Ally Bank Review 2023

When looking for places to stash your money, you might debate whether to open a savings account with an online-only bank or a more traditional bank with physical branches.

Ally Bank is the banking branch of Ally Financial. Since 2009 Ally has been a popular digital bank that offers savings, checking, CDs, and money market accounts. So what are some of Ally Bank’s main features, offerings, and how does it stack up against some of its competitors – Discover, CIT, and Chase?

Let’s take a look at Ally Bank’s main offerings, overall features, and who Ally Bank is best for. 

Ally Bank products

Ally Spending Account

Pros:

  • Pays interest on checking accounts. 
  • Early access to direct deposits.
  • Spending buckets for budgeting.
  • No fees for: account maintenance, overdraft, low daily balance, standard or expedited ACH transfers, incoming wires (domestic and international), official or cashier checks.

Cons:

  • Does charge fees for expedited delivery, outgoing domestic wires transfers and account research.
  • No brick-and-mortar branches.
  • No cash deposits.

Ally Spending Account pays interest, gives you early access to direct deposits into your account (two days sooner after you’ve made two direct deposits), and has an ingenious feature that lets you set aside money in spending buckets to help you budget. It’s also relatively low on fees. And provides you with a debit card.

Another huge perk is Ally’s two levels of protection against overdrawing your account: If you have Ally Bank Savings or a Money Market Account, Overdraft Transfer Service will automatically transfer money to cover your negative balance. Or, Ally’s CoverDraft service will cover up to $100 ($250 if you have qualifying direct deposits of at least $250 for two months in a row). Your next checking account deposit will automatically apply to the negative balance. And, if your transaction isn’t covered because it exceeds the CoverDraft limit, you still won’t be charged an overdraft fee.

Why we recommend it: Ally Spending Account’s competitive interest rate, minimal fees, early access to direct deposits, and innovative spending buckets make this account worth considering. And it offers both a debit card and paper checks, for those who still use them.

Ally Spending Account alternatives

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Ally high-yield savings account

Ally Bank Savings Account

Min. balance to earn APY

$0

FDIC

FDIC deposit insurance is $250,000 per depositor, per deposit ownership category.

Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Tools and features to make savings easy.
  • Can create sub accounts.

Cons:

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

Ally’s high-yield savings account features competitive interest rates, no monthly service or overdraft fees, and no minimum deposit requirements. Plus, account holders can set up 10 separate savings “buckets” or sub-accounts, and employ recurring transfers, roundups, boosters and surprise transfers to speed up their savings goals.

Why we recommend it: Competitive interest rates, easy, sophisticated tools to help you save, plus around-the-clock customer service.

Ally Savings Account alternatives

Ally certificate of deposit (CD)

Ally Certificate of Deposit

Pros:

  • Competitive rates. 
  • No minimum account requirements.
  • Several different CD options. 
  • 10-day best rate guarantee.

Cons:

  • Automatic renewal at maturity.

Ally offers CDs with terms between three months to five years, and also raise-your-rate and no-penalty CDs. Plus, there’s no minimum amount to open your CD, but you’ll need to stash something in one to start earning interest.

Why we recommend it: With its competitive rates, different products, and no minimum account requirements, Ally’s CD offerings are worth considering. 

Ally CDs alternatives

Ally Money Market Account

Ally Money Market Account

Pros:

  • Competitive rates. 
  • No minimum balance requirements.
  • No fees for: account maintenance, overdraft, low daily balance, standard or expedited ACH transfers, incoming wires (domestic and international), official or cashier checks. excessive transactions.
  • Free unlimited ATM withdrawals at 43,000+ Allpoint ATMs; $10 reimbursement per statement cycle of fees from other ATMs.

Cons:

  • Does charge fees for expedited delivery, outgoing domestic wires transfers and account research.
  • No brick-and-mortar branches.
  • No cash deposits.

This money market account currently offers the same competitive interest rate on all three of its balance tiers—less than $5,000, $5,000 to $24,999, and $25,000 or more. That could change: Ally also states that  the “APY we pay is based on the tier in which your end-of-day balance falls.”  Interest is compounded daily.

Why we recommend it: With its competitive rates, low fees, and no minimum account requirements, Ally’s Money Market Account is worth considering.

Ally Money Market Account alternatives

Ally Bank features

Fees

Overdraft

While many banks charge an overdraft fee if you don’t have sufficient funds in your bank account to cover a transaction, Ally doesn’t charge fees for overdraft items on its checking or savings accounts. 

