Updated November 29, 2018

Ally Bank Review: Is It Worth Opening Account?

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Ally Bank offers good interest rates and no account minimums. But is this popular online bank good for you? Learn the benefits (and drawbacks) here.

Ally Bank Promotions

Overall Score

4.4

Savings

4.0

Checking

4.0

Money Market

4.0

Customer Service

5.0

Mobile App

5.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • CD options
  • No account minimums
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Low Checking APY for lower balance customers

Bottom Line

Solid online bank with a great user-friendly website and customer service

Ally Bank is a full-service online bank with very competitive rates. Their banking products have no minimum balance requirements or service fees.

Ally was previously known as GMAC (the finance sector for General Motors). In 2010, it was rebranded as Ally Bank, an online bank built on a principle of providing better rates and service to customers.

So does Ally Bank deliver its promises? Read on for a detailed review.

Deposit Rates

Ally Bank offers competitive interest rates when compared to other online banks--and higher rates than most brick and mortar ones.

Keep reading to check out Ally's wide range of banking services that satisfy basic checking and savings needs:

Is Ally Bank legit? Yes, Ally Bank is FDIC insured and safe. Though it doesn't have physical locations like traditional banks, Ally follows the same rules and legal regulations.

The FDIC insures your savings, checking, and CD accounts up to $250,000 (per depositor), just like the "old-fashioned banks."

Online Savings

Ally Bank offers a very competitive APY for their savings account. It has no minimum deposit and no service fees.

You can open as many savings accounts as you want. This is great if you are saving for multiple goals.

For example, you can have one account as the emergency fund, one for a future vacation, one for a house down payment, etc.

    Ally Bank

    Online Savings Account

    2.00% APY on all balance tiers. $0 minimum opening deposit. No fees to open or maintain account. No minimum daily balance requirement.
    • Consistently Competitive Rates
    • 24/7 Customer Care
    • Ally Bank, Member FDIC

Keep in mind: In accordance with federal law, you can only make 6 withdrawals a month. If you exceed that, you'll be charged a fee of $10 per transfer.

If you need more access to your money, the Money Market account gives you unlimited ATM withdrawals.

The Savings Account is also available as an IRA with the same great interest rate. It's available for Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRAs.

Compare Savings Account Promotion

    Synchrony Bank

    High Yield Savings

    2.05% APY. $0 minimum opening deposit. No minimum balance requirement. No fees to open or maintain account.
    • Great Rates + Safety = Peace of Mind
    • Member FDIC
    CIT Bank

    Open a Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account and Get a 2.25% APY. Terms Apply

    HSBC Bank

    HSBC Direct Savings - 2.05% APY

    • Earn 2.05% APY on all balance tiers
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • Minimum balance to earn APY is $1
    • Member FDIC

Interest Checking

Ally's checking account offers two interest tiers based on your balance. The rate is low, but it's still a nice perk compared to traditional checking accounts without any interest.

You can use any Allpoint® ATMs without fees. There are over 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs worldwide, so you're never far from cash.

In the US, Allpoint® ATMs can be found in popular stores like Target, Costco, Speedway, Walgreens, CVS, and Safeway. And if you do go out of network, Ally will reimburse ATM fees up to $10 per statement cycle.

    Ally Bank

    Interest Checking

    • 0.10% APY for daily balances less than $15,000
    • 0.60% APY for daily balance over $15,000
    • Be reimbursed $10/month for ATMs outside of Ally Network
    • $0 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • No Fees to Open or Maintain Account
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily Compounding Interest

With Ally's checking account, you can also

  • Get free debit MasterCard, standard checks, and postage-paid deposit envelopes.

  • Set up direct deposits.

  • Deposit checks from anywhere with Ally eCheck Deposit by snapping a photo.

  • Make one-time or recurring payments with free online bill pay.

  • Send or receive money to/from any U.S. bank account with Zelle, using just an U.S. email address or U.S. mobile number.

  • Transfer money between Ally account or to/from other banks.

  • Get account information and make transfers using Amazon Alexa.

  • Make secure payments using Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Masterpass, or Microsoft Wallet.

Did you know: Ally also offers one credit card: the Ally Cash Back Credit Card. You get bonus cash back at gas stations and grocery stores. And if you deposit your rewards into an eligible Ally bank account, you get a 10% bonus.

Money Market

The Money Market account is a combination of a checking and savings account that allows easier access to your money.

You'll get a debit card and free checks. The APY isn't as high as the Savings account, but you do get more flexibility in how you can use and access your money.

