Ally Interest Checking Account Review

Kailey writes about credit cards, loans, and all things personal finance. Her work has appeared on USA Today, CNN Money, Fox Business, and MSN Money.

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The Ally Interest Checking Account aims to attract high earners with a high APY for those with several thousand dollars in their account. However, these individuals may be better off stashing all that cash in a savings account with a higher interest rate.

The people who can really benefit from the Ally Interest Checking Account are those who are unable to meet the minimum balances that other interest-paying checking accounts require to avoid fees. Ally has no minimum balance or opening deposit requirements, and even those with just a single cent in their account will still earn a solid APY.

Top perks

Earn up to 0.50% APY: The Ally Interest Checking Account offers a 0.10% APY on accounts with a minimum daily balance of less than $15,000 and a 0.50% APY on accounts with a minimum daily balance of $15,000 or more. While some other interest-bearing checking accounts offer higher APYs, Ally's rates are still well above average, even besting many traditional savings accounts.

$10 in ATM fee reimbursements monthly: Ally partners with Allpoint® to give its Interest Checking Account customers free access to 55,000 ATMs nationwide, but if you can't find one near you, that's OK. Ally will also reimburse you up to $10 per month for any fees you incur at out-of-network ATMs. You don't have to request the reimbursement. The money will automatically show up in your Ally Interest Checking Account after the ATM withdrawal posts to your account.

No minimum balance required: Ally doesn't require a minimum opening deposit to get an Interest Checking Account, nor does it have ongoing minimum balance requirements to avoid fees or earn interest. This makes it a solid option for those who want to earn interest on their checking account funds but don't have a large enough balance to open an interest-bearing checking account or qualify for high APYs with other banks.

Many ways to manage your money: Ally has online banking features and a user-friendly mobile app for Android and Apple devices so you can quickly view your transaction history, transfer funds, pay bills, and remotely deposit checks from anywhere. You can also use your Ally Interest Checking Account with third-party payment services to send money directly to others. Those with an Amazon Alexa device in their homes can enable the Ally skill and manage their funds without lifting a finger. Few other banks offer this many options for managing your money, so move Ally up on your list if easy access is a priority.

What could be improved

Most people won't qualify for the high APY: The Ally Interest Checking Account's high APY is available only to those with a minimum daily balance of $15,000 or more. Most people probably aren't going to keep that much money in their checking accounts, and those who do would probably be better off stashing that money in a high-yield savings account. Ally's lower APY at the lowest tier of balances doesn’t make this the most lucrative checking account out there, but its rates are still well above the national average.

Fees

Ally Interest Checking Account Monthly Maintenance Fee ATM Withdrawal Overdraft Stop Payment Insufficient Funds
Fees $0 $0 $25, maximum one fee per day $15 per item $25 per item

How to access your money

These are your options for depositing money into and withdrawing money from your Ally Interest Checking Account:

Deposit options

You can add money to your Ally Interest Checking Account in any of the following ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Mail a check
  • Remotely deposit checks

Ally doesn't have a minimum opening deposit, so you don't have to fund your account right away if you're not ready to. You can set up direct deposit with your employer and wait for your next paycheck to fund the account.

Funds transferred electronically are usually available on the same or the next business day. However, transfers from another bank to your Ally Interest Checking Account could take up to three business days if you initiate the transfer through Ally.

Withdrawal options

Here are your choices for withdrawing money from your Ally Interest Checking Account:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Request a mailed check
  • ATM withdrawal
  • Point-of-sale withdrawal

You can use the ATM locator tool on Ally's website or in its mobile app to find a surcharge-free ATM near you. If there isn't one around, just use any ATM nearby and Ally will reimburse you up to $10 in ATM fees per month.

Online checking account comparison

The Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account offers a higher APY than Ally to nearly all their customers. This makes it a better choice than the Ally Interest Checking Account for those with lower average balances. The Bank5 account also includes monthly ATM fee reimbursements plus the option to earn cash-back rewards on select debit card purchases.

The Discover® Cashback Debit Account is a smart alternative for those with low average balances who don't expect to earn much interest regardless of their APY. This checking account doesn't offer interest at all, but it lets you earn cash back on your debit card purchases. Some people could end up earning far more money this way than they would with the best high-yield checking account.

Rates as of Jan. 16, 2020
Offer
Ally Interest Checking
 
Member, FDIC
Bank5 Connect Checking
 
Member, FDIC
Discover Cash Back Debit
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: Up to 0.50%

APY: 0.76%

APY: 0%

Best For

Best For: No monthly maintenances fees

Best For: High APY

Best For: Cash back on $3,000 of spend monthly

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY:

Min. to earn APY:

Min. to earn APY:

Next Steps

This checking account is right for you if:

The Ally Interest Checking Account is a good fit for those who want to earn interest on their checking account funds but don't have a lot of money to put in their account. It doesn't have a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance requirement to earn interest. It also offers monthly ATM fee reimbursements, plus a nationwide ATM network, so it's a great choice for those who don't want to pay to access their cash when they need it.

Those with minimum daily balances of $15,000 or more will get the most benefit from the Ally Interest Checking Account, including its highest APY, but even if you qualify only for the lower APY tier, you can still feel confident that you're earning a rate well above the national average for checking accounts.

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