I've been a happy ING savings account customer since 2004, and I recently signed up for their Electric Orange checking account. It offers 4% APY, a MasterCard debit card, free bill-pay, etc. It's a "paperless" account, which can be a good thing... but the one real nuisance is you can't write an actual physical paper check -- if you want to write a check, you have to do it on the web site and have it sent via snail mail. I hate checks, and I really try to avoid using them whenever possible, but I have come across some situations in the last few months where writing a check would have been very handy.
Basically what I've been doing is having my Electric Orange account linked to a standard checking account (which I only keep a few dollars in, I'm living paycheck to paycheck at the moment). I'll write checks from my standard checking account, and cover them with an overdraft line of credit until I can get funds from ING transferred over (takes 2-3 days). Not a huge deal, but it's slightly annoying.
Anyway, I came across some really bad press regarding ING's electric orange accounts. Check out these posts:Consumerism CommentaryThe ConsumeristLiz Weston
Basically what happened is this... ING sent emails to some 5300 electric orange customers basically telling them "sorry, we checked your credit history and we're closing your account.". This happened because ING originally offered overdraft funds to all electric orange customers with NO credit check. Then they decided "oh crap, we should probably weed out some of the people with bad credit". They caught a lot of flack for this move and sent apology letters to most of the people and allowed them to reinstate their accounts.
THAT is bogus, in my opinion. I understand they have the right to choose who their customers are, but I would at least think they should warn the people that they are doing something wrong before just cancelling their accounts. It was obviously a bad move on ING's part, and it's made me want to switch banks.
That said, I've been looking at different online high yield checking accounts now that ING seems a little fishy to me. I came across one that looks interesting -- Charles Schwab
No account minimums
No ATM fees
Free Bill Pay
The only catch is you have to open it along with a brokerage account, which is free. I signed up for an account tonight but it's too early to tell how it will work out for me. All I can say thus far is their website is like reading hyrogliphics compared to ING's nice clean interface, but it shouldn't take long to adjust.
Here's an interesting article
I found comparing the new Schwab account to ING.
Which high yield checking account do you use, and why?