Since Ally Bank doesn’t the overhead of physical locations, it puts those savings in bankers’ hands, making it one of the best savings accounts around. While the Ally savings rate is one of the highest available, people who want the option to go into their bank might not be completely sold on Ally Bank high yield savings accounts.
Ally Bank at a glance
|Bank||Min Deposit||Interest APY||J.D. Power Survey Score||Key Benefit|
|Ally Bank||$0||1.00%||5/5||Comparatively higher interest rates|
What we like about it
First, the high-yield savings rate is one of the best features of an Ally savings account. Compared to minimal savings interest rates of 0.01% to 0.04% at traditional banks, Ally savings interest rates are up to 10 times higher than that — which means 10 times the return on savings.
Ally Bank is digital-focused, so its online dashboards and mobile app are elegant, intuitive and easy to use. Customers can use nifty features like recurring transfers and buckets. The buckets feature allows users to add 10 “buckets” to their savings account, which are categories like emergencies, home, vacations and education. Users can then distribute a portion of their savings to each bucket, so they can visualize and work towards their savings goals for specific items.
Things to consider
Ally Bank savings rate amounts, like most banks’, will fluctuate depending on the market. Even though Ally Bank rates were at 1.7% in December 2019, for example, the rates experienced several drops because of the COVID-19 pandemic and fell 0.6% in just seven months. High rates now aren’t guaranteed in the future.
Furthermore, there are also no physical locations. Ally Bank customers are limited to interacting with bank representatives online or over the phone. For people who like their bank to have a place visit for help, Ally Bank doesn’t have that option.
What you need to know
You can open an Ally Bank savings account online or through the mobile app. When you designate an account to move money from into your Ally savings account, Ally Bank will do some refundable test withdrawals before transferring your money from your old account into the Ally Bank savings account.
There’s no minimum deposit to make, no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. Your money earns money with interest compounded daily. Interest savings are deposited into your savings account each month.
Once your Ally Bank savings account is open, you can set up buckets to organize your savings and deposit certain amounts towards items like home improvements and vet bills. You can also set up recurring transfers from another account.
You can also link a checking account to your Ally Bank savings account for “Surprise Savings,” which are small amounts moved from your checking account to your savings account so you amplify your savings. Ally Bank’s technology analyzes your spending patterns and will make transfers on your behalf based on what you wouldn’t normally spend from your checking account.
Ally Bank provides 24/7 customer support by phone, chat and email, both online and through the app.
You can access the mobile app via passcode or touch ID. You’re immediately greeted with a look at your total balance for all your Ally Bank accounts. In the app, you can organize buckets, set up recurring transactions and track a checking account for Surprise Savings.
You can also pay bills from the app, use the app to find ATMs and send or request money using the Zelle money transfer feature. The app also features a message center for Ally Bank messages and a customer service dashboard where you can call, chat or message Ally Bank directly from the app.
Fees and penalties
Ally Bank doesn’t charge for monthly maintenance, but it does have other fees. The returned deposit item fee is $7.50. There’s a $25 fee for an overdraft item paid or overdraft item returned. Excessive transactions that go over the six withdrawals a month limit cost $10 per transaction. There’s also an expedited delivery fee of $15, an outgoing domestic wires fee of $20 and an account research fee of $25 per hour.
Ally Bank vs. Vio Bank
Vio Bank is another online bank with a high yield savings account. As of June 12, 2020, the online savings account rate was 1.35% on all balances, which is considerably higher than Ally Bank’s. There’s no monthly maintenance fee with Vio Bank, but there is a $100 minimum requirement to open a Vio Bank savings account. Vio Bank also offers a free mobile app.
The excessive transaction fee with Vio Bank, like Ally Bank, is also $10 for going over six monthly transactions. The outgoing domestic wire transfer fee is higher than Ally Bank’s, at $30, and the returned deposit item is slightly lower at $7.
If you want to bank with an online savings account and can make the $100 minimum, Vio Bank’s higher APY might make more sense than going with Ally Bank’s.
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