The banking landscape continues to change, and increasingly, consumers are ditching brick-and-mortar banks for more flexible options. Online banks often come with fewer fees, better customer service, and higher APYs. There is no better example of this than Ally Bank.
Ally Bank is one of the most popular mobile banking options. The online bank offers competitive interest rates and various helpful features and services. This review will give an overview of the bank, so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Brief Overview of Ally Bank
Ally Financial was originally founded as GMAC Bank, then rebranded in 2009 as Ally, an online bank. Ally is popular with consumers thanks to its friendly customer service and a wide variety of hassle-free banking options.
Ally Bank offers the following banking products:
- Interest checking accounts
- Online savings accounts
- Money market accounts
- Certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Credit cards
- Home purchase and mortgage refinancing
- Auto loans
- Home improvement loans
- Loans for medical treatments and procedures
Ally Invest also offers fee-free self-directed trading, robo portfolios, and wealth management.
Of course, there is no perfect banking option. But if you’re looking for a convenient, one-stop shop for all your online banking needs, Ally Bank is an excellent choice for you to consider.
Ally Bank Products & Services
Listed below is a more in-depth look at the main banking features Ally Bank offers, as well as some of the pros and cons of each.
Ally Bank Interest Checking Account
Ally Bank offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.25% on checking accounts with balances of $15,000 or more.
If your checking account daily balance is less than $15,000, you’ll earn a 0.10% APY, which is still higher than most banks.
Unlike many brick-and-mortar banks, Ally doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees. They also don’t charge fees for bank statements, ACH, or wire transfers.
The online bank does charge overdraft fees, but they are only $25. And you won’t be hit with more than one overdraft fee per day. You can also sign up for CoverDraft℠, which will protect your account up to $100.
Ally Bank doesn’t have any physical branches you can visit, so you just snap a photo and deposit checks right from your phone. You can also transfer funds, pay bills online, and if you need to withdraw cash, you can access 43,000+ fee-free Allpoint ATMs.
Ally Bank Savings Accounts
You’ll get an APY of 4.25% with an Ally Bank Online Savings account, which beats the national average by quite a bit. You’ll earn this rate regardless of how much money you have in your account and there are no minimum balance requirements.
This high yield savings account does not come with a debit card, but you can easily make transfers from other Ally accounts. You can also utilize mobile deposits or wire transfer the money, but you cannot deposit cash.
The bank doesn’t charge a monthly fee on its savings account, and the account fees it does charge are limited. You can check out the bank’s website to learn more about the kinds of fees you can expect as an Ally customer.
Ally Bank Money Market Account
Ally’s money market account is like a savings and checking account all rolled into one. You earn an APY of 4.40%, but you’re able to spend the money right away. There is no minimum deposit requirement.
When you open an Ally money market account, you’ll receive free checks and a debit card for easy spending. And you’ll receive free access to Allpoint ATMs.
However, due to federal regulations, payments and mobile transfers are limited to six per month. But you can make as many cash withdrawals as you want.
Ally Bank CDs
Here are the three certificate of deposit accounts Ally offers:
- High Yield CD: High yield CDs come with a 5.00% APY and are available in various term lengths, ranging from three months up to five years. You will be charged a penalty if you withdraw the money before your term is up.
- Raise Your Rate CD: This CD has a 3.75% APY and is available for two-year or four-year term lengths. And you have the option to increase your rate once over the two-year term and twice over the four-year term. Early withdrawal penalties will apply to Raise Your Rate CDs.
- No Penalty CD: This CD is a suitable option for consumers who think they may need to withdraw their money early. The term length is 11 months, and the APY varies depending on the size of your deposit.
Ally Bank Credit Cards
Ally offers a few different credit card options for its customers. Here is a brief overview of each of them:
- Ally Platinum Mastercard: The Platinum Mastercard is a credit card designed for individuals with fair or good credit. It doesn’t offer rewards, but it has a straightforward fee structure with no annual fee, no returned payment fee, no over-limit fee, and no foreign transaction fees. It also comes with a free online FICO score.
- Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard: With this card, you earn cash back on their spending and has an annual fee of up to $39. Cardholders can earn 3% cash back on purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores, and drugstores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no limit on the cash back that can be earned, and rewards do not expire as long as the account is open and in good standing.
- Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard: This card offers an unlimited 2% cash back rate on all purchases, with no minimum redemption amount and no expiration dates. There’s no annual fee, but it is only available to customers with high credit scores.
Ally Bank Fees & Charges
At Ally Bank, you’ll find limited fees across the board. Like other online banks, its most commonly used services come with no fees at all. For instance, there are no monthly maintenance fees, incoming wire transfer fees, ACH transfers, online statements, or cashier’s checks to worry about.
This makes Ally a great choice for anyone looking to avoid excessive fees on their banking products and services.
Here is an overview of the fees the bank does charge, per Ally’s website:
- Returned deposit: $7.50
- Overdraft fee: $25, limited to once per day
- Excessive transactions: $10 per transaction
- Expedited delivery: $15
- Outgoing wire transfer fees: $20
- Account research fee: $25 per hour
Pros and Cons of Ally Bank
- There are no minimum deposit requirements
- Competitive APYs
- There are no monthly fees
- The fees are pretty low
- 24/7 customer support
- Easy-to-use online interface
- Free ATM access
- No local branches
- The money market account pays less than the savings account
- Savings accounts don’t come with an ATM card
- There are transaction limits on money market and savings accounts
Ally Bank Customer Service & Support
Ally Bank offers various ways for customers to get support, including phone, email, and online chat. Customer feedback and ratings of the bank’s customer service and support are generally positive.
Who is Ally Bank best for?
If you’re looking for convenient, mobile banking options, Ally is tough to beat. It’s a one-stop shop for most of your banking needs.
Ally Bank customers will earn a competitive interest rate on savings and CDs. And you never have to worry about maintaining a monthly minimum balance on any Ally Bank account.
A bank account from Ally is a great option for anyone who feels annoyed by monthly fees and is looking for a straightforward, hassle-free approach to banking.
While Ally may be a good fit for many customers, it may not be the best option for everyone. If you need the ability to visit a branch location that accepts cash deposits, Ally may not be the best choice for you.
Ally Bank FAQs
Who owns Ally Bank?
Ally Bank is a subsidiary of Ally Financial, a financial services company that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Where is Ally Bank located?
Ally Bank is a digital bank, which means it does not have any physical branch locations. The bank is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. It operates entirely online through its website and mobile app. Customers can access their accounts and conduct banking activities from anywhere with an internet connection.
Is Ally Bank a legit bank?
Yes, Ally is a legitimate and federally insured bank. It is a FDIC-insured institution, which means that deposits at the bank are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.
Ally is also regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC); a federal agency that charters, regulates, and supervises national banks in the United States.
How can I deposit cash into Ally Bank?
Ally does not accept cash deposits. You will need to make deposits via mobile deposit, direct deposit, online transfers, wire transfers, or mail.
Does Ally Bank have Zelle?
Yes, Ally does offer the Zelle service to its customers. To use Zelle, customers will need to enroll in the service through their online banking account or through the Ally Mobile App. Once enrolled, customers can start sending and receiving money with other Zelle users quickly and easily.
Ally Bank could be a good choice for a checking account, online savings account, or CD depending on your banking needs. However, you won’t find the best money market rates, so you can probably find better options elsewhere.
But Ally is top-notch in terms of flexibility and customer support. Ally Bank offers 24/7 customer service, so there is always someone available to help you get the information you need.