Ally Bank Review: High Yield Savings Accounts

For a while now I’ve been looking into all the online high yield savings accounts because we wanted to find a place to put our hard earned emergency savings.  As of this writing, because we’re so conservative, we’re currently sitting on close to 12 months of expenses in savings.  As you might expect, 12 months of expenses is a nice chunk of change to be earning interest off of.  We wanted to make sure we were putting our money in a place where it would be earning good interest, but also that it was a solid bank with a good reputation.

Today I’m reviewing one of the banks that we ended up getting an account with,  Ally Bank.

Ally Bank – Who Are They?

The brand – Ally Bank – has been around for a year or two now, although they aren’t a new flash in the pan bank.  A lot of people don’t realize is that Ally Bank is the new face of an old name, GMAC bank.  They changed the name in May of 2009 at a time when they were giving the company a face-lift, and giving a promise to be the customer’s “ally”.  While the old GMAC bank wasn’t my favorite bank – and the fact that they needed a face-lift from the start had me skeptical.  But when you also factor in the fact that they have one of the competitive bank rates right now, and that so far they’ve gotten good reviews – I was more than willing to give them a shot.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Ally Bank high yield savings account the “Best Savings Account” for 2009!

Is My Money Safe At Ally Bank?

Whenever you’re considering signing up for a new bank account, it’s important to find out if  your money will be safe at the institution, and whether or not the bank is insured.  Ally Bank is fully FDIC insured, and has been since August 2004 – under their old name of GMAC.  If  the bank has problems and goes bankrupt, you’ll be fine – as long as you don’t have more deposited than the FDIC insurance will cover.   Currently that amount is $250,000 per depositor.

Fees, Minimums And Other Features Of Ally Bank

Ally Bank’s high yield savings account has low fees, no minimum balance and you can open with zero dollars if you want!

  • Open with $0
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Ability to create sub-accounts with different names and account numbers.
  • Daily compounded interest for maximum earnings
  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week customer service at 1-877-247-ALLY (2559) for 24/7 assistance or by e-mail at customercare@ally.com
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000
  • Six withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle.  (mandated by the government for savings accounts)
  • high level of online security

Open An Account With Ally Bank

I opened my account with Ally Bank about 4-5 months ago.  It was pretty simple.

It’s a 5-step process.  You’ll have to give them some basic information (including your SSN and drivers license), and they’ll do a hard credit pull. Then you just set up your initial deposit from your linked account,  set up a few account options and you’re set to go.  No fuss, no muss.

Other Ally Bank Account Types

In addition to it’s competitive high yield savings accounts Ally Bank also has other options available including classic CDsno penalty CDs (ability to withdraw early with no penalties) and money market accounts.  All of them seem to have rates that are currently competitive.  For more details about their other account options, click here.

I Signed Up For Ally – You Should Too!

I’ve now been with Ally Bank for several months, and so far I’ve been extremely satisfied.  They offer some of the highest interest rates in the country and all of their accounts are FDIC insured (to find current updated rates, go here).  Add to that their solid 24/7 customer service (which I have used more than once) and other account type options, and you have a good solid bank that does what it should.

If you’re looking for a good high yield savings account where you can put your money, I think Ally Bank should be near the top of your list.  I know it reached the top of mine, and was one of the accounts I ended up opening.

Open an account at Ally Bank. Click here for details!

Do you have an account with Ally Bank? How do you like them? What are the pros and cons of their accounts? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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I’m a thirty-something Christian Midwestern father of one son, and have been happily married for 9 years to my beautiful wife. I love playing tennis, shooting hoops, or taking part in the occasional flag football game. Of course, I love writing and financial topics as well, and that's how this site came into being! Check me out on Google +!


Comments

  1. says

    I’m struggling with this too. Currently our 3 months emergency fund is at a local bank earning .75%. I guess the additional .45% would be nice, I think I will leave at least 2 months at the local bank though. We’ll try to beef up the e-fund to 4-5 months after we pay the property tax in Nov.

  2. says

    I’m a huge fan of Ally Bank. Transferred money over from ING because the rates were higher. Their non-penalty CD’s are great, especially when the rates seem ready to take off. I would definitely recommend them to others!

  3. Mike says

    Ally bank will lie straight to your face and smile while doing it. I have had my savings acount for over a year with Ally bank and thought everything was good until they started charging me tons of fees that they specially had told me that didn’t charge. Don’t use this bank unless you want to wake up one day and see your account pounded with fees when you though you had a “free” account with “no fees”. SURPISE there is a reason why the interest rate is so high, they make up for it with fraudulent fees. I am filing a small claims case in the state of Pennsylvania – go check out the court records.

