Ally Bank

Ally Bank, formerly GMAC Bank, is an FDIC-insured online financial institution. It offers a wide array of deposit accounts, home and auto loans, and investing services. In this Ally Bank Review, we’ll evaluate each banking service.

Ally Bank Review

About Ally Bank

Ally Bank dates back to 1919 when it opened its doors as GMAC, a division of General Motors. Its purpose then was to help dealers finance their inventory. Beginning in the 1920s GMAC began helping consumers finance their automobile purchases.

Fast forward to 2000, and GMAC Bank was established. In 2009, it changed its name to Ally Bank (FDIC # 57803)and became the online bank as we know it today. It’s headquartered in Sandy, UT.

Ally is an online-only bank. It has no branches. As of December 31, 2019, it had approximately $167 billion in assets, with total deposits of nearly $123 billion.

Pros & Cons

Here’s what we like about Ally Bank, and what could be better.

What we like

What could be better

Bank Accounts

Savings & Money Market Accounts

Ally offers a traditional savings account as well as a money market account. There are two key differences between these accounts.

First, the savings account pays a higher yield (see below). Second, the money market account offers an ATM card with free, unlimited withdrawals from any Allpoint ATM in the U.S.

Ally Savings Account

  • APY: 4.25%
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Compounded: Daily
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • Website: https://www.ally.com/bank/online-savings-account/

Ally Money Market Account

  • APY: 1.25%
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Compounded: Daily
  • Monthly Fee: $0
  • Website: https://www.ally.com/bank/money-market-account/

Tip

Check out our list of the best online savings accounts.

Ally Checking Account

Unlike some online banks, Ally offers a checking account that pays interest. Combined with no minimum deposit or monthly fee, it enables Ally to serve as your full service bank.

CDs

Ally Bank offers three types of certificates of deposit:

  1. High-Yield CDs
  2. Raise Your Rate CDs
  3. No Penalty CD

Except for the No-Penalty CD, all CDs have an early withdrawal penalty. Here are the penalties on early withdrawal for all CDs purchased or renewed after 12/7/2013:

CD Term Early Withdrawal Penalty
24 month or less 60 days of interest
25 month – 36 month 90 days of interest
37 month – 48 month 120 days of interest
49 month or longer 150 days of interest

High-Yield CD Rates

Ally’s High-Yield CDs offer the highest yields available among all of Ally’s certificates of deposit.

Raise Your Rate CD Rates

Ally’s Raise Your Rate CDs protect you from rising rates during the term of the CD. If rates go up, you can elect to up the rate of your 2-year CD once during the term, and twice on the 4-year CD. Keep in mind, however, that you pay for this option in a slightly lower starting yield as compared to its high-yield CDs.

No-Penalty CD Rate

As the name suggests, this CD doesn’t charge a penalty for early withdrawal. Keep in mind, however, that it’s not like a savings account. If you decide to take the money out early, you must take all of it and the account is closed.

IRAs

Similar to the above accounts, Ally offers several deposit accounts to be held in your IRA:

  • IRA High Yield CD
  • IRA Raise Your Rate CD
  • IRA Online Savings

The rates are similar to the rates above for comparable products. In addition, you can open a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA or a SEP IRA.

Account Features

Savings Buckets

Ally makes it easy to save for specific goals, such as emergencies or a vacation. You can select up to 10 Savings Buckets, and then allocation your savings to each.

Savings Boosters

Ally offers three ways to move money between Savings Buckets. First, you can simply transfer money from your Core Savings to one of more buckets. Second, you can set up recurring transfers from a linked checking account. You determine the frequency of the transfers, the amount, and the one or more Savings Buckets to receive the money.

The third and final way to fund Savings Buckets is quite innovative. It’s called Surprise Savings. Ally analyzes checking accounts you link to Ally, and transfers money from those accounts to savings when it determines your money could work harder for you in savings.

Personally, I’m not comfortable turning over control of my money to an algorithm. That said, Ally does have controls in place to prevent things like an overdraft. And you can edit it any time you want.

Zelle

You can transfer money to and from your Ally bank accounts with Zelle.

My Experience with Ally Bank

I opened my first account at Ally on December 25, 2012. Why I opened it on Christmas I have no idea. I’ve held accounts and a number of online banks over the years. In my experience, here’s how Ally stacks up:

  • Its website is excellent. It’s extremely easy to use.
  • Its customer service is friendly and helpful.
  • Its interest rates a good, but never the best among online banks.

One stand-out feature is its interest-bearing checking account. It doesn’t charge a monthly fee and had no minimum balance requirement. While I’ve never used the checking account, it would allow you to use Ally as a full-service bank.

Ally Bank Review

Rob Berger

Interest Rates
Customer Service
Website Usability
Account Types
Account Features

Summary

I’ve banked at Ally for years and have always had a positive experience. Customer support is excellent and the website is very easy to use.

4.8

Ally Bank Savings Calculator

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Author

  • Rob Berger

    Rob Berger is the founder of Dough Roller and the Dough Roller Money Podcast. A former securities law attorney and Forbes deputy editor, Rob is the author of the book Retire Before Mom and Dad. He educates independent investors on his YouTube channel and at RobBerger.com.