Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

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Howie
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Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Howie » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:54 pm

A potential move is on the horizon and I have proactively begun thinking about my banking needs in a new location. I've used National City/PNC for two decades but PNC is not located in the Dallas area (to where I might be relocating).

So, I've nearly convinced myself a physical bank is not necessary any longer. I use ING for my savings account and use Fidelity for some of my retirement assets. I've read good things about both from an online checking standpoint and their respective services seems to be virtually the same. I think I could easily tie in my Fidelity 2% AmEx and 1.5% Visa rebates to a Fidelity cash management account if I went that route, but there are not any guarantees they will continue to offer those rebate credit cards indefinitely.

Anecdotes about either ING Checking or Fidelity's online checking?

I also understand Chase offers a very good online checking product and could probably find a no fee checking account option via their branch system (lots in DFW) that would enable the "best of both worlds" to be continued as it relates to my checking needs.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for the input.

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tainted-meat
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by tainted-meat » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:57 pm

I am looking forward to the feedback you will receive as well. I have my IRAs with Fidelity and have been on the cusp of moving my checking to Fidelity as well.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by livesoft » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:24 pm

Lots of WellsFargo banks in the Dallas area and lots of WellsFargo users on this forum. We llike the free checking and free brokerage with free commissions for Vanguard products.
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snettles
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by snettles » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:38 am

I am happy with Fidelity, but I have not shopped around. Free any ATM use is great. I do maintain a free account with a local (regional) bank so that I can deposit physical checks directly not by mail. Avoiding the big national banks (for banking) seems good.

Robin
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Robin » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:45 am

I'd also look at USAA.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by AndroAsc » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:34 am

Why not Alliant CU or Ally? I just opened an Ally account... their ACH transfers are lightning fast! (1 day)

ING has one issue, which is you can only link 3 accounts max. That makes it unsuitable as an ACH hub.

Muchtolearn
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Muchtolearn » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:59 am

OP, if you have a Vanguard advantage account you can also get free online checking or for some modest fee (free definitely if Flagship or Voyager I think). From personal experience I would strongly suggest having a local bank. This is in case you have a large check to deposit. Or need a signature guarantee. Or probably other things too.

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wander
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by wander » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:23 am

snettles wrote:I am happy with Fidelity, but I have not shopped around. Free any ATM use is great. I do maintain a free account with a local (regional) bank so that I can deposit physical checks directly not by mail. Avoiding the big national banks (for banking) seems good.
With Charles Schwab, you can deposit checks by smart phones.

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magellan
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by magellan » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:35 am

Muchtolearn wrote:OP, if you have a Vanguard advantage account you can also get free online checking or for some modest fee (free definitely if Flagship or Voyager I think). From personal experience I would strongly suggest having a local bank.
I had a Vanguard Advantage account w/checking and online billpay for years and it worked great. However, for security reasons, I recently switched my day-to-day checking and online bill pay to a local bank.

I decided that it was safer to keep a firewall between day-to-day banking activities and investment accounts. Bank accounts offer much stronger protections against online fraud compared to investment accounts. Also, because I use the bank account for billpay and checking, I have to log into that account several times per month. I only need to log in once or twice a month to Vanguard to check on transactions and record distributions into quicken.

Whenever I login to Vanguard's website, I use a dedicated computer that's never used for general web browsing or email. This is a bit of a pain, but now that I've separated banking from investment accounts, I only need to do it once or twice a month.

Jim

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by englishgirl » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:48 am

I have ING - no problems so far. The only annoyance to me is that it takes a long time for money transferred in from another bank, or deposited by phone, to clear. Transferring between ING accounts is instant, though, as is direct deposit of paychecks.

If you deposit checks by phone, you get access to $200 the next business day, but if the check was over $500, the remainder takes 5 business days to clear. Which is usually a whole week. Now, I usually have enough money in my accounts for this not to matter, but still, it makes me grumpy.

