Editorial Review

Ally Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Ally Bank is a popular online bank among people seeking strong rates and robust customer service. Because it doesn’t have to put money into physical branches, Ally is able to offer better rates and fees than brick-and-mortar institutions and can invest more in its products.

Margarette BurnetteJanuary 21, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Overall bank rating

Ally Bank
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Ally Bank's online-only offerings allow it to pass on the savings to its customers in the form of high interest rates. Ally has strong customer service and is ideal for people who don't care about having branch access for their banking. Scroll down to our review of Ally's checking account to find out how Ally is helping consumers access their full relief payments.

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balances.

  • Access to over 43,000 free ATMs via checking or money market accounts.

  • An above-average 1.25% APY on savings.

Cons

  • No way to deposit cash.

  • For its savings account, Ally charges $10 for every outbound transfer after the sixth one in a month.

Full review

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

1.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Ally’s savings account offers a rate of 1.25%, higher than the national average of 0.06%, and interest is compounded daily, which means you’ll make a bit more money on interest compared to accounts that compound monthly. There’s a limit of six free outbound transfers per month, which is standard; the bank charges $10 for every transfer after six.

Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $0 minimum balance

COVID-19 relief update, April 23, 2020: On April 17, Ally Bank forgave customers' negative balances. This means that those receiving a relief payment can use the entire amount, rather than having some diverted to repay an overdraft. "The credit provided does not have to be paid back," according to a press release from the bank.

Ally offers an interest-bearing checking account with solid rates, low fees and free access to over 43,000 ATMs nationwide. Ally will also reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle for any fees you’re charged using an out-of-network ATM in the U.S.

Note that Ally doesn't accept cash deposits. Your options include mobile check deposit, setting up direct deposit, setting up a wire transfer or sending a check by mail.

Best 1-Year CD

Ally Bank CD

Ally Bank CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

1.30%

3-year APY

1.35%

5-year APY

1.40%

Minimum Deposit

$0

Ally offers three types of CDs, including the High-Yield CD options listed above. There’s no minimum deposit requirement for any of these certificates of deposit, though rates may vary depending on your balance. You can compare Ally CDs to other banks' using our tool.

A second option: a Raise Your Rate CD that lets you bump up your APY once or twice, depending on the term length, to the rate currently on offer for new CDs. And there’s also a CD with no early withdrawal penalty for those who may need the money sooner. These two types of CDs did not factor into our star ratings.

» Looking for the best CD rates? Find out what banks are offering this month

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

There are plenty of ways to get your questions answered — by phone, email, snail mail, or chat — but Ally's stellar help center will likely answer many frequently asked questions. Ally’s apps, both on iOS and Android, have garnered decent ratings from users.

Ally's bank experience rating takes a hit largely because of the bank's lack of branches.

Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Ally charges a $25 overdraft fee, but customers can't rack up more than one of those per day. Although the bank has a free overdraft transfer service for linked Ally accounts as an alternative, it doesn't offer an overdraft line of credit.

You won't be able to escape fees entirely at Ally, but at least the bank clearly highlights what you'll owe for certain services and transactions. That kind of transparency isn't always so easy to come by with banks.

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

1.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Ally’s savings account offers a rate of 1.25%, higher than the national average of 0.06%, and interest is compounded daily, which means you’ll make a bit more money on interest compared to accounts that compound monthly. There’s a limit of six free outbound transfers per month, which is standard; the bank charges $10 for every transfer after six.

Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

Ally Bank Interest Checking Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.10%

With $0 minimum balance

COVID-19 relief update, April 23, 2020: On April 17, Ally Bank forgave customers' negative balances. This means that those receiving a relief payment can use the entire amount, rather than having some diverted to repay an overdraft. "The credit provided does not have to be paid back," according to a press release from the bank.

Ally offers an interest-bearing checking account with solid rates, low fees and free access to over 43,000 ATMs nationwide. Ally will also reimburse you up to $10 per statement cycle for any fees you’re charged using an out-of-network ATM in the U.S.

Note that Ally doesn't accept cash deposits. Your options include mobile check deposit, setting up direct deposit, setting up a wire transfer or sending a check by mail.

Best 1-Year CD

Ally Bank CD

Ally Bank CD

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

1.30%

3-year APY

1.35%

5-year APY

1.40%

Minimum Deposit

$0

Ally offers three types of CDs, including the High-Yield CD options listed above. There’s no minimum deposit requirement for any of these certificates of deposit, though rates may vary depending on your balance. You can compare Ally CDs to other banks' using our tool.

A second option: a Raise Your Rate CD that lets you bump up your APY once or twice, depending on the term length, to the rate currently on offer for new CDs. And there’s also a CD with no early withdrawal penalty for those who may need the money sooner. These two types of CDs did not factor into our star ratings.

» Looking for the best CD rates? Find out what banks are offering this month

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

There are plenty of ways to get your questions answered — by phone, email, snail mail, or chat — but Ally's stellar help center will likely answer many frequently asked questions. Ally’s apps, both on iOS and Android, have garnered decent ratings from users.

Ally's bank experience rating takes a hit largely because of the bank's lack of branches.

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Ally charges a $25 overdraft fee, but customers can't rack up more than one of those per day. Although the bank has a free overdraft transfer service for linked Ally accounts as an alternative, it doesn't offer an overdraft line of credit.

You won't be able to escape fees entirely at Ally, but at least the bank clearly highlights what you'll owe for certain services and transactions. That kind of transparency isn't always so easy to come by with banks.

How does Ally Bank compare?

APY

1.30%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

1.15%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$500

Requirements to qualify

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.