Author Topic: Any reason to NOT switch to Ally Bank (or similar)?  (Read 3736 times)


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Any reason to NOT switch to Ally Bank (or similar)?
« on: August 14, 2017, 04:06:44 PM »
I currently have bank accounts with a local brick and mortar bank. I can receive a higher interest rate (albeit still pretty darn low) with an internet based bank like Ally. However, I have never had any money in such a bank before. For some reason, I feel more confident knowing I can go to my local branch if there are problems or to withdraw all of my money. Are there any reasons why I should not consider an internet bank? Are there any less protections for an internet based bank?

Thank you all!


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Re: Any reason to NOT switch to Ally Bank (or similar)?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 04:12:53 PM »
I used to be a big fan of Ally until I traveled internationally. No matter how many times I called in my vacation plans, with exact cities and dates, they shut down my card the first time I went to the ATM. Every single time. When I would finally get through the 30+ minutes of hold (very expensive in rural countries!!!!) they would declare they had no record of the travel plans. After this happened 3x I closed my accounts. Even today, I don't think my accounts are "Closed" as they recently sent a new ATM card and keep nagging me to activate it. I bet they have no record of my closing of the account.

No complaints otherwise. I had no issues with free checks, transfers, etc. I just think there is some disconnect in their call center where nothing is ever recorded or action taken on it.


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Re: Any reason to NOT switch to Ally Bank (or similar)?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 04:44:51 PM »
Our family members have savings or IRA accounts at Synchrony, Ally, & CIT all are paying over 1% & we haven't had any problems. However, we don't have checking or debit cards with any of them it's for savings.

For ATM cash withdrawals, the absolutely best debit card/checking account we've found is with Schwab. We've traveled a lot & have had zero problems with Schwab, plus it refunds any ATM fees anywhere in the world. Plus it provides free checks, no monthly fees, & no minimum balance. 


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Re: Any reason to NOT switch to Ally Bank (or similar)?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 06:24:23 PM »
Good for you for considering. It only took 7 years of negotiating with my parents for them to switch. My mother was very concerned about security online. The only issues they have had are similar to an earlier poster. In my book, that's what security looks like, leaning toward no access. In contrast, my mother lost several thousand dollars when she had a traditional bank (many years ago), getting checks stolen from the mail, washed, and deposited elsewhere. Oddly, even though it was clearly illegal, her bank didn't restore the money to her account. Not sure that would happen now, and not sure the interest of an online bank does much more than buy you a few annual six packs, but it's nice knowing you're maximizing.


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Re: Any reason to NOT switch to Ally Bank (or similar)?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 07:00:56 PM »
I've been using Ally Bank since back when it was called GMAC in 2008.  My banking relationship with them started as just savings due to the higher interest rate they paid.  For some reason, they converted my savings account into a money market account, possibly when they changed from GMAC to Ally, but I can't really remember.  In the last couple years, I've added interest-bearing checking and another savings account with Ally, and I completely got rid of my local brick-and-mortar banking last year.

I am very happy with Ally.  I travel pretty extensively, including internationally.  On one trip about 8 years ago, I think I was in Morocco, or maybe it was Italy around 5 years ago, I did get a warning of detected fraud from them.  I called the free international number that their notice gave me and I got that straightened out promptly.  Since then, I have continued to travel internationally, always letting them know when I will be where, and I've never had a problem since.  In fact, I used the Ally ATM card many times during my month in Central America earlier this year, never had a problem, and they reimbursed me all my foreign ATM fees (even though before my trip, the customer service person on the phone said they don't reimburse foreign ATM fees).

The only downside that I experience from using Ally is that I hate whenever people hand me cash because then I have no way to deposit it.  I just tell them to Venmo me the money instead, and that goes into one of my Ally accounts by the next day.


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Re: Any reason to NOT switch to Ally Bank (or similar)?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 06:09:41 PM »
Love, love, love Charles Schwab Bank. I've had them since I studied abroad in Europe and they are absolutely amazing. When you call (for the brokerage accounts, this is 24/7, not sure if you can reach the bank outside of normal business hours), you always immediately get someone who fixes the problem. All ATM fees are refunded, too.