  4. Ward Cee says

    Don’t do business with Ally Bank or GMAC no matter what they offer. My personal experience — and check out numerous non-paid (unlike the story above) reviews on-line. You will find a thread in the ones from real customers. They are so incompetent, my theory it’s intentional. No exaggeration, they are currently sitting on $1,340 of my money that they misappropriated. I am sure I will get it back, but I literally have to contact them every month to correct an error. The errors are always in their favor but their customer service is so pathetic it takes more time that it’s worth to deal with them. That’s why I don’t bank with them. My mortgage however got sold to them to service, so for the time being I am stuck. Avoid at all costs. It really isn’t worth it for a few extra bucks.

  5. Lisa says

    If Ally makes a error in judgment whether it’s wiring money or making purchases using your debit card, they will BLAME IT ALL ON THE CUSTOMER. I’m a customer of GMAC. As you may know, before Ally was founded in 2009, the company was part of GMAC Financial Services. However, GMAC FAILED, they needed government bail out. Then when they receive their BAIL OUT, they change their name from GMAC to Ally Bank. I only had one checking bank account with the internet bank Ally. I used this account to receive deposits from a PayPal account when I sell my personal items on eBay. The last deposit I made to this account was when I sold a text book on ebay for a few dollars, and I received the payment through my PayPal account. After the payment was in my PayPal account, I then had the funds transfer to my Ally checking account. So one day I tried to log into my online banking account with Ally and for some reason I was not able to log into my account online. I thought I may have accidentally used the wrong password and block myself out. I tried calling the ally bank customer service number at (877)247-ALLY (2559). The customer service representatives could not give my any type of answers and always said that they would just call me right bank and they never did. So I was left with having them transfer me to a supervisor and they told me they don’t have a direct line for me to speak with a supervisor and that the supervisor will call me back at my home phone number and that never happen. I haven’t been able to log into my account since August of 2010 and I still had some funds left in this account. Due to the bad service with Ally bank, I decided to close my account on January in 2011. I called the customer service number and spoke with another customer service representative by the name of Gonzales. Gonzales said I can close my account over the phone and he ask for social security, full first and last name, and he wanted me to answer the security question. Gonzales said he close the account and it should take 1-2 business days for the remaining funds to be transfer electronically to my Bank of America account I had on file with Ally. It has been approximately more than a week and I have yet to see the funds in my Bank of America account or receive a confirmation via email stating that my account is even close. I read other numerous reviews about Ally Bank and the poor customer service they provide. I can definitely speak on the horrible customer service Ally has. A lot of the customer service representatives work from home and have no true knowledge on how to help the customer when something is wrong. They just dig into the employee manual to find the information, and if they can’t find it they just have someone to call you back and sometimes they never do. A lot of the customers representatives and supervisors are rude and plain ignorant at Ally Bank. I just wanted to close my account and receive help for this matter. I called the Ally Bank customer care number in order to get the corporate number because the customer representatives and supervisors at the regular customer care Ally Bank number weren’t able to provide any answers as to why they couldn’t close my account even though Gonzales said he could. I called the corporate Ally number at 215-734-6566 and guess what, I spoke to a rude supervisor. For some reason she acted as if she didn’t even know who she was speaking with on the phone, even though I had already answer all her verification questions to identify who I was. So it makes you wonder if a supervisor for some reason has a hard time verifying one of their customers over the phone even though their customer answers and gives all their personal information such as social security, is Ally a true secure and safe online bank. It makes me wonder how anyone can even trust the safety and security of an online bank like Ally if they can’t even verify a customer over the phone even though the customer provided all their verification (personal) information. How can you trust an Online Bank like Ally. I still can’t even get any answers from the manager and supervisors located at the headquarters of Ally, as to why they can’t close my account. So iof this issue is not resolve, I will proceed to other legal actions.

  6. Alex B. says

    Just wanted to share my story. Stay away from them and here is why.
    I opened an account in September 2010. Everything was great until I had to use a Bill Pay. The check for $2550 for supposed to be delivered by February 2nd. When the check didn’t come on time, I called the bank and I was told they had some ‘issues’ with BillPay and that check should come on February 3rd, then on February 4th, then on February 5th… When the check didn’t come on February 7th, I told the supervisor (Daniel Moore) that I can’t wait no longer and that now I have to cancel the check. Also, I had to pay 10% fine ($255). Ally Bank promised to cover the fee. However, when I submitted the claim, my account was frozen because of ‘red flags’. Nobody called me, I discovered it only because I couldn’t login into my bank account. Here is when the funny part begins. I called the Customer service and I was told that my account was assigned to a ‘fraud’ specialist that can be reached at 215-682-3163. If you try to call that number, you’ll always go to a voice mail. I left multiple messages and I received a call only once (and I had to go through a customer service again for that). Francis (who told me to address her as ‘Franny’ instead) told me that she couldn’t verify my identity through public records. I have a dual citizenship Canada / US. So I faxed her my US and Canadian driver’s licenses, Bank of America statements and Federal Tax return.
    She didn’t even bother to give me a call back to confirm that she received the sensitive information. I had to call 20 times the next day to finally get a hold of her. To make story short, do not open an account with Ally Bank because if they don’t like something there is no easy way for you to get your money back. I had to file a complaint with FDIC to be able to talk to a supervisor who closed both my accounts (savings with about $8,500 in it and checking with about $6,000 in it). Needless to say they never reimbursed me the $255 fee. Stay away from them.

