Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

ING Direct's Electric Orange Checking Account?

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ING DIRECT
Seems like it's taking ING Direct forever to launch this new Electric Orange Checking Account. The latest news from DelawareOnline is that the checking account will be made available to 400,000 of its most active customers next month. It is suppose to be made available nationally on February 1st.

I first reported on this checking account back in April when the Wall Street Journal had an article on it. That article mentioned it would launch in the summer. Rumors of the Electric Orange checking account have been around since 2003 (see this old FW thread).

The promised features have remained the same: no fees, 3% APY and a debit card with a nationwide network of surcharge-free ATMs. Customers will have to pay bills online instead of writing checks. There will be no checkbooks.

Even with savings account rates lower than many other online banks, ING Direct is still attracting customers. This article mentioned the number of customers is 4.4 million. This is up from 4 million that was quoted in the April Wall Street Journal article. I'll have to admit that ING Direct does keep things simple. I've never had a problem with my ING savings account.
  Tags: ING DIRECT

Comments
19 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
First, good on you for doing this blog. I have been (CD and Savings) rate shopping and stumbled across your blog site. I appreciate the research you have to do to keep this information current and accurate. I have added your RSS feed.

I have been with ING for several years. I like the company, the website, the service and their security procedures. When I first opened an account with ING, their savings rates were consistently among the leaders. However, in the past year or so ING's savings rate is lagging behind a number of others. Their CD rates are still competitive.

So, now I am shopping again. I'm in Florida but I am open to any institution that has online banking, allows 2-way electronic fund transfers from a local account, and preferably has at least a 3-star 'bankrate.com' rating.

You have provided a great resource here - thank you. This will definitely help me decide....maybe you have a suggestion or two - I am open.

al r

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Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
If you don't mind a minimum deposit requirement, you might want to look into GMAC Bank (see post) and AmTrustDirect (post).

Even though E-LOAN has had some glitches lately, it's still the clear savings account rate leader. But it does have a realitively high minimum deposit requirement of $5K (see post).

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Comment #3 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
And I forgot to mention iGobanking.com, the latest new-kid-on-the-block bank, which currently has the highest rate for a no-min savings account (see post).

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Comment #4 by al_r (anonymous) posted on
al_r
[I am 'anonymous' from the 3:53pm post on Nov 27, 2006. I don't do or read blogs very much and didn't realize till today that my Google account works here.]

At the risk of sounding like I am blowing smoke, I am impressed how quickly you responded, especially to a first timer here.

That aside, thank you for the suggestions (with the links). I have read through much of this, paying attention to the experiences of others.

The minimums are not a problem for me. My plan was to continue with CD laddering, but now, having found these higher rates for savings/MM accounts, I think I will go a different way.

With E-LOAN having the current top spot, that would be the logical choice. However, the recent transfer problem that many wrote about gives me pause. I am looking at the other two you mentioned, GMAC & AmTrust, as well as iGobanking and will digest all this for a few days. Maybe I will keep my ING account & open more than one other.

1] Do you think that transfer problem at E-LOAN was an anomaly? Since you include E-LOAN, I assume you feel comfortable with them.

2] As a strategy, do you or anyone else here maintain accounts at multiple institutions, then transfer among them to take advantage of any significant rate differences that arise from time to time?


I realize that I have gotten off your original topic here, ING's proposed checking. I probably need a little coaching about protocol, due to my lack of experience...thx.

al r

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Comment #5 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I do have an E-LOAN account and I haven't had a problem with it. With low minimums, it's easy to keep several high yield online accounts and move the money when rates change significantly.

I would suggest with any of these online savings accounts that you don't totally rely on immediate access. Always have a backup incase some kind of glitch happens like being locked out of the account and not being able to get a hold of the customer service rep. Issues like this could delay your access by a week or more.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm an ING Direct customer, and I got an invitation to open the Electric Orange checking account today. Looks competitive: 3% interest rate, up to 5.3% interest rate for balances above $100K. Free ATM access.

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Comment #7 by al_r (anonymous) posted on
al_r
Banking Guy said...

"I would suggest with any of these online savings accounts that you don't totally rely on immediate access. Always have a backup in case some kind of glitch happens like being locked out of the account and not being able to get a hold of the customer service rep. Issues like this could delay your access by a week or more."
3:23 PM, November 28, 2006

------

Thx again. I think I will open 1 or 2 additional accounts, maybe keeping the ING open for a while longer. As I mentioned initially, my experience has been very good with ING. My only problem is with the savings rate, which hasn't been in the very top tier for a while.

I do want to be clear about your above advice, if you don't mind. By 'backup' do you mean either:
1] an additional method of accessing a particular account, other than by website

or:
2] more than 1 account or source of ready funds in case any particular account experiences the difficulty you describe

......

I do maintain a small account at my local bank branch in case I have a need for fast cash, plus I manage my credit cards pretty well & have most of my limit available at any given time in case of emergency.

Thank you again for your time & for sharing the fruits of your labor.

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Comment #8 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Al_r, about the backup, I mean it's probably best not to have all of your liquid money in one online savings account. I've read about cases in which you might be delayed for more than a week to get access due to various problems.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I JUST got the message below from ING. Am I missing something? This is a checking account (FDIC Insured UP to $100k)thus, I am at risk for $$ > $100k to get this high yield?

"It pays high interest
5.30% APY on every dollar for balances of $100,000 or more
5.05% APY on balances between $50,000 and $100,000
3.00% APY for balances up to $50,000 "

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
RE:thus, I am at risk for $$ > $100k to get this high yield?

Yes - everything above 100k for an individual account is not covered by FDIC - so, don't keep anything over 100k you're afraid to have uninsured - 100,000.01 gets 5.3% and works for the fearful.

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Comment #11 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
About the FDIC and $100K limit, the only other way to get additional coverage at ING would be with a joint account. ING doesn't seem to provide paid-on-death option in which you can use to go above $100K on individual accounts if it's a qualified beneficiary.

Here's a useful link about this at ING FDIC page

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
A checking account that pays 5.05% for amounts between $50,000.00-$99,999.99 is hard to find, right? This seems like a great deal.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ING recommends keeping a checking account at another bank with a small balance in case you need to write a paper check somewhere.

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Comment #14 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yes, it's a good deal for those with large balances, especially for those with over $100K (I think the rate is now 5.35% up from 5.30%). My latest post on this is here.

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Comment #15 by awm129 (anonymous) posted on
awm129
why on earth keep that much cash in a checking account? Put it someplace with a serious interest rate, or check out INGs investment options (I'm a fan of thier funds)

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
why on earth? Because you cant put 100K anywhere else and get 5.35% with no lockup period and no risk. Thats why.

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Comment #17 by Shaun Apple (anonymous) posted on
Shaun Apple
I have invitations for both the ING Direct savings and Electric Orange (checking) accounts. If you sign-up with an invite, then you will receive a $25 bonus from ING Direct, plus I will get $10 for referring you. I've been using ING Direct since 2003 as my main banking institution. I love the interest rates, no fees, and security. Please send me an e-mail if you would like an invite.

loveacrossborders (at) gmail (dot) com

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Comment #18 by Shaun Apple (anonymous) posted on
Shaun Apple
I have invitations for both the ING Direct savings and Electric Orange (checking) accounts. If you sign-up with an invite, then you will receive a $25 bonus from ING Direct, plus I will get $10 for referring you. I've been using ING Direct since 2003 as my main banking institution. I love the interest rates, no fees, and security. Please send me an e-mail if you would like an invite.

loveacrossborders (at) gmail (dot) com

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