Ally Bank Review: One of the Largest and Most Well-Known Online Banks

posted in: Bank Reviews, CDs, Checking, Savings | 0



Although Ally began as an insurance agency, they are now one of the largest and most well-known online banks. Since 2006, Ally has received hundreds of awards from various companies for their banking and insurance operations. Here is a look into what it is really like to bank with them.

Benefits

  • As with most online banks, Ally has both a website and a smart phone app that are extremely user-friendly.
  • They offer a wide variety of services like basic banking, car and home insurance, personal and business loans, and financial advisors.
  • One of the best known features is the 24/7 customer support via phone or online chat.
  • Users are reimbursed for ATM fees with no restrictions or monthly caps.
  • Ally is one of only a few banks who provide No Penalty Certificate of Deposits (CDs). This means there are no fees or money lost when a CD is ended early, most banks have a set percentage penalty when this happens. High Yield and Raise Your Rates CDs are the other two types that Ally offers.
  • As long as your savings account is connected to your checking account, there are no overdraft transfer fees up to $600 a month. If your accounts are no linked, the charge ($7.50 per transaction) is considerably cheaper than competitors.
  • Members can download free Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus software to protect personal or business computers.
  • Both checking and savings accounts do not require a minimum deposit to open and there are no annual or monthly fees. The interest rates are competitive for the accounts so you are always getting the best rates, usually about 1% for a savings account.

Disadvantages

  • Since Ally is completely online, they do not allow for cash deposits.
  • There are no services for buying or insuring houses, they also do not refinance mortgages.
  • No stocks, bonds, commodities, or other types of securities are available through this bank. IRA customers can really only use their CDs at Ally, so it is probably not the ideal bank for them.
  • Small business owners are not a focus because they have high minimums for business loans.
  • The processing time for deposits is on the slow side, taking 2-5 days for the money to show in the account. There are also no deposits on the weekends which is frustrating if you get paid on a Thursday or Friday.
  • There is quite a bit of paperwork that goes along with opening an account and it is all completed through the mail or email.
  • Ally bank still does not have the new credit cards with the added security chip to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Life with Ally

Once I decided to bank with Ally, the customer service was quick to send me all the forms needed to start. It was annoying to have to mail all of the papers and wait for the bank to contact me, but the interest rates on the checking and savings accounts are worth the wait. My spouse uses their loan department for his vehicle and Ally has been very stable and simple with the payments. It is frustrating when we receive cash since I work part-time a waitress, I have to pay to get a money order to deposit the cash. The savings account is the biggest benefit for us since there is a great interest rate, it has helped us build up our savings account.


Overall

If you decide to use Ally bank, be prepared for long processing times. It is best to use Ally as a secondary bank such as for loans, CDs, or savings account if you are not a patient person. If you can deal with the wait, Ally offers great customer service and ideal interest rates.