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ING Direct's New Checking Account Now Available to Some Customers - Rates Up to 5.30%

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ING DIRECT
ING Direct officially launched their Electric Orange checking account to targeted customers today. I logged into my ING account and noticed the invite. In addition, they provide all the details. Unfortunately, this information is only available when you're logged in.

I wasn't expecting the rate tiers. It's the best interest rate for any checking account that's nationally available. Unfortunately, you need a lot to receive this yield. Balances over $100K earn 5.30% APY. Balances between $50K and $100K earn 5.05% APY, and balances under $50K earn 3.00% APY. As is typical with rate tiers, once your balance reaches the tier, the interest for that tier is paid on the entire balance.

As has been described previously, the unique feature of this checking account is you don't get any checkbooks. They have bill pay for paying businesses, a send-paper-check feature that takes the place of writing a paper check to an individual, an electronic version of the send-paper-check called Electric Checks, and a MasterCard Debit Card for making purchases or for ATM access.

For those cases that you need to hand someone a check, you can use their send-paper-check feature and mail yourself a paper check and then hand it to the person. You'll just have to wait a few days for it to arrive by mail. This is the only issue that may make this checking account problematic.

Ideally, the individual that you need to pay would accept the Electric Check. However, they have to agree to give you their bank account number and routing number. Here's how ING describes it:
Once you review the details for accuracy and press the send button, the money will be deducted from your account and an email will be sent to your recipient. Tell them to look for it. They can then use the link within the email to go to a secure page and confirm their account information. Provided their entry matches what you initially entered, the transfer will be completed!

Here's what ING says about those concerned about giving out their account number:
We understand the importance of security when it comes to account information. However, remind them that every time they wrote a check in the past, they were disclosing their account number, even if they didn't realize it. It's at the bottom of the check.

For those not familar with ING Direct, I don't know how comfortable people will be receiving payment like this.

The other unique feature about this checking account is that there are no fees. There can be some charges which seem quite reasonable. Here's what they list:
  • Overdraft Line of Credit. You pay interest if your balance drops below zero and you use your Overdraft Line of Credit. Unlike traditional banks, Electric Orange does not charge a fee to use your overdraft, and there's no fee to sign up. If you use it, you will only pay interest on the amount you borrow.
  • Overnight Delivery of a Check. If you use our Send Paper Checks service to send payments via overnight courier, in those instances when you need to send money for next day delivery, the cost is $15. (1st class mail Send Paper Checks delivery is free.)
  • Overnight Delivery of a Replacement Card. If you request to have a replacement Electric Orange Card sent to you via overnight courier, there is a $25 fee. There is no charge for standard delivery of a replacement Card.
  • Stop Payment. If we succeed in processing your request to place a stop payment on a check that was sent using the Send Paper Checks feature or the Free Bill Pay feature, there is a $25 Stop Payment charge. (For more info on this, please see the Stop Payments section.
  • Foreign Currency Conversion. We may charge you a fee of up to 2.00% of each cash advance or purchase that you make in a foreign currency after it is converted to U.S. Dollars. This fee is in addition to the fee that MasterCard may charge as part of converting the purchase to U.S. Dollars.

For free ATM access, you'll have to stick with the Allpoint Network which seems to have good national coverage. You can find a nearby Allpoint ATM here.

For those without large balances, you probably can earn more by using banks with a 5%+ online savings account attached to a no-interest checking account like at HSBC, Citibank or at WaMu. I don't know if the new features or the lack of fees are enough to outweigh the low interest of the savings account. It'll depend on what's important to you. But with no fees, there's not much risk in giving it a try. According to DelawareOnline, the Electric Orange checking account should be available to everyone starting on February 1, 2007.

Thanks to the readers who provided info on this new account.

  Tags: ING DIRECT

Comments
29 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
BG -- Thanks for the info, but (IMHO): totally uninspired attempt by ING to get back in the game.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Inspired or uninspired (IMHO) - 5.3% means they get back the 100k I moved out a few months ago.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Re: moving the $100k back to ING --- Personally, I'd grab the 6.01% APY 3 mo intro rate at Everbank (unless that's where the money landed to begin with). Cheers.

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Comment #4 by V (anonymous) posted on
V
At some point - playing the "money moving" game gets tiring...

I'm glad to see ING innovate with this product - and pay even more on balances over $50K than their Savings account(!)

Free overdraft is a nice touch... Won't find that many places I bet!

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Comment #5 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
A little something to know before opening. I just started the opening process with a small amount and noticed they give you a overdraft line of credit, That made think they will do a hard pull so I read their terms and conditions and saw they will

Initial Deposit:
From:
Overdraft Line of Credit:
This helps cover you if your balance ever goes below $0.00. By applying for Electric Orange, you're asking us to establish this Overdraft Line of Credit for you.

From their terms and conditions
CREDIT REPORTS – You agree that in connection with your application for EO and the OLOC, the Bank may obtain credit information about you from one or more credit reporting agencies. You also agree that the Bank can obtain follow-up credit reports on you in connection with the maintenance, review or collection of your EO and/or OLOC.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Re: the 6.01% APY 3 mo intro rate at Everbank - But after 3 months Everbank goes back to 4.4x% and I'm back in the same spot.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This account is impractical for paying anything but "regular" bills from vendors that are in the system. Despite the rhetoric, no individual or business is going to readily hand over their routing and account numbers.