Did you know: Ally's home loan services include mortgage loans and refinancing. You can choose between a fixed rate between 10 to 30 years or adjustable rate, which will fluctuate based on current market rates.

Ally has a Price Match Guarantee if you find better pricing at another lender. That rate must be the same loan term and be dated within the past 5 business days.

CDs

Ally has 3 different CD options with no minimum deposit.

  • High Yield CD: Choose from terms of 3 months to 5 years. The APY differs based on your opening deposit amount.

    Ally offers excellent rates for short term CDs. Even for a 6-month CD, you can get higher rates than with the Savings account.

  • Raise Your Rate CD: Choose between a 2-year or 4-year term. Usually, you're locked into your rate for the entire term of the CD.

    But Ally's Raise your Rate CD gives you a chance to increase it if rates go up during the term. You can boost your rate once over the 2-year term or twice over the 4-year term.

  • No Penalty CD: This CD has a fixed term of 11 months. It allows you to withdraw your full balance and interest any time without penalty (after the first 6 days of account funding). This option gives you the flexibility to remove your money if you suddenly need it.

    Term CDs

    • Up to 3.10% APY
    • $0 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • Up to 5 years
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily Compounding Interest

    Raise Your Rate CDs

    • 2.60% APY
    • 2 or 4-Year Terms
    • Opportunity to increase your rate once over the 2-year term or twice over the 4-year term
    • $0 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily Compounding Interest

    No Penalty CD

    • Withdraw Full Balance and Interest After 6 Days of CD Funding Date Without Penalty
    • 1.80% APY with less than $5,000 opening deposit
    • 2.10% APY with $5,000 minimum opening deposit
    • 2.25% APY with $25,000 minimum opening deposit
    • 11 Months
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily Compounding Interest

IRAs

You can also choose from 3 IRAs:

  • IRA High-Yield CD (3 months to 5 years)
  • IRA Raise Your Rate CD (2 or 4 years)
  • IRA Online Savings

IRA accounts may offer tax benefits. You can choose between a Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRA.

The returns are lower than what you could get with a brokerage IRA account. This works best for those who want stability (for example, older people who don't want to risk their investments).

Related: Ally Invest

Reasons We Like Ally Bank

    Ally Bank

    Online Savings Account

    2.00% APY on all balance tiers. $0 minimum opening deposit. No fees to open or maintain account. No minimum daily balance requirement.
    • Consistently Competitive Rates
    • 24/7 Customer Care
    • Ally Bank, Member FDIC

  • No minimum deposit and no maintenance fee. Many banks require a minimum deposit to open an account. And then you have to maintain a certain balance or you'll be charged a monthly fee. But Ally Bank has no fees or minimums for their banking accounts.

    You can open an account with as little as you want and start earning interest right away. If you open a savings account with no deposit, you must fund it within 30 days of account opening.

  • 24/7 customer service support by phone and live chat. Completely web-based banking may make some people nervous because you lose the personal touch. But rest assured that Ally has a real human person who can help you at any time of the day.

  • Deposit checks by phone. Got a check deposit? It's easy to move it straight into your Ally savings account. Just take a picture on your phone and send it through the mobile app.

  • User friendly web interface. Ally consistently earns high user ratings for its easy-to-use website. They are also completely transparent on their rates, so you won't be blindsided.

    Screenshot of www.ally.com

  • You want a one-stop shop for all your financial needs. Ally acquired TradeKing in 2016 and recently launched Ally Invest. Ally Invest charges some of the lowest fees among online brokerages.

    It offers a wide variety of products including ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures, and Forex. Their extensive research and tools rival even the largest brokerages.

    The platform is free to anyone who opens an account. It's best for somewhat experienced traders who don't need a lot of guidance.

  • FDIC insured. Security is an extremely important factor when you're talking about storing your hard-earned money. Ally Bank is FDIC insured.

    That means if the bank defaults, the government will pay you every cent you had in the account (up to the FDIC maximum of $250,000).

Already Have an Account? You can login directly from Ally's main page. For banking and Ally Invest, it is all the same login. You will be able to see both your bank and investment accounts.

For Ally credit card login, you'll need to select "credit card login", and you'll be redirected to login at Credit Card Servicing.

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

Here are some reasons why Ally Bank may not be right for you:

  • No physical locations. Even though Ally offers live help 24/7, some people may still prefer in-person bank transactions. All transactions must take place online, via ATM, wire transfer, or by phone.

