Banking Finances & Money

ING Direct Checking will now have eBilling!

One of the main reasons I’ve never really promoted the ING DIRECT Checking Account is that I personally liked my Bank of America account more for one simple reason: their online banking. Specifically, the option to receive eBills directly from utilities, credit cards and other companies set up in the program with BoA. Oh, and the branch locations are useful for that one time every 2 years that I need to do something in person.

As for the eBill feature, I get my gas and electric bill through BoA’s online billing site. I can view the bill without having to log in elsewhere. But Bank of America isn’t the only one that has this feature. I noticed my Chevy Chase Bank (soon to be Capital One) offers eBills. And now ING Direct offers eBills.

So now ING DIRECT Checking Accounts have enough positives to provoke me to switch banks:

  • You earn interest on your checking balance. BoA, and most other banks, don’t offer interest-bearing checking accounts without minimum balances of astronomical sizes. At ING Direct, there’s no minimum and you earn interest (currently around 0.25% APY). It’s a small sum, but it’s at least something!
  • Access to over 35,000 ATMs on the Allpoint network. Unfortunately, you can’t make deposits via these ATMs (more on that later).
  • Need a check? Don’t bother with a checkbook because you can just request free checks from them. You can’t request a stack of them, and some planning is required but if you needed a physical check, you can get one. Again, more on this later.
  • You can now get eBills in addition to online bill pay. ING Direct has always had the ability to send money to others (you tell them to whom and for how much and they’ll send the check), but now you can also get your bill sent directly to you electronically from participating companies.
  • You get a check card to make purchases just like with any other bank. Personally, though, I don’t use check/debit cards for purchases as they’re less secure than credit cards, but it’s a nice alternative to have.

Personally, I don’t like setting up automatic withdrawals (i.e. EFT) because it means less control over how much they withdraw. Instead, I set up recurring bill payments in my online checking account (currently BoA). Therefore, if someone commits fraud on a credit card, or someone bills me incorrectly, I don’t have to worry about it being sucked out of my checking account and causing me to miss other bills. But that’s your call on what you like best; ING Direct supports both methods.

But as I mentioned, there ARE some downsides to the ING Direct Electric Orange checking account:

  • Can’t deposit money except through transfers. Update: Turns out you CAN mail them a check. That means you’ll still need a linked account at a physical bank. However, you CAN use direct deposit for your paychecks so it’s just those random check and cash deposits that will be multiple steps.

Actually, that’s the only downside to the account I can think of. There’s no physical bank locations for ING Direct, so if you tend to use your bank quite often, then perhaps ING Direct isn’t for you, but for the majority of Americans (with internet access), it will work just fine.

How do you feel about your ING Direct Electric Orange Checking Account if you have one? I haven’t made the full switch yet, so I’d like to hear your opinions too!

<a href=”″ target=”_top”>ING DIRECT Checking Account. Free ATMs. FDIC Insured. Open online now.</a>
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Clever Dude


  • I have used ING Direct Checking for over a year now…I have a linked Bank of America account that I use to make the occasional check deposit (very convenient to deposit checks into their ATM’s), but other than that – I have used ING for everything else…The only billpay alert that I need is my BGE bill, and that came from my Bank of America account. When I saw that the bill was ready at BofA, I just logged into ING (NOT BofA) and made the payment.

    I like having my primary checking and savings sub-accounts under one roof. Transfers between savings and checking inside ING is instantaneous, not the 2-5 business day lag (depending on whether you transfer to a checking or savings account) that interbank transfers can take. When our direct deposit hits, I have auto withdrawals to my various savings accounts…Vacation/Christmas/Wife’s Summer Paycheck fund (since she is a teacher and gets paid 10 mos/year). If I need cash, I have about 4-5 ATM’s within a 3-5 minute drive that I can go to.

    All in all, it’s a great system…I’ve been 100% satisfied with my arrangement…

  • I love ING so much that I might name my first born I have been with them a few years and they are my main bank. My salary is direct deposited there and I use it to pay my bills both directly where they need a check and indirectly, by paying off the credit card that a bill goes to.

    I have multiple savings accounts there for various savings goals and for irregular expenses and I love the interface. I had a few cds there as well when the rates were higher.

    I only use one other bank sparingly when I need to have cash to do laundry but in general ING rules my finances!!!!

  • I have used the ING Checking for what seems like years. I originally signed up for it so that I would have a fail safe to get money out of my savings if I needed it quickly.

  • ING is my favorite bank! I’ve been a customer since 2003. I have checking, several savings (for different goals) and a couple of CDs. The only thing I pay out of my ‘linked’ brick-and-mortar bank account is my rent. I don’t have the option of paying online and it’s faster to mail the check myself than to wait on ING. I don’t consider that a negative, though – just a personal choice.

    I somehow missed that the change to the payment system was to allow for e-bills (which is the only thing I was really missing). Now I’m eager to try it out!

    ING has never disappointed me. It’s simple and easy to use, and I love the depth of their security. They’re the first bank I ran across who did the ‘security picture & phrase’ to verify their authenticity and help prevent phishing.

  • ING does everything. The only real drawback is when I need cash, I need to plan ahead to transfer into BOA for the ATM. Or I need to keep a reserve in my BOA Account. The paper checks are great and the only way I have found that Citibank will allow me to apply extra payments to my student loan while having AutoPay on.

    Other drawback is paper checks that you need immediately. Ex. Pay cable guy at installation, Rental deposits, payments to individuals skeptical of the transfer. That only pops up 2x a year or so. The convienience of everything else far out weighs the hassle 2 times a year.

  • Good article… I just wanted to say one thing because I did this just last week. Though it’s not quite as fast as making a deposit at a physical bank, it is possible to deposit paper checks to ING Direct. When you are in the electric orange section, on the top right there is a ‘quick links’ tab – click it and click on deposit money. In there it says:
    If the above is not an option, you can mail in checks.

    * Personal checks need to be payable to yourself for the amount you would like to deposit. Be sure to include your Customer Number and Account Number on the Memo line of your check and sign it.
    * Checks that you receive from others need to be payable to you. Make sure you endorse the back of the check and include your Customer Number and Account Number on the Memo line.
    * Mail to:

    P.O. Box 60
    St. Cloud, MN 56302-0060

    * Acceptable Checks include personal, business, cashier, official bank, treasury, Trustee (pre-printed with the name of the depositor).
    * We don’t accept checks that are printed from your computer, starter checks, third-party checks, money orders, traveler’s checks and cash.

    I put the checks in the mail last Thursday, and by Monday my account was credited.

    First time I did that… Just thought I’d add that.

    • @Angie, I’ve provided my electric orange referral links before, but it’s usually people who already have the savings that use them, and neither of us gets a bonus and the referral link is used up. If anyone wants to open a brand new electric orange account and doesn’t have an ING Direct account yet, let me know and I’ll send you the referral.

  • I’ve had a savings account with them for awhile and I love it.

    For me, the downside of their checking account is no physical checks. Sure, you can print one out – but I really need to write checks here ‘n there, every once in awhile. For example, my handyman – I don’t know what the charges are going to be until he’s done. I don’t want to have to say.. ok, hold on while I log in, fiddle with stuff and print it. Ooops! Out of toner, I can’t print right now.

    No, that just doesn’t cut it. Even if they gave us just 10 pre-printed checks per month, I’d be a total convert.

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