Professional reviewers are enthusiastic about Ally Bank's relatively high interest rates and low fees. "Ally Bank offers lots of free services unimaginable with other banks," says Eric Griffith at PCMag.com. The no-fee Interest Checking account, for example, offers free online bill pay, free unlimited check writing, unlimited free checks and unlimited ATM fee reimbursement nationwide (though not worldwide, like the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account does).
Kiplinger.com includes Ally's Interest Checking in a list of the best online banks that offer free online-banking and bill-paying services, low fees and high interest rates. Ken Tumin, blogging on DepositAccounts.com, focuses on the various CDs Ally offers, particularly the No-Penalty 11-month CD. Kevin Mulligan of GoodFinancialCents.com likes almost everything about Ally Bank, but he really likes the fact that with the Interest Checking account, the $9 overdraft charge covers all overdrafts that day, "even if you had 10 overdrafts that day."
Customers, however, are less impressed. On DepositAccounts.com and MyBankTracker.com, close to 300 of them give Ally Bank low-to-mediocre ratings and register scathing comments. Many complain about their encounters with customer service representatives, a pretty common complaint from customers of online banks. Still, the sheer number of negative comments is worth noting.
Ally Bank makes this list of the five best online-only banks, compiled by PCMag.com, based on reviews by sources, including BankRate.com, CNNMoney.com and MyBankTracker.com. The article details why reviewers on these sites like Ally: "There's the usual litany of IRAs, money markets, CDs and of course, automobile loans, but the hallmark of Ally is a high-interest online savings account and interest checking," says Eric Griffith
Review: Five Great Internet Banks, Eric Griffith, Nov. 8, 2011
Based on data supplied by Informa Research Services, Kiplinger.com identifies six "standout" internet-only banks that offer checking accounts with free online-banking and bill-paying services, low fees and high interest rates. Ally is one of the six, tied with ING Direct in the "no fees, no strings" category.
Review: Best Online Banks, Joan Goldwasser, Dec. 2010
BankRate.com gives Ally its top 5-star rating, denoting that this bank is excellent. Details about individual components of the overall rating are listed, as is commentary explaining the ratings.
Review: Memorandum on Findings -- Ally Bank, Editors at BankRate.com
GoodFinancialCents.com offers advice from personal finance journalists. Kevin Mulligan compiles a list of the best online checking accounts, including Ally Interest Checking. Mulligan details the features that lead him to select Ally Interest Checking as Best in Class for online checking accounts, chief among them low fees and higher interest rates.
Review: Best Online Checking Accounts, Kevin Mulligan, May 9, 2012
This personal finance portal site also offers customer ratings, and although the editors give Ally Bank a 4-star overall rating, its customers (more than 250 of them ) give it a lower rating of 3 out of 5 stars. Many comments are negative, most of them about poor customer service.
Review: Ally Bank Profile, Editors of MyBankTracker.com
In this blog, Ken Tumin identifies three Ally Bank CDs as the best bets in the current environment: the No-Penalty 11-Month, Raise-Your-Rate 2-Year, and IRA Raise-Your-Rate 4-Year CDs.
Review: Best Bank Accounts for a Future of Uncertain Interest Rates, Ken Tumin, May 29, 2012
The Ally Bank page on DepositAccounts.com is worth consulting mainly for the customer reviews, which, like those on MyBankTracker.com, are largely negative. In fact, these are more negative, with more than 40 customers giving Ally an average user rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars. Again, customer service takes the worst heat.
Review: Ally Bank, Contributors to DepositAccounts.com