This Ally Bank review will help you understand further why it is a well-known online bank particularly among people who are looking for strong rates and robust customer service. Furthermore, this review will share with you some of the most essential details regarding Ally Bank.
Let’s face it, today, we live in a totally different world. In this day and age, people do a lot online. Apart from the fact that it’s very accessible, anything online can be just in just a few seconds or minutes.
Like in banking. In a traditional bank setting, making a deposit or withdrawal takes a while, but with online banking, it doesn’t even take a minute! Yes, that’s how easy and convenient online banking is. No doubt why there are more than 60% of Americans who do things mostly including banking online.
In data published by Statista, it says that the “usage of mobile banking has been steadily increasing among Bank of America customers since 2012.”
As of 2019, there are 57 million banking users in the country. Well, the number is not surprising given the fact that online banking does more than just banking. In fact, 86% of U.S. banks offer bill payment through mobile banking.
You see, mobile banking continues to become the new norm when it comes to banking.
One of the most popularly known companies when it comes to mobile banking is Ally Bank — precisely why this Ally Bank review. The company is trusted by over 1 million customers for both checking and savings accounts. On top of that are mortgage and auto loans.
Ally Bank became popular not just for their excellent online banking services, but also because of high-yield CDs as well as no-fee policy.
Ally Bank is definitely one of the hassle-free solutions to your online banking needs.
Now, as part of our Ally Bank review, we are going to specifically talk about the following:
- What is Ally Bank?
- Who is Ally Bank Best for?
- What does Ally Bank offer?
- How does Ally Bank work?
- What are the other financial products from Ally Bank?
- How is Ally Bank’s customer service?
- What are the pros and cons of Ally Bank?
WHAT IS ALLY BANK?
You will probably surprise if we tell you that Ally Banks has its roots in the automobile industry. Yes, you read it right!
Way back in 1919, General Motors Corporation established the company as the General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC. The said company was founded to help provide financing for its growing customer base.
As years go by, GMAC expanded its operations, and eventually added all the functions of what an everyday bank offers.
Now, about 90 years to 2009, GMAC changed the name of its banking unit to what we now know as Ally Bank. Unfortunately, GMAC went through a financial crisis and having a new name brought the company to a fresh start.
A year after GMAC had a name change, the entire mega financial company rebranded and was ever since called Ally Financial.
It was in the year 2014 when Ally Financial went public with the ticker ALLY. Meanwhile, in 2016, the company expanded what it already offers then entering into the online brokerage space. Ally bought TradeKing, which was eventually rebranded to Ally Invest.
While Ally Financial (the mother company) is headquartered in Detroit, Ally Bank, meanwhile, is based in Midvale, Utah.
Before we proceed, if you want to know more about Ally Bank and how it works, you may want to check the below video by Baby Stepping 2 Freedom as she shares her thoughts about the bank. Click the play button below to watch the whole thing:
WHO IS ALLY BANK BEST FOR?
As part of this Ally Bank review, we are also giving you details on who the company is best for. This alone will help you gauge whether or not Ally Bank is your perfect match when it comes to online banking.
Anyway, based on the company’s characteristics and what it offers, we thought that Ally Bank is ideal for consumers who are looking for a solid online bank account.
In particular, Ally Bank is ideal for those who want to:
- Open a savings account with no minimum balance requirement
- Open a checking account that comes with a debit card and no monthly maintenance fees
- Make a modest return on savings
- Make more money with CDs that require no minimum deposit
- Bank with an established, well-known online bank
If you associate yourself with any of the above-mentioned, or perhaps all of them, then, no doubt, Ally Bank is perfect for you.
WHAT DOES ALLY BANK OFFER?
In any Ally Bank review, you will surely find yourself reading thoughts rather than information about what the bank offers. Ours is not an exemption.
Just so you know, Ally Bank offers a wide variety of financial services. In fact, you can open different bank accounts either for everyday use or for long-term savings.
Some of the key financial services that Ally Bank offers are as follows:
Online Savings Account
If you are looking for a bank that offers a high annual percentage yield or APY, then, Ally Bank is the right bank for you.
Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account pays a relatively high APY on deposits. It offers other features, which are as follows:
- As of February 2020, you can earn 1.60% APY, regardless of your account balance.
- There’s no minimum initial deposit or ongoing minimum balance required.
- You may fund your account by transferring money from another account, wiring funds, mailing checks for deposit, or making a mobile check deposit.
- It does not charge monthly fees.
Now, if you wish to make a withdrawal from your savings, all you have to do is transfer funds to another Ally Bank account or it may also be a linked account from a different bank. Another option is to request a check or an outgoing wire.
Unfortunately, Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account does not include an ATM card. However, you can open a Money Market or Interest Checking Account if you want easier access to your money.
Money Market Account
Ally Bank’s Money Markey Account is a hybrid of both checking and savings accounts. This means, you can make money from interest, at the same time, you can also spend your money anytime you want.
Money Market Account also offers the following features:
- As of February 2020, you can earn as much as 0.75% APY, regardless of balance.
- Receive a debit card and free checks for spending your money.
- No monthly maintenance charges.
- Enjoy the same ATM access just like the Ally Checking Account.
Due to federal regulations, there are limitations when it comes to certain withdrawals from your Money Market Account — which is limited to six per month. Meanwhile, you can withdraw cash as often as you want through an ATM machine. However, payments, as well as transfers out of your account, is limited.
Interest Checking Account
Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account is free. It also pays a reasonable return on your cash.
Furthermore, it also provides the following features:
- Earn 0.10% on balances of less than $15,000.
- Earn 0.50% on balances of $15,000 or more.
- No monthly maintenance charges.
- It allows you to send instant and secure payments to friends and family through Zelle.
- Deposit checks to your account using the mobile app.
The bank’s Interest Checking Account is a great option for everyday spending. While you earn interest on your account balance, it also allows you to pay bills online with ease. You also get to have a debit card for cash withdrawals and another everyday spending.
Another thing worth sharing about Ally’s ATM is that it is pretty decent. You can withdraw cash anytime at any Allpoint ATM free of charge. In addition, you can also get up to $10 per statement cycle in ATM fee rebate charges from other ATMs in the country. Fortunately, Ally Bank does not charge you for using a non-network ATMs. However, some ATM operators may charge you instead. Finally, when it comes to foreign transactions, Ally Bank does charge a 1% foreign transaction fee is the case you withdraw cash outside the country.
Certificates of Deposit
Ally Bank offers a variety of Certificates of Deposit. This includes High-Yield CDs, Raise Your Rate CDs, and No Penalty CDs.
Let us first talk about High-Yield CDs. These refer to traditional CDs that require a commitment to leaving funds with the bank for a particular length of time.
Because of this, the bank may pay higher rates at issue than other more flexible options available.
What’s is notable is that the rate stays as it is no matter what — until maturity. Also, take note that there is no minimum deposit required to get started, which is uncommon for CDs. Just so you know, a lot of CDs from other banks have a minimum requirement of at least $500. Having said that, Ally Bank’s CDs make an excellent option for anyone who has very little to invest in.
To give you an idea, here are Ally Bank’s CD rates as of the end of February 2020:
|18-Month||1.90% to 2.05%, depending on deposit|
|3-Year||1.95% to 2.10%, depending on deposit|
Next, let’s discuss Raise Your Rate CDs.
The thing about Ally Banks’s Raise Your Rate CDs is that all of these have rates that can potentially grow, which prevents situations wherein you get stuck with a low CD for how many years.
Just so you know, if you have a 2-year CD, you have the opportunity to request for an increase once. Meanwhile, for those with a 4-year CD, they get to enjoy two opportunities.
To be honest, there are very few products similar to what Ally offers. Needless to say, among all of them, Ally Bank’s Raise Your Rate CD is one of the best.
To give you an idea, as of February 2020, the APY for both 2-year and 4-year Raise Your Rate CDs is 2.05%. Also, do take note that there is no minimum deposit required.
Lastly, let us discuss No Penalty CDs.
Ally Bank’s No Penalty CDs are considered as liquid CDs. This addresses the ultimate drawback of using a certificate of deposit. While most banks require you to commit to leaving your money in your account for a specific time length, this No Penalty CD by Ally Bank makes your money accessible anytime especially in times of emergencies.
