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California First National Bank VS Ally Bank

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 1.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 2.5 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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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
  • Financial Rates: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
1.25%APY
Savings/MMA
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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
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.

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.

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