Banking » Compare Banks » Discover vs Ally Bank: Full Banking Comparison (2024)
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Discover vs Ally Bank: Full Banking Comparison (2024)

If you want to keep your financial products with the same bank and you need a credit card, you may prefer Discover. However, if you want to access higher rates on savings and checking account balances and more flexible CDs, Ally is certainly a good choice.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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Table Of Content

Because Discover is a strictly online bank, there are no local branches where customers can visit for banking needs. Customers can reach Discover through customer service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can access your account in a variety of ways. All accounts can be accessed online.

Discover makes use of a mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can use this app to access all of your Discover accounts and use their mobile check deposit by taking a photo with your phone or tablet.

Ally Bank is an online bank that grew out of General Motors Acceptance Corporation's banking division. GMAC used to be an auto financing company, but it was acquired by Ally Bank. This bank now provides a diverse range of products. Credit cards, home loans, money market accounts, investment products, certificates of deposit, checking accounts, and savings accounts are among the products available. Ally Bank serves millions of customers and offers excellent banking services.

Ally Bank is ideal for customers who prefer to conduct their banking entirely online. Ally Bank provides customers with unrestricted access to loans, high-yield deposit products, and credit cards. This is a high-quality banking service that provides dependable service and modern banking needs that are flexible and adaptable to your needs.

Banking Options

Discover
Ally Bank
Savings Accounts
Checking Accounts
CDs
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Credit Cards
Personal Loans
Mortgage
Government Mortgage
Business Loans
Investing Capabilities

Savings Account

As of May 2024, both the Discover and Ally savings accounts are quite similar. Both have no fees, no minimum deposit and access to 24/7 customer support. 

Both banks offers highly competitive rates when it comes to savings accounts, and the rates suppose to go even higher as the FED continues to increase prime rates.

Discover
Ally Bank
APY
4.25%
4.25%
Fees
$0
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Checking Needed?
No
No
Main Benefits
  • Easy to use app
  • No fees for maintenance, insufficient funds, stop payments or account closure.
  • Buckets to organize your savings, so you can allocate funds and work towards your savings goals
  • 24/7 support via chat, email or phone

Checking Account

Where Ally really stands apart is with its checking account. Not only can you access a massive ATM network and enjoy a fee free account, but you can earn 0.25% on your account balance.

While Discover offers 1% on your debit card purchases, unless you tend to use your debit card a lot, you are likely to find Ally pays more on your funds. Ally also offers a round up feature, which rounds up your purchases and deposits the difference into your linked savings account.

For example, if you make a purchase with your debit card of $6.79, $7 will be taken from your account and the remaining $0.21 will go into savings. These amounts are so small that you are unlikely to notice them as you make your purchases, but over a month or two, it can add extra funds to your savings plan.

Discover
Ally Bank
APY
0% (1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month)
0.25%
Fees
$0
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Main Benefits
  • Earn 1% cashback on your account debit card
  • No overdraft fees
  • ATM network with 60,000+ machines with no fees
  • Discover Zelle allows you to quickly move money or send or receive money with no fees
  • Remote check deposit using your smartphone
  • Rounds up your checking account purchases into your linked savings account
  • Easy transfers with Zelle and Ally Skill, an Amazon Alexa compatible voice transfer system.
  • ATM network of over 43,000 fee free machines

For example, the debit cards summary on Ally app details your recent card transactions, helping you keep tabs on your spending. It's a valuable tool for budgeting and identifying any unauthorized or unusual activity swiftly.

Ally debit cards summary
(Screenshot from Ally app)

CDs

Another area where Ally has the edge is with its CDs.  While the ratea are quite similar and depends on your CD term (the longer – the higher rates you'll earn), Ally offers a few CD options, and it also offers a no penalty CD,  with no minimum deposit and no early withdrawal penalties.

