Should We Switch our Main Checking Account to ING?

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Since the bank that we hold our main checking account at has been purchased by another bank and is merging, we’re going to be getting a new type of checking account and new account numbers. The benefits and features should stay the same, but I’m kind of nervous about the changes.  I don’t want to have problems with fees or funds availability.  So I’ve been thinking about switching our main checking account to ING.  It’s funny, because I received an email the other day from ING, saying that if we open up a checking account and make three signature-based transactions we’ll get a $50 bonus. Sounds awesome, right?

Pros:

  • Fee free overdraft protection. Although that’s not a feature I plan on using, it’s still something I want to have in case of an emergency.
  • No minimum balance. Sometimes I have less than $100 in our checking account and I want to be able to keep it that way if I so desire.
  • No monthly maintenance fees. I don’t want to pay a maintenance fee each month either.
  • Linked to our savings accounts so all our money would be in one place. Convenient!
  • Interest.  It’s not a lot, but it’s better than nothing.

Cons:

  • Mr. Money’s employer doesn’t offer direct deposit. I’d have to deposit his paycheck into an account at our current bank, then transfer the funds to ING.  That would probably be a hassle.
  • No paper checks.  I like to write checks to pay our mortgage. I like seeing that check clear the bank.
  • The free ATMs are inconvenient. I just checked to see where the nearest free ATM was and it’s about 5 miles from my house.

What do you look for in a bank?  Have you considered having your main checking account with ING?

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21 thoughts on “Should We Switch our Main Checking Account to ING?

  1. ami@40daystochange says:

    I’ve debated the same thing (going to a virtual bank). There are pros and cons – and, for me, the question will be whether I am willing to change how we handle our finances to take advantage of the system offered by the virtual banks (for example curtailing my use of ATMs, going to all electronic/paperless banking, etc.) It might be worth the switch if you can get comfortable doing a high level of virtual banking – which might actually make budgeting and managing your money easier. Also some of the virtual banks offer to refund a number of ATM fees if you have to use an ATM, so you might check into that.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Ami- I don’t know how comfortable I am doing all virtual banking. I know it’s much better for the environment, but I am a little old fashioned with some things. 🙂 Let me know if you switch.

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  2. Matt Jabs says:

    I’m an ING fanboy… love that bank – in fact, they are the only bank I’ve ever even liked! No fees, really good stuff.

    To buffet the “online only bank” we secured a checking account w/a local brick & mortar credit union. We connect that checking with our ING checking and that is how we deposit paper checks (rather than mailing them to ING.)

    For ATM’s, start using the cash envelop system. My wife and I do this and LOVE it… this way we only have to hit the ATM once per month – to fund our cash envelopes, plus it helps us spend way less. Just figure out what budget categories are best for cash envelopes & just use those categories. Our 5 cash envelopes are Groceries, Miscellaneous, Entertainment, Dining Out, & Clothing. That pretty much covers anything we would ever need to hit an ATM for – plush this helps limit spending.

    ING will mail a paper check (for free – no stamp, no buying checks, no envelop) if they cannot send the payment electronically. They attempt to send it electronically first, but if the receiving entity does not have the infrastructure set up, ING will just mail them a check.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Matt Jabs- I really like the no fees part. I HATE bank fees!

    I’ve thought about going to a credit union too but there aren’t any that are convenient to my house/work.

    I need to try the cash envelope system. I’m just afraid that once an envelope was empty I’d just go take some from another one or just refill it! 😉

    Thanks so much for the great tips! I could just open an account to get the $50 bonus and give it a try!

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  3. Becky R says:

    I have four banks:
    Td for all main stuff
    Chase to pay unmonthly expenses
    Wachovia for my business (I do child care)
    ING for savings

    I like ING for savings because I don’t think about that account. I am not sure I’d like it for regualr bills.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Becky R- Does it get confusing? I think if I had that many accounts I would get confused. 🙂 I love ING for savings too!

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  4. Lulu says:

    Like Matt (#2) I love ING!!!!! It is my main bank and I use it to push payment to my creditors instead of having them pull from my account.

    You can still see the check clear the bank as ING gives you a clickable link to every check you ‘write’ and it tells you the day that it clears.

    I have a local bank that I use as a deposit area for ING as well but my employer does direct deposit so I mainly have small checks from friends to deposit.

    I agree with him when he says to use the envelope method for cash…..although I don’t use cash myself.

    Almost all bills are paid via credit card and then I use ING to push a payment to the credit card.

    Try it for one bill…like your credit card at first and see how well you like it.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Lulu- Awesome! I may just open an account to get the $50 bonus and then go from there. It can’t hurt, right?

    I need to give the envelope method another good try. I’ve been bad in the past with cash- if I have it, I spend it!

    Thanks for the vote of confidence in ING!

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  5. Kacie says:

    Email me and tell me which bank it’ll be. When ours switched, we became part of PNC. LOVE them.

    I think doing all ING Direct sounds like it would be a big hassle for you.

    Also, I think it’s bad that you work at a bank and you’re nervous about the funds being available! Eep!

    When we had the switchover, the site was down for most of the weekend but other than that it went smoothly. Put a little extra cushion in your checking account until the transition happens and you should be fine.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Kacie- That is sooo good to know. 🙂

    I know- it sucks that my hubby’s employer doesn’t offer direct deposit. Boo!

    LOL I didn’t want to say the name of the bank. I don’t want to get in trouble. 🙂

    Thanks for the tips!

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  6. Alison@This Wasn't In The Plan says:

    I wouldn’t say that our main checking account is our ING account, but we do have one. Up until my husband’s most recent pay check, we didn’t have direct deposit either. I’d just go online and make a transfer every other week after he deposited his paycheck. Actually, we don’t even direct deposit into ING. It’s really not a hassle. We do most of our transactions through the ING account and have never had any trouble at all.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Alison- I think I will just set up one to get the $50 bonus and go from there. I LOVE direct deposit! Thanks for the good info. I want to make things as simple as possible. 🙂

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  7. Zella says:

    What about USAA? We LOVE them, and I’m 99.9% certain the bank portion is open to everyone now.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Zella- I will have to check out USAA. I know a lot of people love them. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  8. Kait Palmer says:

    We have our checking account with Wells Fargo and have never had a problem with them. Its a free checking account and I can’t recall ever seeing a bank charge with them–and I’ve been with them since I was 15! Great customer service, too. As long as things stay that way I don’t see a reason to change.

    We also have an ING savings account for our emergency savings, and I like the way everything is set up online. It does take 3 business days to transfer funds, though. Other than that no complaints at either bank.

    In the past and at work we have had a lot of problems with US Bank, Bank of America and Key Bank (Chase)…

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Kait- We don’t have Wells Fargo where I live 🙁 Bummer.

    That’s my only complaint about ING too is the time it takes to transfer. 🙂 If we move somewhere that has Wells Fargo, we’ll have to check them out. Thanks! 🙂

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  9. Austin says:

    Lack of ATMs also stopped me from switching. The only one was in a local bar which would probably just be awkward 85% of the time I needed money.

    Instead, I use 2 checking accounts since ING’s bill pay is so awesome.

    Austin @ Foreigner’s Finances

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Austin- I think I should just open the account at least to get the $50 bonus. I think that’s a great deal!

    That’s so funny the ATM is in a bar. I would be totally weirded out. 😉

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    [Reply]

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