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Monday, June 17, 2024

Ally Bank: 2022 Banking Review

Ally Bank is an ideal alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Founded in 2009, Ally is a full-service bank offering consistently competitive rates on all deposit accounts. The highest rates are available for all balances, regardless of tier.  

High APYs, minimal fees and 24/7 customer support help to make Ally an attractive banking solution for the 21st century retail banking customer.

What we like

  • Higher yields on CDs and savings accounts than traditional banks
  • Several options for deposit accounts, loans and services
  • 24/7 customer support access
  • Large ATM network
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly fees on deposit accounts
  • Loyalty bonuses on CDs

What we don’t like

  • No brick-and-mortar branches
  • No cash deposits accepted

Who is Ally Bank best suited for?

Ally is best suited for customers who are comfortable with a purely digital banking experience. All transactions are handled through mobile devices. Ally customer support is available for retail customers 24/7. Call-in wait times are available on the website. Bypass the wait times by contacting support via live chat. Ally suffices as a main bank, or as a backup savings account, if you want to tap into high-yield savings while maintaining a relationship with a traditional bank.

Checking account review

Ally’s Interest Checking account offers competitive rates compared with brick-and-mortar alternatives. The account offers attractive benefits such as no monthly maintenance fees to maintain a minimum balance, two-day advance access to paychecks through direct deposit and a Round Ups savings service to increase savings when you pair this service with an Ally savings account.

Interest checking doesn’t charge monthly fees and there’s no minimum deposit to open the account. Ally also stopped charging overdraft fees in 2021.

Checking account features

APYWhat 0.25%
Minimum balance $0
Monthly fee $0
Overdraft fee $0
Foreign transaction fee 1%

What we like

  • No fees: There are no fees for standard services such as minimum balances, overdraft fees or monthly maintenance fees. 
  • Large ATM network: Customers have access to the Allpoint ATM network with access to more than 55,000 ATMs. Ally also refunds $10 in out-of-network ATM fees each month.
  • Helpful services: Ally provides direct deposit customers with access to paychecks two days earlier and rounds up purchases to increase savings. 
  • Round-the-clock customer service: Need help? Customer service representatives are available 24/7 via phone or chat app.
  • Robust digital tools: Ally’s mobile app allows customers to manage all transactions that would be handled through traditional banks. Customers can seamlessly manage their account with convenience.

What we don’t like

  • No-cash deposits: Ally doesn’t allow cash deposits via ATM, which could be inconvenient for customers who deal in cash

Savings account review

Ally’s online savings account offers an impressive yield. Combined with Round Ups from the Ally Interest Checking account can provide an auto savings strategy to boost savings. Additionally, the Online Savings account offers a Buckets and Surprise Savings service to help increase your savings balance. The online savings is offering a limited bonus 1% cash back up to $500 for new savings accounts.

Savings account features

APY 2.25%
Minimum balance to open $0
Monthly maintenance fee $0

What we like

  • Buckets help reach savings goals: Divvy up your savings into separate buckets without using multiple accounts. This allows you to earmark savings for specific goals.
  • Useful bonus: The cash back bonus, although available for a limited time, is a helpful reward for new accounts.
  • No fees: There’s no monthly minimum balance or deposits required to open the account.

What we don’t like

  • No cash deposits: This will be an inconvenience for customers who need to make deposits in cash.

CD account review

Ally offers three types of certificates of deposit that offer highly competitive yields: high-yield CDs with multiple terms, bump-up CDs and an 11-month no-penalty CD. CDs pay the highest interest rate, which can vary based on balance and term, if rates rise within 10 days of opening and funding the accounts. An Ally CDs qualifies for a 0.05% rate loyalty reward when renewed.

CD account features

1-year CD APY 3.25%
3-year CD APY 3.50%
5-year CD APY 3.50%
2-year Raise Your Rate CD 2.75%
No Penalty CD APY 2.20%
Minimum balance $0
Early withdrawal penalty 60 to 150 days of interest depending on term

What we like

  • No minimum balances: No minimum balance to open either account.
  • Variety of CD types: Multiple types of CDs offered.
  • Competitive rates: Competitive APYs offered for all CD types

What we don’t like

  • Higher rates elsewhere: You can find higher yields at other banks.

Money market account review

Ally’s money market account offers competitive yields on par with many banks on CNET’s list of top money market accounts. The yields rival those available with the high-yield savings account, although the money market account offers check-writing privileges and debit card access. The mobile app supports mobile check deposit into money market accounts.

Money market account features

APY 2.25%
Minimum balance $0
Monthly maintenance fee $0
Overdraft fee $0
Excessive transaction fee $10 per month after 6 transactions
Foreign transaction rate 1%

What we like

  • High APY: All balance tiers earn the highest APY available.
  • No minimum balance: There’s no minimum balance requirement, and there are minimal standard fees.
  • Mobile deposits: Mobile check deposits are available.

What we don’t like

  • Lack of cash deposits: No cash deposits are available.

Banking experience

Ally doesn’t provide physical branches, however customers can access banking support 24/7 via phone, email or live chat. Customers can also tell how long the phone wait time will be on Ally’s website. Ally’s customer satisfaction fell two points below the industry average in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction Study, and it currently has a C rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Overdraft fees

In June 2021, Ally Bank stopped charging overdraft fees.

Customer service

Because Ally doesn’t have physical branches, you must be comfortable managing your account transactions online and reaching out via phone (877-247-2559), live chat (www.ally.com) or email when you have questions. Ally customer support is available 24/7.

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