Discover
Ally
Minimum Deposit
$2,500
$0
APY Range
2.00% – 4.70%
3.00% – 4.50%
APY 6 months
4.25%
4.40%
APY 12 months
4.70%
4.50%
APY 24 months
4.00%
/
APY 36 months
3.75%
4.00%
No Penalty CD
/
11 months, 4.00% APY

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Credit Cards

Discover began operating as a credit card company and has over time expanded its banking services. So, it stands to reason that Discover would offer a good selection of credit card options. All Discover cards offer rewards with a maximum of 5% (with the Discover Cash Back card), but there are also tiered reward cards, like the Gas & Restaurant card and a Travel card offering miles.

Discover also offers a secured card that allows you to build your credit and earn rewards. Even students can earn rewards with the Student Cash Back and Student Chrome card. What’s really attractive is that all of these cards offer Unlimited Cashback Match, where Discover will match your first year’s cash back dollar for dollar with no minimum spend or maximum rewards.

Until recently Ally did have a credit card associated with its name, but the card issuer TD Bank has converted all existing accounts to TD Cash credit cards. This means that Ally no longer offers a credit card at this time, but this may change in the future.

Personal Loans

Unlike the other lenders on this list, Discover is one of the few that lend to people in all 50 states. They also do not charge an origination fee and have a loan calculator on their website to assist you in getting started. They offer flexible repayment terms, fixed rates, and a staff of 100% US-based loan specialists to assist you.

Discover only conducts a soft pull inquiry when you apply for a personal loan, but you must have a minimum yearly income of $25,000. In order to be accepted, your credit score cannot be lower than 660. Discover is a good option because their rates are competitive, and borrowing from them means you're making payments directly to the creditor.

A Discover personal loan can be used for a variety of purposes, including financing large purchases such as home repairs or a wedding, as well as debt consolidation. You can also use your personal loan to cover unexpected expenses, such as home renovations or the purchase of a new vehicle.

Discover
APR
7.99% – 24.99%
Loan Amount
$2,500 – $40,000
Terms
36 to 84 months

Customer Service

Both Discover and Ally offer 24/7 access to customer support. In fact, Ally claims a typical wait time for banking customers of just 1 minute.

This means that if you have any queries or questions or have a banking emergency, you can quickly access the support team regardless of whether you choose Discover or Ally as your bank.

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Online/Digital Experience

Both Discover and Ally have an easy to use website that allows you to explore the products and access a help center for the various financial topics. This provides a great user experience even if you are unfamiliar with exactly what type of banking services would be best for you.

Both banks also have highly rated apps. Discover’s is rated 4.9/5 and 4.6/5 on the Apple Store and Google Play respectively, while the Ally Mobile app is rated 4.7/5 and 4.2 out of 5 on Apple and Google.

Which Bank is The Winner?

To determine which bank is better, we will need to consider your requirements. Both banks offer fee free accounts, so you don’t need to worry about account minimums or other waiver requirements.

Since Ally does not have a credit card at this time, if you want to keep your financial products with the same bank and you need a credit card, you may prefer Discover. However, if you want to access higher rates on savings and checking account balances and more flexible CDs, Ally is certainly a good choice.

ally bank
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APY Savings The annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that represents the amount of money or interest earned on your savings account over the course of a year. The APY factored in compound interest. A savings calculator can help you quickly determine how much you'll earn with a given APY.
4.25%
4.25%
Up to 5.02%
Checking Fee The monthly fee on checking account
$0
$0
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Mobile App Rating
4.7/5 on iOS
3.7/5 on Android
4.9/5 on iOS
4.7/5 on Android
Various Banks
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Open Account
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FAQs

Ally’s primary promotion is that the accounts have no hidden fees or account minimums. Currently, there is no cash or cashback bank promotion for new accounts.

The ability to earn interest on your daily balance is one of the benefits of the Ally Bank checking account system. There is no minimum deposit required, and there are no monthly fees. Aside from the lack of monthly fees, there are no additional costs associated with using standard checks or debit cards.

