Ally Bank VS PenFed Credit Union

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

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.

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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