This online bank offers transparency and competitive rates on essential financial services.
If your banking needs are fairly straightforward and you can’t remember the last time you stepped foot in a bank, you may want to consider an online-only bank. Ally currently operates the biggest online-only bank in the country, and its checking and savings accounts offer competitive rates and easy access.
What banking products does Ally offer?
- Online Savings Account. This high-interest savings account offers a 2% APY with no monthly fees or balance requirements, making it easier to save.
- Interest Checking account. Earn up to 0.60% interest with this free, easily accessible checking account.
- Money Market Account. Get 0.9% APY or more with this low-fee money market account that’s designed to help maximize your savings.
- CDs. Ally’s certificates of deposit offer flexible terms, up to 3% APY and have almost no fees.
- IRAs. Ally’s IRAs are designed to help you save and grow your money for retirement.
How does Ally compare to other banks/services?
With headquarters in Riverwoods, Illinois, Ally operates entirely online. It offers its customers several key savings options, including online savings accounts, interest checking accounts, CDs, money market accounts, mortgages and credit cards.
Ally Bank holds over $100 billion in deposits, making it the 20th-largest FDIC-insured institution in the country. That number pales in comparison to the amounts held by the Big Four banks but makes it the largest online-only institution in the country.
Why should I open an account with Ally?
Ally offers a number of perks and benefits to its members, giving potential customers plenty of reasons to open an account:
- Security. Ally keeps your money safe with FDIC deposit insurance, a mobile and online security guarantee and free security software.
- Connected accounts. Monitor all of your money in one place when you have multiple accounts with Ally.
- Financial education. Ally offers a comprehensive learning center to educate customers on responsible financial behavior.
- No minimum deposits. Many of Ally’s accounts don’t require a minimum deposit, meaning you can start saving earlier.
- Competitive rates. Ally offers higher interest rates than most of its competitors, earning you more on your deposits.
- Interest compounded daily. Unlike many of its competitors, Ally compounds interest daily, helping your money grow faster.
- Minimal fees. Ally doesn’t charge fees to open or maintain accounts, giving you more control of your money.
- Transparency. Ally is completely transparent regarding fees, so you won’t find any unexpected charges on your monthly statement.
What should I look out for?
Ally is a popular bank, but there are still a few things you should look out for:
- No branches. Ally operates entirely online, so if you prefer to do your banking in person, it might not be for you.
- Limited product selection. While Ally does offer essential products like checking and savings accounts, you’ll have to go elsewhere for loans, business accounts and other services.
- Difficult deposits and withdrawals. Since there are no branches, you might have a bit more trouble making deposits or withdrawals.
- Withdrawal limits. Ally’s checking account has a $1,000 daily withdrawal limit, while the savings account — like most of them — is limited to six transfers per month.
What do regulators and customers say?
Ally Financial is FDIC insured, meaning deposits up to $250,000 are covered by FDIC deposit insurance. It isn’t accredited on the BBB website, but it holds an A- rating and 1 out 5 stars in customer reviews.
Many customers have complaints about communication issues, overcharging, inaccurate statements and more. Keep in mind that many people don’t bother to leave positive reviews online, which is why negative reviews are often more common.
Ally is an online-only bank with no branches, allowing it to cut overhead costs and pass down savings to its customers. This business model allows it to offer a strong lineup of basic financial products with competitive rates, low fees and almost no minimum deposit requirements.
However, if you’re looking for loans, business accounts or in-person service, you might be better off with another bank.