Are you ready to move your banking online?
If so, Ally Bank is there for you. Ally is an online-only bank with one of the highest-yield savings accounts on the market.
Read on to learn about online banking in this full Ally bank review. Plus, you’ll find instructions on how to set up an Ally savings or checking account, step by step.
Ally Bank review: just the essentials
Ally Bank offers many of the same products as a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, but without physical bank branches. You can open an account and make unlimited deposits via eCheck. You can also take out cash fee-free at any of the 43,000 Allpoint ATMs across the country.
Because Ally doesn’t have as many overhead and administrative expenses as a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, it can offer high annual percentage yields (APY) on its savings accounts. Whatever your balance, you’ll get a 1.00% APY in an Ally savings account. If you had $5,000 in savings, you’d make about $50 in interest after a year. Compared to Bank of America’s 0.01% APY, Ally allows your savings to grow at a much higher rate.
Apart from cash withdrawal at an ATM, you’ll conduct every transaction online or over the phone. Ally has innovative and easy-to-use banking platforms on the web, a tablet, or via mobile app on your iPhone or Android.
Checking your balance is as simple as opening up the app on your phone. If you run into any issues, you can call customer service any time of the day or night. While most banks stick to traditional business hours, Ally offers support on a 24/7 basis.
Ally Bank products
Ally Bank offers a number of financial products, but its offerings aren’t as extensive as major banks such as Bank of America or Chase. For instance, it doesn’t have 401(ks) or college savings plans. However, Ally does offer common products such as bank accounts, CDs, and auto loans, among others.
Ally’s checking accounts have no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees. You’ll receive a debit card and standard checks. You can take out cash from an Allpoint ATM for no fee and there are no limits to how many withdrawals you make. Need to use an out-of-network ATM? Ally will also reimburse any ATM fees for up to $10 per statement cycle.
You’ll deposit checks by uploading a photo of your check on the mobile app or website. You can also send money to someone using PopMoney, Ally’s user-friendly money transfer service.
If your daily balance is lower than $15,000, you’ll get a 0.10% APY. With a balance of $15,000 or greater, you’ll earn a 0.60% APY.
As mentioned above, Ally savings accounts have a competitive APY of 1.00% at any balance tier.
Your FDIC-protected savings account has no monthly maintenance fee. You can make unlimited deposits, but there’s a limit of six additional transactions per statement cycle.
Unlike an Ally checking account, an Ally savings account doesn’t come with checks or a debit card.
Money Market accounts
Money market accounts are Ally’s third option for a bank account.
In a money market account, you’ll earn an APY of 0.85%, regardless of your account balance. You’ll also get checks and a debit card. However, you won’t get the free online bill pay service that comes with a checking account.
Money market accounts are most useful to customers with a daily balance lower than $15,000. They give you the high interest rate of a savings account but the check and debit card options of a checking account.
Certificates of deposit (CD)
A CD is a timed deposit with a fixed yield. The longer you agree to leave your deposit in the account, the higher your yield will be. If you try to withdraw your deposit early, you’ll have to pay a penalty.
With Ally Bank, you can purchase a CD for a term as short as three months or as long as five years. Your APY will vary depending on the term you select.
As of this writing, an 18-month term CD would get you 1.20% APY on $5,000. If your balance is greater than $5,000, your APY increases to 1.25%. If your balance exceeds $25,000, you’ll earn a 1.35% APY.
You can also open an independent retirement account (IRA) CD. These FDIC-insured IRA CDs are available for Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRAs.
If you’re interested in saving for retirement, open an IRA Online Savings Account with Ally. Ally IRAs are available for Roth, Traditional, or SEP accounts. They all have an APY of 1.00%, which is on the low end compared to other banks.
Vehicle financing and protection
Ally was originally an auto financing company, and it continues to offer car loans and protection plans today. Whether you want to buy or lease a vehicle, you can browse flexible financing offers or find a protection product that includes basic or full vehicle coverage.
