Not too long ago, the banking division of GMAC Financial rebranded under the name Ally Bank. With GM going into bankruptcy, they decided to put some distance between themselves and the name GM. That doesn’t mean they are in trouble, though. The company is no longer owned by GM – they sold a majority share of GMAC financial several years ago. But with GM the auto company surrounded by bad press, they decided to rebrand under a positive note. Thankfully, Ally Bank is well financed and its accounts are fully backed by the FDIC, which means you can rest assured knowing your money is safe.
So what has changed at Ally Bank? Besides changing their logo, Ally Bank has been busy seeking out new customers by increasing their interest rates to offer one of the best high yield savings accounts in the nation, offering new services, and enhancing their customer service.
Ally Bank financial products
Ally Bank offers four main products: Online Savings Account, Money Market Account, Classic CD, and No Penalty CD.
- Online Savings Account. Interest rates are currently among the highest in the nation (see additional savings account rates). There are no minimum balances, no account opening minimums, and no maintenance fees.
- Money Market Account. Ally Bank Money Market Account holders have access to a check card with free ATM transactions, but there is a limit of 6 withdrawals per month (the Federal Reserve limits the number of transfers and withdrawals from a savings accounts to 6 per month).
- Classic CDs. Ally offers Certificates of Deposit (CDs) of varying lengths and interest rates. I recommend visiting the Ally Bank CD page for more information about current rates.
- No penalty CDs. One of the features that sets Ally Bank CDs apart from CDs at other banks is the no penalty Certificate of Deposit. The no penalty CD allows you to lock in the interest rate while still having the option to withdraw your funds without any penalties. The downside is that the no penalty CD rates are slightly lower than the traditional CD rates. But they are also higher than the standard interest rates, so you have a chance to earn more interest than a savings account. This gives people flexibility in the event of an emergency or if they decide to withdraw their funds because rates rise and they can lock in a better rate.
Opening an account at Ally Bank
Opening an account at Ally Bank is a quick and relatively painless process (as painless as opening any financial account nowadays). Be prepared to have your personal information ready, and be aware that you will have to submit to a credit check when you apply. Unlike some banks, Ally Bank approves applications based on credit risk, so your credit worthiness may affect your ability to open an account. When you open your account you also have the option of simultaneously opening CDs or a Money market account, which is a nice feature.
Ally Bank customer service
I haven’t had to use Ally’s customer service yet, but their support availability is greater than most banks. Ally Bank offers online and 24 hour telephone customer service options:
- Ally Bank Telephone Number: 1-877-247-ALLY (2559) for 24/7 assistance
- Ally Bank Address: Ally Bank, P.O.Box 13625, Philadelphia, PA 19101
- Ally Bank E-mail: [email protected]
Other features at Ally Bank
Ally Bank offers an easy to use user interface,
- Each Ally Bank account is FDIC insured to $250,000.
- Ally Bank supports Quicken, Mint.com, Personal Capital, and a host of other online money management tools.
- Ability to choose paper or electronic statements.
- Ability to create sub-accounts with different names and account numbers (great for targeted savings, or setting up a child’s account).
- High level of online security – if you try logging on from a computer that isn’t registered with Ally Bank they will send you an e-mail with a password good for one use (unless you wish to register the computer).
Ally Bank offers some of the highest interest rates in the nation and all accounts are FDIC insured. Add the no penalty CDs, money market account, lack of fees or minimums, high security ratings, and solid customer service, and you have the recipe for a good bank. If you are looking for a new bank or higher interest rates, Ally Bank is a worthy option.