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In this Current Events Friday’s Post (CE-Friday’s), I’ll be doing a brief Ally Bank review to let you know the relevant information to consider if you, too, are considering switching to this highly-rated online bank.
A Brief Ally Bank review – Is it Crazy to Switch to Ally Bank… Exclusively??
Ally Bank is an “online” bank that is first made an impression on the financial world with its online savings accounts. As a current online savings account owner myself, the 2.2% interest rate I have with my Ally account completely blows the 0.01% interest rate my previous bank touted out of the water.
Ally (and similar online banks) can provide these high-yield (and highly competitive) accounts because of what they can save in overhead and efficiencies by not having to build, house, and staff brick-and-mortar “traditional” branches.
Ally Bank Pros (As of February, 2019):
- 2.2% interest rates for online savings accounts
- 0.1% interest for checking accounts (under $15,000) – Over $15,000 = 0.6%
- 0.9% for money market accounts (under $25,000 balance) – Over $25,000 = 1.0%
- FDIC insured
- No minimum balance amounts or monthly fees
- You can use over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs within the US for free (and they’ll pay your fees up to $10/statement cycle for any other ATM)
- Remote deposits so you don’t have to stand in line
- Ally offers many other banking options now (mortgage, investing, Money Market, IRAs, CDs, etc.)
- Access to a debit card and free checks (depending on the account)
- 8,000 employees with 24/7 customer support that is continually among the highest rated
- Easy to sign up
Ally Bank Cons:
- You can’t deposit straight cash into your account (need to transfer, wire, or mail)
- There are no physical branches to talk face-to-face
- Withdrawals from online banks (in general) take 2-3 days
- You’re limited on the number of withdrawals/month for your savings and money market accounts
What we’re going to do
Well, change can be scary… To combat that, we work to gain as much knowledge of our decisions and of the potential outcomes so that we can make informed decisions and embrace the relatively unknown future.
With regards to Ally, I don’t think the high-interest rates, lack of fees and minimums, great customer service, and wealth of account options can be ignored. We will be adding an online checking account to accompany our savings account because we’ll need to make frequent transactions (and the money market won’t allow that). I’m in for the new and exciting, and I can’t wait to start earning a higher rate of return on our “fluid” accounts.
The difficulty will be with adjusting all of our direct deposits and auto bill pays from our old account to the new one. However, once that one-time hurdle is overcome, we’ll be earning higher rates and in a much better competitive position financially.
Many other factors come into the equation for our business accounts, so I’ll be leaving those alone for a while.
What do you say? Will you be joining me as an Ally customer? Let us know in the comments below.