Ally Bank VS California First National Bank

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
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Pros:

  • Ally Card Control app
  • Transferring money is easy through Zelle
  • Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee
  • Online bill pay is free

Cons:

  • Ally does not offer free ATM transactions
  • ATM withdrawal limit is $1,000 per day
  • You cannot deposit cash
  • Cannot transfer money to or from a CD
  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
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Pros:

  • Reimbursement of ATM fees
  • Competitive interest rates on accounts
  • Interest rates are not tiered
  • Free first order of checks with checking

Cons:

  • Not a wide variety of accounts
  • High opening required amounts
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Not all CDs offer competitive rates
Ally Bank Review

The Ally app offers the ability to turn your debit card off in case of an emergency or to stop your spending. You can view transactions, set spending or GPS limits, and receive notifications if your card is declined. These different features allow you to stay on top of fraud usage and be in control of spending habits. Once you set up an account with Ally, download the app to get started.

Ally offers a transferring money system called Zelle. The system allows customers to send and receive money from almost anyone in the U.S. Transfers are made using an email address or phone number, and happen within minutes. Split money transfers between up to five people. Zelle handles money requests the same way. Money received is automatically deposited into your Ally Bank account.

For ten days after opening an account, interest rates are guaranteed on non-IRA CDs. If rates change, you receive the better rate. This guarantee applies to CD renewals as well. No minimum amount is required to receive the Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee. Be sure to check the deposit amount as a larger sum will qualify you for a higher interest rate.

Free bill pay comes with every interest checking account. No other registration is needed. Interest checking accounts offer competitive interest rates, no monthly maintenance fees, and can be accessed as often as needed. Customer service can be reached by telephone, chat, secure email, mail, or have a representative call you.

Ally Bank does not offer free transactions at ATMs. However, the bank will refund ATM fees up to $10 a month. There is a daily withdrawal limit of $1,000 from an ATM. Their website provides an ATM and cash locator.

Ally Bank does not accept cash deposits. Fund your account though Ally eCheck Deposit, online transfers, direct deposit, wire transfers, or sending a check in the mail.

You can transfer money between your different accounts. CD accounts, however, are more restrictive. Once you open a CD account, you must wait for the maturity date to add or withdraw money from the account. At maturity, you have a ten-day grace period to make necessary changes without penalty.

Early withdrawal from a CD account will incur a penalty. The initial CD term determines the severity of your penalty. It can be as much as 150 days worth of interest earned.

Read the full Ally Bank review.

California First National Bank Review

You can withdraw money from any ATMs with the specific “Plus” logo. If you withdraw money from another ATM, you are reimbursed for the fees charged. CalFirst will reimburse up to $6.00 each statement cycle in ATM fees.

Most CalFirst accounts offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are not tiered, so you earn the highest rates offered on any balance in the account. Interest is paid monthly on the actual daily balance.

The interest rates for CalFirst accounts are not tiered. Any amount you have in their accounts earns the competitive interest rates. You do not have to have a certain amount in the account to earn the most competitive rates.

The first order of checks is free when you open an interest checking account. You get an ATM card when you open an interest checking account. Free online bill pay comes with each CalFirst checking account opened.

CalFirst does not have a wide variety of accounts. No business accounts are available, only personal deposit accounts. One money market account and savings account are available. There is an interest checking and one regular checking account. CalFirst only offers five different CD terms.

CalFirst accounts have high opening amounts. The money market account and CDs require $5,000 to open. The interest checking account requires $2,500 to open. The savings account and regular checking account both require $1,000 to open.

The accounts at CalFirst all have a monthly fee. The fees range from $10 to $20 a month, depending on the account you open. Waive the fee by keeping a set amount in CalFirst accounts. You can also have a combined balance between a variety of CalFirst accounts.

Not all the CD terms offer competitive rates. The most competitive rates are the three-month, six-month, and the one-year terms. The two-year and three-year terms have interest rates much lower than the other terms. Regular CDs require $5,000 to open. The IRA CDs require $2,000 to open. The only fees are if you withdraw the money before the maturity date.

Read the full California First National Bank review.

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