I do still have a linked bank account with a bricks and mortar bank (Chase) but as I have to keep $1500 in there to avoid fees, AND I don't earn any interest on it, I'll probably close it soon. I kept it to deposit checks and cash - now checks can be deposited by phone, that's one reason gone, and I rarely get enough cash to care. The only time it really made a difference was when I was doing a lot of charity fund raising.
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Muchtolearn » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:05 am

magellan wrote:
Muchtolearn wrote:OP, if you have a Vanguard advantage account you can also get free online checking or for some modest fee (free definitely if Flagship or Voyager I think). From personal experience I would strongly suggest having a local bank.
I had a Vanguard Advantage account w/checking and online billpay for years and it worked great. However, for security reasons, I recently switched my day-to-day checking and online bill pay to a local bank.

I decided that it was safer to keep a firewall between day-to-day banking activities and investment accounts. Bank accounts offer much stronger protections against online fraud compared to investment accounts. Also, because I use the bank account for billpay and checking, I have to log into that account several times per month. I only need to log in once or twice a month to Vanguard to check on transactions and record distributions into quicken.

Whenever I login to Vanguard's website, I use a dedicated computer that's never used for general web browsing or email. This is a bit of a pain, but now that I've separated banking from investment accounts, I only need to do it once or twice a month.

Jim
Magellan, I did precisely the same thing a few years ago. I use my megabank for all inflows and outflows. The only time Vanguard gets touched is for a transfer to or from its money market to a megabank. I too was afraid. I don't have a dedicated computer log in though.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by brianH » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:34 am

I've had Fidelity ever since they started offering the checking (SmartCash) account. I've been very pleased with the service. They offer a billpay, through CheckFree, that works well. They offer a Mint/Yodelee-like 'full view' account aggregation service, which also works well. The ATM rebates are awesome, especially now that almost everywhere charges (even Wawa for the PA folks.) I also really like the way the Visa and Amex rebates are handled. Spend over the designated amount, and the money is automatically deposited in your linked account. No intervention or other BS involved.

I suppose it is possible that FIA Card Services will get rid of the 1.5% and 2.0% rebates (respectively), but they've hung on long after other cards dropped their rebates down to piddly levels.

For the record, I use Fidelity as my checking account, but I do all my investing at Vanguard, and all of my cash reserves (except a few K) are in other online savings accounts.

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Jerilynn
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Jerilynn » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:01 pm

Robin wrote:I'd also look at USAA.
How hard is it to get a USAA membership? My father was in the Army, is that good enough?
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Sidney » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:20 pm

Jerilynn wrote:
Robin wrote:I'd also look at USAA.
How hard is it to get a USAA membership? My father was in the Army, is that good enough?
Probably. But you don't need to be a USAA member to use USAA bank.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Rainier
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Rainier » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:32 pm

I just started the process of switching to fidelity for checking.

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KarlJ
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by KarlJ » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:21 pm

I have been very satisfied with checking at Fidelity for many years and recently opened a CMA account to add no-fee ATM access to the mix of services.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by J295 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:37 pm

We have accounts at Fidelity, Vanguard, and a local bank. Without question Fidelity is the choice for banking (we have been highly satisfied customers for 30+ years). Free ATM, electronic bill pay, 2% auto cash back for credit card purchases, check deposits via iphone/ipad (no need to mail the checks), and 24/7 knowledgeable customer service. Enjoy!

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by edge » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:16 pm

brianH wrote:I've had Fidelity ever since they started offering the checking (SmartCash) account. I've been very pleased with the service. They offer a billpay, through CheckFree, that works well. They offer a Mint/Yodelee-like 'full view' account aggregation service, which also works well. The ATM rebates are awesome, especially now that almost everywhere charges (even Wawa for the PA folks.) I also really like the way the Visa and Amex rebates are handled. Spend over the designated amount, and the money is automatically deposited in your linked account. No intervention or other BS involved.

I suppose it is possible that FIA Card Services will get rid of the 1.5% and 2.0% rebates (respectively), but they've hung on long after other cards dropped their rebates down to piddly levels.

For the record, I use Fidelity as my checking account, but I do all my investing at Vanguard, and all of my cash reserves (except a few K) are in other online savings accounts.
I would not put it all on FIA. I am sure the 'cost' of the rebate is shared by Fidelity as well.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:25 pm

wander wrote:
snettles wrote:I am happy with Fidelity, but I have not shopped around. Free any ATM use is great. I do maintain a free account with a local (regional) bank so that I can deposit physical checks directly not by mail. Avoiding the big national banks (for banking) seems good.
With Charles Schwab, you can deposit checks by smart phones.
Same with Fidelity.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by madbrain » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:45 pm

I switched most of my banking to fidelity early this year and have been pretty happy so far. The only thing of course is that the rate on the Fidelity cash account is as close to zero as can be. Something like 0.02%. It's not worse than most local banks, though, except you don't pay fees. Checks do take time to clear. I also use the FIA credit cards, Amex and VISA, and it's convenient to have the automatic rewards deposit to the cash account.
There is a local branch also within reasonable distance of where I live. It's hard to find fault with the FIA offering.