The bank’s No Penalty CDs are 11-month CDs. However, as mentioned, it is liquid, which means you can withdraw all your money after the first six days. How much you earn varies from time to time.
As of February 2020, you can earn as much as the following:
- 1.65% on deposits of less than $5,000 (no minimum deposit required)
- 1.85% on deposits between $5,000 and $24,999
- 1.90% on deposits of $25,000 or more
HOW DOES ALLY BANK WORK?
Perhaps the ultimate reason why people choose Ally Bank over other mobile banks is that Ally offers relatively high-interest rates.
In addition, Ally Bank also does not charge fees like monthly maintenance fees, and that it also does not require minimums on accounts they offer, which makes it even more appealing especially to small investors.
With all the beautiful offerings of Ally, it is also worth sharing that the bank is FDIC-insured, which means, protections apply up to $250,000 per depositor. Knowing the fact that it is a mobile bank, this gives consumers peace of mind.
Meanwhile, when it comes to signing up, it’s pretty easy. Just like any other mobile bank, you will need to provide personal information including your Social Security number. You will also be asked questions in compliance with the PATRIOT Act.
The whole process of signing up and opening an account is not painful at all. In fact, you can open various accounts like CDs and bank accounts using the same screen without the need to fill out the same information again and again. Now, that is convenience at its finest, right?
WHAT ARE THE OTHER FINANCIAL PRODUCTS FROM ALLY BANK?
Apart from the aforementioned bank accounts, Ally Bank also offers a robust range of products, which include:
- Auto Loans
- Home Purchase Loans
- Managed Investment Portfolios
- Mortgage Refinance Loans
- Self-Directed Investment Accounts
HOW IS ALLY BANK’S CUSTOMER SERVICE?
Of course, our Ally Bank review will not be complete without checking out the bank’s customer service. As a consumer/customer using an online platform, customer service is one of the deciding factors.
Having said that, we, of course, checked how’s Ally Bank’s customer service.
We found out that Ally Bank has earned high remarks when it comes to customer service. In fact, the company is a second place in the 2019 J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study. Based on the said study, it has been found that customers specifically like Ally Bank’s account opening experience, and the products as well as the fee structure of the bank.
On top of all these, Ally Bank provides phone support, which is available 24/7. What makes it different from other banks, particularly online banks is that you get to see your estimated wait time before calling, which allows you to decide whether to push through with the call or not.
Apart from the phone support, you may also chat with a customer service representative if you prefer typing instead of talking. Just the same, it is open for service 24/7. If you are using the app or are logged in online, you may also opt to send secure messages and chat about account-specific concerns.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF ALLY BANK?
Just like other Ally Bank reviews, this one’s not going to be complete without us discussing the pros and cons of the bank. This will hopefully give you an overall overview of what and what not to expect on Ally Bank.
- It does not charge any fees (like maintenance fee).
- It does not require account minimums in order to be able to open or maintain an account.
- It provides 24/7 customer service via phone or chat.
- It offers an interest-paying checking account.
- It provides very competitive rates.
- It also provides an investing platform through Ally Invest.
- It provides an easy-to-use online interface.
- It allows e-check deposit — all you have to do is snap a photo of your check and upload it.
- It does not have a provision for cash deposits.
- It does not have a brick-and-mortar location, which means face-to-face contact with a bank officer or teller is not possible.
- It has transaction limits for savings accounts (limited to 6, after which you will have to pay $10 per exchange).
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ALLY BANK REVIEW
Overall, we have to say that Ally Bank is a solid online bank. It comes with great checking and savings account options. Needless to say, the zero fees. Who can beat that anyway?
Moreover, the company has gained its growing customer base because of its record of dependable and friendly live customer service, which is available 7 days a week from 7 in the morning until 10 in the evening (Eastern Time).
While it does not provide access to cash deposits just like most online banks, in totality, Ally Bank is still very promising.
We just have to make a point though that Ally Bank is particularly ideal for those who want to park their money in a savings or checking account free from any hassle.
So, having read all the information we share, what do you think about Ally Bank? Are you in for it?