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ING Direct Bumps Up Electric Orange Checking Account Rate


ING Direct raised the rates on its new Electric Orange Checking account yesterday. Balances under $50K now earn 4% APY (up from 3% APY). The rates for balances over $50K remain the same (5.05% APY for $50K to $100K and 5.30% APY for over $100K). This checking account is still only available to certain existing savings account customers. Newspaper reports last November had stated that this checking was planned to be available to everyone starting on February 1st. I wonder why ING Direct has delayed the launch. Perhaps they're waiting for HSBC's promo to die down some. The 1% bump in rate is pretty significant. I wonder if that's being done to make it more marketable for the launch. The 5%+ rates are nice, but the $50K+ checking account balance is out of range for most people.

I was one of the savings account customers who was given the chance to open an EO account. So I gave it a try a couple of weeks ago. Since there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, I didn't have any concerns. It was very easy to sign up. Money can be transfered from your linked account or from your savings account. I received the ATM/debit card in the mail about a week after it was opened. One thing I still want to do is to send myself one of their paper checks to see how long it takes and what it looks like. I've heard that the check can be easily mistaken for junk mail. So that concerns me if I'm going to use this for rent or some other payment to people not familiar with ING Direct.

For more details about this account, please refer to my November post. Several good points have made by commenters in that post. Many didn't like the fact that there's no checkbook. As one commenter mentioned:
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.

Another concern was ING's ATM network (Allpoint) which may not be convenient for some. As one reader mentioned:
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.

Another issue with any online-only checking account is having to mail in checks for deposit. Several banks have started using remote deposit in which you can scan a check from home without having to physically deliver the actual check to the bank. This isn't available with the Electric Orange Checking Account.

  Tags: ING DIRECT, checking account

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Comment #1 by Kate (anonymous) posted on
Any idea what determined who they offered the ability to open the account? I was able to open it but have no idea why I could. Have less than $2000 in the savings, hadn't moved anything in or out for months. Basically only opened the checking to make it easier to link to another account that wouldn't link to their savings. That link will be effective Tuesday and all but a few bucks will be leaving ing. Also used the checking to ach money to my son's account , hoping his account would recognise it as a direct deposit.

Comment #2 by Jonny C. (anonymous) posted on
Jonny C.
Do their ATM/Debit cards have a Visa or Mastercard Logo attach to it, like other banks?

Comment #3 by awm129 (anonymous) posted on
The debit card uses the Mastercard network. If you are upset that EO does not provide paper checks, then you are really missing the point of EO. Checks effectively became obsolete with the invention of debit cards, why try to hold on to paper checks? I think I write MAYBE 3 checks a year, and those are all to private individuals or backward companies still floundering in today's world (in most cases, those companies simply don't get my business). If you really NEED checks, then just keep EO linked to an old fashioned checking account and transfer cash in when you need to.

Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
That's a good point about the checkbooks. For those rare cases that you need to write a check, just keep a free local checking account opened.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
When this originally came out I thought I heard you could set up thresholds within your checking and it would automattically transfer when from your ING savings account when it got too low. I haven't heard about this recently, is this a feature?

Comment #6 by traderprofit (anonymous) posted on
So, how do you pay IRS?

Comment #7 by traderprofit (anonymous) posted on
I signed up for EO, but it doesn't seem to have bill-payment features as good as my Presidential online account. Plus, it's a real headache to set up a whole new set of payees. They don't have a history of paying the highest rates around, so i am likely to keep my presidential account in case this doesn't work out.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
>So, how do you pay IRS?

Go to
and sign up and you'll be able to make tax payments from your Electric Orange account or any other checking account. No charge.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
The very first check I sent through my EO account never arrived to my vendor. I called ING and was told I could either pay $25 to stop payment or if I preferred, cancel my account.
I'll keep my Orange Savings but for a checking account - I think there are much better options available with much better (less arrogant) customer service.

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
I've been an ING savings customer since 2001. Looking thru all this info, I wonder if there is a 10 day hold on deposits to the checking account? They certainly hold all savings deposits!!!!