Monthly maintenance

You might get hit with a monthly account fee from some banks. Ally’s checking and savings accounts don’t have monthly maintenance fees.

Low balance

A bank might have a fee if your balance dips below a minimum amount. You won’t get charged a low balance fee with an Ally checking account.

ACH Transfers 

Whereas some banks charge a fee for ACH transfers, Ally’s savings and checking accounts don’t charge you a fee for standard or expedited ACH transfers.

Wires

If you are receiving a domestic or international wire, Ally won’t charge you a fee if you have a savings or checking account. However, there is a $20 fee per domestic wire.

Cashier’s checks

If you have a savings or checking account, you won’t be charged a fee for an official or cashier’s check.

Expedited delivery

If you need a check overnighted, Ally charges an expedited delivery fee of $15.

Account research Fee

Should you be in need of extensive research, for example, if you need statements from years past, Ally will charge a research fee of $25 per hour. You’ll be informed ahead of time of any such fees. 

Customer Experience

Support

If you’re an existing Ally member, you can access Ally’s customer support team via chat by logging into your account. Available 24/7, Ally’s customer support team is highly accessible, and can be reached via phone, chat, email, or written correspondence. 

Accessibility

You can manage your account, check your balance, make transfers and deposits, and pay bills all online or via Ally’s mobile app. If you use assistive technology, you can reach out to Ally’s customer support for assistance.

UI/Technology With Ally’s mobile app and desktop experience, you can deposit checks, and opt for direct deposit and and manage your accounts anytime, anywhere. Plus, you can decide on paperless statements. Security To keep your accounts safe, you can receive account alerts via phone, email, or text to set spending limits and preferences to block transactions in certain merchant categories. Plus, you can set up controls so that your card can only be used within a certain geographic range.

History and reputation

Ally started out as an auto finance company in 1919, and has grown into online banking, credit lending and wealth management.

In 2021 Ally Bank faced a data breach where a coding error on its website led to customers’ usernames and passwords being exposed to a third-party business associates. A related class action lawsuit was filed that accused Ally of being responsible for the breach was dismissed.

In 2021 Ally Financial agreed to pay a settlement worth $757,500,000 for consumers who received notices from Ally that turned out the notices didn’t comply with each state’s form and content requirements.

Who is Ally Bank for?

Ally Bank is a strong fit for those who are comfortable with an online-only bank and with doing all their banking on a desktop or mobile app. As Ally Bank has competitive high-yield savings and CD accounts, we find it to be a top contender for those who are focused on optimizing short-term savings, don’t want to worry about fees, and enjoy using savings features and tools to help them reach their goals. 

Is Ally Bank FDIC insured?

Yes, if you have a deposit account with Ally Bank, up to $250,000 per account holder per qualifying account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Qualifying accounts include checking, savings, money market, CD, and retirement accounts. 

World presence 

While Ally Bank is an online-bank, its physical headquarters is in Sandy, Utah, and it has a corporate center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ally Financial, the holding company that owns Ally Bank is located in Detroit, Michigan.

Ally has employee offices across the U.S. include locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

How does Ally Bank compare?

Comparing Ally Bank with its competitors is not a straightforward linear process, as certain products may present a superior overall package compared to others, taking into account factors such as customer service, monthly fees, and rates.

For example, while Ally Bank, Discover and CIT Bank have high interest savings rates to offer, Discover has a higher rate than Ally Bank, while not requiring a minimum deposit like CIT Bank.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Are Ally Bank and Ally Financial the same?

While they are part of the same company, they aren’t the same. Ally Bank is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Ally Financial.

How is Ally Bank ranked? 

Ally Bank ranks third overall in J.D. Power’s 2022 Customer Service Satisfaction Study, after Charles Schwab and Discover Bank.

Who owns Ally Bank?

As Ally Bank is part of Ally Financial, and Ally Financial is a publicly traded company, institutional investors own the majority of Ally. In fact, that percentage is nearly 90%. The remaining percentage is retail investors and Ally Insiders.

How do I contact Ally customer service?

You can contact Ally’s Bank department in a number of ways. If you’re in the U.S., the number is 877-247-2559. If you’re outside the U.S., the number is 757-247-2559. Need to report fraud? The line to call is 1-833-226-1520. You can also send an email by logging into your account. You can also reach Ally’s customer care department at:

Ally Bank Customer Care\
P.O. Box 951\
Horsham, PA 19044

Does Ally bank have a chat feature?

Yes. You can access Ally’s chat feature by logging onto your account on your desktop or via the mobile app.