Ally Bank Review: The Best Online Banking and More

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick Take: Ally is an online-only bank that features low fees and high interest rates on its deposit accounts. The interest on CDs and checking, savings and money market accounts is compounded daily, which means you'll make a bit more money on interest than accounts that compound monthly.
  • Rates
    4.5
  • Customer Service
    5.0
  • Services and Accessibility
    4.0
  • Fees
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

GOBanking Rates Score: 4.9 stars

Checking Account: 4.9 stars

Savings Account: 5 stars 

Money Market Account: 4.8 stars

CD Account: 4.8 stars

Banking Experience: 4.9 stars

Quick Take:

Ally is an online-only bank that features low fees and high-interest rates on its deposit accounts. Because of its low overhead, it can afford the interest on CDs, checking, savings and money market accounts to compound daily, which is a higher yield than other standard accounts that compound monthly. It is a convenient option with solid customer service for those who do not need to do their banking in-person. 

Pros Cons
No maintenance fees or minimum requirements No direct cash deposits
Above-average interest rate on savings account No branches available 
Access to over 43,000 free Allpoint ATMs Withdrawals can take several days

Ally Bank Overview

Ally Bank is an online-only financial institution that considers itself an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar banks, though Ally itself dates back to when many people still relied on horses to get around. Its predecessor was launched in 1919 as GMAC, the financing division of General Motors.

More recently, Ally Bank has established itself as one of the best online banks, with exceptional customer service, high annual percentage yields and low fees. With an overall score of 4.9, Ally Bank is one of the best performers of all the banks surveyed by GOBankingRates and was named the Best Online Bank of 2023. It has won this distinction several years in a row.

Checking Account

Ally’s interest checking account is much less restrictive than its savings and money market offerings. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Checking Accounts of 2022. Interest is compounded daily, and there are no monthly maintenance fees, minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirements. Free standard checks and debit cards come with the account. Customers also have access to mobile check deposits as well as the U.S. Allpoint ATM network.

The APY for Ally’s checking account is 0.10% for a minimum daily balance of less than $15,000. That jumps to 0.25% for a minimum daily balance of $15,000.

On the downside, Ally doesn’t have physical branches, so it’s not the best option if you prefer in-person service.

Savings Account

A high APY and lack of monthly maintenance fees make Ally’s online savings account one of the industry’s better options. GOBankingRates has ranked it among the Best Savings Accounts of 2022. With the account’s Smart Savings tools, customers can use buckets to organize their money and visualize what they’re saving for, set up boosters to optimize and maximize savings, and make changes as their priorities change.

Savings account customers can expect no minimum deposit or balance requirements, no monthly maintenance fees, and free cashier’s checks. Interest is compounded daily. The APY on savings deposits is on all balance tiers.

Money Market Account

Ally Bank’s money market works like a combination savings and checking account, with the high interest rates of the former and spending flexibility of the latter. It features an APY of 3.00% on all balance tiers and offers instant access to cash via ATMs. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Money Market Accounts of 2022.

As with the checking and savings accounts, Ally’s money market account has no fees, no minimum deposit or balance requirements, and interest that is compounded daily. Customers get access to the Allpoint ATM network as well as a debit card and free standard checks.

Just keep in mind that the account is limited to six non-ATM withdrawals per statement cycle, and a $10 charge applies for each additional withdrawal during the statement period.

CD Accounts

Ally offers various rates and terms for their certificate of deposits that range from three months to five years, depending on which CD you choose. Some CDs can be easily liquidated, whereas you can earn high interest with more standard options. GOBankingRates has ranked Ally’s CD offerings among the Best CD Accounts of 2022.

Interest on all CDs is compounded daily, and you can renew the accounts when they mature. With Ally’s 10-day best-rate guarantee, you can get the best rate for your balance and term if you fund your CD within 10 days of your opening date and the rate rises during that period.

For high-yield CDs, terms range from three months to five years, at rates from 1.50% APY to  APY. Raise Your Rate CDs come in two- and four-year terms, with an APY of  for both terms. You can increase the rate once during the two-year term and twice during the four-year term.

Banking Experience

If you wondered how Ally Bank earned its GOBankingRates scores, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Interest Rates: Ally earned high marks for its competitive annual percentage yields, which rank among the best in the business
  • Customer Service: Ally has made a name for itself in the banking industry for its attention to customer service, and that’s reflected in how it stacks up against the competition, Ally ranked first among banks surveyed by GOBankingRates in two important categories: 24/7 Phone Customer Service and Live Chat with Person Service.
  • Services and Accessibility: Ally Bank also scores well in terms of digital accessibility. It ranked first among banks surveyed by GOBankingRates in both the quality of its mobile app and remote check deposits. Its app got a rating of 4.7 on the App Store and 4.2 on Google Play
  • Fees: You’ll never pay fees for monthly maintenance, domestic or international incoming wires, cashier’s checks, standard or expedited ACH transfers, or standard checks for interest checking and money market accounts. Outgoing domestic wires carry a $20 fee, and you might face a $25-per-hour account research fee if you request extensive research on transaction histories.

Ally Bank vs. Competitors

All banks have their strengths. Here’s a quick look at Ally’s strong points as compared to its competitors.

Ally Bank vs. Discover

One of the big advantages Discover has over Ally is its credit card line. At Discover, you can keep all your accounts at one institution. Ally offers higher yields and both self-directed and automated investing, which is something not available at Discover.

Ally Bank vs. Chime

Ally and Chime are both digital banks that offer a high APY for savings accounts. Ally’s product lineup is much more extensive than Chime’s, but Chime’s ATM network is bigger, with access to more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs for Spending Account customers.

Final Take

Most banking today is done online and Ally Bank offers a 21st-century banking experience that includes a full suite of products and services. GOBankingRates has Ranked Ally Bank the top online bank for 2023. Ally Bank is best for those seeking to yield high-interest rates, and who don’t want a minimum balance requirement to open a checking or savings account. It’s easy to open a new account with Ally.

Even if an online-only bank isn’t entirely appealing to traditional bank customers, some might be swayed by Ally’s competitive APY rates and 24/7 customer service and give the bank a chance.

FAQs

  • Is Ally Bank a reputable bank?
    • Ally Bank has been ranked GOBankingRates best online bank for the last several years. It continues this streak by once again being named the best online bank for 2023. 
  • What are the disadvantages of Ally Bank?
    • Ally Bank has no physical locations, so you cannot do any in-person banking which makes it unideal for transactions such as cash deposits. 
  • Is Ally Bank a bank?
    • Ally Bank is a completely online bank, so though it doesn’t have any branches it offers the same rights and protections as a brick and mortar bank. 
  • Which is better Chime or Ally?
    • Though Chime has a larger ATM network, Ally bank has a more extensive product line-up. 

Editor’s Favorite

Ally’s high yields and lack of fees are a couple of its standout characteristics. The bank also puts a premium on customer service that you don’t always find with online-only banks.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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