Ally Bank Review 2022 | NextAdvisor with TIME

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Good for Overall Banking and Service

Ally Bank Review

Ally Bank

Editor’s Score: (4.49/5)

Good for Overall Banking and Service

Ally Bank Review

Editor’s Score: (4.49/5)

Overview:

Ally Bank is one of our top-rated banks for its all-around great customer service, range of products, and competitive interest rates. It’s best for anyone looking for one online bank to handle all of their financial needs, from checking to savings and investing.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Ally will automatically raise your rate if interest increases within 10 days of opening your CD
  • Unlimited withdrawals from AllPoint ATMs and up to $10 monthly reimbursement for other ATM charges
  • Full-service banking with a variety of deposit and lending products
  • Online tools for budgeting and saving

Cons

  • Minimum deposit and fees may apply for investing tools
  • Cannot make cash deposits
  • No credit card options
  • Fewer accessibility initiatives than some other banks

Additional Details

  • Savings buckets to separate savings for different goals
  • Savings boosters can help you regularly add to your savings balance
  • Traditional, no-penalty, bump-up, and IRA high-yield CDs
  • 10-day rate guarantee for new CD accounts
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Access your accounts online or via Ally’s mobile banking app
  • Interest checking account available with debit card
  • Home and auto loan options, plus personal loans for medical costs and home improvement
  • Automated investment portfolio management
  • Ally Bank deposits are FDIC insured

Editorial Independence

We analyze and review banks without influence of partnerships or advertising relationships. For more information about our scoring methodology, click here.

Ally Bank Full Review

Ally has among the widest ranges of account types of online banks we’ve reviewed. It also has plenty of options for communicating with the bank about your account, making changes, and accessing your money. Here’s a rundown of all Ally has to offer:

Savings Accounts

Ally offers a high-yield savings account with a competitive interest rate that’s consistently among the best savings account rates. 

Interest compounds daily, and there are no money maintenance fees, no minimum deposit, and no minimum balance requirements. You can divide your balance into “buckets” to save for different financial goals, such as your emergency fund, an upcoming vacation, or a down payment for a home. You can create up to 10 buckets at a time. 

Beyond the useful bucketing feature, we also like the option to streamline your different Ally accounts to help reach your savings goals. If you choose, Ally will automatically round up transactions from your checking account to the nearest dollar, then transfer to your savings when you reach $5 in round-ups.

Ally currently doesn’t have any transaction limits, and the previous $10 fee for more than six transactions per month is waived. There is a $20 fee for outgoing wire transfers, but incoming transfers are free. You can also make transfers in and out of your account via ACH transfer or request a check.

Certificates of Deposit

Ally offers high-yield, no-penalty, bump-up, and IRA CDs, with terms between three months and five years (though terms vary depending on account type). There are no monthly fees and no minimum deposit is required. 

Ally has a 10-day rate guarantee for high-yield CDs, too. That means if the APY on your CD goes up within ten days of opening your account, you’ll get the highest rate within those 10 days. 

When your CD matures, you can also qualify for a loyalty reward if you roll your funds over to a new CD with Ally. The reward varies, so you should check the reward amount on Ally’s site before your CD reaches maturity. Upon maturity, you’ll have a ten-day grace period to withdraw your money before the CD renews. If you withdraw before the CD matures, you’ll pay a penalty. 

Money Market Accounts

Ally’s money market account has similar rates to its high-yield savings account, but you’ll get added access to your account via checks or debit card. 

You can make unlimited withdrawals at AllPoint ATMs for free, and get reimbursed up to $10 per statement cycle for charges at other ATMs. You can deposit checks via mobile app, make online transfers, or direct deposit into your account, and you may withdraw via check or debit card and online transfer. 

Unlike its high-yield savings account, Ally’s money market account does not have round-up boosters or buckets.

Checking Accounts

Unlike some other online banks, Ally has an interest-earning checking account with plenty of added features. 

There are no minimum balance requirements to avoid fees and no monthly maintenance fees. You can deposit checks using Ally’s mobile app, round purchases to the nearest dollar to transfer to your Ally savings, and get reimbursed up to $10 per month for ATM fees (AllPoint ATM transactions are free). 

Finally, Ally offers services to help you avoid overdrafts, and charges no overdraft fees. You can set up automatic transfers between your Ally savings and checking to pay overdrafts or use CoverDraft to temporarily cover up to $250 in overdraft coverage.

Other Products

Ally not only has a robust range of deposit account options, but also has services you can use to invest your money or borrow for a home or car: 

Loans 

You can buy or refinance your home with Ally Home, the bank’s mortgage division. It doesn’t charge lender fees and has a straightforward Q&A loan application. Ally offers jumbo home loans, along with fixed and adjusted home loan rates. And since Ally is an online-only bank, you’ll manage your documents and the financing process online until closing.  

Auto loans are also available for leasing or buying a car, and you can track your account using the Ally Auto mobile app. Finally, Ally has personal loan options, designed for either medical costs or home improvement.

Investing 

Ally Invest offers several different ways to invest for the future, including self-management or automated investments.

If you’re a more advanced investor, there are self-directed account options. But Ally also has robo-advisor services and wealth management personalized advisement. Fees and minimums vary depending on the accounts and investments you choose. You can access and make changes to your account online or via the Ally Invest mobile app. Plus, portfolio specialist support is available by phone, online chat, or email. 

Customer Experience

Ally ranks highly among all the banks we’ve reviewed for its customer service and communication options. 

The Ally banking app earns 4.7 out of 5 on the App Store and 3.8 out of 5 on Google Play, and reviews speak highly of its functionality and account management services. Ally is also responsive to customers’ feedback and concerns about mobile app features, and responds to customers directly with assistance and feedback. Plus, Ally has an above-average ranking on the JD Power U.S. Direct Banking Satisfaction study (a survey of customer service, ease of account management, trust, and more) It ranks among the top five banks measured for both checking and savings services.

Ally offers 24/7 customer support for each banking product by phone, by mail, or you can log into your account to send a secure email or chat with a representative online. 

Accessibility 

Ally does make some efforts toward accessibility, but has not taken as many strides as some other banks we’ve reviewed. There’s a dedicated phone line specifically for hearing impaired customers, and Ally Assist tool which offers voice navigation.

We reached out to Ally for further information about site accessibility but did not receive a response by time of publish. We will provide an update if available.

Is Ally Right for You?

Ally Bank is a solid choice if you’re looking for one bank to handle many of your financial needs, and a variety of account options. And it has some of the most competitive interest rates available, which can be helpful as rates rapidly increase in today’s rising rate environment. 

The interest checking account is unique among many online banks, adding extra earnings on top of what you can get from saving. Plus, booster options and savings buckets can add some encouragement for savers to contribute regularly. Ally’s different methods of communication and ways to access your account also make it easy to keep track of your money in one place.

Even though Ally doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or require a minimum balance for deposit accounts, there are some fees to keep in mind, such as outgoing wire transfers and various fees for Ally’s investment accounts. Always read the fine print of your account agreement before opening any new account.

Ally Bank FAQs

Is Ally an online-only bank?

Yes, Ally is an online-only bank, but you can handle transactions at Allpoint ATMs for free. Ally will reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle for other ATM fees.

How much does Ally charge for outgoing wire transfers?

Ally charges $20 per outgoing wire transfer.

Does Ally require a minimum balance?

Ally does not require a minimum balance for deposits on savings or checking account, and also does not charge monthly maintenance fees.

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