Ally Bank Launches Interest Checking Account

Ally Bank is expanding its business, adding Ally Bank Interest Checking Account to its product line that already includes high-yield online savings account and CDs (regular CDs and 9-Month No Penalty CD). The checking account currently offers two interest rates depending on the account balance (effective 03/20/2012):

  • For balance up to $15,000, the APY is 0.40%
  • For balance above $15,000, the APY is 0.75%

Like its online savings account, which currently pays 1.24% APY (see more high interest rate savings account offers), the checking account requires no minimum balance to open and account and charges no monthly fee. In addition, it also offers features such as:

  • Free Online banking and Bill Pay
  • Free debit card, checks and unlimited check writing
  • Save time and money—get cash back when you shop
  • No ATM fees at any ATM
  • Balances of $15,000 or more get an even higher rate
  • Free overdraft service and balance alerts

Among the features, I found “No ATM fees at any ATM” is most appealing. According to Ally Bank, checking account customers won’t pay any ATM fees for using other banks ATM machines:

Go to any ATM and we’ll automatically refund fees charged by other banks at the end of your monthly statement period. If you aren’t near an ATM, you can get cash back when you shop at most grocery stores, gas stations and super stores and pay no fees.

Since Ally Bank is an online bank, you won’t find an Ally Bank ATM. But with the fee reimbursement program, you can just use any bank’s ATM to get cash and Ally Bank will refund any ATM fee charged by other bank. There is, however, a daily limit of $500 on the amount you can withdraw from ATMs.

Other fees charged by the new checking account include: $9 no-sufficient fund fee, $15 stop payment fee, and $7.50 returned deposit fee.

Though I don’t have an account yet, the new checking account does look pretty good, especially if you travel a lot and often use ATMs to withdraw cash. From what I can see, Ally Bank Interest Checking Account is better than ING Direct Electric Orange: No only it has a better rate, but also a better ATM fee reimbursement program. Since I already have a savings account with them, I will probably get a checking account as well, if only for nothing but the free ATM withdrawals :)

Find out more about Ally Bank

The following are the up-to-date rates for Ally Bank products.

Ally Bank Rates Effective -
Duration Rate
3 Month High Yield CD
6 Month High Yield CD
9 Month High Yield CD
12 Month High Yield CD
18 Month High Yield CD
2 Year High Yield CD
3 Year High Yield CD
4 Year High Yield CD
5 Year High Yield CD
9 Month No Penalty CD
Online Savings Account
Money Market Account

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6 Responses to “Ally Bank Launches Interest Checking Account”

  1. Edwin |  Jan 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Honestly if you were really to use the account ATM features enough, you may as well have a checking account. Currently I have a savings account which pays out 1.5% APY but is more limited in use than this one. But it’s a savings account and the whole point to me is to save money with it so if I end up needing the money I can just do an electronic funds transfer.

    • Sun |  Jan 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      Actually, I do plan to get a checking account to use the free ATM, though I don’t think I will use it a lot.

  2. nick |  Jan 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I already have a few no-penalty CDs and liked the service I’d had when setting those up, so I figured I’d also start using Ally for checking. I signed up for an account and started setting up billpay. I’ve had better interfaces elsewhere (USAA and a local bank) but it’s sufficient. Haven’t started paying bills on it.

    Saw error messages occasionally when adding new payees but they got through on the 2nd attempt. One of the error messages implied that the billpay they use is based on Yodlee.

    Something you briefly mentioned is the no-fee overdraft transfers between accounts. You have to call them to establish the ‘link’ to a savings account but its at most a 5-minute call.

    • Sun |  Jan 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I am going to get one for myself.