For those who had not been interested in ING Direct's checking account, Electric Orange, due to the lack of paper checks, you might want to give them another look. As I mentioned last week, they now offer paper checks.
If you are considering the Electric Orange account, don't forget the $50 bonus. ING Direct has long been listing a $50 bonus on its home page for opening its Electric Orange Checking account. It points to the promo page www.ingdirect.com/nofees.
The nofees promo page lists the following bonus details:
- Click on 'Apply Now.'
- Open Electric Orange and make a total of 3 Card purchases or Person2Person Payments (or any combo of the two) within 45 days of account opening.
- Your $50 bonus will automatically be deposited into your account on day 50.
Like the promos I've mentioned in the past, it's available to both new and existing ING Direct customers who have never had an EO account. One thing that has changed slightly is that they no longer require that the debit card purchases be signature-based. They can also be PIN-based purchases.
You May Want to Wait
If you wait to Thanksgiving, you may be able to get a larger bonus. For the last two years, ING Direct has done a Thanksgiving Black Friday promotion that includes an EO bonus. They had a $103 bonus for last year's Black Friday and $121 for the 2009 Black Friday.
Electric Orange Account Features
The new paper checks is the latest addition to Electric Orange. The next big new feature should be remote deposit capture which allows you to scan checks for deposit.
ING Direct is best known for its zero fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees, no ATM fees (no refunds of fees charged by ATM owners, but no charges at Allpoint ATM network) and no overdraft fees. It should be noted that EO's new paper checks cost $5 for a book of 50, and you can't order paper checks from other companies.
Capital One Acquisition
The big news this year for ING Direct is its pending acquisition by Capital One. The deal is not expected to close until late 2011 or early 2012. We probably won't see changes at ING Direct until mid to late 2012 at the earliest. Capital One has offered free internet savings and checking accounts from its direct banking division, so I doubt we will see any new fees.
Other Internet Checking Accounts
Three other competitive internet checking accounts are Ally Bank's Interest Checking and Incredible Bank's checking account, and Alliant Credit Union's High Rate Checking. All of these are free checking accounts with competitive interest rates.