Interest Bearing Internet Banking and a Cash-Back Debit Card

High-tech, no fee banking. I use ING Direct for the core of my banking. It is completely internet-based. It offers interest bearing savings (although not much these days) and interest bearing electronic checking (which is even less). I have direct deposit both of our paychecks, and the account is linked to up to three other external accounts, allowing me to transfer money between all of my banks. It is a paperless account, but the ING Electric Orange Checking account is able to link up to electronic billing from most providers, send electronic transfers to anyone with a bank account, and is able to send paper checks as well for free. If you want a referral to ING Direct and a $25 referral bonus please send me an email.

WARNING! Update: Perk Street Closes and Cancels Perks
UPDATE: Perk Street Redeems Itself and Clears Dave

This year we also started using PerkStreet Financial. We had been using the credit card to get cash back. The cash back program we were on was really nice. 1% on everything, 5% on gas and the cash back was debited to the account automatically every month. So we had been putting everything on it, including school tuition and paying it off at the end of every month. Plus we got a 30 day pass on paying for stuff. But then we started listening to Dave Ramsey (who said using credit cards at all was a bad idea, tune in to hear more) and Chase really jacked up the cash back award program. So we stopped using the credit card. First we had to get 30 days of expenses back to be current, but when we did we switched to Perk Street. They offer a cash back debit card (1% cash back, 2% if you maintain a $5000 minimum balance, if you use it for signature-based transactions)

There were a few local banks that offered ~3% APR interest on checking if you had ~10 transactions a month and maintained ~$15,000 balance, but after running the numbers, we were better off with the 2% per month on transactions.

Now, studies show that you spend more if you use plastic, but I think that I am fairly frugal and now that we are on a budget every month, we do a better job of deciding where our money will go.

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