Online Banks Like Ally (Ally Alternatives)

online banks like ally

Ally Bank is one of the most popular neobanks serving customers in the United States. If you need an international bank or one with a different set of financial products, it might not suit your needs. As such, you may wish to explore other online banks like Ally.

Quick Summary

Ally isn’t the only option available for online banking. Before choosing Ally, make sure you have explored the alternatives, which include the following:

  • Axos
  • Chime
  • N26
  • Current
  • Varo
  • MoneyLion
  • One Finance
  • Cash App

The Eight Best Online Banks Like Ally

There are plenty of online banks like Ally to choose from, whether you only want online savings and checking or you want a full-service experience with investing and loan financing. I’ve found the best online banks like Ally that offer these types of services to help you choose the best digital bank for your needs.

Axos

axos bank

What’s similar to Ally:

  • Interest-earning accounts
  • Mortgages
  • Personal loan financing
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Check deposit through an app
  • Basic checking and savings 0$ minimum deposit
  • Investments and IRAs

What’s different from Ally:

  • $50 minimum deposit on some checking accounts
  • $250 minimum deposit on high-yield savings
  • No fee cash deposit
  • VIP private banking with a $250,000 minimum deposit
  • Special accounts for world travelers and international access

Axos Bank is one of the online banks like Ally that’s the closest in structure and product offerings. Financing, investments, and interest on accounts set Axos (and Ally Bank) apart from many digital-only banks. 

Founded as BofI Federal Bank in California in 2000 by Jerry Englert and Gary Lewis Evans, Axos Bank is one of the oldest online banks. Both founders had extensive banking experience when they started the company. 

An Axos account may cost a little more than an Ally account over time. There’s also a minimum deposit required to open one. Axos Bank’s .81% APY isn’t as attractive as Ally Bank’s 2.2% APY savings account, but any interest is more than most digital banks offer. They also offer interest on checking accounts. 

For VIPs, Axos offers high-balance accounts that require a $250,000 minimum deposit. Axos also offers world checking and savings accounts for people on the move. You must deposit $75,000 to open this account and keep it above $150,000 to avoid the monthly $30 fee. 

Chime

chime bank

What’s similar to Ally:

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Easy online sign-up
  • Fast approval

What’s different from Ally:

  • Checking account doesn’t earn interest
  • Limited customer service, unlike Ally’s 24/7 support
  • Get your paycheck up to two days faster with direct deposit
  • Savings round-up program
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Charges out-of-network ATM fees
  • Offers cash deposit options in limited locations

Chris Brett and Ryan King founded Chime in San Francisco in 2013. The founders believe that no matter what kind of money problems a person has had, they deserve a chance to try again. They founded Chime with that philosophy in mind and made it easy for any adult to get an account. 

Chime is a digital-only bank that operates much like Ally but with a stripped-down and simplified product offering. You can’t get loans, make investments, or earn interest on your account balances. If you’re looking for solid account banking, tools to help you save money, and desktop and mobile access to your accounts, Chime may be a good choice. 

The round-up savings feature is one of the most beneficial features Chime offers, particularly for people who struggle to save money. The account will automatically round withdrawals to the next dollar, leaving a surplus to build over time. 

People who struggle with a low credit score or the inability to get a checking account because of past financial problems should look into Chime. If you’re at least 18 years old, you can open an account. Chime believes in “Second Chance Banking,” so they don’t use ChexSystems or other checking verification services. 

N26  

n26 bank

What’s similar to Ally:

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • The ability to create sub-accounts or buckets for specific savings goals and budgeting
  • Fast sign-up process
  • No minimum balance
  • No overdraft fees
  • No ATM fees

What’s different from Ally:

  • No Excessive Withdrawal fee
  • Daily and monthly withdrawal caps
  • International banking, serving 25 markets
  • Get your paycheck two days early with direct deposit
  • Accounts don’t earn interest
  • No phone app to deposit checks
  • No loans, CDs, or other financial instruments
  • Cashback offers and discounts on the debit card

N26 is a German company founded by Maximilian Tayenthal and Valentin Stalf in 2013. This neobank is licensed as a bank in Europe and guarantees your funds are insured up to $250,000 in the United States through Member FDIC Axos Bank.   

