This Ally Bank vs Marcus review will help you understand the difference as well as similarities of these two well-known companies in the mobile banking industry. This will hopefully help you choose the perfect fit according to your online banking needs.
Today, we live in a more privileged world. Everything is made for our convenience. With the advent and the help of technology, it is probably safe to say that everything is becoming available in an instant. And yes, we are not just talking about food or material things. This includes different products and services as a whole — including banking.
Mobile banking is a new thing in the banking industry. Today, banks are adjusting and adapting to the needs of the people, at the same time, to what technology has to offer.
Let’s face it, while traditional banking is still good and has so much to offer, given our constant movement and also the ease of use, a lot of us would prefer mobile banks.
Back in 2013, in an article published by Pew Research Center, it says that “51% of U.S. adults, or 61% of internet users, bank online.” In addition, the same article says that “32% of U.S. adults, or 35% of cell phone owners, bank using their mobile phones.”
Meanwhile, in 2015 data published by Statista Research Department, says that the “number of digital banking users was forecast to surpass 161 million in the United States in 2019.” Furthermore, it explained that there are two factors that led to such growth in mobile or digital banking. These are “increased prevalence of smartphones and other digital technologies, and the other is an increase in financial technology (fintech) firms.”
You see, times have changed. Even the way banking is done has changed. No wonder why companies such as Ally Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs are becoming popular in the said industry. Precisely why we are making this comparative review among these two popular names in the mobile banking industry.
If you are someone who’s looking into what particular online bank to deal with, where to entrust your money and rely on your other banking needs, this one is for you.
In particular, we are going to talk about the following regarding both Ally Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs:
- What Ally Bank and Marcus is all about?
- Types of Accounts Offered
- Special Features
- Branches and ATMs
- Fees and Charges
- Customer Service Support
- Pros and Cons
ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: BRIEF BACKGROUND
In anything especially if we are talking about an institution where you are going to park your money into, it is very important to get to know the company first. This will give you an idea on whether or not the bank is reliable and trustworthy, or the other way around.
Having said that, here’s a brief backgrounder of both Ally and Marcus for your reference:
Ally Bank whose roots were in the automobile industry has been around for years already. Based in Midvale, Utah, the company is part of the General Motors Corporation.
GMC established a company names General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC in 1919. The company was established to particularly help provide financing for its growing customer base back in the days.
Overtime, GMAC expanded and eventually ventured into banking. It offered functions of what traditional banks offer on a day-to-day basis.
Years later, specifically in 2009, GMAC changed the name of its banking unit to what we know today as Ally Bank. The name change gave the company a fresh start having gone through a financial crisis.
Eventually, GMAC decided to change the name of the entire financial company. They rebranded to what is now called Ally Financial. However, it was only in 2014 when Ally Financial went public with the ticker ALLY.
Things went smoothly for Ally Financial, as well as Ally Bank, which is why it is not surprising that the company decided to expand and open up an online brokerage. The company bought TradeKing, and it was rebranded to Ally Invest, which is a name that is also popular in the online brokerage industry.
If you are interested in knowing more about Ally Bank, here’s an insightful review by CBLifeHacks. Click the red button below to watch the whole thing:
Marcus is an online bank that was founded in the United States in 2016. It is owned by Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that has been around since 1869.
Headquartered in New York City, Marcus has become popular in the online banking space because of its high-yield savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. These accounts are made accessible even with a low deposit. Moreover, Marcus also gained popularity as people find its No-Penalty CD feature as a unique option as compared to its competitors.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs is ideal for those who want to take advantage of the highest savings account interest rates available. Furthermore, it is ideal for those who:
- Wants fee-free savings to account to keep money
- Do not have enough savings to qualify for highest rates in other banks out there
- Do not need a separate checking account intended for payments
- Need to move money fast through wire transfer
ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: TYPES OF ACCOUNTS OFFERED
Every bank customer out there (like you and me) has different banking needs and preferences. That is why knowing what it is that you need will make the selection process easier.
