I've been an emigrantdirect customer for over five years. I appreciate a well-designed web site that offers extra security. It's easy to transfer funds between accounts and from one or two of your brick-and-mortar banks, and easy to purchase cds. They've never made a mistake on my accounts, and their customer service both through online secure email and on the phone is friendly and efficient. I was very impressed with the way they handled a beneficiary transfer after the death of a friend who held an account with them. Interest rates rise and fall. Trying to chase the highest rate is futile. Staying with a trustworthy online bank such as emigrant has made my banking stress-free.
The interest rate on savings account seems to stay within the top 10-20%. They have a lot of security precautions which seem like overkill. The website seems old-timey (think 1999). Overall a decent bank for saving, but you can probably find better interest rates.
I routinely use INGDirect and EmigrantDirect. For the most part they work identically, except
1. Emigrant limits externally linked accounts
2. Emigrant requires you to mail in voided checks and other documents to verify additional and joint accounts
3. Cust svc personnel are not friendly
4. You can not transfer money in/out from another bank's website, every thing has to be done through the Emigrant site. (No-Go when my USAA checking account offes immediate credit for deposits when pulled into USAA from say ING)
5. Their website functionality is fine for simple transfers, but any intiial or account modification actions are fairly obtuse.
6. Internal transfers aren't instantaneous