Most international N26 users can get a virtual debit Mastercard to make contactless payments. They can opt to get a physical card for a small fee. Premium members can get a plastic or stainless steel debit card with NFC technology that allows contactless payments. Members in the US will receive a comparable Visa debit card. 

Unlike some online banks like Ally, N26 doesn’t charge what’s known as an Excessive Withdrawal fee for each withdrawal after six per month but sets withdrawal caps. You can spend, including purchases with cashback, up to $5,000 per day. Daily cash withdrawals are limited to $1,500 per day, and combined purchases and cash withdrawals can’t exceed $30,000 in a month. 

You can open an account in as little as five minutes from your phone and join the over 7 million customers who already enjoy the benefits of online banking with N26. 

Current

current bank

What’s similar to Ally:

  • No minimum balance
  • No ATM fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • Photo check deposit app

What’s different from Ally:

  • 30-day trial
  • Account maximum ($10,000)
  • Monthly or yearly account fees depending on the type of account
  • Cash deposits with a fee
  • Account approval can take up to one business day
  • Offers a discounted teen checking account
  • Phone app only
  • Cashback offers and discounts on the debit card
  • Accounts don’t earn interest
  • Instant gas hold refunds

Current came onto the market in 2015 as a mobile-only digital bank founded in the United States by Stuart Sopp. This bank is a Member FDIC, so your money is insured and safe. For those who want high-value accounts, Current might prove disappointing. The maximum account balance is $10,000. 

Current sets itself apart from many online banks like Ally with its teen banking option. For $36 per year, which breaks down to only $3 per month, you can set up a checking account for a teenager to help them learn to manage money and get paid for things like chores and odd jobs. 

The instant gas hold refund is a handy feature Current offers its members. Gas stations often put a hold on your debit card for much more than the amount of gas you end up purchasing. Instead of a hold locking up the extra $10-$50 for a few days, Current immediately releases the amount beyond your gas purchase. 

The basic checking account through Current is free, but unlike Ally, their Premium Checking account costs $4.99 per month. While some neobanks don’t even have cash depositing available, Current allows cash deposits but charges $3.50 per deposit. 

Varo

varo money

What’s similar to Ally:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • No overdraft fees
  • Photo check depositing app
  • Fast sign-up and approval
  • No minimum deposit required

What’s different from Ally:

  • First digital bank to be licensed as a full bank
  • Early payday feature with direct deposit
  • Accepts cash deposits
  • Cashback and rewards on the debit card
  • Up to $100 cash advance on qualifying accounts
  • The upcoming VaroBelieve program for building credit
  • No Excessive Withdrawal fee
  • No investments, financial instruments, or financing

Varo has the distinction of being the first digital bank in the United States granted full bank status. Colin Walsh and Kolya Klymenko founded Varo in California in 2015, and Varo received a license and a bank charter in 2020. Varo Bank is Member FDIC, so all deposits up to $250,000 are insured. 

This digital bank doesn’t run account information through ChexSystems or run a credit check on applicants. They believe in “Second Chance Banking” for those who’ve had financial issues that make getting a bank account difficult. 

They offer helpful programs for people who encounter money problems while banking with them. You can get up to $100 advanced to you if you meet some account history and balance requirements to help when money needs to stretch to the next paycheck. 

Varo is also launching a program designed to help you build your credit. You add money to your Vault and set a spending limit, then Varo reports your on-time payments to the credit bureaus. Your planned payments can help you build new credit or bounce back from a bad credit history. 

MoneyLion

moneylion

What’s similar to Ally:

  • ETFs investing
  • No hidden fees
  • No account minimums
  • Fast, easy sign-up

What’s different from Ally:

  • Overdraft protection to $250
  • Spending rewards
  • Credit-Builder Plus
  • A loan program for credit building
  • Cash deposits
  • Automatic investing with round-ups

Founded in 2013, MoneyLion became one of the online banks like Ally that offered investment and financing by subscription in 2018. MoneyLion charges a nominal fee of $1 per month for access to its mostly fee-free service. 