Along with the many advantages of having an Ally Bank checking account, there are also low overdraft fees that are lower than the national average. Because you cannot incur more than one overdraft fee in a single day, you must be aware of your balance.

The Ally Money Market account has tiered interest rates that vary depending on your minimum daily balance. A money market account, which differs from a savings account, comes with free checks and debit cards. The money market account does not have the same high APY as the savings account.

The money market account allows you to grow and access your money in a variety of ways. You should be aware that the APYs on Ally's money market accounts are less than twice as high as those on other accounts. This means you may be able to find more reasonable and financially advantageous money market accounts than Ally.

While Capital One 360 offers competitive rates on savings accounts, Discover Bank offers some of the market's highest rates. There are some minimum deposit requirements, but there are no service fees.

Discover also provides 24-hour customer service and cashback checking accounts, but no interest checking accounts. Capital One 360, on the other hand, has no account minimums and some overdraft protection options. So, unless you want to open a savings account with a lump sum, Capital One 360 may be a better option.

Discover Bank offers competitive rates as well as a number of benefits such as ATM access, cash back rewards, and no monthly fees on both savings and checking accounts. You can earn competitive interest rates on your savings, and there is the option of an overdraft facility.

So, unless you really need access to physical branches, Discover is likely to be a good choice. Furthermore, Discover is concerned about the security of your personal information. Discover employs cutting-edge encryption standards to safeguard your data and transactions.

Compare Ally With Other Banks

Ally has a robust banking product offering that rivals that of a traditional bank. Savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, investments, retirement products, personal loans, auto loans, and mortgages are all available.

Chime's product line has been simplified. All Chime products are designed to assist customers in rebuilding or establishing credit. There are only two savings accounts, one checking account, and one credit card available.

Read Full Comparison: Ally vs Chime: Which Banking Account Wins?

Since the bank's inception, the SoFi product line has come a long way. You can now get access to investment products, mortgages, and loans, in addition to its hybrid checking and savings account. SoFi even offers insurance. The only thing missing from this bank are CDs and traditional savings accounts.

Ally offers a much broader range of traditional banking products. In addition to checking, savings, and CD accounts, there are investment and retirement products, mortgages, auto loans, and personal loans available.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi Money vs Ally Bank: Compare Banking Options

Ally has a decent banking product lineup that would make switching from a traditional high street bank relatively simple. Checking, savings, CDs, auto loans, personal loans, mortgages, investments, and retirement products are among the products available. The only obvious omission from the Ally line is the absence of a credit card.

Capital One began as a credit card company, but it has since expanded into a variety of other banking services. You can access auto finance, loan refinancing, and children's accounts in addition to savings and checking accounts.

Read Full Comparison: Ally vs Capital One: Compare Banking Options

Marcus' banking product offering is more specialized. Marcus' product line reflects its investment pedigree as part of the Goldman Sachs Group. CDs, high-yield savings, investment options, and a variety of loans are available.

Ally has a banking product line that competes with traditional, high-street banks. A checking account, savings account, CDs, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, retirement products, and investments are among the numerous products available.

Read Full Comparison: Ally vs Marcus: Which Online Bank Is Better?

Ally Bank is an online bank that arose from the banking division of General Motors Acceptance Corporation. GMAC used to be an auto financing company before being purchased by Ally Bank. This bank now offers a wide range of products. Among the products available are credit cards, home loans, investing products, savings accounts including certificates of deposit, and checking account options. Ally Bank serves millions of customers and provides high-quality banking services.

Axos is a well-established online-only banking service. It has been in business since 2000 and is constantly expanding its services for both individuals and businesses. The bank is a subsidiary of Axos Financial and is headquartered in San Diego, California. Despite the fact that the bank has three locations, the vast majority of its customers are served online.

Read Full Comparison: Axos Vs Ally Bank Comparison – Which Is Better?