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Comment #8 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
I called and was directed to a page that had this:

"Are you sure you don't pull my credit to get the Overdraft Line of Credit?
Yes – positive. We do not check or 'ding' your credit. The standard $1,000 line does not even show up on your credit report, unless of course you don't pay us back."

Funny how they used the word "ding" seems they get it that people are tired of having pulls for opening an account. ING has great CSR and fast pick up time so glad to get back with them

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Comment #9 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Scott, Thanks for investigating this. Glad ING understands this hard pull issue and why they shouldn't use it. I think more banks are starting to learn this also. I wish the banks would start including what checks they do in their FAQ.

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Comment #10 by shrazzy (anonymous) posted on
shrazzy
checking accounts usually get a hard pull

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Comment #11 by pdub (anonymous) posted on
pdub
This product is ahead of it's time. For all of you who cannot part with your precious checkbook - this isn't for you. I've written maybe 4 checks in the past two years. The next time Joe the plumber comes to fix my water heater and he asks for a check, I'll say, "I don't have a check book. We have a few options... we can go to an ATM (though that usually has a $500 daily limit), or I can mail a check to you and you'll have it within a week, or give me your account number and rounting number and you'll money in your account in 2-3 business days." When I told a friend about Electric Orange, his first question was, "What about when you need to pay the babysitter?" So I'm thinking for a second... I ask, "You need a babysitter because you weren't home, right?" "Of Course," he says. "So, why didn't you stop and get cash at an ATM on the way home?" "Oh, but what about ATM fees?" he asks. Get with the times people. There are plenty of free ATMs out there or get cash back from a retailer. I praise ING DIRECT for coming up with an innovative product. I'm tired of getting nickeled and dimed by my regular old checking account. Yes, I've already signed up.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It's an interesting account. The actual checking part is fine for me, like pdub I only write a few checks per year. The interest is nice of course, although right now I can keep money at HSBC for 5.05 or WaMu/Citibank for 5.0, and move money over to associated free checking when it's time to pay bills. I may miss a day or two of interest while the money waits to clear checking, but overall that's better than the 3.0 Ing is offering on the low end. Obviously those with more money to park will like INGs checking better.

The ATM part is a mixed bag -- the allpointnetwork is usable for me, but not great. What would be nice is if ING offered a little more incentive for their lack of branches. If they had, for example, no charge for one or two reimbursements of foreign banks ATMS fees per month that would be excellent.

I only make a couple of withdrawals a month anyway, and I try to time them for when I can get to a native ATM, but there's occasionally times when I need to hit an ATM quickly and slightly unexpectedly, and at those points having a more robust ATM network is useful as I hate paying fees. Where are these "plenty of free ATMs" that pdub mentions? As for "cash back from a retailer," I never use my ATM in actual retail stores -- I have cashback credit cards for that.

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Comment #13 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
I signed up but for now plan on just using as a place to park some money to get that 5.30%. Like some of you I almost never write a check and pay almost everything using bill pay on my great checking account that is now 5.46%. If you issue a paper check or electronic payment from ING will they deduct the amount instantly? I like being able to fund new accounts using paper checks since it has gotten me many days in overlapping interest. And bill pay allows me to get the interest right till the day it gets paid. One of the things I write checks for is my RE tax bill because it says you need to return remittance copy with your check, I wonder what would happen if they received a payment without the copy of the bill?

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I think ING gave this invitation to only people who moved their money to another bank. People like me who did not move money from ING did not get invitation.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I think ING gave this invitation to those who moved their money away from ING. People like me who did not move their money from ING did not get this invitation.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I signed up today, I think its great. Sent my wife a paper check for 1.00 just to see what it looks like and how long it takes. I have a account @ Emigrant and it pays 5.05 reguardless of the balance. Here I will get the 5.30

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Comment #17 by United Steelworkers (anonymous) posted on
United Steelworkers
ING's Business Principles, state, “ING supports the aims of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and endeavors to apply its principles throughout its operations worldwide,” A key element of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, is the right to form a trade union.

Unfortunately, when asked by the USW and AFL-CIO to assist in resolving a labor dispute between the USW and National Wire Fabric (NWF), a US subsidiary of Gamma Holding NV, ING Group absolved itself of any responsibility. This is despite the fact that ING Group is the single largest shareholder (26.19%) of Gamma Holding. Aris Waterler of subsidiary ING Parcom is a member of Gamma's Supervisory Board.

ING, which has a controlling interest in Gamma, wants to manage retirement accounts for union members, but does not want to act to ensure that even the most basic union rights are respected. The company cannot have it both ways.

Based on a record of questionable investment and buisness practices and double talk on core issues of labor and human rights ….

CAN YOU TRUST ING WITH YOUR MONEY?
www.can-you-trust-ing.com

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Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
That's quite a stretch, union boy. The dispute is between the USW and NWF.

