Anyone here use Ally Bank?

A place to discuss anything... except credit cards!
11 posts
s.jessica
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Anyone here use Ally Bank?

Postby s.jessica » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:01 pm

Does anyone here use Ally Bank? I just opened an account with them and deposited $25 to check them out.

I'm just not sure what to think of an online only bank account, but I do like the idea of being able to use almost any ATM nationwide. I'll be keeping an account with a local bank for now, no plans to close it anytime soon. I'm just waiting on my welcome packet now. The impressive part, right after I applied someone called to confirm my identity and said he would order a checkbook and debit card for me.

I'm not really a technology person, but this should be better than any prepaid debit card I've ever seen. I'm currently open to any and all comments about Ally.


Bksuper
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Postby Bksuper » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:22 pm

I use Ally as my primary bank; they have great (compared to big banks, but not quite the highest available among online banks) interest rates, no minimum balance or DD reqs, no maintenance fees, and services like bill pay, any ATM with all fees reimbursed, echeck deposit, and 24/7 live CS. Having no fees without minimum balance or a direct deposit on a checking account is huge, and their checking account pays the highest interest rate of any I know of without hoops (minimum DDs, debit card transactions per month, only giving the advertised rate to the first $X, etc.). You can do slightly better on the savings with banks that don't offer quite as many features, but its nice to have it at the same bank as checking for immediate transfers and free overdraft protection. The difference on savings is currently Ally offers 0.84% and some other banks offer up to 1.05%. But those same banks only pay 0.1%-0.2% on checking, while Ally pays 0.4%.

The only downside is you can't deposit cash, you can echeck deposit or mail in checks and money orders, you can transfer money in electronically from other accounts, and you can have a direct deposit, but no cash. The way to get around it is to have a savings account with a B&M bank with just enough balance to waive maintenance fees, then deposit the cash into that account and electronically transfer it free to Ally.
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Citi Forward Student Visa, $6k CL, Open Since 10/2012
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SallieMae Rewards Barclay Mastercard, $2.5k CL, Open Since 4/2013
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agp
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Postby agp » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:26 pm

What bank? In my opinion, picking a bank because its savings account gives higher interest rates is no reason to pick a bank at all. Picking a bank because it does not charge a fee for checking/saving is a great reason. Any money sitting in your checking/saving account is losing value. Depreciation averages at 4% per year, and as far as I know no bank's savings gives interest rates that high. Money NOT invested is money lost.

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Bksuper
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Postby Bksuper » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:34 pm

Ally doesn't have fees for most things (only Returned Checks, over 6 withdrawals per month in a non-checking account, and outgoing wires). Yes, depreciation is higher than the interest rate, but we're comparing it to other no-fee banks that are FDIC insured, with almost no risk, and cash equivalent liquid. You should have enough money like that, even if its depreciating, to pay all short term liabilities and a few months living expenses. I agree any excess equity should be parked or used for higher value things (high interest debt repayment, investing in securities, real estate, collectables, commodities, etc).
Sole Ownership Cards:
1st Financial Bank Platinum Student Visa, $500 CL, Open Since 3/2012
Citi Forward Student Visa, $6k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Costco TrueEarnings Amex, $6k CL, Backdates to 1/2012
SallieMae Rewards Barclay Mastercard, $2.5k CL, Open Since 4/2013
Jointly Owned Cards (co-owner with mom, not AU, used and paid only by me):
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa Signature, $2k CL, Open Since 8/2012
US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature, $13.5k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Authorized User (Parents Pay/Use)
Costco TrueEarnings Amex $29.4k CL, AU since 11/2012

swipe_masta
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Postby swipe_masta » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:32 pm

A friend of mine has Ally. All I know about it is that it is an online only bank and their debit card is purple. She said it is comparable to credit unions, tho I don't think that's true. I looked into a couple online banks, but I like the safety net feeling I get from B&M banks, knowing I can visit a branch and talk to someone in person in case there is ever a problem with my acct.

dickey1331
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Postby dickey1331 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:50 am

I use them for my IRA and car loan. I really like them but I dont use them as a bank.
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im_mr_awesome
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Postby im_mr_awesome » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:04 pm

I banked with Ally almost exclusively for about 2 years. In that time I was running my own business and accepted a lot of credit card payments. Since I could deposit those payments right into my checking account, it made sense to have a no fees online bank.

