Ally bank is a digital bank that services the American market – Ally Bank is a subsidiary of Ally Financial. The company began life as GMAC back in the 1920s. It focuses on offering competitive rates for a wide range of financial products.
Ally is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which provides deposit insurance to customers, is licensed by the federal reserve bank, and is an Equal Housing Lender.
To open an account with Ally, you can visit Ally.com or call them on 1-877-247-2559. You’ll need to submit personal information in support of your application, such as your Tax ID Number (TIN) or Social Security Number (SSN), email and phone number, physical address, and information about any bank accounts you wish to link with your Ally account.
You have several options to add funds to Ally account – you could transfer money from another of your bank accounts, transfer money from another Ally account, send a mail cheque or wire transfer to their postal address (Ally Bank, P.O. Box 13625, Philadelphia, PA 19101-3625), or set up a direct deposit with your employer.
Ally’s account options include the Interest Checking Account, which offers a debit Mastercard and free use of Allpoint ATMs. With this account, you can use the eCheck Deposit feature, which allows you to take photos of cheques with your smartphone, wire money with Zelle, and claim up to a $10 reimbursement per statement cycle for ATM fees for machines outside the network. There is a 0.50 percent APY interest rate for accounts over a balance of $15,000, and 0.10 percent for accounts with less than that amount
Then there is the Online Savings Account, with quite an impressive 2.2 percent APY, irrespective of your account balance. There is no minimum initial deposit for this account and no monthly fees. Another option is the Money Market Account, which combines a competitive interest rate with relaxed spending restrictions, making it a hybrid of the accounts mentioned above. Balances of above $25,000 earn 1 percent interest, with those below $25,000 earning 0.90 percent. You’ll get a debit card with this account and have the same ATM access as the Interest Checking Account.
You should consider that while the rate for the Money Market Account pays more than typical high street banks, it is not necessarily the highest of all the US digital banks. Remember that the Online Savings Account pays the most. So it may make sense for you to open both an Online Savings Account and Money Market Account, and move money to your Money Market Account only when you anticipate spending.
If you are a customer who prefers to bank on your smartphone or tablet, Ally can undoubtedly appeal. That’s because its app offers a range of features that are conducive to easier banking, including a support feature that offers 24/7 live chat. You can also look forward to making deposits remotely via the camera on your smartphone, and use Alexa voice commands to perform actions such as checking your account balance, transfer money, and get current rates on Ally products. You’ll use Zelle when making transfers to a US bank account, and there is a neat feature that allows you to find nearby ATMs. Investment features on the app include being able to trade stocks, use charting tools for analysis, access market news, and use streaming quotes to monitor your investments.
Ally offers a range of loan options – from home loans to vehicle financing. With the home loan offer, you have the choice of either buying a home or refinancing. Ally can provide what are known as ‘jumbo loans’ – large amounts with as little as a 10 percent down payment. Borrowers can choose between fixed-rate terms that are 15, 20, or 30 years in length and adjustable-rate mortgages of 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1. For low and moderate-income borrowers, down payments as low as three percent may be accepted as part of the Fannie Mae HomeReady program. It should be noted that Ally’s home loans are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Agriculture, or Department of Veterans Affairs.
Those who regularly travel outside the United States might be able to find more favorable offerings than Ally’s – that’s because whether you use an Allpoint ATM or not on foreign soil, you will have to pay a foreign transaction fee of up to one percent of the transaction amount. Additional surcharges may be made by non Allpoint ATMs abroad. You should note that this can still work out cheaper than many of the traditional banks’ fees.
For starters, Ally.com is likely to appeal to you if you are comfortable banking via your smartphone, online. It’s a sure-fire way to avoid account fees and increase your deposits’ interest rates if you have previously been with a traditional high street bank. If you are an investor or are just entering the world of trading, the features on the Ally app can be very handy, allowing you to consolidate more of your income and outgoing controls in one place.