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Reviews

Here's the best high-yield savings account for doing all your banking in one place

CNBC Select reviews the Ally Online Savings Account so you can decide if it's the right savings account for you.

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Editor's Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

For many, the first step to getting their finances in order is opening a checking and savings account. While the former holds your spending money, the latter helps you build up a cushion of cash for whenever you need it.

Since both checking and savings accounts have different, but essential, purposes, you want to make sure you can easily transfer money from one to the other — and in as little time as possible. Doing all your banking in one place makes a big difference.

With online bank Ally, customers can sign up for a high-yield savings while also taking advantage of extra benefits when linked to an Ally checking account. The Ally Online Savings Account ranked as the "best for checking/savings combo" on CNBC Select's top high-yield savings account list.

Below, we take a close look at the Ally Online Savings Account by breaking down its annual percentage yield (APY), access to your cash, perks and fees so you can decide if this high-yield savings account is right for you.

Ally Online Savings Account review

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

Ally Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    2.75%

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    No monthly maintenance fee

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *The 6/statement cycle withdrawal limit is waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transactions fee

    $10 per transaction

  • Overdraft fees

    $25

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have an Ally checking account

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong annual percentage yield on all balance tiers
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle*
  • Option to add a checking account
  • ATM access if you have a checking account

Cons

  • $10 fee per transaction if you make more than 6 in a statement cycle
  • $25 overdraft fee

Ally Online Savings Account APY

The current APY is 1.85%. Users of the Ally Online Savings Account can start earning interest right away, with no minimum balances required in their account.

Ally Bank compounds interest on your savings daily, like the best high-yield savings accounts mostly do. The APY offer reflects the total amount of interest that the account would earn for the year.

Access to your cash

This is where having both an Ally savings and an online-only Ally Interest Checking Account comes in handy. With the two accounts, users are given an ATM card and have access to over 43,000 free Allpoint® ATMs — making it easy to withdraw cash whenever they need to. With only the online savings account, savers won't have access to a debit card.

Not all online banks offer both a high-yield savings and checking account option, so this is a huge plus for consolidating your banking. Saving your money with a bank that doesn't offer a checking account means you would have to transfer your money between banks, which could take a couple days.

By law, account holders with Ally can withdraw or transfer money online up to six times per month with no penalty (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D). You can also call the bank to request a mailed check, which doesn't count as one of your six transactions.

You can't deposit cash in your Ally savings account, which is standard for many online banks, but you can deposit checks remotely with eCheck Deposit on the mobile app.

Perks

Ally is a consumer favorite because of a couple reasons: it has an easy-to-use mobile app and 24/7 live customer service that is available over the phone, through online chat or on the Ally mobile app.

The bank also makes it fun to outline and organize your saving goals. Account holders can create up to 10 different "buckets" within the same savings account that represent designated funds for certain things, such as naming one a "Future Vacation" and another "Emergency Savings."

Fees

In addition to requiring no minimum account balances, Ally also has zero monthly maintenance fees.

There's also an extra perk: If you use an out-of-network ATM, Ally doesn't charge a fee. If the ATM provider does, Ally will reimburse those fees up to $10 per month.

After your federal limit of six monthly withdrawals or transfers online (limit waived during the coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D), Ally will charge $10 per each additional transaction.

Bottom line

The Ally Online Savings Account is a great option for savers who also want to open a checking account in tandem.

You can count on simply transferring your cash from one account to the other and create specific savings buckets to stay on track.

If you're not looking for a checking/savings combo and want something more straightforward, consider instead the Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings. And if you don't care about having a checking account at the same bank but would like a high-yield savings that also provides ATM access, the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings offers that. 

Learn more: Looking for a safe place to stash your cash? The pros and cons of keeping your money in a high-yield savings account

Read more: Earn up to 6 times more interest on your deposits with the Ally Interest Checking Account

Our methodology

To determine which high-yield savings accounts offer the best return on your money, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of U.S. savings accounts offered by online and brick-and-mortar banks, including large credit unions. We narrowed down our ranking by only considering those savings accounts that offer an APY around 1%, no monthly maintenance fees and low (or no) minimum balance requirements.

While the accounts we chose in this article consistently rank as having some of the highest APY rates, we also compared each savings account on a range of features, including ease of use and account accessibility, as well as factors such as insurance policies and customer reviews when available. We also considered users' deposit options and each account's compound frequency.

All of the accounts included on this list are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Note that the rates and fee structures for high-yield savings accounts are not guaranteed forever; they are subject to change without notice and they often fluctuate in accordance with the Fed rate. Your earnings depend on any associated fees and the balance you have in your high-yield savings account. To open an account, most banks and institutions require a deposit of new money, meaning you can't transfer money you already had in an account at that bank.

Information about Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the banks prior to publication. Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a Member FDIC.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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