Ally Bank Review: High Interest Online Savings Account and More

Ally Bank LogoI’m excited to finally be getting around to talking about the new Ally Bank and their top of the heap annual percentage yield.

You’ve probably seen them in the news recently, seen their ads all over the Internet, or watched them shoot to the top of my list of top high-yield online savings accounts.

Below I’ve detailed a bit more about Ally Bank and their account opening process.

FDIC Insured

Deposits with Ally Bank are FDIC Insured up to $250,000 per depositor. So, no worries there. By the way, it’s worth a minute of your time to check out Ally Bank‘s FDIC page, where they show you how to make the most of the insurance limits.

The Best Interest Rate and Other Basics

As I mentioned above, they have one of the best rates currently available. They also have a no penalty CD with a very nice rate.

PT Money readers know that these rates aren’t what they used to be, but they beat the heck out of your standard bank savings account rates, which are hovering close to 0% these days.

There are no minimums and no fees with this account.

Recent Changes and Controversy

Ally Bank has been around a while, just under a different name: GMAC Bank. They changed the name in May of 2009. The change in name came with a promise to be the customer’s ally. With the best rate going right now they’re certainly looking like the bank ally they hope to be.

Ally Bank did take bailout funds but is apparently well-capitalized. Previously, the ABA asked U.S. regulators to crack down on Ally and their above market rates.

According to the CNN Money story, Ally‘s CEO, Al de Molina, responded strongly with this statement:

“You might want to assist your members in figuring out how they are going to compete in the new marketplace, rather than ask regulators to direct Ally Bank to pay its depositors less competitive rates.”

Boom! de Molina brings the attitude!

In the end, I think the controversy is just stemming from bank industry politics. With the FDIC insurance I feel confident in Ally Bank for my savings needs.

Opening an Account

I’m personally giving Ally Bank a shot. Here’s how I opened an account.

Opening an online savings account with Ally Bank is fairly easy. You just need to provide some basic information (including your SSN and drivers license), allow a hard credit pull, set up a deposit, and you’re good to go.

To do the deposit you’ll either need your bank’s account and routing number, or you’ll need to mail in a deposit. I preferred to do the former. You have the option of keeping this account setup for transfer, which I elected to do, so I can quickly transfer funds in once I decide how much I want to move here.

The setup process is similar to other online banks…you wait for two small deposits and then verify the account for transfer. But it’s different than others in that you immediately get access to your online account.

The whole process took less than 15 minutes. From top to bottom … Ally Bank is a great online institution that’s continuously voted best online savings account by consumers. Interest rates are very competitive and the customer service is top notch. Certainly, a bank worth saving with.

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  1. Those are great rates! I see why you’re not interested in switching. Oh, I love me some Cracker Barrel.

  2. Avatar GaelicWench says:

    I’ve given up on rate chasing. Seems the last several times I’ve opened up an account with what I thought was an excellent rate, before too long, it was lowered.

    I’ve a reward checking account at my local credit union currently at 5.01%. It’s been like this for well over a year – prior to that it was at 6.01%. For now, I will use this to stash the “Pay Myself First” savings, to include another $50 or so in a separate category column labeled “Same as Cash” to get the required 12 purchases. I work at Cracker Barrel, so essentially spend my fun money there for a 50% off employee meal or a few snacks – all under $5 each or less. Very easy, cheap stuff.

    Thanks for the update, however.

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