money education from your parents or school, it can be difficult to figure out the specifics behind your money. How to open accounts, what accounts to open, and how much to save are just some of the questions that we have to figure out on our own.

Today, I’ll show you step-by-step how to open up an online savings account at ING Direct.

Before we get into the steps, let’s answer the question: what is an online savings account?

Well, it’s an account where you keep your money, much like a checking account at your local bank. Thanks to the internet, a lot of online savings accounts have popped up which is great for consumers.

Here are some of the positives of an online savings account:

- You can link your checking account to your online savings account and transfer money between the two for free.

- Online savings accounts offers higher interest because they don’t have physical bank locations – they exist solely online. Read more about why your money needs an online savings account.

- With an online savings account (at least at ING Direct) you can create sub-accounts to split up goals. These accounts look like separate accounts, but they’re actually all within your savings account. For example, I have a “Savings”, “Emergency Fund” and “House Down payment” categories.

- They offer great user interfaces. These sites exist solely online so they’re very clean and easy to navigate. It’s easy to transfer money, link accounts, and it makes savings easier. They also promote savings and it’s fun to follow along as your earned interest rises from day-to-day.

Now let’s take a look at how to open up one of these accounts.

1) Go to ING Direct’s homepage.

2) On the left side, click “Open an Account”.

3) Under Orange Savings, click “Open Now”.

4) A window will pop up; this is the start of the application process.

The first dropdown asks: “What type of Orange Savings Account would you like to open?” You’ll probably just choose “Orange Savings Account”, but choose “Orange Savings Account – Joint” if you’ll be sharing the account with a spouse.

Fill out this part of the application. You’ll need to know generic information about yourself including address, e-mail, and social security number. You’ll also name your account under “Give Your Account a Nickname”. I went ahead and named mine “My Savings” but you can do anything you want here.

When you’re done, push “Continue”.

5) Now you’ll create a Pin number that you’ll use to sign in to your account.

This is just like the Pin number you use when you get money from the ATM. Choose one that’s between 6 and 10 numbers and write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

Click “Submit”.

6) Next is “Personal Account Disclosures”.

This is the legal jargon they need to provide you in regards to your personal information and the specifics of them holding your money. This isn’t vital to read, but go ahead if you’d feel safe. Check both boxes and click “Continue”.

7) Next you’ll need a check from your bank to fund your new online savings account.

This way you’ll be able to transfer money between the 2, for example, when you get a paycheck, you can send $1,500 to your savings account.

They make it pretty easy to figure out; you need your bank’s name, account number, and routing number (number assigned to your bank). They’ll ask for a 1st deposit; you can send as much as you’d like. For the example, I sent $50, but once your account is set up transfers are free.

They also ask if you’d like to start an Automatic Savings Plan. This is a place where ING Direct shines because they’re pro-savings and pro-consumer. You can set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account. So say you get paid on the 5th of every month. You could set up a transfer on the 8th for $1,000 to be sent to your online savings account. This makes savings easy and worry-free because it does it for you. You can set up weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly transfers; and they’re easy to start and cancel. It’s something to consider, but it’s not vital to open today.

When you’ve filled in the information, click “Continue”. They’ll ask you to verify your checking account number and routing number – go ahead and fill those in again.

8) Step 4 of the application process asks you to verify your information.

If everything is correct, press “Continue”.

9) Next they ask you some identity verification questions to make sure you are who you say you are.

Answer these questions now.

10) Congratulations! You now have an online savings account.

The window should provide your new account number. Write this down, memorize it, and keep it safe. You’ll need it to log in to your account.

ING will now deposit 2 small amounts into your checking account and you’ll need to verify these when they do. This is to check if your account is correct and the transfers work. Check this in 2-4 days and then sign in and verify the numbers.

The first time you sign into your account, you’ll need to create some security questions and a picture. This is to keep your account safe so go ahead and do that.

Your application process is finished and now you can reap the benefits of an online savings account!


I used ING because it’s what I use and a lot of people in the personal finance community use. Most online savings accounts will offer a similar sign-up process so you should be good to go if you feel comfortable with the steps above.

ING is truly a consumer’s bank and they offer some great bonuses. If you’d like a $25 bonus for signing up, email me at austin @ foreignersfinances (dot) com and I’ll send you a referral link. If you deposit at least $250 into your account, you’ll receive a free $25 – no strings attached (and you’ll hook me up with a $10 bonus).

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new savings account!


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