ING Direct's FAQ implies the only way to get money out of the savings account is to conduct a transfer at ING's website through one of your linked checking accounts. I've seen it discussed that it's possible to pull money from your ING's savings account by using your ING's account and routing number just like you do with a checking account. I know people at Fatwallet forums and PFBlog have reported being able to do this. The benefit is that you can avoid the delay of going through your linked checking account which can be useful if you need to pay a bill fast.
I wanted to get the official information so I sent ING these two questions:
- Can I use my savings account to electronically pay my credit card bill? My credit card company can debit an account using the routing and account number.
- What are the maximum number of withdrawals per month that I can make from my savings account? And what are the maximum number of deposits?
Here's ING's answer to my first question:
The only way to transfer funds into or out of your account is by
transferring them to and from your linked checking account(s) via our
website, our Interactive Phone Service by calling 1-888-464-7868 or by
speaking to a Sales Associate at 1-888-464-0727.
Although you may be able to pull money from your ING account, you are not suppose to do it. I would recommend sticking with ING's rules. You might be okay, but if something goes wrong, it'll be easier to get ING's help. And I have seen problems reported by people such as this Fatwallet member who complained about losing money during an automatic transfer. If there's some mistake when you're making a non-checking-accout-link transfer, it could create more complications in trying to correct the problem. However, it should be noted that the Fatwallet member had played by the rules and was still having a tough time correcting the problem. It's unclear, however, if the root cause of the problem was ING or Bank of America.
I sent EmigrantDirect the same questions. Unlike ING, ED replied with the following:
Yes. You may use the American Dream account to pay your credit card bill.
So this might be another advantage of EmigrantDirect over INGDirect. With ED, you can bypass your checking account and pay your credit card bills directly without worrying about disobeying the rules.
Savings Account Withdrawal Limitations
Before you start paying bills using your EmigrantDirect account, beware that you don't over use this feature. Here's what ED sent to me regarding my second question:
Federal regulations require that no more than six (6) transfers per statement cycle may be made to (1) an account at another bank or financial institution, including your External Account, (2) to another EmigrantDirect account or (3) to a third party by means of a preauthorized or automatic electronic transfer. We reserve the right to close your Account for violation of the above restriction.
ING Direct also had a similar limitation. Here's what ING sent to me:
There are no limits on the number of deposits you can make into the
Orange Savings Account, however we ask that you limit your withdrawals to
6 per month.
I Don't know what would happen if you go past 6 outbound transfers at either bank.