Ally

Branches: None

Why it’s a winner: Offers the best package of checking and savings available—with comparatively high interest rates on both accounts, no maintenance fees, and the freedom to use any ATM without cost.

While the yield on checking dropped in the past year from a minimum of 0.40% to 0.10%, that’s still (depressingly) three times the average for online banks. And on any balance over $15,000, you get 0.60%, the highest rate for that amount across all checking accounts surveyed. More important, the rate on savings—which barely budged—is the highest offered by an online bank with both checking and savings accounts.

Another feature we liked: 24/7 customer service by phone or IM.

Caveat: A few online banks, including ­Barclays, pay slightly higher rates on savings—but those banks do not also offer checking.

Standout Accounts:

Ally Interest Checking

  • Maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, plus reimburses unlimited surcharges
  • Interest on $2,500: 0.10%

Ally Online Savings

  • Maintenance fee: $0
  • Interest on all bal­ances: 0.90%

 

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