  7. Beau says

    GMAC was one of the banks that stole billions of dollars from the taxpayers under the 0bama stimulus package. That’s why they needed the name change. NEVER trust these frauds. They already owe you money. They owe your kids money and they owe your grandkids money.

      • Larry S. says

        Hate to break it to you, Jeremy, but they changed their name not 4 years before Obama took office – they changed their name in May, 2009.

        Make sure you have the right information before you post.

        • Marian says

          Does not matter when they changed their name, like most banks they stole and committed fraud under Bush. Obama was left with the mess they created, sorry Bush’s admin allowed them to create.

    • T-Rex says

      meh, it was actually George W. Bush who signed the TARP program into affect during the remainder of his term in 2008 — Ally participated receiving $5 billion and granting the US government a controlling interest (which as far as I know is still the case).

    • says

      What’s your experience with them been? What didn’t you like? Just curious – i’ve been with them for quite a while now, and haven’t had anything but good impressions.

    • says

      There are some fees for things you normally wouldn’t have to worry about – like if you exceed 6 monthly transactions, returned deposits and a couple of kind of transfers. There are a lot of ways for them to make money beyond that as well including lending your money out at a higher rate than they’re paying you.

      • CitizenSane says

        That 6 transaction limit applies to ALL savings accounts, online or not, Ally Bank or any other bank. It’s a federal regulation (Reg D if memory serves) that is there to prevent people from using savings accounts like a checking account. Why does the govt care? Because banks are required to keep different reserves for checking and savings accounts.

        Bottom line is that you shouldn’t blame Ally if you get fee’d for more than 6 transactions in a month – it’s the law and it’s in their account agreement.

  8. Tyler says

    I have only had positive experiences with Ally. I’ve never been charged any fees and I use their Bill Pay for everything. I’m shocked to hear that many of these comments are so negative. On top of this I’ve done Int’l wiring to my account and did so without any fees.

    As to the comments about Ally getting bailed out by the stimulus funds–yes, they were bailed out just like nearly every other bank. At least they don’t have excessive fees and they don’t charge for their checking. I’ll never understand why Bank of America et al charge for those who do not have direct deposit (e.g. the unemployed).

    Ally is great and their customer service is second only to American Express. I recommend them whole heartedly.

  9. first says

    At the heart of the success or failure of any organization is the IT Department. In the case of Ally it is a failure. Having spent many years in IT development the Ally website reveals very poor management of the IT department. It is obvious from my attempts to login to my account that the most elementary tasks of logging in to the site.

    After entering personal information and receiving a message that says I “The username and password combination is invalid” I have to question just how much testing was done to programs that drive the website. If your account information cannot be found with the information entered from your paper bill then Ally bank has big information management problems.

    If an organization cannot manage the very basic login task it scares me that they are able to do more complex accounting and management of a account.

    Being the case I will never purchase a car again that uses ALLY bank financing.

    • says

      I can’t say that I’ve ever had any of those issues with Ally. I’ve found logging in to be as easy or easier than any other online bank I’ve used. I’ve also found their interface to be cleaner and easier to use than other banks as well.

  10. alvaro gonzalez says

    i want to make a direct deposit with ally bank which is my first time being with this bank. i heard alot of good things about it but one thing that the customer service rep forgot to mention was once money enters my account then they send out my debit card and it takes 7 business days which i wasn’t aware or told by the rep. it was to late for me to pull out and change my direct deposit to another bank cause the transfer went pretty quick so i was left waiting 2 weeks for my check then got to wait another 5 days mind you completly broke waiting for money to be transfered thanks ally your the best!!!! DON’T GO TO THIS BANK I AM TELLING YOU!!

  11. MBinWV says

    I’ve been an Ally customer for approximately 4 months.

    During that period, my place of employment has attempted to direct deposit my paychecks into Ally, but the deposits were rejected. I then tried to e-check deposit my paychecks….which Ally held for 12 days EACH time before depositing. In the mean time, I had checked and double checked and triple checked that the account information that was being used was correct. Each time I called Ally I was subjected to yammerings about account numbers that I’ve confirmed and hold times I find excessive, given the fact that it’s a salary check for the same amount every two weeks. But, I figured it would all be fine when the direct deposit issue was fixed.