Some of their digital-only bank programs carry other costs, like Credit Builder Plus. Through this program, you apply for a loan of up to $1,000. MoneyLion won’t perform a hard credit check that can affect your credit score.

Once they approve your loan, you get access to a portion of the money right away. You build credit with monthly loan payments over the next year. The program costs $19.99 per month but can help repair damaged credit quickly without the fear of going into serious debt. MoneyLion also gives you opportunities to recoup the monthly fee. 

MoneyLion is preparing to launch a program called OverTime that gives you the option to buy now and pay later with flexible monthly payments. 

One Finance

one finance

What’s similar to Ally:

  • No overdraft fees
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum deposit
  • Savings “pockets” for money management
  • Fast, easy sign-up
  • Earns interest but with a cap
  • Remote check deposit (with approval)

What’s different from Ally:

  • Early payday with direct deposit
  • No weekend customer service 
  • Credit line on One debit card
  • Overdraft protection requires approval
  • Auto-save up to 10% of your deposits
  • No investments or financial instruments

Bill Harris and Brian Hamilton founded the digital-only bank One Finance in California in 2013. One seems designed for people who want a hassle-free challenger bank account and who may need to build credit. 

You can earn 1% APY in your “Save Pocket” and a whopping 3% APY on up to $1000 per month of direct deposit funds you have on auto-save. This neobank debit card also serves as a credit card, building you a credit line as you use it successfully. Over time, your credit line can increase. 

This credit-building service is free, but if you borrow from your credit line and miss a payment, you’ll accrue 12% APR, which is still lower than most credit cards. Auto-save will shuffle up to 10% of your direct deposits into a savings pocket where it will earn interest and help you gain financial confidence. 

Many online banks like Ally help you manage money with a suite of tools, and One Finance is no different. Savings pockets and shared pockets that you use as a joint account can help your family budget. Auto-save and the generous APY can benefit digital bank users who need help managing their finances. 

Cash App

cash app

What’s similar to Ally:

  • No monthly fees
  • No transaction fees (though Ally charges after six per month)
  • Offers direct deposit for things like paychecks, tax returns, and payments

What’s different from Ally:

  • No investments aside from stock trading
  • Deposits aren’t FDIC insured
  • Spending and withdrawal limits
  • Only basic money receipt and withdrawal functionality
  • No financing or financial instruments
  • Offers Bitcoin trading
  • Early paycheck cashing with direct deposit
  • Rewards and discounts on the Cash App card

Cash App appeals to people who only want a barebones and inexpensive way to receive payments. Because this digital-only bank isn’t a Member FDIC and doesn’t use a Member FDIC bank to hold funds, your money isn’t insured. 

While this might sound alarming, the lack of FDIC status isn’t unusual. Many similar digital money management apps like Paypal and Payoneer aren’t FDIC insured. Paypal alone safely handles hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions per quarter. 

Cash App might be best suited for those who plan to withdraw money, transfer it into stocks, or trade Bitcoin. For true checking, savings, and investment or financing opportunities, Ally Bank or one of the other online banks like Ally would be better. 

Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey founded Cash App in 2013 as an easy-to-use app. While it operates like other digital banks, Cash App is considered a mobile peer-to-peer payment service. 

Summary of the Best Online Banks Like Ally

When you’re looking at online banks like Ally and trying to decide which to choose, consider all of the financial products you’re likely to use. While Ally Bank offers financing and investments, you might not be interested in those if you’re merely trying to get back on your financial feet. 

On the other hand, if you plan to invest in ETFs or an IRA within the next five or ten years, choosing one of the challenger banks that offer these financial instruments will save you time later. 

Ally Bank may be the best of the neobanks for your needs, but if not, other online banks like Ally can help you manage your money in our increasingly digital world. I hope the information I’ve provided about these digital-only banks helps make your decision easier.