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Ally Money Market - Checking+Savings+Debit Card?
Old 11-16-2023, 03:44 PM   #1
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Ally Money Market - Checking+Savings+Debit Card?

We have a high yield savings account at Discover that currently pays 4.35% interest. We pay all bills and purchases with our cash back credit card, then autopay that every month from our savings account. Otherwise we never really make any withdrawals from that account.

Our main checking account is with US Bank, which pays no interest. We only use it to deposit checks, pay estimated taxes, and pay for gas with our debit cards. I keep the balance around $2000 to avoid bank fees, and anything above that I transfer to our savings account each month.

Ideally I would like to combine the functions of our savings and checking account into one. Earn some decent interest on the money, but still have a debit card and be able to deposit checks. Ally has a money market account that would seem to fit the bill nicely.

https://www.ally.com/bank/money-market-account/

Does anyone here have experience with this money market account?

The only downside I could see was not being able to deposit cash, but I can't remember needing to do that in the last few years anyway. If I needed to I could deposit on my other checking account and transfer it, so that's not really a problem. I can't see us exceeding the 6 withdrawal limit per month, so that's not a problem either.

It would be nice to avoid transferring money every month, and to earn interest on that $2000 that just sits in checking. But I want to make sure I'm not overlooking something obvious before hassling with a new account setup.
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Old 11-16-2023, 04:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
We have a high yield savings account at Discover that currently pays 4.35% interest. We pay all bills and purchases with our cash back credit card, then autopay that every month from our savings account. Otherwise we never really make any withdrawals from that account.

Our main checking account is with US Bank, which pays no interest. We only use it to deposit checks, pay estimated taxes, and pay for gas with our debit cards. I keep the balance around $2000 to avoid bank fees, and anything above that I transfer to our savings account each month.

Ideally I would like to combine the functions of our savings and checking account into one. Earn some decent interest on the money, but still have a debit card and be able to deposit checks. Ally has a money market account that would seem to fit the bill nicely.

https://www.ally.com/bank/money-market-account/

Does anyone here have experience with this money market account?

The only downside I could see was not being able to deposit cash, but I can't remember needing to do that in the last few years anyway. If I needed to I could deposit on my other checking account and transfer it, so that's not really a problem. I can't see us exceeding the 6 withdrawal limit per month, so that's not a problem either.

It would be nice to avoid transferring money every month, and to earn interest on that $2000 that just sits in checking. But I want to make sure I'm not overlooking something obvious before hassling with a new account setup.
I have had that MM account and a savings one at Ally for over 10 years,. Never had any problems. I even did wire transfers out of it to buy a house.
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Old 11-16-2023, 04:24 PM   #3
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I’ve had the Ally money market account question for years. No problems. Plus, I think they even changed the rules to where you can make up to 10 withdrawals per month.
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Old 11-16-2023, 04:24 PM   #4
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We have never had the Ally Money Market account but we do have Ally High Yield checking, savings, and no penalty CDs and love the bank. Never had any issues, like the on-line interface and they always seems fast.
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Old 11-16-2023, 04:52 PM   #5
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I use the Ally Savings, works great, no complaints. But it only pays 4.25% at the moment.

I have a bit tied up in Ally CDs which pay more than that.

Different savings, but I usually put our spending money in high yield savings and transfer funds as needed to checking.
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Old 11-16-2023, 05:06 PM   #6
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I have both a Hi-yield savings account and a checking account at Discover Bank. I think they call the checking account a cash back debit account. While ( I do have a linked debit card with this account, I've never used it. Paper checks are free. I have SS and pension checks direct deposited and move money between them as needed, which is not very often. I also have a B&M bank locally for handling cash, but it's no fee for those over 55 years old.
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Old 11-16-2023, 09:06 PM   #7
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I have the Ally MM, along with the savings account. No issues. I was able to transfer money between it and already linked bank/brokerage accounts as soon as I established it.
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Old 11-17-2023, 02:36 AM   #8
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Iíve had the Ally money market account question for years. No problems. Plus, I think they even changed the rules to where you can make up to 10 withdrawals per month.
Technically, up to 10 transactions.

In April 2020, the Federal Reserve eliminated its money market account rule limiting certain withdrawals and transfers to six per monthly statement cycle. But that hasn't stopped banks from continuing to apply limits.

Ally allows you to go over 10 transactions a month; they'll charge you a fee for every transaction over 10 and then issue you a credit the next day. However, after I exceeded 10 transactions for months, they told me: "Keep in mind, if you go over the limit in 4 statement cycles within a 12-month period, we'll close your account."

