Banking is a fast growing industry; after all, we all need a bank account. Fortunately, it is now possible to open an account from your home due to the presence of online banks that offer good rates and rich features.
One such bank is Ally, the digital-only division of Ally Financial Inc., dating back to the 1920s. In this Ally Bank review, we’ll have a look at the company and gauge if it’s worth a try.
What is Ally Bank?
Started in 1919 as GMAC, Ally Bank is a digital-only bank offering a variety of financial services including deposit accounts. Originally started as GM’s finance arm, the bank underwent major changes in 2009 and got the name Ally Bank.
The Utah-based bank focuses on consumer products including credit cards, financing services, and accounts.
The bank offers several ways to deposit including wire transfers, checks, account to account transfers, and a mobile deposit. However, cash isn’t an option.
Ally Bank Review: The Services It Offers
Ally Bank offers a wide range of financial services including several accounts:
Money Market Account
A mix of savings and checking accounts, the Money Market Account type can be great for users who want to earn money without any limitations on spending.
You can earn 0.50% APY on all deposits. There are no minimum requirements.
All account holders get free checks and a debit card without any monthly charges. Moreover, it comes with ATM access. However, there may be a limitation on withdrawals – six per month – due to regulations.
Online Savings Account
Known for its high Annual Percentage Yield (APY), Ally’s Online Savings Account can be a great option for users who want to earn a decent profit on their deposits.
You can earn 0.50% APY on all deposits. There are no minimum deposit or balance requirements.
It comes with no monthly charges; however, it doesn’t offer an ATM card and you will only have the option to transfer funds via check or wire.
Interest Checking Account is free to open and maintain. While it doesn’t pay as much interest as the other two options, it does come with some benefits.
You can earn 0.50% APY on balances under $15,000. The amount goes to 0.25% on $15,000 or more.
The account gives users access to Zelle that makes P2P payments easier. Moreover, the mobile app can also be used to deposit checks.
Just like the other two options, this one also comes with $0 maintenance charges.
We think this account can be great for users who want to go online. You’ll get a debit card for easy withdrawals with the option to pay bills through the app.
👉 Related article: Check out Current, the most popular mobile banking app! Click here to learn more.
You can also try Certificates of Deposit with Ally Bank. Your options include:
High Yield CDs
Once you sign up for a High Yield CDs account, you will be able to see a complete list of available CDs. They work like traditional CDs and require account holders to leave or invest funds for a specific time period.
You will get a fixed rate that is usually higher than what other banks offer. On the positive side, there are no minimum deposit requirements. This makes Ally Bank a great choice for investors who want to start with a small deposit.
No Penalty CDs
Ally Bank offers No Penalty CDs that are liquid and easy to convert into cash.
They solve the liquidity problem by giving you the option to cash out whenever you want to without having to worry about penalties.
These CDs, however, offer lower rates than High Yield CDs the bank offers.
Raise Your Rate CDs
If you don’t like the idea of locked rates then the Raise Your Rate CDs option may be suitable for you as it comes with rates that are not fixed and may go up. This can be a good way to ensure you don’t get stuck with low-paying CDs.
The bank offers excellent rates – 0.55% APY for both 4-year and 2-year CDs with no minimum deposit.
If Ally Bank changes rates on the asset that you own, you will have the option to ask the bank to change your rate as well. However, this can be done only a few times – once with a 2-year CD and twice with a 4-year CD.
This is an excellent feature and very few organizations offer it. It allows investors to make more money.
Ally Bank Review: Other Financial Products
No Ally Bank review can be complete without mentioning the other services offered by the organization:
- Auto loans
- Mortgage refinance loans
- Home purchase loans
- Managed investment portfolios
- Self-directed investment accounts
The terms and conditions keep changing from time to time, it is best that you shop around and compare your options before you pick an institution to apply for a loan or manage your portfolio.
Using Ally Bank: Opening an Account
It is very easy to open an Ally Bank account. Since it’s a digital-only bank, you will not have to worry about going to a branch or mailing documents, everything can be done virtually.
You can call 1-877-247-2559 or go here to open an account.
You will be required to fill a form and submit private information including your SSN or TIN, name, address, and date of birth.
You must be at least 18 in order to open an account.
Ally Bank ATM: Is It Worth It?
It’s important to talk about Ally Bank ATMs in this Ally Bank review since the organization doesn’t have branches and you will not find ‘Ally Bank’ ATMs. You can, however, use Allpoint ATMs and withdraw money for free.
Allpoint ATMs can be found at most financial institutions, convenience stores, and restaurants. You can go here to find a nearby ATM. There might, however, be some limitations on how much you can withdraw in a month.
You will have to pay a fee for using other US ATMs; however, the company offers rebates – up to $10 per cycle – to cover the fee. The bank doesn’t charge users for using other ATMs, but the provider may levy a fee.
On the positive side, the company doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fee that most banks do. This makes it a great choice for people who travel a lot. You can use Ally Bank cards abroad to withdraw money without having to worry about additional charges.
Ally Bank Experience
Since banking is a service industry, a lot depends on how a bank serves its clients. Fortunately, Ally Bank appears to be doing well in this department despite no physical branches.
The company offers excellent customer service with the option to get in touch with an agent 24/7 over the phone or live chat. Agents are informative and available. You will not have to wait a lot to get connected. There is also a frequently asked section that is detailed and well written.
Overall, the platform is easy to use, whether you are on a desktop or a mobile device. Those who want to stay connected 24/7 can use Ally Bank apps available on both iOS and Android.
The apps are customer-friendly and very easy to use. They also enjoy good user reviews and ratings.
They come with almost all the features the website does. Moreover, you will even get access to a voice-enabled assistant if your account comes with a debit card.
This allows users to complete tasks such as check their balances without having to type anything. You can use Amazon Alexa to get the job done.
Ally Bank customer service is highly rated and ranked second in the 2019 JD Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study.
Ally Bank Review: Pros and Cons
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of using this platform:
- You do not have to pay any maintenance fee
- There’s no minimum balance on CDs, savings, or checking
- The APY is pretty high
- Users can deposit up to $250,000 per month and $50,000 per day via mobile deposit
- Safe and reliable to use as your money is FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per person
- Excellent customer service ensures all your problems are taken care of
- You cannot deposit cash, which can be a problem for some users
- Charges a $25 overdraft fee with no overdraft line of credit
- It is not BBB accredited
Ally Bank Review
In the end of this Ally Bank review, we can say that Ally Bank appears to be leading the charts when it comes to digital banking; however, we must mention that it isn’t the only bank offering online banking services. You will find several alternatives on the market but Ally Bank seems to have an edge due to its high rate and great services.
You can open an account within minutes and get access to great services and features. Ally Bank’s mobile apps come with great learning tools and can even help you save and make money.
Start with a free account today and see how it works for you.
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