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Banking

Ally vs Capital One 360 Accounts: Which Products Are Better?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

You can’t really go wrong with Ally or Capital One, as they both offer competitive rates and have been among the top online banks for quite some time. However, it’s worth noting that Ally was selected as the top online bank of 2019 by MagnifyMoney for a reason — it offers consistently high rates on the majority of its products. And while Capital One offers solid rates and products compared to most banks, Ally clearly outshines it on about every front, as you can see from our match up below.

Founded in 1919 and rebranded as Ally Financial in 2010, Ally is an entirely online bank. Choose from products in a variety of categories, including banking, credit cards, auto loans, home loans and investment opportunities.

Capital One, the largest direct bank in the U.S. The bank rebranded its online products as Capital One 360 in 2013, after Capital One acquired ING Direct’s U.S. business. Enjoy a variety of product offerings, including several savings and checking account options.

In this review, we’ll compare and contrast Ally and Capital One 360 products to help you decide which bank is the best fit for you.

Ally vs Capital One: How their rates compare

One of the most important things to look for when opening a new account, is the rate it’s attached to. Even a few percentage points can make a big difference in the amount of interest you’ll earn, so make sure your money is hard at work for you.

Both Ally and Capital One offer select rates that surpass national and online bank averages, but neither beats every mark. Generally speaking, Ally’s savings account rates more than double that of Capital One. As for checking, Capital One offers better rates for two different types of customers — those with a minimum account balance less than $15,000 and those with more than $100,000 — but Ally comes out on top for the rest. For one year CDs, Ally has a slightly better rate, but the two banks offer the same above-average rate on five year CDs

Overall, Ally is the better choice, because most of its rates just can’t be beat.

 AllyCapital OneNational average*
Online bank average*
Savings2.20% APY


1.00% APY
0.270% APY
1.52% APY
Checking0.10% APY, less than $15,000 minimum daily balance

0.60% APY, minimum daily balance of $15,000 or more
0.20% APY, minimum account balance of $0.01 to $49,999.99

0.75% APY, minimum account balance of $50,000 to $99,999.99

1.00% APY, minimum account balance of $100,000
0.189% APY0.41% APY
1 year CD
2.75% APY2.70% APY
1.356% APY
2.09% APY
5 year CD
3.10% APY3.10% APY
2.255% APY
2.70% APY

Ally vs Capital One: Which has better account options?

Since both banks have similar account options, it really comes down to choosing the bank that offers the best rates. In that case, Ally is the better choice, because its rates are more competitive. Putting your money in an account with a higher rate will maximize your earning power.

Ally's Top Deposit Accounts
APY
Minimum Balance to Earn APY
Online Savings Account
2.20%$0.01

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

High Yield 12-Month CD
2.75%$0.01

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Both banks offer one standard checking account, but Capital One also has a Money teen checking account. Available only online, you’ll have full access to your child’s account — log in with your own username and password.

When it comes to savings accounts, both Ally and Capital One offer standard savings, money market, IRA and CD options. Similar to checking, Capital One also has a Kids Savings Account. You’ll have full access to your child’s savings account, including the added ability to transfer money, set up automatic savings and manage account details.

Both banks offer several different types of CDs, including high-yield CDs and IRA CDs. However, Ally takes it up a notch with its Raise Your Rate CD and No Penalty CD. The former gives you the chance to raise your rate once over a two-year term or twice over a four-year term, if Ally’s rate increases for your term and balance tier. The latter allows you to withdraw all your money after the first six days of funding and keep the interest earned with no penalty.

Ally vs Capital One: How they compare on fees

 AllyCapital One
Standard savings account
No monthly maintenance fees
No monthly maintenance fees
Standard checking account
No fee for everyday services and transactions
No fee for everyday services and transactions
ATM feeUse any Allpoint ATM in the U.S. for free and enjoy an up to $10 reimbursement per statement for ATM fees outside the network.
Enjoy complimentary access to 39,000 Capital One and Allpoint ATMs. Some banking products come with an up to $15 monthly reimbursement for ATM use beyond the network and outside the country.
Overdraft feeOverdraft transfer service is free, but you’ll be charged $25 — maximum one fee per day — for overdraft items paid or returned.

Fees vary according to your overdraft settings. Those with a fee include the Overdraft Line of Credit — you pay interest on the overdrawn amount for the entire borrowing period — and Next Day Grace — you have one business day to repay the overdrawn amount or you’re charged a $35 fee.

Ally and Capital One both offer savings and checking accounts without monthly maintenance fees, but overall, Ally is the better choice. This call is made on the fact that Ally clearly lists all possible fees, whereas Capital One is a bit more elusive about potential charges you could incur.

When you read the fine print, Capital One notes there could be charges for overdraft on credit — as highlighted in the table above — as well as overnight check delivery, overnight delivery of a replacement card, a stop payment, or if you write a rejected check.

