Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

ING Direct's Electric Orange Checking Account is Now Publicly Available

POSTED ON BY

ING DIRECT
ING Direct's new Electric Orange Checking Account is now available to the public. Information on the features and rates is available here. The rate is 4% APY for balances up to $50K. Balances between $50K and $100K earn 5.05% APY. Balances over $100K earn 5.30% APY. Like the Orange Savings Account, there are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. There are some fees that you could potentially incur.

I describe some of my experiences with this account in this post and provide a full description of the account here.

Can you live without a checkbook?

I find it ironic that ING Direct's instructions for the Electric Orange application states "Before you start: Have your personal checkbook handy." The important new feature of the Electric Orange account is that you'll get no checkbooks and you can't write paper checks. ING believes check writing is inefficient and outdated. With online bill pay, ATM/debit card and electric checks, you should be able to do without paper checks. If you still need a paper check, you can send a paper check from your account. In this case ING will mail the recipient a paper check. You can also mail yourself a paper check and hand it to the recipient. If you don't want to wait for the check in the mail. you can always use your existing checking account that you used to fund the account.

This Bankrate.com article discusses the issues with this new trend of going without paper checks. It mentioned the same thing as many of my readers mentioned. There'll always be at least a few occasions in which you need to write a paper check. So you'll probably want to keep your local bank's checking account.

Refer to this post for other high yield online checking account alternatives.
  Tags: ING DIRECT, checking account

Related Posts

Comments
27 comments.
Comment #1 by ProfessorB (anonymous) posted on
ProfessorB
Great post! You definitely are on top of things.

From 2002 until December 2006, my only bank accounts were with held at a branchless online bank. Then I joined a credit union in December in order to get a better rate on my auto loan. I've used online bill pay for years. I can do without branch banking and I rarely write paper checks. I write an average of 20 checks a year. In the past, twelve of those checks were to pay rent for my apartment. But that number has significantly decreased now that I have a mortgage and pay it online.

I think it's time for us in the U.S. to drastically reduce the use of cash and checks. ING has the right idea!

1
Comment #2 by Steve (anonymous) posted on
Steve
I've had this account for a few months and am happy with it. Transfers into the checking account from your linked account clear in 2 days, rather that the 5 days if you transfer into savings.

One thing I don't like about the account is the ATM Allpoint network. All the Allpoint ATM's in my area are located in low end bars, restaurants and bowling alleys. Ambiance aside, all of them require me to park and enter the establishment. I would rather they just give 2-3 ATM rebates a month and scrap the whole Allpoint network.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Why would anyone use their savings account anymore? The checking account offers a higher APR (especially for over 100K). The rate is competative with the highest online savings accounts !!! I took almost all of my $$$ out of the savings account since it is almost 1% below the others. Apparently even the ACH transfers are faster with the checking account.

1
Comment #4 by Christopher (anonymous) posted on
Christopher
In reply to anonymous, i had all of my money in a high interest checking account at one point (Presidential). But then Presidential created a savings account with a higher rate, so now i am back with a savings account! It really just all depends on what's available...

1
Comment #5 by Christopher (anonymous) posted on
Christopher
Banking Guy,

Why can't you just get your own checks with this account? In all of my checking accounts i order checks myself, supplying my routing number and account number to the check manufacturer. Will ING not honor these checks?

1
Comment #6 by Steve (anonymous) posted on
Steve
No, I beleive there are cost savings to them with not having to process checks, provide scanned images of them, etc..

Plus with this account, once a check is sent (electric check or bill pay) the money is debited from your account immediately. So there is less chance of someone bouncing a check as well.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I rarely use checks, I would say in whole year I write about 20 checks, out of which 12 are my rent checks. But every now and then I run into situations where I need to write a check and that too pretty much on the spot. So I'm not sure if we can totally eliminate the requirement of personal checks.

To avoid all these hassles for online savings a/c I just use GMAC Bank. Their rates aren't that bad.

My 0.02.

1
Comment #8 by ShraZZy (anonymous) posted on
ShraZZy
is it a hard credit pull?

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
If they can process their own paper checks why couldn't you have your own paper checks printed up. I am willing to bet this is all automated. However, do they take the money from your account when they mail the paper check or do they wait until it actually clears?

1
Comment #10 by Steve (anonymous) posted on
Steve
the money is debited from your account immediately

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I pay almost all of my bills online, but I need checks to pay for things like school pictures, scholastic books, etc... I don't like to send my kindergartener to school with cash!

1
Comment #12 by Joe (anonymous) posted on
Joe
Hi,
Can someone explain ING's overdraft protection? If I have zero dollars in my electric orange account then withdrawl $100 am I charged interest right away or is it like a credit card where you have a few weeks grace period?

Thanks,
Joe

1
Comment #13 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I think they charge interest immediately. But unlike many other banks, they don't add on a fee. Here's ING's Overdraft Line of Credit FAQ.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They've raised the 50-99k range to 5.25 APY

1
Comment #15 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.

1
Comment #16 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for sharing your experience with ING Direct.

ING Direct is known to close accounts of customers who they consider unprofitable. This status can be the result of too many customer service calls. This is the first time I've heard of a case where ING closed an account due to inactivity.

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was just switched from NetBank to ING direct's Electric Orange ... they completely ****ed up 11 bill-pay payments - never sent them out. Now I am saddled with the finance charges and hits against my credit score.

Electric Orange is OK if you want a high interest rate, but I can never depend upon their bill pay system again (they need to get contract with one of the large bill pay services and get away from their in-house system).

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Not sure why you are having problems, but I have never had problems with their billpay feature. Maybe try scheduling payments a day in advance then you normally schedule them for. Also check that you have available funds, or schedule a transfer before the payment is sent.

1
Comment #21 by Tony (anonymous) posted on
Tony
Coulee Bank ( http://www.couleebank.net ) offers an incredible 6.01% APY with their Rewards Checking account. The rate is easy to earn. All you have to do is make 10 check card transactions a month, use e-statements, and do 1 automatic payment a month (they call it ACH). Coulee Bank pays 6.01% on the first $25,000 and 1.01% on anything above that. The best thing about this account besides the rate is it is FREE, you can apply online, and it is from a great bank with real people that answer the phone. And as they like to say, Banking Green has its Rewards. The Rewards Checking account saves paper and preserves our natural resources. No wonder I feel good about recommending this to everyone I know. Check it out. I guarantee you will love it.

1
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've used ING Direct since 2000; and the Electric Orange since its inception, and never had any issues. Always good service, everything in order. Even at some point my girlfriend went below her overdraft limit, and they didn't charge her any extra fee, just increased temporarily her overdraft limit.

1
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ING has dropped the Yield on the Checking account to 1% for amount $0 - $49,999.99.

1