Following to my previous post where I discussed why I ended my Chase banking, I want to go over some reasons why I chose Ally Bank.
Before we look at Ally Bank, let’s just summarize what I was looking for.
A bank that has:
- ATM withdrawals available near work
- Interest checking accounts that will grant more than the 0.01%
Without the option of another traditional brick & mortar bank around my workplace, my only option was to switch to the non-traditional online banks. There’s quite a few of those nowadays, ING Direct & Ally (being the more popular ones), even Discover and American Express has hopped onto the online bank wagon, with the latter two offering high yield savings accounts.
Without an debit/ATM card, Discover and American Express were not my options. It comes down to ING Direct and Ally. But Ally beats ING Direct when it comes to no ATM withdrawal fees and competitive interest checking rates.
Free ATM Withdrawals
Ally reimburses you on all domestic ATM transaction fees anywhere in the country at the end of the month. It’s a little inconvenient that they credit it at the end of the monthly cycle instead of right after the ATM withdrawal, but it’s better than nothing. Here’s a sample of how it shows up on my statement:
I felt a little bad that Ally had to reimburse me that $3 transaction fee on a $20 withdrawal. But it’s better than me paying for that $3 fee. =P
Competitive Interest Checking Rates
Ally also offers a more competitive interest rate with current rates at 0.40% for balances less than $15,000 and 0.75% on balances of $15,000 or more (ING Direct checking rates are 0.20% for balances under $50,000).
Also, I’ll like to comment on how easy the Ally application process was. I literally spent 50% of the time trying to figure out a username/password. Checkbooks and all the other paperwork were delivered to me within 7 business days.
I’m looking forward to taking advantage of their other services, including their Ally Perks, a program where shopping and paying with your Ally Checking Debit Card at specific retailers will give you instant cashback. Some sample offers are $10 off $40 The Body Shop purchase and $10 off $100 Nordstrom purchase. Although it seems like there’s no way of knowing what the current offers are to help you keep track, besides logging into your account and checking constantly. We’ll see how that goes.