Home loans and refinancing
Finally, you can take out or refinance a home mortgage through Ally Bank. The bank offers a number of terms; Ally’s 30-year plans, for instance, have interest rates between 4.25% and 4.326%. Already have a mortgage? You can refinance an existing mortgage to lower your monthly payments and pay the loan off faster.
Using the Ally online platform
Because Ally is an online-only bank, all of your banking transactions will primarily happen online. Head to the Ally Bank website to create an account. With some basic information, you can create your account in 10 minutes.
First, indicate whether or not you’re a new customer.
Select the Ally banking product you want to open.
Then, indicate whether you’re applying for an individual or joint account.
And finally, enter basic information such as your name, phone number, address, and Social Security number.
Once you’ve created an account, you can start to make deposits. You’ll receive a debit card and checks within 10 days of account opening, if applicable.
Using the Ally mobile app
To access mobile banking, download the free Ally app on your phone. With the app, you can make deposits, initiate transfers, or simply check the balance in your accounts.
To deposit a check, you just need to snap a picture. To send money to someone else, enter their email or phone number to get started with Ally’s PopMoney.
The Ally app also has an optional splurge alert that tracks where you spend the most. If you’re nearing a high-spend store, the app will warn you to watch your budget and help you keep your spending impulse in check.
Eligibility requirements and fees
There are no monthly maintenance fees or deposit minimums with Ally Bank. In fact, you can open an account before depositing any money into it. There are also no fees for transfers or incoming wires, and you can make unlimited deposits.
However, there is a $20 fee for outgoing wires and a $25 fee for overdraft items. Ally is transparent about its various fee structures on each of its banking products, however, so it’s easy to avoid charges if you’re careful.
Pros and cons of banking with Ally
So what are the advantages and drawbacks of Ally banking?
- Relatively high yields for checking, savings, and money market accounts
- $0 account minimum and no monthly maintenance fees
- Easy-to-use website and mobile app
- Transparent fee structure
- Over 43,000 fee-free ATMs and $10 reimbursement for other ATM fees
- Simple and fee transfers to external accounts
- 24/7 customer support
- No in-person banking
- Limited number of financial products
- Can’t deposit cash into your accounts
- Not much financial advising for complex situations
History of Ally
Today, Ally Bank is a leader in the innovative online and mobile banking space, but the company actually started 100 years ago to provide financing to car dealers. Ally was previously GMAC and a division of GM.
During World War II, GMAC moved beyond cars to work with railroad companies, household appliance dealers, and customers. At the time, their slogan was “Enjoy financing where you buy.”
In the 1970s, GMAC expanded into the auto insurance domain. In the 80s and 90s, it purchased the Bank of New York’s lending unit, marking its move into lending for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.
It wasn’t until 2009 that GMAC Bank turned into Ally Bank. Ally focuses on using online banking to create better value for customers. Plus, it’s dedicated to extraordinary, around-the-clock customer support.
Ally Bank contact information
Beyond this Ally Bank review, find more information online or through Ally customer service. You can contact Ally Bank by phone, email, chat, or mail.
Email: Log into your account to send a secure message.
Chat: Head to the Ally Bank website to chat.
If you don’t want to use eCheck deposit, you can send deposits and endorsed checks (but not cash) to the following address:
P.O. Box 13625
Philadelphia, PA 19101
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 8 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.45% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.89% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of November 21, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 11/21/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
3 Important Disclosures for Figure.
Figure’s Student Refinance Loan is a private loan. If you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options associated with those loans. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would impact your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation alternatives.
4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (“APR”)
There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.
For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS
Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).
Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.
All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.
For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.
The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.
The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.
POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS
After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.
If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.
5 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers.
6 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 1.76% effective November 10, 2019.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 12/07/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.59% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
8 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Disclosures
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.
4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 12/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
|1.99% – 6.89%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.31% – 7.36%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.21% – 6.21%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.65%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 7.60%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.85% – 6.13%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 8.59%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.74% – 6.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|