Aspiration has a streamlined banking product line that includes a hybrid account with a $7.99 per month upgrade option and only one credit card option. Aspiration's premise is to help you live a greener life, so the products are heavily weighted in this category. This means that you can earn cash back and other rewards for making environmentally conscious purchases and taking action.

Ally offers a much broader range of banking products. In addition to checking, savings, and CD accounts, you can also get investment and retirement products, mortgages, auto loans, and personal loans. This brings it more in line with a traditional bank, which may make switching from your high street bank easier.

Read Full Comparison: Aspiration vs Ally Bank: Where to Save Your Money?

While Wells Fargo has a far more comprehensive product line, Ally does offer better rates on savings, CDs and even its checking account. The only areas where Wells Fargo has the edge is its credit cards and its impressive selection of mortgage products and loans.

Ally vs Wells Fargo: Which Bank Account Is Better For You?

Chase is the largest brick-and-mortar bank, while Ally Bank is among the best online banks. Here's our comparison and our winner: Chase vs. Ally Bank

If you feel comfortable with online-only banking and depending on your needs – Ally may be a better option than Bank Of America. Here's why.

Ally Bank vs. Bank of America: Which Bank Account Is Better?

U.S. Bank is one of the largest brick-and-mortar banks, while Ally is among the best online banks. Let's compare them and find our winner: Ally Bank vs. U.S. Bank

Citi is our winner for most consumers, but Ally is also a great option if you are willing to manage your account online. Here's why:

Citibank vs. Ally Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

While TD offers a better selection of checking accounts and credit cards, Ally is also a great option for those who want an online-only bank.

Ally vs. TD Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

While Amex has a decent checking account and better credit card options, Ally's CD and lending options are superior. Here's our comparison: American Express Bank vs. Ally Bank

Ally Bank is one of the top online banks, while HSBC Bank focuses on serving wealthier customers. Let's compare them side by side: Ally Bank vs. HSBC Bank

Barclays provides a comprehensive range of services to US customers, while Ally bank is among the best online banks. How do they compare? Barclays Bank vs. Ally Bank

Ally Bank is our winner with a complete banking package, including a checking account ( not available with Synchrony) and high savings rates.

Ally Bank vs. Synchrony Bank: Compare Banking Options

Both Ally and Upgrade offer a complete banking package, including savings, checking, and credit cards. Here's our side by side comparison.

Upgrade vs. Ally Bank: Compare Banking Options

How We Compared Discover Bank and Ally Bank: Methodology

In our comprehensive banking comparison, The Smart Investor team thoroughly assessed Ally Bank and Discover across five main categories:

  • Checking Accounts (30%): We scrutinized essential features like direct deposit, debit card availability, monthly maintenance fees, ATM and branch access, check deposit, bill pay options, and account alerts. Additionally, we considered any special checking account options and promotions offered to customers.
  • Savings Accounts including CDs (20%): Our evaluation focused on critical factors such as APY (Annual Percentage Yield), minimum deposit requirements, Terms and Flexibility of accounts, and the assurance of FDIC insurance. We also examined special savings options, variety of CDs, automatic renewal options, and early withdrawal penalties.
  • Credit Cards (15%): We analyzed the rewards program, annual fees, intro bonuses, travel benefits, APR, and balance transfer options offered by each bank's credit cards, ensuring a comprehensive comparison of available features.
  • Lending Options (15%): We assessed the variety of lending options available, including personal loans, student loans, mortgages, secured loans, HELOCs, and Home Equity Loans, providing consumers with insights into the bank's lending capabilities.
  • Customer Experience And Bank Reputation (20%): Our evaluation included an analysis of online banking and mobile app usability and ratings, customer support accessibility, online reviews, JD Power research, Trustpilot ratings, and the overall Financial Stability of each bank, ensuring a holistic view of customer experience and reputation.

Banking Reviews

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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