ING Direct’s holiday CD rates disappoint

Safe in shape of dollar sign

As an active saver -- and a retiree, to boot -- I can do without weekends, particularly long holiday weekends. They interfere with my CD activities.

Take this past Thanksgiving weekend.

I had to cope with both a Friday closing and website malfunctions at Velocity Credit Union, where I was trying to establish new 36-month CDs.

Things weren’t completely straightened out there until the end of the day Monday.

I also had to suffer, for a day, pathetic 0.15% and 0.40% automatic renewal CD rates on 2-year CDs that matured on Sunday at First Republic Bank and Capital One.

I closed them and redeployed the funds as soon as I could -- again, on Monday.

I’d hoped for something good from ING Direct’s regular black Friday sale. I was disappointed, however.

ING Direct, the online bank whose absorption by Capital One is pending regulatory approval, has conducted three-day-long black Friday sales since 2009.

That year, it served up, among other deals, a 2.00% APY 12-month CD. I didn’t have funds readily available, so I couldn’t participate.

Its 2010 promotion included a 2.00% APY 36-month IRA CD. Once again, having no appropriate funds on hand, I passed on that one, too.

This year’s iteration featured a $107 bonus for a new Electric Orange checking account, a $27 bonus for a new Kids Savings account, and bonuses or discounts for this, that and the other thing.

But no certificates of deposit.

And I was flush with cash for a change!

This wasn’t surprising. ING has been hawking variable-rate accounts and downplaying CDs for some time.

Its financial model seems biased toward borrowing short and lending long.

Currently, its high yields include 0.60% APY for 12-month CDs, 0.90% for 36-month CDs and 1.10% for 60-month CDs.

ING has a lot of deposit products that are very popular among the younger set. But no decent CD rates deals for seniors.

And, frankly, that’s OK. I have an ING variable-rate account -- an IRA savings account (currently offering a 0.90% APY) -- where I temporarily house tax-deferred funds between IRA CD investments.

I have it so I don’t get caught short of available funds on the next good CD promotion, as I was in 2009 and 2010 with ING’s black Friday specials.

Anyway, I’m waiting for the bank’s next July 4 Financial Independence Day promotion (it held them in 2010 and 2011). Maybe I’ll fare better then.

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