Chime® vs. Ally: Which is the Right Choice for Your Banking Needs?

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
Chime® and Ally both give customers access to accounts with high APYs, but they differ in savings features and interest tiers.
Updated May 29, 2024
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If you’re looking for a new bank account, you have an abundance of choices. From new fintech companies to major banks, there are hundreds of options to sort through. If you’re looking for an entirely online and mobile experience that’s truly easy to set up and manage, consider Ally or Chime®.1

We recommend Ally if you prefer a high annual percentage yield (APY). But if you want to keep fees to a minimum and have easy access to your money, go with Chime.2

See which option is best for you in this Chime vs. Ally review.

In this Chime vs. Ally comparison

Key takeaways

  • Ally provides a large variety of banking, investment, and loan products.
  • Chime is a financial technology company that focuses on checking, savings, and credit-building products. (Note that you can’t open a Chime savings account without opening a checking account.)
  • Both companies offer high-yield savings accounts, but Ally comes out on top for highest APY.

Chime vs. Ally comparison

Chime Ally
Year founded 2012 2009
Number of fee-free ATMs 60,000+3 43,000+
Products offered
  • Chime checking® account
  • Chime high yield savings account4
  • Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card56
  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Money markets
  • CDs
  • Credit cards
  • Investment accounts
  • Mortgage loans
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
Checking APY None 0.25% (as of May 22, 2024)7
Savings APY 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023) 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024)
Best for Easy access to your money via ATMs and mobile banking services3 Earning interest on your money
Visit Chime Visit Ally

Our verdict

It’s hard to go wrong with either Chime or Ally because both prioritize easy-to-use apps and minimal fees. Each is right for a different type of customer, though. Chime is best for having easy access to your money paired with helpful credit-building tools. Ally is best for maximizing your savings, both through your checking and savings accounts.

How does Chime work?

Pros
  • 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023) APY on savings8
  • No monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements
  • Round Ups for easy saving9
  • Easily build credit with a secured credit card
  • Large ATM network
  • Cash deposits available10
Cons
  • No in-person branches
  • Low APY compared to some competitors

Chime offers a savings account and checking account as well as an account specifically for building credit.

Chime prioritizes credit building and savings. Saving automatically is simple with round ups connected to your debit card.9 Round your transaction amount to the nearest whole dollar, and the difference gets sent to your savings account, which has a 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023) APY.8 While not the highest APY compared to its competitors, it’s still substantially better than the pennies you’ll earn in interest on most accounts at brick-and-mortar banks.

Chime also offers the Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa Credit Card, a unique option for building credit. Unlike most secured credit cards, there’s no minimum security deposit required, no annual fee, and no credit check needed to apply.11 You also don't have to pay foreign transaction fees.

While Chime is not a bank, Chime is FDIC insured through its partners Stride Bank and The Bancorp Bank.

Visit Chime | Read our Chime review

How does Ally work?

Pros
  • High 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) APY on savings
  • Large banking product offerings
  • Organize savings goals into buckets
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Earn interest on your checking account balance
Cons
  • No in-person branches
  • Fees exist for certain actions
  • Highest checking APY is only for high-balance customers
  • Doesn’t accept cash deposits

As an online bank, Ally has made a name for itself in numerous niches, including banking, investing, and loans. Ally Bank’s checking and savings accounts stand out, both offering impressive returns. You earn up to 0.25% (as of May 22, 2024) based on your checking balance, and for your savings account, you earn a 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) APY across the board.

Speaking of savings, Ally Bank not only offers a high-yield account, but it also comes with features that make saving money easy. You can turn on round-ups for your debit card and send the difference to your savings account. Plus, you can organize all of your savings goals into different buckets and still earn the same high APY.

Ally also offers early direct deposit.

Ally Bank’s one downside is the few fees it does charge. While there are no maintenance fees or minimums required to open your Ally checking or savings account, you’ll pay for expedited shipping ($15), outgoing domestic wire transfers ($20), and account research fees ($25 per hour).

Ally Bank is FDIC insured.