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Rainier
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Rainier » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:22 am

What can you do at a Fidelity branch? I have one nearby as well.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by madbrain » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:17 pm

Rainier wrote:What can you do at a Fidelity branch? I have one nearby as well.
Wire transfers.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by ej76az » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:18 am

Sidney wrote:
Jerilynn wrote:
Robin wrote:I'd also look at USAA.
How hard is it to get a USAA membership? My father was in the Army, is that good enough?
Probably. But you don't need to be a USAA member to use USAA bank.
HOWEVER, the mobile feature (which, to me, is the most important feature of any online checking account) is only available if you are eligible for property and casualty insurance, which means either (1) you are or were in the active military or (2) you have a parent who was a USAA member AND had property and casualty insurance.

https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/mobile_banking_dm

https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/why_cho ... cyPassDown

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ej76az
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by ej76az » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:28 am

Howie wrote:Anecdotes about either ING Checking or Fidelity's online checking?
This might not be relevant to most people, but... ING Direct's mobile app, CheckMate, has a maximum mobile check deposit of $3,000, a ridiculous limitation which is buried deep within ING Direct's website. So if your employer doesn't offer direct deposit, or you're self-employed, the mobile check deposit feature might be useless to you.

http://helpcenter.ingdirect.com/ingd/To ... #IMAGEBAS8

Also, Capital One, which is despised by many, bought ING Direct from ING a few months ago, so it's unknown how good or bad ING Direct will be in the future.

Fidelity Mobile Check Deposit allows a maximum of $10,000.

https://www.fidelity.com/mobile/faqs

Everbank's limit is $50,000 (according to an e-mail from customer service; couldn't find it on the website).

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Howie
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Howie » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:05 pm

Great input...appreciate it. I would note that based on all the feedback and some casual Internet research I've narrowed the field to Ally and Fidelity. I will add that Ally advised me of the following mobile check deposit limits- $10,000 daily and $25,000 monthly (revolving 30 days). Apparently Ally has still not launched their complete mobile banking app but feel it will be rolled out by the end of the year.

I was earlier thinking of going the Chase route but I would be limited to their ATM network without incurring a fee and their basic "free" checking does not include free checks, etc.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by tat2ng » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:02 pm

I have had ING for years, but don't use their checking account. Their mobile deposit app is pretty sweet to deposit checks.

For online checking, I switched to Alliant Credit Union (recommended by The Finance Buff). I have savings, checking, and my HSA all with Alliant. They have free ATMs all over the place with the credit union network. I have been very happy with everything with them so far.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by nisiprius » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:20 pm

I've had an ING account for a long time. They seem very straightforward and reliable. I briefly had one of their Electric Orange accounts--couldn't resist their Black Friday offer--but cancelled it. The reason is this. When I got to thinking about it, if a hacker got into my ING Direct savings accounts, what could he do? He could transfer money back and forth from my ING Direct account to one of my other bank accounts. That is to say, nothing.

But if he got into my Electric Orange account, he could transfer everything I have in savings into the Electric Orange account, and then proceed to mail himself a check, made out to himself, for the full amount. Or do the same thing electronically.

In short, I am convinced that Internet checking accounts, bank electronic bill-paying services, and PayPal are intrinsically less secure than savings accounts--because their purpose is to transfer money between you and a third party, rather than between one of your accounts and another one of your accounts.

It's just a thought. I'm sure those experienced in security issues will say that the savings accounts aren't as secure as I think and that it's only a matter of difference in degree.
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by mattsm » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:38 pm

I've had Fidelity myCash for a long time and it's been great. Always have chat / email access to competent support as well.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by magellan » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:31 am

nisiprius wrote:In short, I am convinced that Internet checking accounts, bank electronic bill-paying services, and PayPal are intrinsically less secure than savings accounts--because their purpose is to transfer money between you and a third party, rather than between one of your accounts and another one of your accounts.