Since I stopped using my debit card and stopped doing a lot of business, I switched my banking back to chase so I could use their ATMs and have an easy and instant way to pay on Chase credit cards. It's unfortunate that Ally doesn't have a credit card. I imagine they will in the next few years though. Maybe I will revisit them if they do.

As far as the convenience of having a brick and mortar bank goes, I think it outweighs the fees and the slightly worse customer service.
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Bksuper
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Postby Bksuper » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:29 pm

If you want the convenience of Chase ATM and branch services, there is no need to subject more than $300 to their outrageously low interest rates. Simply have a savings account at Chase with a constant $300 balance to waive the maintenance fee and transfer atm deposits to ally. There is no limit to the number of bank accounts you can have open.
Sole Ownership Cards:
1st Financial Bank Platinum Student Visa, $500 CL, Open Since 3/2012
Citi Forward Student Visa, $6k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Costco TrueEarnings Amex, $6k CL, Backdates to 1/2012
SallieMae Rewards Barclay Mastercard, $2.5k CL, Open Since 4/2013
Jointly Owned Cards (co-owner with mom, not AU, used and paid only by me):
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa Signature, $2k CL, Open Since 8/2012
US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature, $13.5k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Authorized User (Parents Pay/Use)
Costco TrueEarnings Amex $29.4k CL, AU since 11/2012

im_mr_awesome
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Postby im_mr_awesome » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:53 pm

I used to do that but found I wasn't gaining all that much by managing two bank accounts. As has already been mentioned, by having an amount of cash just sitting in an account, I'm losing money unless the interest rate on the account is over 4%. I'm building up about 6 months of my salary for a buffer or a very rainy day, then I'll deposit at least $100/wk just to maintain a growing balance that's always available - that's in my savings account. After that, my money is either going into some investments or toward paying off my debt.

If you're dealing with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, sure, it makes total sense to use a high APR savings account. If you're not gaining at least a few hundred per year in the account, I don't see much point over stocks.
Scores on the mend...
FICO: 650 (Discover/TU, 6/23/2016)
Cards I Use Citi Double Cash, Chase Amazon, Capital One QuickSilver
Sock Drawer Discover IT, Citi Diamond Preferred, AE Visa, QuickSilver One, Walmart CC, CareCredit, CreditOne (keeping for history for now)
Short Goal Reach 680

Bksuper
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Postby Bksuper » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:32 pm

With online banking and smartphone/tablet apps, its not that hard to manage multiple bank accounts, just like people here manage lots of CC accounts to optimize rewards. If B&M services are valuable to you, having $300 at 0.01% APR compared to 0.84% is not a big deal. 6 months of expenses and all outstanding bills can be alot of money to lose the 0.83% difference on. It could be a $100+ per year loss in interest, which I would rather avoid with a few quick ACH transfers. You only want to put into investments the long term equity you can afford to take risks with. Sure, my investments may have 10+ times as much money as my average savings account, but the money you should have in savings is not nothing.
Sole Ownership Cards:
1st Financial Bank Platinum Student Visa, $500 CL, Open Since 3/2012
Citi Forward Student Visa, $6k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Costco TrueEarnings Amex, $6k CL, Backdates to 1/2012
SallieMae Rewards Barclay Mastercard, $2.5k CL, Open Since 4/2013
Jointly Owned Cards (co-owner with mom, not AU, used and paid only by me):
Chase Amazon Rewards Visa Signature, $2k CL, Open Since 8/2012
US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature, $13.5k CL, Open Since 10/2012
Authorized User (Parents Pay/Use)
Costco TrueEarnings Amex $29.4k CL, AU since 11/2012



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