Author Topic: Thoughts on Ally Bank (Read 5440 times)

Frugalman19

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Thoughts on Ally Bank
« on: January 08, 2016, 08:25:49 AM »
Hello all,

I currently have $22,000 in a savings account at my local bank, that we have earmarked for a downpayment on a home. THis year I plan to add another 20-30k to that total, maybe more. I saw online that Ally bank offers 1% on savings right now. I'm only hesitant because of the lack of storefronts and its 100% online. Also my MIL used them before and had some bad stories, not sure if she was trying to use them for regular checking, where I will be simply depositing a check every month.

What are your thoughts, is there somewhere else I can put the money for a year or two while I keep saving up??

dandarc

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 08:32:09 AM »
I park my estimated taxes there until I have to send them in. Never had a problem.

saijoe

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 08:33:59 AM »
Have used them a little less than a year to get that little bit of interest. But so far so good. Seems like I've seen good reviews on their customer service.

GrOW

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 08:38:05 AM »
Nothing but good things to say about Ally over a few years of use. They do exactly what I need a bank to do, their interface is good, their mobile apps are good, and their rates are near the top. You mentioned savings account which is good since it usually has a 15bp bump over their money market account.


terran

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 08:44:34 AM »
We've used them as our primary bank (checking and savings) for at least 4 years and haven't had any problems. They consistently have high interest -- not always the highest, but those seem to come an go from the top more often. We still have a local bank for when we need to deposit cash, but everything goes through Ally as the hub

purplepear

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 08:45:27 AM »
I've had Ally bank for about 2 years. Checks are easily deposited through a mobile app, and I usually don't need a brick-and-mortar bank. Also, ATM fee reimbursement is great!

The only issue I've run into is that you can't get money orders through Ally Bank, and cashier's checks have to be sent in the mail... so they take like a week to get. This was an issue recently, and I was applying for a rental home and the deposit needed to be certified funds (a money order or cashier's check).

I might recommend leaving some of your funds in your normal bank and keeping the account open, just in case you need money orders or cashier's checks or to deposit some cash.

trailrated

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 08:51:38 AM »
I use Chase for my checking and a small "savings" buffer. But I too have been staching away for a house downpayment, along with a wedding fund. All those accounts are with Ally and I am happy with their service.
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partgypsy

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 09:04:23 AM »
That's where I keep my efund, and used to have some 5 year cds. What I suggest is having your brick and mortar bank so if you need to deposit in person or need checks, etc, and use ally. You can electronically transfer money between ally and your other accounts as needed, takes about 2 business days.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 09:47:13 AM »
No problems at all. Been using them for over a year. I have my 1+ year's worth of cash parked there in a savings account and have done transfers back and forth several times. Spoke with customer service even, they were great and very helpful.
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tarheeldan

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 09:48:43 AM »
I used them for years, they were great.

Only reason I closed my account is I finally put together enough in taxable and roth accounts I don't feel the need to hold cash for an emergency fund anymore.

Frugalman19

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2016, 09:57:42 AM »
We have a primary bank near the house that we do all of our checking and bill pay, and I also have a chase account simply because its free and they are literally everywhere, so when we travel it is a nice safety net.

You guys are awesome! im going to transfer the funds today.

HeadedWest2029

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2016, 10:49:19 AM »
Used them for years for online savings. Consistently near the top in terms of interest rate. Uploading signed check images is very easy. Use it as a feeder into various investment accounts. Recommend

letired

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2016, 06:18:14 PM »
I've been using them for my savings account, including my house downpayment. They've been fine, including the wire transfer for the house purchase.

If you are interested in getting a better return, you can check out the Netspend 'pre paid debit cards with attached savings account'. They get 5% up to 5k per account. I've just moved some of my 'leftover' house downpayment money there, and so far so good. I easily got the $20 referral bonus, but we're still in the early days yet. Interestingly enough, Ally worked well directly hooked up to the Netspend account.