It's just a thought. I'm sure those experienced in security issues will say that the savings accounts aren't as secure as I think and that it's only a matter of difference in degree.
That sounds about right. Although I have an online savings account and am surprised how easy it'd be to drain it out electronically vs a checking account. Sure, no checks and no bill pay, but the savings account offers an ATM card and I can authorize electronic transfers between other bank accounts with ease and without security protections like snail mail confirmations and waiting periods. I think it'd just take two or three days to set up a new transfer account and get it confirmed. As long as the hacker could intercept the confirmation emails, you'd never know about it and they'd be off with the cash.

If it wasn't for the fairly robust protection from the Electronic Funds Transfer Act regulation E, I'd be more concerned. But since the account is at a bank covered by regulation E, there's practically zero risk of loss to me so I don't worry about it much.

Jim

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:37 am

I have both and I prefer Fidelity. Their programmable online bill-pay is the greatest.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by almeida » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:43 am

I've had ING DIRECT for seven years now and have been a happy customer for most of that time. In the last few years though, their interest rates have stayed flat and they were really slow to roll out online check cashing. They also have limits on the number of accounts you can have. For example, they won't let you have a single checking account for yourself and another joint checking account with a spouse. Someone else already mentioned that they also limit the number of external accounts you can link to.

Because I felt that ING DIRECT was stagnant, I recently moved most of my money to Ally. They have better rates, have no limits on number of accounts, offer free checks (ING DIRECT charges $5), online check cashing (ING DIRECT does now as well), and they reimburse domestic ATM fees charged by other banks. However, I did have problems with Ally that have made me regret the decision a little. Opening the account didn't go smoothly (the initial transfer never happened and had to be redone) and getting ATM cards was a hassle (they got my wife's name wrong four times). I never had any problems with ING DIRECT in all the time I've been with them, so having so many issues with Ally in just a couple months soured me a little. I'll probably stay with Ally anyway and hope that the problems are all behind me.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by ProfessorX » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:52 am

nisiprius wrote:But if he got into my Electric Orange account, he could transfer everything I have in savings into the Electric Orange account, and then proceed to mail himself a check, made out to himself, for the full amount. Or do the same thing electronically.

IIRC there is a limit on the amount of the check that he can mail to himself. I came across this when I was figuring out how to transfer my home down payment from ING savings. IIRC it is something like $5K max. Thus he could not mail himself a check for the full amount (if I am correct of course). For a direct electronic transfer, to someone else's bank account I believe there is also a similar amount limit.

Anyhow in either case, the transfer is traceable and presumably reversible if you catch it fast enough...

At the same time I agree with your main point that checking is a bit less secure than savings.

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Howie
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Howie » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:58 pm

I've chosen Fidelity...thanks again for all the input-- great to have such a diverse and learned community from which to garner knowledge.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by boglebill » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:21 am

Late to the party, but I have been using Fidelity for most of my assets for years. Billpay, debit, etc are easy.

I don't have a local branch nearby which has been less than desirable on a few occasions, but not impossible to work around.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Howie » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:47 pm

boglebill wrote:Late to the party, but I have been using Fidelity for most of my assets for years. Billpay, debit, etc are easy.

I don't have a local branch nearby which has been less than desirable on a few occasions, but not impossible to work around.
What can one do (from a checking account perspective) at a Fidelity branch?

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by tfb » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:52 am

Howie wrote:What can one do (from a checking account perspective) at a Fidelity branch?
Deposit a check; request a wire transfer.
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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by boglebill » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:05 am

Howie wrote:
boglebill wrote:Late to the party, but I have been using Fidelity for most of my assets for years. Billpay, debit, etc are easy.

I don't have a local branch nearby which has been less than desirable on a few occasions, but not impossible to work around.
What can one do (from a checking account perspective) at a Fidelity branch?
In general -some types of account changes. I have never needed anything for the checking account side of things.

Brokerage side - new accounts, changing some types of automated transfer schedules, asking a person a question face to face.

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Re: Looking to switch to online checking- ING or Fidelity?

Post by Ed 2 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:38 am

Good idea! I too have ING and Fidelity cash management accounts . Loooove it!!!!!
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