Both Ally Bank and Marcus offer different sets of products depending on the needs of their clients. Here’s a list of what these online banks have to offer:
Online Savings Account
Ally Bank offers a high annual percentage yield or APY on deposits. In addition, it offers features, which include:
- No minimum initial deposit or ongoing minimum balance required
- Funding your account by transferring money from another account, wiring funds, mailing checks for deposit, or making a mobile check deposit
- No monthly fees
The downside of Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account though is that it does not include an ATM card. Withdrawals can be done by linking an external account and transferring the money there. Otherwise, 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 mixture of both checking and savings accounts, which means you can make money from interest. Needless to say, this type of account lets you use your money anytime you want.
In addition, the Money Market Account also offers the following features:
- High annual percentage yield (exact rate vary from time to time)
- A debit card and free checks for expenditures
- No monthly fees
- Enjoy ATM access
Unfortunately, because of federal regulations, withdrawals from your Money Market Account have certain limitations. While you can withdraw cash via an ATM machine anytime you need cash, payments, and transfers out of your account are limited.
Interest Checking Account
Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account is free. Apart from that, Ally’s Checking Account also pays a reasonable return on your cash.
Additionally, it also provides the following features:
- You can earn 0.10% on balances of less than $15,000
- You can 0.50% on balances of $15,000 or more
- No monthly fees
- You can send instant and secure payments to friends and family through Zelle
- Deposit checks to your account through the mobile app
Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account is an ideal choice for everyday spending. While earning interest on your account balance, you can also pay bills online without any hassle. Needless to say, you will also receive a debit card for easy cash withdrawals.
With Ally’s ATM you can withdraw cash anytime at any Allpoint ATM free of charge. Furthermore, you can also get up to $10 per statement cycle in ATM fee rebate charges from other ATMs in the country.
Another plus is that Ally Bank does not charge you for using a non-network ATMs. However, there may be some ATM operators that will charge you instead. As with 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, which includes the following:
- High-Yield CDs – These are traditional CDs that do require a commitment to leaving funds with the bank for a particular period of time.
- Raise Your Rate CDs – This type of CD has rates that can potentially grow, which precludes situations wherein you get stuck with a low CD for a couple of years.
- No Penalty CDs – These are considered as liquid CDs, which means your money is accessible anytime.
Apart from the above-mentioned products, Ally Bank also offers the following:
- Auto Loans
- Home Purchase Loans
- Managed Investment Portfolios
- Mortgage Refinance Loans
- Self-Directed Investment Accounts
Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers the following types of accounts:
Online Savings Account
Compared to the national average, what Marcus Online Savings offer is significantly higher. Other features of this product include:
- Earning 2% APY on account balances as low as $1
- No minimum initial deposit requirement
- No ongoing minimum balance requirement
- Funding account by wiring funds, money transfer, or mailing checks for deposit
- No fees (unless cashing out of a CD early)
Several CD Options
Marcus does have very competitive CD rates. Apart from that, you have various options to choose from.
Here is some very important information you have to know about Marcus CDs:
- Requires at least $500 to open a CD
- Standard CDs require you to leave your savings in an account for a particular period of time
- Marcus may assess an early-withdrawal penalty on highest-paying CDs depending on the term of your CD
- No-Penalty CDs are liquid CDs with a term of 13 months (full balance can be withdrawn after 7 days from the day you purchased your CD)
Personal Unsecured Loans
Marcus offers unsecured personal loans amounting from $3,500 up to $40,000. For this, your application will be evaluated by the lender. They will be particular on your credit scored as well as your income. The thing about this is, you are not required to pledge collateral to secure loans.
ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: SPECIAL FEATURES
Both Ally Bank and Marcus have a couple of features that make each of them stand out from the rest. Having said that, let’s look into what both banks have to offer.