On the other hand, Ally charges a fee for cross border/currency conversion transactions, returned deposit items, overdraft items paid or returned — as noted in table above — stop payment items, rush delivery of debit cards or other items, overnight bill pay — delivery by mail — same-day bill pay — electronic delivery when available — outgoing wires — domestic only, international isn’t available — and account research.

Who should bank with Bank Ally?

Ally is the best choice for independent customers who want an entirely online banking experience. Live customer service is available on a 24/7 basis, but the bank has no brick-and-mortar locations. This means features like face-to-face conversations with a bank teller and the ability to deposit cash are not available, so take this into consideration before opening an account.

If you plan to maintain a $15,000 minimum daily balance in your checking account, the bank’s 0.60% APY is highly competitive. However, its 0.10% APY for checking accounts with less than a $15,000 minimum daily balance falls short of both the national average and the online bank average.

Ally’s competitive rates also make it an excellent choice to park your money in a traditional savings account or CD. The bank’s 2.20% APY for savings accounts, 2.75% APY for one year CDs and 3.10% APY for five year CDs surpass both the national average and the online bank average, allowing you to maximize interest profits.

Who should bank with Capital One?

Capital One offers the convenience of online banking, with the ability to stop by a Capital One cafe. If you want to do most of your banking online, but want the peace of mind in knowing you can visit your bank in person, this could be a good choice for you.

If you plan to maintain a high checking account balance, a 360 Checking account can be a great option. Both the 0.75% APY attached to a minimum account balance of $50,000 to $99,999.99 and the 1.00% APY offered with minimum account balance of $100,000 seriously exceed both the national average and the online bank average.

Based on rates alone, Ally is the better choice for both a savings account and a one year CD, but the two banks currently tie for a five year CD. There’s no minimum deposit required to open a CD at either bank. However, Capital One charges an early withdrawal penalty of six months’ worth of interest for CD terms greater than 12 months, while Ally charges a slightly less 150 days’ worth of interest for CDs with terms of five years or more.

Alternatives

Before opening a new savings or checking account, it’s important to shop around to find the best fit for your needs. MagnifyMoney offers free comparison tools that allow you to find the best rates on banking products.

*National and Online bank averages and any fees mentioned in this article were compiled and are accurate as of the date of publishing.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Laura Woods
Laura Woods |

Laura Woods is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Laura here

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Banking

Make Saving Fun with the 52-Week Money Challenge

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Everyone should treat saving money as a serious effort to accomplish serious goals. Building an emergency fund, accumulating a down payment for a home or saving up for a big purchase are all key objectives for your financial life, after all.

But sometimes it’s OK to take a more lighthearted approach to savings, like the 52-week money challenge. It’s a great way to gamify the process of stashing cash — although just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s an easy win. If you keep up with this unusual challenge for a whole year, you could end up saving nearly $1,400.

The 52-week money challenge explained

The 52-week money challenge — also referred to as the 52-week savings plan — makes saving a decent sum feel achievable by breaking it down into small steps.

Here’s how it works: You start by putting $1 in your savings account in the first week of the challenge. Then you stash away $2 in week two, $3 in week three, $4 in week four, all the way to $52 in the final week. At the end, you’ll have saved $1,378.

The idea is that by saving a little bit more each week, you’ll see your savings grow quickly and stay motivated to continue putting away money after the challenge is over.

“The 52-week money challenge gives you a place to start and have it all mapped out. If you can focus on it once a week, you can make it happen and know where you’re going to end up at the end of the year,” said Kelly Crane, CFP, president and chief investment officer of Napa Valley Wealth Management.

Why the 52-week money challenge works

Many people credit the 52-week money challenge with jump-starting their savings game. Here’s why:

  • It makes saving a habit: The 52-week savings plan forces you to commit to saving. When you visit your bank and transfer money from your checking account into your savings account each week for 52 weeks, saving becomes a habit.
  • You end up with a decent amount saved in the end: An abstract goal of “saving money” may not motivate everybody. For some people, the big prize at the end of the year helps them follow through with the savings habit.
  • It helps you set bigger financial goals: Your savings account balance is just a number — what you do with the money is what really matters. The balance saved in the challenge lets you think about the financial goals you’d like to accomplish, such as paying down student loans or accumulating a down payment for a mortgage.

Tips for nailing the 52-week money challenge

Ready to take the challenge? Here are a few things you can do to ensure you stick with the plan from week one through week 52.