ING's only part is owning stock for the holding company of NWF. I don't think that means I can't trust them with my money.

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Comment #19 by al_r (anonymous) posted on
al_r
FYI, here's the latest literature on ING's new checking from their Jan '07 newsletter:

Electric Orange 1

Electric Orange 2

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Comment #20 by MoneyLova36 (anonymous) posted on
MoneyLova36
What's everybody waiting for? The buzz around town is that ING is introducing a new online, high-interest checking account called "Electric Orange." Great name! I love it. But personally, I liked the idea better when it was called "FreeNet Checking from EverBank.”

Of course, I appreciate ING for finally getting into the game. Their online savings account is a good enough product, and a lot of my friends have one. I just wish ING would offer the same great features that other banks do.

For instance, Electric Orange fails to provide paper checks to its account holders. I'll repeat that: No paper checks. That's like a salad bar neglecting the lettuce. Sure, I understand that with a digital account, you expect your customers to remain tethered to a digital world. It sounds great, but the real world needs real checks. Sorry.

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Comment #21 by shrazzy (anonymous) posted on
shrazzy
BLAH BLAH BLAH who writes checks anyway? Everything can be done with Bill Pay, Credit Card / Debit Card, Paypal, or online checkouts

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Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I do live in the real world, and I can't send my son's school picture money electronically. There IS an occasional need for paper checks. Maybe not 10 years from now, but currently, YES.

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Comment #23 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
ING Direct just raised the lowest interest rate tier to 4% APY. See post for more info.

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Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ING has real checks and you still have that checking account that you link your ING account to.

You can also have that check to for your son's school pictures sent to your house.

I've used Electric Orange for 2 months now, and for everyone they can pay electronically they do, otherwise they send them a paper check.

Don't forget about the postage you save...

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Comment #25 by banks (anonymous) posted on
banks
moving the $100k back to ING --- Personally, I'd grab the 6.01% APY 3 mo intro rate at Everbank (unless that's where the money landed to begin with).

I'm glad to see ING innovate with this product - and pay even more on balances over $50K than their Savings account(!)

USA banks directory

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Comment #26 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 #27 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 #28 by None (anonymous) posted on
None
First I’d say STAY AWAY COMPLETELY from ING Direct.

Back in September 2001 I opened an account with $10K. Within 2 months I added another $10K to the account. Then I tried to get my money out 18 months later and for over 3 months ING DIRECT kept sending me in the postal mail system a notice saying “Invalid Account Number”. Even though I called them numerous times to correct the problem, ING Direct continued to site the “Invalid Account Number” excuse and sent rejects via mail even though ING DIRECT had both my work and home numbers (both with answering systems attached). The folks at 1-888-ING-0272 were of no help. Mostly excuses and more excuses but they never solved the problem.

I had to write them two checks for one dollar to finally get my needed money. The first check resulted in the account number being updated according to the letter but when I requested the transfer I got the “Invalid Account Number” excuse again. The whole thing took a second check for a dollar (with a letter from my new lawyer) before they got me my money 6 months after I needed it. (We lost the house because I could not get the down payment out of ING DIRECT from my account.)

Then in 2004 I emptied the account down to $40.00. I changed my will to include the ING DIRECT account as a gift to my granddaughter when she turns 65, she is 8 now and was 5 then. I left the account in my name so that I was responsible for the taxes on interest until my death. Then I proceeded to forget about the account and talk anyone I hear talking about ING DIRECT out of doing business with ING DIRECT. I think I was mostly successful in my attempts.

This month I received a letter from ING DIRECT out of the blue. Since September 2005 ING DIRECT stopped sending me quarterly statements.. In the letter ING DIRECT states account was closed. The statement says “Since your Orange Savings Account has had little to no activity it looks like we weren’t able to help you save. As a result we closed your account.” Yet on the same statement the “Year to date interest” is $1.10 at an “Annual Percentage Interest Yield” of 4.47%. So it has had activity through 3 quarters of the year.

So now an 8 year old girl lost her future account. The almost $50.00 was transferred to my checking account and now I have to go back to the lawyer to remove the account from my will. Yet THEY NEVER GAVE ANY WARNING or ATTEMPTED TO CONTACT ME before closing this account. I’d have easily transferred as much as necessary to keep it open. And I have a great credit score so I know they could not have decided to can me due to bad credit rating.

ING DIRECT has no concern for you as a customer, they just want your $25.00 to start and then more. But if you don’t keep adding to it ING DIRECT will just throw you out without any warning at all.

My advice to one and all, STAY AWAY FROM ING DIRECT!!! Go to any other on line bank and you will be much better off.

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Comment #30 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ING definitely does a "hard pull" when you apply for EO. This is directly from their EO FAQs:

Do you pull my credit if I apply for Electric Orange and the Overdraft Line of Credit?
Yes. As part of your application, ING DIRECT will obtain information about you from a consumer credit reporting agency (a “hard pull”) to confirm that you are eligible for Electric Orange.


I still am excited about opening one as a joint account for my boyfriend and me. We both want our own checking accounts, but also want a shared one for bills, etc. This way, we can earn some interest too, and link up to both of our accounts.

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