Banks: Ally Online Bank

Hello folks! As you start committing and working toward your New Year resolutions, let me give you one recommendation: Ally Bank.

Ally Bank is a fantastic online-only FDIC insured financial institution. I have been using it for a few months now, and I must say I am impressed. They offer IRAs, checking, and savings with phenomenal rates. I have already made several dollars in interest, of course, $0.06 a day does not sound like much, but with the interest compounded daily, it adds up.

I began with two savings accounts (which limit you to six withdrawals a month): a regular and a money market. Unfortunately, I chickened out, so I do not have any results for a money market. However, I have noticed that interest rates tend to coordinate inversely with the current market, so it is unlikely I would have made much money with the market doing so well, maybe I’ll invest in it when the market seems lower, but in terms of risk, I would rather be able to easily keep track and correct any errors with a predetermined rate on a savings account rather than a variable rate. For instance, I asked for a rate sheet on my first month and found they had mischarged the rate the first half, before they changed rates. This was easily noticeable as it was on my regular online savings account.

Besides the one mistake, they have had pretty fantastic customer service and are willing to give you the interest equation and offer phone call, online chat, and e-mail services.

I have not used their checking accounts yet, but I am definitely thinking of transferring from Westerra. WCU has ridiculous overdraft charges. With the overdraft, I have an automatic bill pay for $25 to Chase as they do not offer bank-to-bank transfers, they charged me a fee of $28 for this bill. I would have appreciated them calling me to see if it was necessary. It was not.

Therefore, I am seriously considering transferring to Ally as their interest rates on their checking accounts are .40% currently. This would help, even if only a little. They also give you a debit card and checks as well. Westerra charges for their checks.

Overall, I give Ally a 9/10.

What banks do you use and why? What’s your favorite service offered by a bank?

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