So after I received the letter from Chase about increasing the direct deposit to $500 to maintain the free checking account a friend told me about Ally bank and its free checking. I already have a savings account and a CD with Ally so I thought why not go ahead and try it out.

I was really impressed with the list of features on the account so I decided to list them here from the website:

According to Ally they offer “The convenience of a checking account—the interest rate of a savings account”.

  • $0 monthly fee
  • $0 to open and no minimum balance
  • Free Online banking and Bill Pay
  • Free Debit MasterCard®, checks and unlimited check writing
  • Save time and money—get cash back when you shop
  • No ATM fees at any ATM
  • Variable rate account where balances $15,000 or more get an even higher rate
  • Free balance alerts
  • FDIC insured to the maximum allowed by law. Maximize your coverage
  • Ally’s Interest Checking Account rates are accurate as of 12/31/2010.

The features I liked the most were that there was no minimum balance and no monthly maintenance fee. I don’t use ATMs so I did not really think about the part about no ATM fees but I did get the free debit card just in case of emergencies.

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Another feature that I really liked about the account was that they gave you free deposit slips AND postage paid deposit envelopes so that you could mail checks in for deposit. I would not be using them to deposit cash but since the envelopes are paid for then I could mail checks off to the bank and have them deposited for me. I don’t get many checks so the main deposits here would be the snowflake checks that I get from doing my PineCone surveys every now and then so there is no rush to get those deposited.

Of course ING will still be my main checking account because I do the bulk of my transactions there but now I will have the added freedom of being able to write paper checks (like a caveman!!!! ha ha) but without the hassle of making a $500 transfer every month.

It would not matter how long the checks took to get there because that is not an account that I would be using on a daily basis. Depending on how it suits my lifestyle, I might make this my checking account for making my church offerings and close the Chase account completely. As it stands, it took me two minutes to open and fund the checking account from my savings account there and I ordered free deposit slips and envelopes AND my debit card and I can’t wait to see how the new account works.