Why does the idea of using ING as my primary bank freak me out?

I’ve been using ING Direct for my savings account since June. I have absolutely loved my experience with them so far. My interest rate has dipped a little from the original 3% to 2.7%, but it’s still much higher than any brick and mortar bank.

One of the reasons I decided not to open a checking account with ING is because I was so happy with my brick and mortar bank. We’ve been banking with Wachovia for a little over a year, and we’ve been equally happy with their service. Even though we could earn 1.5% APY with an ING checking account, I decided the peace of mind of banking with a brick and mortar bank was worth more to me than extra interest. I liked knowing that I could talk to someone in person at a local branch if necessary.

Now that Wachovia is being bought out by Wells Fargo, I’m reconsidering ING as our primary checking account. I have no reason to believe the quality of service will decrease with the transition, but I don’t know. More importantly, I’ve realized that I haven’t had a reason to speak with a teller for over a year. In fact, now that I work 9 to 5, the rare paper check deposits that I make are usually done at an ATM anyway.

ING Direct is fully FDIC-insured, so my money is in no more danger there than it is at Wachovia/Wells Fargo. The idea of earning a little interest on my checking account does appeal to me. So why am I so nervous about taking the plunge?

There’s certainly some security that comes with the ability to stop in at a local bank branch if necessary, but in this electonic age it’s rarely necessary. In fact, calling and speaking to a customer service representative on the phone during my lunch break at work would probably be more convenient for me than going into a branch.

If we decide to move again at some point in the future, it would be nice to have most of our money in a bank that will move with us.

I’m strongly considering opening an ING checking account for our primary banking and leaving our Wachovia account open only as a linked account. First I wanted to ask all of you about your experiences with ING checking. Has anybody had any problems with using ING as a primary checking account? Is moving money from your linked account to you ING account more trouble than it’s worth? How is their customer service?

4 thoughts on “Why does the idea of using ING as my primary bank freak me out?

  1. Yana

    I don’t use ING as a primary checking account, but do use a checking account with them. I’ve paid property taxes with it, and they sent a check to the county. I use it for paying several bills and for purchases online via the debit card. Moving money takes a few days. I haven’t used customer service much, but it was not great when my husband tried to put me on his savings account as a joint account holder. The phone call disconnected and we couldn’t get it done. Since then, they’ve made the process much easier, and it can be done online without a phone call. There was no way we were going to keep much in the savings if we weren’t both on it. Other than that, we’ve had no problems, but I’m not sure I would want to use them as a primary bank. Though the portability of it should we vacate to another country is a good feature. I’m happy with ING, but am not comfortable putting all our eggs in one basket, so we have a few banks.

  2. Bill

    If you have less than the new FDIC max of 250k, put it in ING. Its totally safe and backed by the government. If you have more than that, consider an account under a different name at the same bank. and ING Direct pays great rates on accounts and cd’s, and offers lower rates on mtges!

  3. Kacie

    The one trouble with ING checking accounts is that they don’t come with paper checks, so if you need to physically write a check and hand it to a person (i had to do that when we had our exterminator come out) then that wouldn’t be possible.

    I wonder if you could just go around that by ordering a box of checks from a third party? Hmm.

    We’re still using our brick & mortar as our primary bank, with ING as savings. But, I did move my emergency fund to the brick & mortar since I locked in at a 4% interest rate in a money market account.

  4. junger

    I wouldn’t worry about using ING’s Electric Orange. I’ve been using it for awhile now with no problems.

    But, since you are required to have a brick-and-mortar bank, you’ve got that backup just in case you feel you need it.

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