  • Checking Fees: If you want to use Ally for checking as well, the fees do seem to be rising lately.

    It used to be that Ally offered unlimited ATM reimbursement (for the checking account), but now it's $10 a month. The overdraft fee is $25.

  • No ATM card for savings account. This may be a downside for some. The savings account doesn't come with an ATM card, so you can't make quick withdrawals at ATM machines.

    Instead, if you need some funds, you'd have to do an online transfer (or by wire, telephone, or check), which may take a few days.

Is Ally Bank Right For You?

Ally Bank in an online-only bank. Is it right for you? Here are the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Lower fees. Because it's online-only, it doesn't have the physical overhead costs like traditional banks. Ally can pass those savings right to customers. There are no service fees on any of Ally's deposit accounts.

  • Easy to open accounts. It's super easy and fast to open an account from the comfort of your home. You don't need to sit down with a banker and fill out tons of paperwork.

  • Convenience. It's easy to do all your banking online. You don't have to worry about getting to a bank during banking hours. You can bank from anywhere, including depositing checks by phone.

Cons:

  • No in-person service. You may uncomfortable knowing you can't just walk into a branch and get help from a real person. You can only get customer service help by phone, which often means long wait times.

  • Large deposits or withdrawals. If you need to deposit or withdraw a large amount, you may feel safer doing so at a physical branch. For example, if you need a few crisp $100 bills for a trip abroad, you can't just get that from an ATM.

  • No bank relationship. Often times, loyal customers can get extra perks at physical branches where they have a good relationship with the bank manager.

    For example, you can get a better loan term or get a fee removed. You won't get that from an online bank.

Ally Bank Locations: Ally is an online bank, which means there are no physical branches to handle your business.

Ally is headquartered at 500 Woodward Ave, Detroit, Michigan, and 200 West Civic Center Dr, Sandy, Utah. It has corporate offices in several other cities across America. You can reach Ally customer service 24/7 by phone and live chat.

If you need cash, you can withdraw cash surcharge-free at any of the 43,000+ Allpoint® ATMs. In the US, Allpoint® ATMs can be found in popular stores like Target, Costco, Speedway, Safeway, and drugstores.

How It Compares

Picking a place to park your money deserves some thought. You should compare a couple different options. Let's take a look at how Ally measures up to other online savings accounts.

Ally Bank vs Capital One 360:
Capital One 360's savings rates aren't as high, but their 1-year CD rate is better. It's also has the same rate for all balance tiers, so smaller investors will see more returns.

Another plus: Capital One 360's Interest Checking account has overdraft options in cases of accidental withdrawal.

 Ally BankCapital One
 Learn MoreLearn More
 

Ally Bank

Capital One

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Capital One MMA - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Savings2.00% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.1% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
CD0.75% to 3.10% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.65%. No minimum deposit to open.0.60% to 3.10% APY. Terms of 6 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.70%. No deposit to open.
Checking0.10% APY under $15,000; 0.60% APY $15,000 or more. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit. Ally will refund ATM fees for other banks up to $10 per statement cycle.0.20% APY under $50,000; 0.75% APY $50,000 or more; 1.00% APY $100,000 or more. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit. Overdraft options prevent you from being charged when you accidentally overdraw
Money Market0.90% APY under $25,000; 1.00% APY $25,000 or more. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.0.85% APY up to $10,000; 2.00% APY $10,000 or more. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
Customer Service
24/7
Mon-Sun 8am - 11pm (ET)
ATMsOver 43,000 no-fee Allpoint ATMsOver 39,000 no-fee Capital One & Allpoint ATMs
Locations
Online Only
Online Only

Ally Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 11/20/2018

Capital One: Pricing information from published website as of 11/15/2018

Ally Bank vs Barclays Bank:
Barclays only offers two products: Savings and CDs. The rates are comparable, though Ally wins for short-term CDs.

If you want a one-stop-shop, then Ally is the better option as it has a range of banking products.

 Ally BankBarclays
 Learn MoreLearn More
 

Ally Bank

Barclays

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

SPECIAL OFFER
Online Savings Account - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Savings2.00% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.2.05% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
CD0.75% to 3.10% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.65%. No minimum deposit to open.0.35% to 3.10% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.65% APY. No minimum deposit to open.
Customer Service
24/7
Mon-Sun 8am - 8pm (ET)
Locations
Online Only
Online Only

Ally Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 11/20/2018

Barclays: Pricing information from published website as of 8/1/2018.

