In this Ally checking account review, find out what real customers think about Ally Bank and whether it’s worth switching to Ally from your existing bank. Also learn more about other Ally products such as its savings account and CDs too.
Main features of the Ally’s Interest Checking Account
Ally is an online bank and as such, offers lower fees and higher interest rates compared with traditional banks with physical locations. Ally’s Interest Checking Account operates much like you’d expect in that you can deposit checks, send or receive money and use your debit card at any ATM worldwide.
There is no fee for using Allpoint® ATMs, of which there are more than 43,000 of them in the U.S. For other nationwide ATMs, Ally will reimburse up to $10 per statement cycle for fees charged.
There are no monthly maintenance fees attached to their checking account, and customers can access support 24/7 by phone or online chat. Ally provides an Overdraft Transfer Service where you can link your Ally savings account to your Interest Checking Account and benefit from free transfers if you overdraw.
You’ll achieve an annual percentage yield of 0.10% on checking account balances under $15,000 and 0.60% on accounts with a minimum daily balance of $15,000 and above.
One thing that you can’t do with Ally Bank is deposit cash. However, there are other ways to add funds to your account, including direct deposits, wire transfers, and online transfers from other accounts. You can use Ally eCheck Deposit℠ to deposit checks (this is where you can scan checks and submit them electronically) or just send a check the old fashioned way via U.S. mail.
What real customers are saying about Ally
One Google Play reviewer stated that Ally was one of the best online banks around, mentioning the lack of ATM fees and claiming that he was more than satisfied.
Another review touched on the great customer service and the app being a breeze to use, but if you need to do something a bit more important than checking your balance or paying bills, it’s best to use the website directly rather than the app.
Over at the App Store, a customer said that Ally Bank is a good online bank and that opening an account is easy. However, he said that Ally needs to work on speeding up the process of posting deposits once received, especially since there are no physical branches or ATMs that you can use to deposit money.
The app itself appears to have been recently updated. While some users are experiencing technical glitches with the app, others are pleased. A couple of Google Play reviews from this month (July 2018) reflect on positive changes to the app, with bottom navigation, quick shortcuts and an improvement to the mobile deposit snapshot.
More on Banks with no overdraft fees
Ally offers an Online Savings Account and Money Market Account. The Online Savings Account has an annual percentage yield of 1.75% on all balance tiers whereas the Money Market Account offers an annual percentage yield of 0.90% for minimum daily balances of $5,000 or less and 1.00% for a minimum daily balance of $25,000.
With each of these account types, you can deposit as much as you like, but there is a limit of six transfers or withdrawal per statement cycle, as per federal limits. (Overdraft transfers are included in this limit).
The main difference between the two accounts, other than the interest rates, is how you can access your funds. With their Money Market Account, you can use a debit card, write checks and use ATMs, whereas their Online Savings Account doesn’t include a debit card or checks.
Compound interest is when interest is added to your savings balance, and that interest also starts to earn interest. Both Ally’s Online Savings Account and Money Market Account compounds interest daily, which means you can grow your money faster.
Ally offers three Certificates of Deposit (CDs). A CD is like a savings account, but instead of accessing your money regularly, you’ll leave it in the bank for an agreed period of time. You can’t withdraw your funds until the maturity date, which can range from a few months to several years after opening your account. If you close your CD early, you will usually have to pay an early withdrawal fee for doing so (except for Ally’s No Penalty CD). See below for details:
1. High Yield CD
This account has six different term lengths ranging from 3 months to 5 years. The longer you leave your money in the bank and the higher the balance you have, the more interest you’ll earn. Here are the interest rates for this CD below:
- 3-month term – balances up to $25,000 and over – 0.75%
- 6-month term – balances up to $25,000 and over – 1.00%
- 9-month term – balances up to $25,000 and over – 1.25%
- 12-month term – balances up to $5,000 – 2.10%, over $5,000 and up to $24,999.99 – 2.25% and over $25,000 – 2.40%
- 18-month term – balances up to $5,000 – 2.15%, over $5,000 and up to $24,999.99 – 2.35% and over $25,000 – 2.50%
- 3-year term – balances up to $5,000 – 2.50%, anything above – 2.55%
- 5-year term – balances up to $5,000 – 2.50%, over $5,000 and up to $24,999.99 – 2.65% and over $25,000 – 2.75%
2. Raise Your Rates CD
This account has both 2 and 4-year terms available and offers a flat annual percentage yield of 2.50% for balances up to $25,000 and over.
3. No Penalty CD
With this account, you can withdraw your full balance plus any interest penalty free, after the first 6 days of opening and funding the CD. An 11-month term is available with an annual percentage yield of 1.30% on balances less than $5,000, 1.80% on balances between $5,000 and $24,999.99 and 1.85% on balances of $25,000 or more.
Will an online bank work for you, or are you someone that appreciates physical branches and face to face customer service? It’s clear that Ally is a worthy contender if you favor online-only banking with its strong rates, low fees and many features that you’d expect from traditional banks.
*The facts and figures presented throughout this article are correct at the time of publishing.