Apart from the various type of accounts, as well as other products that the bank offers, there are two other things that Ally Bank has become really popular about. These are its customer service support and their mobile app with card management.
Ally Bank has a very reliable customer service support, which is available 24/7 via phone, live chat, and email.
Ally’s customer service is very dependable that in fact, it has earned second place in the 2019 J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study.
Meanwhile, with their mobile app, unlike other banks’ mobile application, Ally comes with a card management feature, which makes it even more convenient for its customers/users.
Meanwhile, Marcus has two key features as well. These are loan specialization, as well as having a learning center plus debt resources.
ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: BRANCHES AND ATMs
This time around, we’ll look into both Ally Bank and Marcus Bank’s availability via bank branches as well as ATM access.
Unfortunately, Ally Banks does not have a physical branch, which is precisely why it is called a mobile-only bank in the first place. This perhaps can be considered as a downside especially for those people who prefer talking to a bank officer or teller face-to-face. Nevertheless, Ally Bank knows how to make it up to its users by giving them a reliable and dependable 24/7 customer service support.
Meanwhile, with regards to ATM access, Ally Banks has around 43,000 ATMs where you can withdraw money from free of charge.
As for Marcus, they do have two branches available. As with the bank’s ATM services, they boast over 80,000 ATMs nationwide available anytime you want to withdraw money from your account.
ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: FEES AND CHARGES
When it comes to fees and charges, we have to say that both are almost equal in this part. Both Ally Bank and Marcus do have their share of highs and lows on this part.
With Ally Bank, there are no fees like monthly maintenance fees. Ally Bank does not charge you for using a non-network ATMs as well — unless the ATM operator charges a fee for using their services. Meanwhile, with regards to making foreign transactions, the bank charges a 1% foreign transaction fee for cash withdrawals outside the country.
As with Marcus, they do not charge monthly fees as well. However, they do have early-withdrawal penalties for CDs. Also, you cannot overdraw your account or pay fees at foreign ATMs without a checking account or ATM card.
ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: CUSTOMER SERVICE SUPPORT
Our review will not be complete if we will not look into each bank’s customer service support.
As mentioned earlier, Ally Bank excels when it comes to customer service. They do offer customer service support via phone, live chat, email, and even through social media 24/7. This is definitely one of the reasons why people love online banking with Ally. They may not be physically available, but they do know how to make it up.
Now, with regard to Marcus, they do have phone support to both new and existing customers available between 8 in the morning and 10 in the evening (Eastern Time) from Monday to Friday, while 9 in the morning until 7 in the evening on weekends. Chat support, meanwhile, is exclusively available for customers who are logged into their accounts only.
ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: PROS AND CONS
To complete our review, we are going to look into the overall pros and cons of both Ally Bank and Marcus. This will surely help you make a decision if you have not decided yet whether to go for Ally or Marcus.
|It offers a wide variety of financial products.||It has fewer loan options as compared to Marcus and other competing banks.|
|It is easily accessible with widespread ATM access, and of course, its cutting edge mobile application.||It has slightly lower savings rates.|
|It has excellent 24/7 customer service support.||It does not have a brick-and-mortar location, which means face-to-face transactions or consultations is impossible.|
|It offers slightly higher savings rates, which means you have the chance to earn a little more if you park your money with Marcus.||It has very limited financial products.|
|It has lower fees.||Its customer service is not accessible compared to Ally Bank.|
|It offers a wide range of loan options.|
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ALLY BANK VS MARCUS
It is actually hard to choose between the two because ultimately, they are two different banks with different offerings. However, if we will base it on overall impact, we have to say Ally Bank wins. But, then again, it depends on the user or customer.
If you want a higher interest rate, then it is a no-brainer, it is Marcus winning for this. But if you are fine with a little lower interest rate but with excellent customer service support and money is more accessible, then it has to be Ally Bank.
Again, it all boils down to what your needs and preferences are as a user.
So, have you decided yet? Which do you think meets your requirements?