If you want a savings account with an ATM card:

    Synchrony Bank

    High Yield Savings

    2.05% APY. $0 minimum opening deposit. No minimum balance requirement. No fees to open or maintain account.
    • Great Rates + Safety = Peace of Mind
    • Member FDIC

Synchrony (which used to be part of General Electric) also doesn't require a minimum deposit or a minimum balance. And there's no monthly service fee either.

The biggest plus is that Synchrony comes with an ATM card. You can withdraw money quickly (up to 6 per statement cycle) instead of having to wait a few days for the transfer to be completed.

On the downside, Synchrony doesn't offer real human customer service 24/7. If you need help in the middle of the night or on a Sunday, you may be out of luck.

If you have $5,000 to save:

The Popular Direct Savings Account offers one of the highest interest rates. However, the minimum deposit is a whopping $5,000.

And you must maintain a $500 balance in the account or else you'll be charged a monthly fee. If you close the account within 180 days, there's an early closing fee of $25.

This option is better for those who have more to save and don't need to move money around too often.

You might also consider:

    CIT Bank

    Premier High Yield Savings Account

    • 1.55% APY
    • $100 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • No Fees to Open or Maintain Account
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • No Minimum Daily Balance Requirement
    • FDIC Insured
    Barclays

    Online Savings Account

    2.05% APY. No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balances to open.
    • A rate that's 21x better than the national average
    • No minimum balance and no hidden fees
    • Link directly to any existing bank account
    Citizens Bank

    GoalTrack Savings Program – up to $250 in Gift Cards

    Add the GoalTrack Savings programs to any eligible Citizens Bank savings account and be rewarded for reaching your goals. Select a target timeframe and monthly savings goal amount. If you achieve your goal, you will receive a gift card. The amount varies based on your monthly savings and the timeframe. To get the minimum bonus, you must save at least $25/month for 8 months (above your existing balance). The most you can receive is a $250 gift card if you save $400/month for 36 months (above your existing balance). Only available to residents of CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT.

Ally Auto Loan: Ally offers vehicle financing through dealerships. This means you have to go to a dealership that offers Ally financing--you can't contact Ally directly to get loan rates and preapproval. The dealership will determine your rate depending on your credit.

If you go with Ally, you can choose between buying and leasing. If you're not sure, the Buyer's Choice option allows you to decide at the 4th year mark if you want to keep the car or sell it back to Ally. The last option is to pay smaller monthly payments with one larger payment at the end.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Ally a safe bank?
    Yes. Ally is FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per account. This means if Ally Bank defaults, the federal government guarantees the balance in your deposit accounts, up to $250,000 per account.

  • Are online banks safe to use in general?
    If the bank is FDIC insured, you can be confident that your money is safe. Online banks still must follow the same rules and regulations as brick-and-mortar banks. They just don't have physical locations.

    As far as conducting banking business online, that is generally safe, too. Banks use layers of security to protect your information.

    Ally has anti-virus protection, firewalls, and encryption, as well as a 2-step authentication procedure to protect its customers.

    Miguel A. Suro, a personal finance blogger for The Rich Miser, is devoted to Ally Bank and says he "never plans to return to a brick-and-mortar bank." He offers these as the pros and cons of Ally Bank:

    The main benefits:

    • ATM fee reimbursements
    • Free checks
    • High interest rates
    • After-hours customer service by phone

    The main drawbacks:

    • Inability to deposit cash
    • No personal relationship with a banker
    • Can't walk to a branch if you need same-day service

  • Are CDs worth it?
    CDs are a secure vehicle to park your money and grow some interest. You are guaranteed interest. When you sign up, you know exactly how much interest you will earn on your deposit.

    It will not change for the entire term. If you are sure you won't need the money for a specific amount of time, then CDs are great to grow your money a little safely.

  • Is Ally Bank only online?
    Ally is an online bank only, so there are no physical branches. It has a couple of headquarters offices in Detroit, Michigan and Sandy, Utah. There are also several other corporate offices across the U.S.

Bottom Line

Ally Bank is one of the most reputable online banks in the industry.

We love that Ally has no minimum deposit, no account minimum, and no maintenance fees. It's also great that the bank offers so many options, allowing you more flexibility.

The interest rates are pretty solid for today's standards. And you may feel at ease knowing you can reach a real person at any hour of any day.

There's no real downside to opening an Ally Bank account, since there are no maintenance fees.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 3, 2017. This content may have been updated on November 29, 2018. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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