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Ally Bank VS PenFed Credit Union

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
0.80%APY
Savings/MMA
Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon

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: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
0.70%APY
Savings/MMA
Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon

Pros:

  • CDs have competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amount
  • CDs offered to save for education
  • Low monthly fee for checking account

Cons:

  • High opening balances for CDs
  • Low-interest rates
  • Best rates require large balances
  • Do not offer a variety of 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.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed CDs have competitive interest rates. The rates on CDs are competitive with online-only accounts. The longer you can invest the money in the CD the higher the interest rates you will earn. CD terms range from six months to seven years.

All accounts, other than CDs, have a low opening balance of only $25. The more you invest in the money market account, the higher interest rates you will earn. However, you are only required to have $25 to open an account with PenFed.

PenFed offers CDs designed to save specifically for education costs. These CDs only require $500 to open instead of $1,000. The education CDs range in term from one year to seven years. The interest rates earned on these CDs are competitive with other CD accounts.

Only the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee. The fee is low and is easy to waive. The fee is waived by having a daily balance of $500 in the account. Having a direct deposit into the account of more than $500 each month will also waive the fee. The savings account and money market accounts do not have a monthly fee.

To open a CD, PenFed requires $1,000. The CD terms vary in length from six months to seven years. The longer you can invest your money in a PenFed CD the higher interest you will earn over the CD term. The interest rates on these CDs are competitive with other online-only CDs.

The interest rates for PenFed savings, checking, and money market accounts are not competitive. The rates are low. Those interest rates are competitive to your typical bank rates. Online only accounts offer much higher interest rates for these accounts.

To earn the highest interest on the PenFed checking account, a daily balance of $20,000 to $50,000 is required. If you do not have at least $20,000, you will earn much lower interest rates. Any amount earns interest. To get the highest rates, your daily balance must meet the requirements.

PenFed only offers one checking account, savings account, and money market account. This does not allow you to find the account that best fits your needs.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

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