As a result, I've shifted to using their checking (they call it "spending") account and savings account, which have no such transaction limit. My recommendation to the OP is to do the same. The regular savings account interest rate is very close right now to the money market savings account rate.
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Old 11-17-2023, 01:13 PM   #9
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I have the Ally MM, along with the savings account.
I'm curious... Why do you have a savings account too when the MM pays about the same interest rate? Wouldn't it be easier to have everything in one account?
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Old 11-17-2023, 01:18 PM   #10
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Ally allows you to go over 10 transactions a month; they'll charge you a fee for every transaction over 10 and then issue you a credit the next day.
Ally's web site says "unlimited ATM withdrawals and up to 10 withdrawals per statement cycle." Are debit purchases considered an ATM withdrawal, or do they count against that 10 limit?

We usually only have 2-4 purchases on our debit cards per month (gas mostly), but if we're taking a road trip that may bump up to 10-15 during the trip.
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Old 11-17-2023, 02:29 PM   #11
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I keep my Ally MM account active, but usually zero. When the Money Market mutual funds drop, places like Ally tend to be a (slightly) better place to park cash. Right now, I have most of my cash at Chase in a 5.3% MMF, but at some point Ally will probably become competitive again (once rates start dropping).
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Old 11-17-2023, 02:33 PM   #12
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I keep my Ally MM account active, but usually zero. When the Money Market mutual funds drop, places like Ally tend to be a (slightly) better place to park cash. Right now, I have most of my cash at Chase in a 5.3% MMF, but at some point Ally will probably become competitive again (once rates start dropping).
Good catch. This is true. IIRC, Ally didn't drop below 50 bps at the lowest yield levels, while Fidelity was close to nothing.
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Old 11-17-2023, 04:05 PM   #13
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I'm curious... Why do you have a savings account too when the MM pays about the same interest rate? Wouldn't it be easier to have everything in one account?

Laziness . MM account was just opened earlier this year. Savings account has been around for years and has links to other institutions and I do not feel like updating those links in the various institutions right now.
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Old 11-19-2023, 06:27 AM   #14
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I have used an Ally checking and savings account for 8 years. I switched to them after after a trip to Europe and my local bank hammered me hard on ATM fees over there. Ally has excellent customer service, free checks, and pays interest on your checking balance. I keep a local bank account for depositing cash, and transfer it to Ally.
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Old 11-19-2023, 07:06 AM   #15
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Glad so many here seem to love Ally, but I have a different perspective after being a loyal customer for decades.

I closed all of my accounts at Ally last year ago after they refused to honor a loyalty bonus on my account after promising to do so. This should have been a real easy mistake to correct, but not at Ally. I could never get the same customer service representative twice, and each time I'd have to start over with the same information, dates, balances, etc. They'd claim a manager would contact me to resolve this but of course they'd never call back. One day I told them I would hold as long as it took to talk to a manager since I never got a call back from one. It was close to two hours when one finally took the call and this was the most ignorant, nasty person you can imagine. I stayed calm but firm, but this person had no clue. After repeated calls and lies from their dysfunctional customer service representatives and management team over several weeks, I finally decided to just close all the accounts and move on. These accounts contained a very substantial amount of money, but it seemed that it didn't matter to them.

Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of the problems. Next, they wouldn't release the funds to me with the proper amount of accrued interest. Seems no one there knows how to calculate compound interest correctly. I finally had to get the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) involved. It took several more weeks and many more phone conversations to get the accounts closed with the proper amount of interest, but it was obvious by this time what a dishonest, unprofessional and unethical bank Ally is.

This is where it gets almost comical. About a month after this was all finally settled, I got an apology letter in the mail from them with a $50 Visa gift card enclosed. Seems my case eventually reached very high levels in the organization given the amount of money involved and the fact that the OCC had to be called in to resolve the issue.

I thought that was a nice touch till I looked at the gift card a little more closely. It was already expired by three months. I'm not sure if that was supposed to be some kind of joke, an FU gesture, or just another demonstration of their dishonesty and incompetence, but either way, it just reinforced my decision to never do business with Ally again.
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Old 11-19-2023, 09:51 AM   #16
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Glad so many here seem to love Ally, but I have a different perspective after being a loyal customer for decades.

I closed all of my accounts at Ally last year ago after they refused to honor a loyalty bonus on my account after promising to do so. This should have been a real easy mistake to correct, but not at Ally. I could never get the same customer service representative twice, and each time I'd have to start over with the same information, dates, balances, etc. They'd claim a manager would contact me to resolve this but of course they'd never call back. One day I told them I would hold as long as it took to talk to a manager since I never got a call back from one. It was close to two hours when one finally took the call and this was the most ignorant, nasty person you can imagine. I stayed calm but firm, but this person had no clue. After repeated calls and lies from their dysfunctional customer service representatives and management team over several weeks, I finally decided to just close all the accounts and move on. These accounts contained a very substantial amount of money, but it seemed that it didn't matter to them.

Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of the problems. Next, they wouldn't release the funds to me with the proper amount of accrued interest. Seems no one there knows how to calculate compound interest correctly. I finally had to get the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) involved. It took several more weeks and many more phone conversations to get the accounts closed with the proper amount of interest, but it was obvious by this time what a dishonest, unprofessional and unethical bank Ally is.

This is where it gets almost comical. About a month after this was all finally settled, I got an apology letter in the mail from them with a $50 Visa gift card enclosed. Seems my case eventually reached very high levels in the organization given the amount of money involved and the fact that the OCC had to be called in to resolve the issue.

I thought that was a nice touch till I looked at the gift card a little more closely. It was already expired by three months. I'm not sure if that was supposed to be some kind of joke, an FU gesture, or just another demonstration of their dishonesty and incompetence, but either way, it just reinforced my decision to never do business with Ally again.
Wow, yea, that's pretty pathetic, I agree.
That said, one case doesn't really tell the full picture - it is possible that your trials and tribulations are an outlier. Personally, I have had an account with Ally for more than a decade and I have never had an issue (including that bonus offer at the end of last year). Of course, it is possible that I am an outlier as well.... anyway, I just wanted to add that for a long time, Ally was always in the top tier of savings account interest. Now, they are consistently half to a full point below the top of the crop. For example, UFB is above 5% at the moment whilst Ally is at 4.25%. Not bad when compared to my Truist savings (still at 0.02%!!!), but certainly not top tier anymore.
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Old 11-19-2023, 10:01 AM   #17
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Glad so many here seem to love Ally, but I have a different perspective after being a loyal customer for decades.

I closed all of my accounts at Ally last year ago after they refused to honor a loyalty bonus on my account after promising to do so. This should have been a real easy mistake to correct, but not at Ally. I could never get the same customer service representative twice, and each time I'd have to start over with the same information, dates, balances, etc. They'd claim a manager would contact me to resolve this but of course they'd never call back. One day I told them I would hold as long as it took to talk to a manager since I never got a call back from one. It was close to two hours when one finally took the call and this was the most ignorant, nasty person you can imagine. I stayed calm but firm, but this person had no clue. After repeated calls and lies from their dysfunctional customer service representatives and management team over several weeks, I finally decided to just close all the accounts and move on. These accounts contained a very substantial amount of money, but it seemed that it didn't matter to them.

Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of the problems. Next, they wouldn't release the funds to me with the proper amount of accrued interest. Seems no one there knows how to calculate compound interest correctly. I finally had to get the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) involved. It took several more weeks and many more phone conversations to get the accounts closed with the proper amount of interest, but it was obvious by this time what a dishonest, unprofessional and unethical bank Ally is.

This is where it gets almost comical. About a month after this was all finally settled, I got an apology letter in the mail from them with a $50 Visa gift card enclosed. Seems my case eventually reached very high levels in the organization given the amount of money involved and the fact that the OCC had to be called in to resolve the issue.

I thought that was a nice touch till I looked at the gift card a little more closely. It was already expired by three months. I'm not sure if that was supposed to be some kind of joke, an FU gesture, or just another demonstration of their dishonesty and incompetence, but either way, it just reinforced my decision to never do business with Ally again.
I've read quite a few negative Ally customer service complaints over the last couple of years. I never had any problems in the past, but it's been a few years since I've had to call.

A lot of us here took advantage of the Ally $500 bonus this time last year. I wonder if they'll run that again.
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Old 11-19-2023, 11:09 AM   #18
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I may not fully understand ... while we still use our Cash Management Account at Fidelity, I do immediately buy SPAXX with whatever deposits there are - this is a bit clunky, but to the OP's point, wouldn't a brokerage account with Fidelity (or Schwab) allow the same functions as Ally, but using the SPAXX account, have a much higher interest rate?
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Old 11-19-2023, 11:20 AM   #19
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If you are using a brokerage, check their options as well. Our money market at Fidelity pays 5.2% and we have full checking, bill pay, ATM access, etc. No restrictions on number of transactions. The only downside is we can’t deposit cash which we never do anyway.
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Old 11-19-2023, 11:56 AM   #20
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I may not fully understand ... while we still use our Cash Management Account at Fidelity, I do immediately buy SPAXX with whatever deposits there are - this is a bit clunky, but to the OP's point, wouldn't a brokerage account with Fidelity (or Schwab) allow the same functions as Ally, but using the SPAXX account, have a much higher interest rate?
Yes, that's the case now. But, it wasn't that long ago that MMFs were paying pretty much zilch and places like Ally were the "go to" options to make a little money. I was moving funds monthly from Ally to my Fidelity CMA account.

My hopes are that when rates go down, the MMFs won't go to zero and will remain competitive with HYSA's.
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