  • Automate your savings: Most banks allow you to schedule deposits into your savings account. The simplest way to accomplish the challenge is to arrange ahead of time transfers to your savings account for the correct amount for each of the 52 weeks.
  • Don’t go in order: The order of the scheduled deposits helps make the challenge simple, but you don’t have to follow it to a tee. If you feel like you need to make deposits out of order, print out a copy of the plan and cross off different weekly amounts as you accomplish them. For example, if you get a tax return in the spring and can afford to save $52—the biggest weekly deposit—do it then and cross it off.
  • Engage in friendly competition: Find a savings buddy and start the challenge at the same time. Competition will keep you motivated to save, and maybe even open the door to sharing financial tips with each other.
  • Set reminders and smaller goals to stay on track: If you don’t want to automate your savings, set reminders on your phone, calendar or computer so you won’t forget. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the higher amounts later in the challenge, break them down into smaller goals. In week 40, you could save $20 on Monday and another $20 on a Friday to hit your weekly goal in more manageable chunks.
  • Keep the challenge going for a second year: Once you hit the end of the 52 weeks, keep the momentum going into a second year. You could even try doubling the amount you save each week in year two. Try cutting out expenses that match the amount you save in a given week. Stash the second year’s funds in a CD to boost your savings.

Who might not like the 52-week money challenge

While this 52-week savings plan has universal appeal, it might not be the right choice for everyone. For some people, there are reasons to think twice:

  • People with a large amount of high-interest debt: Saving money can feel pointless if you’ve got a lot of debt collecting interest, said Crane. You might consider using your funds to pay down high-interest debt before pursuing the 52-week money challenge.
  • People with inconsistent income: Does your paycheck fluctuate week to week? You might feel like your income isn’t consistent enough to keep up with the plan.
  • If you tap into the savings too early: As you start to see your savings grow, it can be tempting to withdraw money to cover expenses or buy something you want. But tapping the savings too early might throw you off track and undermine the driver of the whole challenge: Ending up with a full $1,378 at the end of the year.

The bottom line on the 52-week money challenge

If you want to save money but you’re not sure how to start, the 52-week money challenge can give you the structure you need to finally get your finances in order — but it’s just a tool. Don’t be afraid to modify the plan to suit your needs, or ditch it altogether in favor of a more aggressive savings strategy.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Joni Sweet
Joni Sweet |

Joni Sweet is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Joni here

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Banking

How to Ensure Your Mobile Check Deposit is Successful

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Banking on the go is one of the great conveniences of owning a smartphone. All major banks offer some form of mobile banking, and uptake among consumers is extremely strong. A 2018 Citibank ranked-choice survey found that 31% of respondents said mobile banking was their most-used app, behind only apps for social media and weather.

Not using mobile banking? Time to join the revolution. Read on for some basic tips that should help make you a mobile banking power user.

Get started with mobile banking

Mobile banking is broadly similar to logging on to your account online with a home PC or laptop. Nearly all banking apps let you check your balance, deposit checks, transfer money and set up custom account alerts. To get started, visit the app store offered by your mobile device and search for your bank or credit union. Carefully evaluate that you are selecting the correct app for your institution, then download and install the app.

Once you’ve installed the app, you will probably be required to set up a mobile account. This may be different than your existing online login, or the credentials may be the same for the standard online experience. Either way, the app should prompt you with easy-to-understand instructions.

One other point: Keep the app updated to ensure that the latest security measures are in place and bugs are fixed from previous versions. Newer versions of an app may have newer features. Many apps update automatically, but you should still check the settings on your phone to ensure you’re getting the updates you need.

Tips for a successful mobile check deposit

One of the premier features for mobile banking users is the mobile check deposit feature: Just take a photo with your device of the checks you wish to deposit, and submit them to the app. To ensure that the mobile check deposit process goes smoothly, follow these tips:

Take a clear photo

You want to make sure the photo is clear so that the information is prominently displayed. Consider putting the check on a table or a flat surface instead of holding the check. In addition, don’t have other objects in the frame such as other paperwork and use good lighting. Your mobile app may have a rectangular guide to show you how to take your photo, which makes sure you get it right.

Remove any check stubs

You want to make sure that your deposit only shows your check. If your check has a pay slip or another form of attachment like a check stub or voucher, detach it before taking a photo.

Enter the correct information

Even if your photo is clear, your deposit could get rejected if you’ve entered incorrect information. For example, your check may show an amount of $660, but if you accidentally enter $760 the deposit will be rejected. Double check all information before submitting your deposit.

Avoid redeposits

Mistakes happen. Maybe you forgot you’d already deposited a check, or someone in your family did so and never told you. If you redeposit a check, most places will either send you a notification of a duplicate deposit. Others may reject both deposits or charge you a fee. You may want to consider organizing your checks, perhaps by writing on the check itself that you deposited it, or putting it away in a separate folder.

Check to see if your mobile check deposit was successful

Your app should let you know if a mobile check deposit has gone through, and some banks also send a text or email confirmation message — but even if you receive this message, checks can still get rejected. Double-checking to see if the mobile check deposit went through is the safest bet, by looking at your account balance in your checking account. Depending on your bank, a mobile check deposit can take several business days to show up in your account.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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