Ally Bank and Simple are two leading online-only banks. Customers can count on them for low fees and good online banking platforms.
Though both banks shine, they do so in different ways. Whereas Simple’s Safe-to-Spend tool can help you get a firm grasp on your budget, Ally’s high-yield savings account makes it easy to bolster your emergency fund.
We compared Ally and Simple across several categories to help you determine which may be the best fit.
|Ally Interest Checking||Simple Fee-Free Checking
|Simple does not have a savings account|
Certificates of deposit
Ally CD interest rates
|Simple does not offer CDs|
Overdrafts and customer service
Choose Ally if:
- You want a full suite of banking products
- Earning interest is important to you
- You value having several ways to reach customer service, including online chat
Choose Simple if:
- You don’t want to pay overdraft fees
- You’d like a tool to help manage your spending
Ally’s savings and CDs come with strong rates and very few fees. Unlike Ally, Simple doesn’t offer savings accounts or CDs. It also doesn’t charge overdraft fees; it simply denies a transaction if there isn’t enough money in a customer’s account.
Here’s a closer look at how they compare.
|Ally Interest Checking||Simple|
|Minimum opening deposit||$0||$0|
|Interest on balances||0.01% APY; if you create a protected goal account between Sept. 25 and Oct. 31, 2018, and fund it with at least $2,000, that money will earn 2.02% APY. Protected goal accounts opened before Sept. 25 also qualify for the promotion as long as they hold at least $2,000.|
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.
|Ally Online Savings||Simple|
|Minimum opening deposit||$0||N/A|
|Interest on balances||1.90% APY||N/A|
|Automatic transfer from linked checking||Yes||N/A|
|» 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’s APY. There’s no initial deposit requirement on the account, and it’s easy to move money between savings and checking accounts.
|Ally High-Yield CD||Simple|
|Minimum opening deposit||$0||N/A|
|APY on one-year term||Up to 2.50%||N/A|
|APY on three-year term||Up to 2.60%||N/A|
|APY on five-year term||Up to 3.00%||N/A|
|» To compare, see our latest top CD rates|
Certain banks ask for minimum deposits of up to $1,000, 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.
|Banking apps (ratings from app store users)||4.7 out of 5 stars for iOS, and 3.4 out of 5 for Android||3.9 out of 5 stars for iOS, and 4.4 out of 5 for Android|
|Customer service||Available by phone, chat, email and social media||Available by phone and in-app messaging|
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 median of $34, and it caps these charges at one per 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 banks, 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 separate checking and savings accounts, Ally’s strong suite of savings products will serve you well.