Fight Bank Fees: ING DIRECT Electric Orange Checking Account Review

If you’re sick and tired of paying bank fees or being forced to maintain certain requirements for your “free checking account,” look no further.

The ING DIRECT Electric Orange checking account is a genuine fee-free checking account that also earns you interest on your hard-earned money. That alone is much more than what the big banks offer their customers.

Typically, you need to maintain a direct deposit or have a certain amount of money in your checking account for it to remain free of charge.

And lately some banks have even pondered charging customers a monthly fee for their checking accounts to recoup losses tied to recent legislative changes.

Why Electric Orange?

Electric Orange benefits

Well, as mentioned, you get a free checking account! That’s clearly the biggest positive. Aside from that, you also get a $50 sign-up bonus when you open an account (and perform some simple actions), which is more than most checking accounts will yield in a year. Or ever, assuming they don’t even earn interest.

To be eligible for that $50 bonus, you need to make a total of three card purchases or Person2Person Payments (or any combo of the two) within 45 days of account opening.

If you do that, the $50 bonus will automatically be deposited into your checking account on day 50.

By card purchases, they mean using your associated MasterCard® Debit Card to make three signature-based (non-pin) transactions.

So when you swipe your debit card, you must either select credit or wait for the merchant to simply print out a receipt. It’s not a credit card, but it’s handled that way if you don’t enter a pin.

Earn Interest On Your Money Everyday


On top of that $50 bonus, you also earn interest on your deposits. Unlike most checking accounts that give you no yield or a microscopic one, you get anywhere from 0.20% to 1.00% APY, depending on your account balance (as of 11/10/2011).

Beyond the bonus and the interest-bearing free checking account, you also get access to 35,000 free ATMs nationwide at places like gas stations, 7-11 stores, Target, Costco, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.

As long as the ATM is part of the Allpoint Network, you’re guaranteed to get your money surcharge-free or ING DIRECT will refund any fees you’re charged.

You also get a ton of control over your account and it’s all online, meaning you can do all your banking on your computer as opposed to waiting in line down at your local branch.

Additionally, the overdraft fees are minimal compared to what the big guys charge. So if you tend to go over your limit often, this account is for you. You can also shuffle money quickly from an ING DIRECT savings account if you’ve got one, which means more interest earned and less paid in fees.

ING DIRECT Electric Orange Checking Benefits

– Free interest-bearing checking account
– Free MasterCard® Debit Card for all purchases
– Free Online Bill Pay
– Free P2P Payments – send money to any bank account
– Free postage – they will mail paper checks for you
– Free access to 35,000 ATMs nationwide
– No minimum account balance
– No direct deposit requirement for free checking
– $50 sign-up bonus!

I recently signed up for an account myself to snag the $50 account opening bonus and I’m glad I did. On top of the bonus, I can also quickly and easily send money to other bank accounts without having to worry about writing checks and licking stamps.  The debit card is also super cool because it doesn’t have any identifiable information on the front of the card, which could reduce the chance of fraud.

Also be sure to check out the PerkStreet Financial checking account, which allows you to earn cash back on debit card purchases.

Either way, don’t leave your money in a checking account that earns nothing back, or worse, pay a bank while they earn interest on your money!

(photo: audreyjm529)

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Colin Robertson

Colin created this blog after spending several years in a job that required him to scour credit reports on a daily basis. His goal is to help individuals improve their credit scores and get the most out of their credit cards.

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