Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Opened an ING Electric Orange Checking Account

As the title suggests, I just opened an ING Electric Orange checking account. It seems silly not to, since they pay nearly 4% for a checking account than I currently get at my local Money Market account. I currently keep my checking account at my formerly local hometown bank and I will probably keep it open.

It is Citizens Deposit Bank in Arlington Kentucky. I feel like I have a strong tie to the community that I grew up in. I kinda want to give something back to it even if in a small way. So I do it by keeping an account open in the local bank and I send my insurance check to that counties KFB office instead of the county that I live in, which isn't really any big deal. The bank is just a small hometown bank, and they give me free checking, which might be by accident, but is enough to keep me there. I think they probably even lose money by having to mail me a deposit slip but it is also valuable to me to be able to just walk in there and know I can walk out with $10000 in an unsecured loan just because they know me. But I'd have to drive 50 miles to do that.

Since I've recently jumped on the Dave Ramsey plan, or my own deviant mutation of it, I felt like I needed another option to move myself from using a credit card to a debit card. Prior to drinking the DR Koolaid, I resisted getting a debit card for my checking account even though it was available. Considering it was 50 miles away, I wanted to limit it to just checks. I thought previously that I would just use my credit cards and pay them off each month. But that just doesn't always work out, does it? I like the convenience of plastic, so by giving up the credit cards, I felt like I really needed to move to debit or else I might "backslide". But not on the account that I pay my utilities with!

So I opened an Electric Orange account with ING. I rarely have found customer experience story posted about them that was negative. So I seized the day and opened an account. My main goal with this account is to provide an one that I can allocate money to where I used to just assume to put on a credit card. ING gives you, or at least it gave me the option, of having a $165 overdraft protection or $500. I chose the $165, but worried if it was not some kind of psych test that they might compare with my credit history. Oh yeah, they check your credit history, the kind of "hard pull" that shows up as a credit check for borrowing money. I haven't opened a new account that would do that in over a year so I wasn't worried about that.

You have to have an existing account in another bank to pull funds from. I decided to pull money from the same money market account that I set up for T. Rowe Price. [UPDATE: They say you can't open it with a money market account. But only because "institutions put restrictions on these types of accounts that prevent electronic transfers". I have plenty of electronic transfers coming out of mine. Perhaps that is ok because they are monthly bill things. Maybe they won't even notice. Still waiting on that.] The EO account may actually one day replace it in this scheme. Heck, it ought to, the interest is about 3X as better.

Also if you start out with $250, and a referral from someone, they might give you $25. Like I said, I was seizing the day, which is really more important in the long run, and opened with less. I feel like inertia is better at this stage than $25. But your mileage may vary.

I'm now awaiting the approval and arrival of snail mail stuff that will complete the process. Once the EO account is open, I might veer into their Investment or Savings accounts. I'm not sure yet if it is a Savings account only option, but you can sign up to have regular withdrawals for you starter account. I might do that too.

They even have a few funds that might make sense for an investment account. Seems like a good spectrum of No-Load, low expense ratio funds (for all I know). I might even prefer them to the loaded funds my SIMPLE-IRA has available. But that is for a much later day.

I'll plan on posting more about completing this process later and possibly utilizing their investment accounts.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. Micah said...

Huzzah for deviant mutations.

The strange thing about Electric Orange is, if I understand it correctly, I'd have to open a separate checking account to be able to write real checks. And the landlord demands checks. So for me, it makes sense to keep the savings in ING but do checking through someone else.

I agree with your comment on my post about having separate checking accounts. Mr. Micah and I are working on setting that up. I don't know if we'll do it until we have a bit more money (free checking needs a minimum balance of $100 at Wachovia). As it is now, though, we have essentially separate finances (except through Mint) which can be frustrating.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Swamproot said...

You actually go online and fill it in and they will mail it to whoever you write it to (provide you have their address). But you actually have to have another checking account anyway to draw from as I stated.

And as it turns out, it looks like my money market account link works. I am relieved.

And I'm crossposting this answer on your blog. Thanks for visiting, hope my articles weren't too boring.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah there's no way getting around an ancient B&M checking account that slaps you around with fees and inconveniences. What I did was open a new free wamu checking account, immediately shredded the checks and debit card sans activation, and linked from the electric orange account to it. This reduces the chances of overdrafting, and insures that i'll never use it as my primary account.

12:49 AM  

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