Simple has announced that it will be closing in 2021. Once the bank is officially closed, customers’ accounts will be transferred to Simple’s parent company, PNC Bank. For other account recommendations, check out SmartAsset’s lists of the best savings accounts, best checking accounts and best CDs.
More and more consumers are choosing to go digital when it comes to their banking institution and are selecting online-only banks. Two of the better names out there when it comes to online-only banking are Ally Bank and Simple, the latter of which offers its services through PNC. If you’re wondering which is the right bank for you, read on as we take a deeper dive into these financial offerings, including what bank accounts they offer, their fees and more.
At first glance, you’ll notice that Ally Bank offers a number of financial products. These range from a savings account to long-term certificates of deposit to high-yield retirement accounts. Luckily, no matter which account you open with Ally, you’re sure to get some of the highest interest rates in the industry. Even its basic online savings account earns at 3.75% – well above the national average.
Ally also strives to be transparent about the charges and fees you’ll run into with an account. You won’t face fees for account maintenance, standard checks, statement copies, incoming wires, cashier’s checks and more. You’ll only be charged for certain occurrences like overdrafts and returned deposit items.
To access your money, you will need to log in online, on mobile, call the bank or use an ATM. You have access to more than 55,000 free Allpoint® ATMs in the U.S., but if you must use a non-Allpoint® ATM, Ally can reimburse you for up to $10 per statement cycle on ATM fees.
Simple came about when its founders realized that far too many people were having complicated and inconvenient banking experiences. They sought to make a bank that was easy-to-use. Working with BBVA, which is now PNC, Simple is able to offer a more personalized feel to banking. This is especially true with its aesthetically pleasing website and mobile app.
Simple offers a standard checking account, a shared checking account, a high-yield savings account and certificates of deposit (CDs). The checking account includes a number of perks that make banking and saving easier and more automatic. For savers, Simple’s Protected Goals Account, which is essentially a savings account, offers a 0.40% APY.
Simple also gives customers access to “Goals,” a feature that lets you stash away cash in virtual envelopes for any future expenses, like rent or a new TV. Simple also offers the Safe-to-Spend® tool which automatically lets you know how much money you’re safe to spend on a certain purchase. This takes into account your current balances, what you’re trying to save and the cost of your potential purchase.
Plus, Simple goes even further than Ally when it comes to refusing to charge any extra fees. You won’t pay any Simple fees for Allpoint® ATM usage, card replacements and even overdrafts. Note that because of these lack of fees, Simple won’t reimburse you for any fees you come across for non-Allpoint® ATMs.
Ally Bank vs. Simple: Which Is Better?
It’s important for you to know what you’re looking for in a bank when you start comparing. For example, if you want a bank with a variety of accounts you can open, you’ll want to choose Ally. But if you’re just looking for an easy set of accounts that can help you manage your money more holistically, you may want to go with Simple.
Ally and Simple both offer strong interest rates for savers. Here’s an overview of each account:
Savings Account Comparison
|Current Rates||3.75% APY||0.40% APY|
Simple stands out with its lack of an overdraft fee and its built in budgeting/savings features. While Simple does not offer a savings account, its Goals tool can help you save. You can set up automatic and recurring transfers to these goals, too, to stay on top of your savings goals. Plus with Safe-to-Spend®, you may be less tempted to overspend on expenses since Simple can help show you what you can actually afford.
Both banks offer thousands of free ATMs to use throughout the country for withdrawals, in addition to their online and mobile presences. You also have the option to call to speak to a customer service representative, giving you constant access to the banks and your accounts. However, Ally offers the ability to write checks, while Simple does not supply or allow third-party checks.
On the whole, it seems that Ally is the better option, with its numerous accounts and competitive interest rates. While Simple has vastly increased the number of accounts it offers, Ally is a bit more robust of a bank. However, both banks have convenient and easy-on-the-eyes websites and mobile apps that are all highly rated. Again, it’s always important to consider your own specific banking needs before you open an account or switch banks entirely.
Checking Account Tips
- Managing your bank accounts is just one aspect of your finances. A financial advisor can help make sure you’re taking care of the rest of your money and investments. SmartAsset’s free tool can connect you with up to three financial advisors in your area. Get started now.
- When you’re looking for a new checking account, you’ll want to check the account’s potential fees. For instance, you’ll probably be happier with a free checking account than with an account that requires a high fee just to own the account.
- If you find yourself constantly overspending or spending money that you don’t have, you may want to consider linking your checking account to a savings account. Doing so can provide overdraft protection, where the bank uses your savings funds to cover your checking account overdrafts. Linking accounts can also unlock other perks like waived monthly fees.
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/MStudioImages, Ally Bank, Simple