Ally bank who who prides themselves on being free of red tape and offering no nonsense savings accounts and CD’s is now offering an online checking account. I recently talked about problems with my online checking account and Ally has taken all those things I hate and made them disappear with their Ally Interest Checking account. I feel like I got the real pony from the commercial, not the toy one. Here is the skinny on their checking account offering:
- .50% Interest Rate as of
- $0 Monthly Fee
- Free Bill Pay and online banking (duh!)
- Free Debit Card and Checks
- No ATM Fees at any ATM
- Postage Paid Deposit envelopes
- Direct Deposits available immediately
- ACH/ETF’s available 3-5 days
About the ATM Fees
Saying you won’t be charged an ATM fee is a bit of a stretch on Ally’s part. Let’ rephrase it to you won’t be responsible for any ATM fees you are charged. The ATM you are using is most likely going to charge you for the transaction, Ally will reimburse you for all ATM charges at the start of the next billing cycle. Downside is you lost interest on that $2.00 fee, upside is you didn’t lose the $2 and .50% of $2 isn’t Jack.
Opening an Account
Opening an account takes five steps which they say you can complete in approximately 10 minutes online, I was able to get mine done from start to finish in 3.5 minutes. It was by far the easiest account opening experience I have had yet with an online bank.
What you need on hand
- Social Security Number
- US Mailing Address
- Funding Account Routing Number
- Funding Account Account Number
- A PEN!
The process itself is pretty straight forward. You first need to define if you want a single or joint account, you then select your account type, opening deposit, and account nickname. You then have to fill out the standard personal information including your SSN and date of birth. You then need to fill out the information for the funding source of your new account, including how you want to verify the account if you choose to keep it linked.
When you complete the process you are given the option of ordering an ATM Card and checks and presented with your account information, including your account number. Here is where I screwed the pooch, I forgot to PDF this page or write down my account number. That account number is pretty damn important when you want to setup direct deposit and link other accounts. WRITE IT DOWN. The online interface doesn’t have anywhere that it shows your complete account number so you are going to have to either wait on your checks/welcome letter or get on the horn with customer service.
Why I am Switching
Ally is everything my current online checking account is not.
- They reimburse me for my ATM fees which I am going to get because no matter what bank I am with their ATM’s are never near where I am. It is Murphy’s law.
- They aren’t going to hold my paycheck hostage for three days. My current online account holds my direct deposits hostage, I hate that I have to wait three days after I get paid to touch the money.
- Their Customer service is awesome (well so far). Before I opened the account I used their online chat to pick their brains and they were super helpful answering my questions. After I opened my account I used their online chat to get my account number I failed to write down super helpful again. Unfortunately I forgot to write it down before I closed the window.
If this sounds like something that is up your alley then pop on over to Ally and open an account