Visit Ally | Read our Ally review

Chime vs. Ally: Where both companies excel

Chime and Ally are two of each other’s biggest competitors. The companies share many of the same features that make each equally strong for a variety of consumers. Each company has these features in common.

  • Strong online banking: Both companies offer straightforward mobile apps where you can manage money transfers, deposits, savings goals, and more. You can download the apps and open accounts in a matter of minutes.
  • A lack of fees: Both banks have no monthly fees, minimum deposits, minimum balance requirements, or overdraft fees.
  • Powerful savings tools: Ally and Chime both offer automatic savings tools that make saving easy. You can round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and send the difference to your attached savings account.12
  • Overdraft protection: Overdraft protection is a feature provided by both Ally and Chime. Chime’s SpotMe® feature gives up to $200 in protection from overdrafts,13 while Ally’s CoverDraft service provides $250 in protection for those with direct deposit ($100 for those without).
  • FDIC insurance: Chime offers $250,000 in FDIC insurance coverage through its banking partners, keeping your money safe in the event of fraud. Ally provides the same $250,000 in coverage.

Chime vs. Ally: Checking accounts

Chime checking account features:

  • No overdraft fees
  • Large ATM network of 60,000+ ATMs3
  • Up to $200 in overdraft fee protection13
  • Get your paycheck up to two days early14
  • No foreign transaction fees

Ally checking account features:

  • No overdraft fees
  • Decent ATM network of 43,000+ ATMS
  • Up to 0.25% (as of May 22, 2024) APY on your balance
  • Set spending limits and get alerts through the mobile app

Chime and Ally’s checking accounts look nearly identical. Both feature no monthly maintenance or overdraft fees. Both also offer the ability to get your paycheck up to two days early if you set up direct deposit.14 But the two companies differ in a few key ways: their ATM networks and their APYs.

Chime beats Ally in its ATM network, offering over 60,000 fee-free ATMs where you can withdraw cash compared to Ally’s 43,000.3 But Ally beats out Chime in interest rates. The Chime Checking Account doesn’t currently offer an APY, but Ally provides 0.25% (as of May 22, 2024) in interest.

Chime vs. Ally: Savings accounts

Chime savings account features:

  • 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023) APY8
  • Round up debit card purchases and move the difference easily to savings automatically9

Ally savings account features:

  • 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) APY
  • Surprise savings feature automatically moves money to savings when you can afford it
  • Round Up savings helps you automatically save

Chime and Ally also offer competitive savings accounts that provide multiple ways to rack up your savings balance. And each company lets you round up your debit card purchases and deposit the difference into your savings account.9

Ally holds one clear advantage: a much higher APY. Ally’s APY is 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) compared to Chime’s 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023).8

3 important differences between Chime and Ally

Ally and Chime have a lot in common as online-only financial institutions with minimal fees, but there are differences that can make one better than the other for you.

1. APYs on savings and checking products

Both Chime and Ally offer accounts that earn you interest, but they do so in different ways. Chime offers interest just on its savings account and caps rates at 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023) APY.8 This is a decent rate, but not a great one.

Ally offers interest on both its savings and checking accounts. Its checking APY is low at just 0.25% (as of May 22, 2024), but considering most checking accounts offer no interest at all, Ally’s is one of the best checking accounts around. Ally’s APY is much higher at 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) for its savings account.

Winner: Ally is the clear winner when it comes to offering interest because it provides higher rates on both its savings and checking products.

2. ATM networks

Chime and Ally pride themselves on making your money easy to access despite not having physical branch locations. Both of them do so by providing robust ATM networks where you can access your cash fee free.

Chime’s network is larger, coming in at over 60,000 ATMs.3 Ally doesn’t technically have its own ATM network; instead, it offers 43,000+ no-fee ATMs through the Allpoint network.

Of course, for both (as with most banks), you will pay a fee for using an out-of-network ATM.

Winner: Chime wins simply for how big its reach is with close to 20,000 more fee-free ATMs than Ally.