    After five attempts, my accounting department said “Good news, your deposit has been accepted!” and I was so happy. But on deposit day, my money wasn’t in my account. My pay stub said “This is not a check” and Ally said “We don’t know where your money is…but it may take us 24 to 48 (business) hours to research it” On a Friday that means I won’t hear from Ally until Tuesday, and if they DO find it, I’m sure they’ll come up with a reason to hold it for another 12 days.

    The worst part…while speaking with a customer service supervisor (almost as useless as a customer service representative, but with a more authoritative sounding title) she indicated that there was no way to further expedite my resolution, as it was a newly opened issue. WTF? I’ve been calling over and over for months about the same issue. Maybe it’s a bit different than the last eight calls, but it still boils down to the same. little. nugget. My direct deposit isn’t being deposited and Ally won’t give me my money.

    The fee-less accounts, the interest, the convenience, the friendly customer service, the e-check deposit…it all sounds fantastic, but BEWARE. You’ll continuously call with the same issues. You’ll wait weeks for access to your own money and there is no direct line to the resolution center…leaving you at the mercy of friendly, but relatively helpless customer service reps (and supervisors).

    I’ll be posting this review on every available site for each waking hour that my funds remain missing in some Ally limbo. At the earliest availability I’ll be removing my money and marching it straight toward the teller of a better bank…if there is such a thing.

    Wish me luck.

    • says

      Sorry you’ve had so many issues with Ally. I don’t do a direct deposit with them so I have no experience with that, but my e-check deposits and mailed in checks have been deposited in the standard 2-3 days time. Stinks though that your paychecks aren’t going through, hopefully they’ll get it resolved for you quickly.

  12. MsKitty says

    I have been with Ally Bank for a year and a half now and still think this is the best bank! I haven’t had any of the troubles that majority of the people who comment in here. I do direct deposit, have two accounts (Interest checking and Money Market savings), and have used the e deposit they offer as a check deposit method. Just like signing up, all of its functions on the website are easy to use and has a very simple format.

    It is true to its word, no monthly fees or minimum balance. I gave it a chance and it has made me happy! I hope who ever reads my comment takes a chance because I wouldn’t be singing this bank any praises if I didn’t have an awesome experience with them!

  13. says

    I like the idea of Ally’s “Raise Your Rate” CD but in all honesty this is largely just a marketing gimmick.

    Rates aren’t likely to change in a positive way for savers until at least 2015 (according to the FED’s latest statements) so expect nothing in terms of APY for at least 3 years.

  14. nikki says

    Ally still makes excuses why they don’t have features they promised – just teasers, while not delivering anything. On top of that I just had an experience where their loss prevention/ fraud department gave me a major attitude with the “I don’t care” attitude about them taking my money hostage. They froze my account without any warning. I lost access to my bank account, bills weren’t getting paid, couldn’t access to set up bills, couldn’t get cash out from ATM, etc. all b/c I had called in the general customer service dept raising my concerns about the billpay not working correctly (payee information was being altered without me doing it – such as payee address and acct number – which resulted in some of my bills not getting paid. Was able to find multiple case of similar glitches once I started investigating). The general customer service dept’s hands were tied as they also didn’t know what was going on and couldn’t get access to my account. Turns out that the fraud department started looking into the issues I reported, froze my account without notice, and left for the weekend as their FRAUD department only works 8am~5pm ET. I was left without access to my account all weekend without notice. Again, no bill pay, no access, no ATM use. When I finally got a human being from the fraud department on the phone on Monday, the gal who was handling the case took a tone with me (defensive). So I asked to speak with the supervisor – who all he did was try to get rid of me and totally had the “I don’t really care” attitude while giving me excuses. No sincerity for what they put me through what so ever. The general service department was clearly trained much better to be professional and be polite and apologetic when they couldn’t help. However the fraud department was unprofessional, insincere, and just a 8-to5′er who didn’t care.
    I am leaving Ally not only because they promised features they can’t deliver but because of the billpay issues I’ve experienced, along with the most terrible customer service I received from the fraud department. They took my account hostage without notice and they didn’t even apologize, just saying “that’s our process” – what a cop out to blame the “process”. I’ve spoken to other friends who recently also joined Ally. They told me their nightmare stories and we’re all leaving. I can’t stay with a bank I cannot trust. No way I can trust my money with this bank – I’m just so shocked they get away with this. They spend all their money on advertising and promising features they don’t have. Now I learned that their “process” is messed up and they don’t have respect for their customer and their money. I baffled they can get away with this.

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