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Ally Bank VS Citizens Bank

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates on accounts
  • No required opening amounts or fees
  • Good variety of accounts available
  • Ten-day Best Rate Guarantee

Cons:

  • Accounts have tiered interest rates
  • Limited ways to fund your accounts
  • Link external accounts to Ally accounts
  • Transfers can take days to fund
  • Financial Rates: 1.5 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.5 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • No set amount to open most accounts
  • Good variety of accounts available
  • Overdraft Pass
  • Can open most accounts online

Cons:

  • Products not available everywhere
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Limited CD terms offered
  • Low interest rates for accounts
Ally Bank Review

Ally accounts offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates for the Ally savings account is 2.20% for all balances. The checking account earns 0.60% on balances over $15,000. The money market account and CDs also earn competitive rates.

Ally accounts do not have required opening amounts. You can open their accounts with any amount. There are no monthly fees for Ally accounts. They do not have set amounts required to keep in the account to avoid a monthly fee. The CDs have a fee if you withdraw money before the maturity date.

There are a good variety of personal accounts offered through Ally. These accounts include:

  • Savings and money market account
  • Interest checking account
  • High yield CD
  • Raise Your Rate CD
  • No Penalty CD
  • IRA CDs

When you open a CD with Ally, they offer a ten-day Best Rate Guarantee. For the first ten-days after opening your CD, Ally will watch the interest rates. If the rates increase during that time, the interest rate for your CD will increase. This guarantee is for new CDs as well as CD renewals.

Some Ally accounts have tiered interest rates. To earn the highest rates requires high account balances. The money market account requires $25,000 to earn the most competitive rates. The checking account requires $15,000.

There are limited ways to fund your Ally accounts. The easiest way to fund your account is through electronic transfers. Once your account is open, you can set up direct deposit with your employer. You can mail in a check or deposit a check through Ally eCheck Deposits. You cannot deposit cash into Ally accounts.

To make electronic transfers, Ally suggests linking an external account. You can then transfer money electronically between the linked account and Ally accounts. You can transfer money electronically between Ally accounts.

The standard time to transfer money from Ally to an external account is three business days. This time does not include weekends or holidays. If you need the money the next day, you must request the transfer before 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Transfers between Ally accounts are immediate.

Read the full Ally Bank review.

Citizens Bank Review

Checking, savings, and money market accounts do not have required opening amounts. However, to earn the best rates, you must be a Platinum member. A Platinum member has at least $25,000 in Citizen Bank accounts. The basic checking and savings accounts do not require you to be a Platinum member.

Citizens Bank offers a variety of accounts. These accounts include:

  • Four personal checking accounts
  • Three personal money market accounts
  • Four personal savings accounts
  • CD terms of 11, 14, and 24-month CDs
  • IRA accounts
  • Personal credit cards, lending, retirement, and investment options
  • Business savings, checking, and money market accounts
  • Business CDs
  • Credit cards, lending, and investment options for businesses

Checking and money market accounts include $5 Overdraft Pass. If you overdraw your account for $5 or less, there will not be a fee. To avoid other overdraft fees, deposit money into your account as soon as possible. There is no limit to how many overdrafts qualify for the pass.

If you live where Citizens Bank account are available, you can open most personal accounts online. The application is entirely online. To open the College Saver savings account, you need to visit a branch location. Business and IRA account must also be opened in a branch.

Accounts are not available everywhere. Citizens Bank currently operates in 11 states. If you do not live in one of these states, you cannot open an account. Those states are:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Citizen Bank accounts have fees. The fees range from $3.99 to $25 each month. There are ways to waive the fees. Those included making deposits and having set account balances. The balances range from $2,500 to $25,000, depending on the account. You can waive some money market and savings account fees by opening a Platinum checking account.

There are only three standard CD terms offered through Citizens Bank. They offer 11, 14, and 24-month CDs. The 14-month CD is an online-only account. Each term requires $1,000 to open. Business and IRA CDs are also available.

Most Citizens Bank accounts have low rates. The interest rates compare to typical brick-and-mortar bank rates. The CDs offer slightly higher rates if you also open a Citizens Bank checking account. Even those higher rates are not competitive with other online accounts.

Read the full Citizens Bank review.