Ally Bank and Simple are two leading online-only banking services. Customers can count on them for low fees and good online banking platforms.
Though both shine, they do so in different ways. Simple’s Safe-to-Spend tool can help you get a firm grasp on your budget. Simple also has a high-yield account that links to its existing checking account. Ally’s high-yield savings account and CDs, on the other hand, give you multiple ways to bolster your savings.
We compared Ally and Simple across several categories to help you determine the best fit.
|Ally Interest Checking||Simple Checking
| Ally Online Savings Account||Simple Protected Goals (High-Yield Checking)
Certificates of deposit
| Ally High-Yield CD||Simple does not offer CDs|
Overdrafts and customer service
Choose Ally if:
- You want a full suite of banking products.
- You value having several ways to reach customer service, including online chat.
- You occasionally use out-of-network ATMs. (Ally offers fee reimbursements up to $10 monthly.)
Choose Simple if:
- You don’t want to pay overdraft fees.
- You’d like a tool to help manage your spending.
Here’s a closer look at how they compare.
|Ally Interest Checking||Simple|
|Minimum opening deposit||$0||$0|
|Interest on balances||0.01% APY|
You’ll earn more in interest with Ally, but the difference won’t be noticeable unless you have a large balance. Both accounts offer access to the same large ATM network, so finding a free cash machine nearby should be easy. But Ally’s $10 monthly fee reimbursement for out-of-network ATMs gives it an edge.
|Ally Online Savings Account||Simple Protected Goals (High-Yield Checking)|
|Minimum opening deposit||$0||$0.01|
|Interest on balances||1.60% APY||
|Automatic transfer from linked checking||Yes||Yes|
|» For more great options, check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts|
The average rate on a savings account now stands at 0.09%, paltry compared with Ally and Simple’s APYs.
|Ally High-Yield CD||Simple|
|Minimum opening deposit||$0||N/A|
|APY on one-year term||2.00%||N/A|
|APY on three-year term||1.95%-2.10%||N/A|
|APY on five-year term||2.15%||N/A|
|» To compare, see our latest top CD rates|
Certain banks ask for minimum deposits of $1,000 or more, but at Ally, customers can open a CD with as little cash as they’d like. Term lengths are varied, and rates are strong across the board. Simple doesn’t offer CDs or similar accounts.
|Banking apps (ratings from app store users)||4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS, and 4.5 out of 5 for Android||3.3 out of 5 stars for iOS, and 4.0 out of 5 for Android|
|Customer service||Available by phone, chat, email and social media||Available by phone and in-app messaging and social media|
Both Ally and Simple have excellent websites, but Simple takes it a step further by offering the Safe-to-Spend tool. By calculating your bills and savings goals, the service highlights how much you can afford to spend on nonessential purchases.
However, Simple doesn’t give customers quite as many ways to reach it as Ally does. Ally’s online chat service is reliable and even lists estimated wait times so folks can get on with their day if the virtual line is too long.
|Overdraft protection transfer fee||$0||N/A|
|Extended overdraft fee||$0||N/A|
At $25, Ally’s overdraft fee is well below the national average of $35 according to a recent NerdWallet study, and it caps these charges at one per day. Many other banks charge multiple times a day. It doesn’t charge extended overdraft fees, and it offers free overdraft protection. At Simple, transactions that would result in an overdraft are typically denied or returned.
Two excellent options with distinct strengths
Ally and Simple are both top-notch online banking services, and their services will come as a welcome change of pace for folks accustomed to high fees.
If you want help getting a better overview of your daily finances, go with Simple and take advantage of its Safe-to-Spend tool. But if you want a bank with well-rated mobile apps and strong customer service options, Ally’s suite of savings products will serve you well.