3. Automatic savings

Saving money is easy with both Chime and Ally. Both offer automatic savings features like round ups that help put savings on autopilot.9 Chime also offers the ability to move a percentage of money over to savings each paycheck.

But Ally steps up its saving features, surprising you with extra savings when your budget allows. Ally carefully looks at your spending and finds small amounts of money to move to savings from time to time. Ally also helps you save for individual goals through savings buckets, but the high 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) APY applies to your total balance so those savings buckets won't affect your compound interest earnings.

Winner: Ally comes out slightly on top, offering a few extra features that make saving uncomplicated.

Which company should you choose?

Ally and Chime are both great options, but they don’t work for everyone. When trying to decide between the two, the difference is in the little details.

When you should choose Chime

Chime is one of the stronger contenders in the fintech space, providing a long list of reasons to make the switch.

  • You want to pay no monthly fees to maintain either a checking or savings account.
  • You want quick access to your money, which you can get through Chime’s mobile app and large ATM network.3
  • You’re looking to easily build credit with a no monthly fee, no-security-deposit-needed secured credit card.11
  • You want to deposit cash.10

When you should choose Ally

Ally has extended its reach beyond investments and loans, providing powerful savings and checking accounts. Here’s why opening an account with Ally makes sense.

  • You want to earn a high APY of 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) on your savings and 0.25% (as of May 22, 2024) on your checking account.
  • You want to pay no monthly fees or have minimum deposits to open either a savings or a checking account.
  • You want to ramp up your savings. Ally helps do so with round ups and surprise savings where money you can spare is automatically moved to your savings account.
  • You want to manage your finances all in one place. Ally provides a long list of product offerings that overlap well and help you manage every aspect of your money.

What factors to consider before choosing

Before you decide on either Chime or Ally, think about what you’re looking for in a bank account. Ask yourself the following questions to help get a sense of which option may work best.

  • Do I want to earn a high APY? If you’re mostly chasing a high APY rate, Ally may work better with its 4.20% (as of May 22, 2024) APY on savings.
  • Am I looking for an account that helps me save the most? Both Chime and Ally offer savings-specific features, but Ally focuses more on racking up your savings through buckets and surprise savings.
  • How easy is it to take out cash? With online-only banks, a healthy ATM network is important. Chime’s network is slightly larger, providing about 20,000 more than Ally nationwide.3

FAQ

Is Chime worth banking with?

Absolutely. Chime is a worthwhile fintech company for customers looking for an easy-to-use mobile banking experience. No monthly fees make it a popular option, as proved by the millions of customers currently using Chime.

What is Ally’s biggest downside?

Ally’s biggest drawback is the criteria for its checking account. While its checking offer seems appealing at first, you can only earn the highest APY if you have a balance of over $15,000.

What is the downside of Chime?

Unlike many fintech companies that offer APYs in the 4% to 5% range, Chime caps its savings APY at just 2.00% (as of Oct. 25, 2023) — respectable but not the highest in the biz.8

Chime vs. Ally: bottom line

The best banks give you a combination of compelling features that make banking easy. Ally and Chime each fit the bill, giving customers an online-only banking experience.

Chime stands out for its credit-build focus, offering one of the only no-annual-fee, no-security-deposit, and no-credit-check secured credit cards.11 Paired with its savings APY and huge ATM network, a variety of customers will find a lot to appreciate.3 (Note that you can only open a savings account if you have a checking account.)

Ally focuses instead on providing the highest APYs on both checking and savings products. It also provides extra features like overdraft protection and savings buckets to help you meet your savings goals.

Chime® Benefits

  • Get fee-free overdraft up to $20013with SpotMe®
  • Get paid up to 2 days earlier15than you would with some traditional banks
  • 24/7 live support with a real human
  • FDIC insured through The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC

Author Details

Christopher Murray Christopher Murray is a seasoned personal finance writer with a passion for empowering individuals to achieve financial independence while embracing sustainable practices. Over the last few years, he has focused on various facets of personal finance—specifically saving, budgeting, investing (with an emphasis on alternative investments), credit building, and sustainability.