Forum threads here and here on the details + referral links.

csprof

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2016, 09:36:30 PM »
Love 'em, don't have a local bank. Zero problems, much interest. Well - at least compared to other places, since 1% doesn't count as "much" under most other definitions. Their phone app for Android crashes once in a while, and they seem to have one saturday every two or three months when they're offline for a few hours, but - nothing excessive. I've had to deal with customer support now and then and it was decently smooth.

I've had troubles once without having a local bank - bought a car in a private sale about 11 years ago and couldn't get e*trade to cough up an appropriate kind of check - but worked around it. Ally will do cashier's checks, which eliminates that source of a problem. Wire transfers have worked for everything else huge, like down payments on house purchases.
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chaskavitch

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2016, 04:11:04 PM »
I know you're already decided, but I wanted to keep up with the good reviews of Ally :)

I've been using them for savings for years now. Their interest rates are consistently on the high end (for a savings account), and their website keeps getting better and more user-friendly, I think. I use them for "long term" savings - HOA fees, auto insurance premiums, taxes on bonuses, etc - because it takes a good 3 business days for a transfer to process. Other than the long transfer time, I love it. I made just over $50 in interest last year. My husband insists on keeping ~$5000 of emergency fund in our Chase savings account, and I think it made about $0.36 of interest. Fifty dollars isn't going to let you retire early, but man, it feel way better than less than fifty cents.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2016, 04:42:52 PM »
No issues in 6+ years. If it makes you feel any better, they are the old GMAC which goes back many years.

The only things to be aware of are limited number of transfers each month and that transfers take a couple days.

frugalparagon

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2016, 04:47:25 PM »
I use a combo approach. Ally for savings, and a credit union for checking.

My credit union is actually on the other side of the country, but thanks for shared branching, I can always do what I need to do!
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ZiziPB

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2016, 09:04:19 AM »
I have my savings and a CD at Ally and I use a local bank for checking. No issues with Ally at all. I would recommend it.



rubybeth

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2016, 09:21:52 AM »
DH and I have been using the money market account with Ally for years as our emergency fund (so probably since 2009 or so?). I liked that the money market account had checks we could use, plus a debit card. I think we've only used a check for the account once when we bought a used car, but the online stuff is easy, transfers are easy, I've never had any problems whatsoever. Also, works with Mint.com.
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icemodeled

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2016, 01:31:24 PM »
This thread is very helpful as we have been looking into Ally for awhile now but very hesitant on it being online only. Also, it doesn't seem like it will work well for us due to them not being able to accept cash as that is usually what we have to deposit. We have a large amount sitting in our account also and much rather it be earning some good interest also. I have always heard great things about it though.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2016, 02:27:54 PM »
Have Ally. Love it. Two problems I've run into:

1) If I've got a large amount of cash I need to deposit, I've gotta figure out a workaround.

2) I was trying to pull $7k out in cash for a large purchase (paying cash saved me a ton). After many phone calls with them, I ended up making 12 separate withdrawals from an ATM. What a pain.

The above issues happen so infrequently that they don't make me regret having an online bank.


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seattlecyclone

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2016, 02:33:12 PM »
Ally serviced my mortgage. Their website seemed to work fine for scheduling payments and such. I never once needed to talk to a person, which is exactly how I like it.
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frugalparagon

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2016, 04:36:10 PM »
This thread is very helpful as we have been looking into Ally for awhile now but very hesitant on it being online only. Also, it doesn't seem like it will work well for us due to them not being able to accept cash as that is usually what we have to deposit. We have a large amount sitting in our account also and much rather it be earning some good interest also. I have always heard great things about it though.

You could deposit cash into a bricks and mortar bank and transfer to Ally to get the better rate.
I blog about Mustachianism during the child-raising years at frugalparagon.com.

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Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Thoughts on Ally Bank
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2016, 04:49:08 PM »
This thread is very helpful as we have been looking into Ally for awhile now but very hesitant on it being online only. Also, it doesn't seem like it will work well for us due to them not being able to accept cash as that is usually what we have to deposit. We have a large amount sitting in our account also and much rather it be earning some good interest also. I have always heard great things about it though.

You could deposit cash into a bricks and mortar bank and transfer to Ally to get the better rate.

Great point. I wouldn't try to do all my banking through Ally. Find a local bank you like too.