Ally Bank 1-Day ACH Funds Transfer Review

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Considering all of the things that can be done instantaneously nowadays, I’m rather disappointed that it still takes 3 business days to move money between most financial institutions. NACHA has been gradually working on same-day ACH transfers – apparently credits are live (like direct deposit), but not debits. Even then, banks may treat this as a premium service and charge a fee.

Ally Bank announced in October 2016 that they would support free 1-day ACH transfers for eligible transfers on 12/3/2016. They later announced a delay until 1/7/17. I finally got around to testing out this new feature in mid-January. Here are their own words:

We can now complete qualified transfers between your Ally Bank and non-Ally Bank accounts in 1 business day – free of charge. If 1-day delivery is unavailable, we’ll deliver your transfer in 3 business days.

Here’s their updated timing chart (note the cut-off times):

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Here are the official reasons why a transfer would be ineligible for 1-day delivery:

  • Your one-time transfer is ineligible due to account inactivity, overdrafts or transfer returns.
  • Your transfer is part of a recurring transfer plan.

In my experience playing around with the website, there may be other additional factors. Here are the results of various combinations of to/from between Ally Savings/Checking and a sample External Bank B. This is what Ally is telling me upfront, before initiating the transfer.

  • Ally Savings to External Bank B = 1-day Transfer
  • External Bank B to Ally Savings = 1-day Transfer
  • Ally Checking to External Bank B = 3-day Transfer
  • External Bank B to Ally Checking = 1-day Transfer

Update – Here’s what a commenter Craig said an Ally CSR told him. I haven’t officially confirmed this but it appears to be consistent with my experiences.

To qualify for the 1 day transfer At Ally Bank, you have to do at least one $250 transfer in and out of the external account and then it goes into effect 2 months after that is done…so ALL your transfer accounts can qualify for 1 day transfers if you follow that rule…They should mention on the website…i found it out from a CSR….

Let us not forget that Alliant reduced the amount of outgoing transfers to $25,000 where as Ally allows $150,000 per transfer…

This usually isn’t a problem since I can make an instant transfer between Ally Checking to Ally Savings and then do a 1-day transfer from there, but savings accounts are only allowed six withdrawals per month. If I have a lot of transfers in any given month, I will eventually run into delays.

Ally has redesigned and improved the user interface of their funds transfer page. They now provide a a nice illustration of when your funds will be debited and when they will be deposited at the target location. It is also explicitly states whether it is a 1-day or 3-day transfer. Here’s an Expedited 1-day transfer:

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Here’s a Standard 3-day transfer (in this case technically it will take only two days):

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Bottom line. Ally Bank now offers 1 business day transfers in eligible cases with an improved user experience. Overall, I’m happy with this development as it applies most of the time (see above for details). I use Ally Bank as my central hub for cash transfers with Ally Bank Savings Account (higher interest, 6 withdrawals per month) as my default location for liquid cash savings and as a free overdraft source from Ally Checking (unlimited withdrawals per month). If I find a high-interest CD that looks good, I move money to/from my Ally account to where it needs to go, so speed can matter.

Comments

  1. I am glad to see this, but the one thing that really annoys me is this “disqualifying” thing, “Your transfer is part of a recurring transfer plan.” This makes no sense to me – after all, a recurring transfer is nothing but a series of one-time transfers. You can even make a change to an upcoming recurring transfer that ONLY applies to THAT single transfer.

    Currently, I have set a number of single transfers to recreate my former recurring one, but I have to say, having this not be allowed is making me rethink having an Ally Savings account and transfering money to my external bank checking account to pay my bills. My other bank pays 0.8% on their savings, and I can instantaneously transfer from there to my checking. I’m not sure the extra 0.2% is worth the hassle any more.

  2. What’s odd is that even for transfers in greater than $25k it seems like Ally is saying it will be a 1 day transfer. The new NACHA ACH Rules only are required for transfers of $25k or smaller. Do you see the same?

  3. Alliant Credit Union has been offering reliable 1 day ACH transfer for about 5 or 6 years now. I’ve been a customer of Ally since 2005, when they where GMAC Bank. GMAC Bank use to have next day ACH credits. In fact they use to credit you next day for your deposit but, not take the cash from your remote bank till 2 days. So if you did an ACH transfer on Monday, they credited you on Tuesday and took the funds from your remote bank on Wednesday giving you an extra day of interest.

    It wasn’t until they became Ally that the started the 3 day transfer system because they did away with their own solution and rolled in a 3rd party option. The 3rd party provider takes the 1-2 days of interest float on the ACH transfer as their payment instead of it going to the customer. This was the first step in how Ally became less customer focused when they switched from GMAC.

    On top of that, Ally’s site has gone majorly downhill in the last few years, full of Web 2.0 bloat. The day they introduced the new web site with that crazy graphic that took up half the browser window was the day I gave up on them! It now takes 8-10 seconds just to get the main page up of my account when I login. Switching windows between accounts is slow and painful.

    Alliant isn’t fancy with lots of graphs but it’s fully functional and FAST. I’ll take a site with fast response and simple design over a graphics heavy, dog SLOW, complicated site any day.

    These days, I keep my account at Ally only for the occasional CD special (like the recent 11month No Penalty CD at 1.25% they offered for about 2 weeks).

    • Interest payment. Interesting.

      Yeah. New UI is meh. Love the modern look. Hate all the extras. Why do I need to see a pie chart of all my balance? Some recent improvement are good. Like pulling out transfer and payments from the menus. But then they updated the landing page to be even more bloated with the whole snapshot thing.

    • I have to agree with Brad. I’ve been using Alliant Credit Union for about 9 years now. I’m so spoiled by how well it’s worked that I have trouble doing business with other banks. My Ally account still uses 3 day transfers to send money over to my Chase account which at this point is totally ridiculous. Alliant has finally done an overhaul of their mobile apps which was the one missing piece of their whole ecosystem for a long time.

    • Thanks for your comment. I had previously read that Alliant CU has 1-2 business day transfers, which seemed similar to what Capital One 360 offers. Sometimes 1-day transfer, but sometimes 2-day transfers. CapOne 360 just doesn’t allow linking as easily as Ally. Does Alliant have a FAQ page outlining their 1-day transfers?

    • Two interesting things after some quick research on Alliant CU:

      1) They support the incoming same-day ACH (mentioned in original post). “With same-day ACH, all ACH transfers sent from your originating financial institution by 1:45pm CT will post by 5:00pm the same.” Not sure how this works in real world. If you use Alliant to pull money from External Bank very early on Day 0, will the money arrive on Day 0 or Day 1? Will the originating financial institution actually send it early enough? I’m guessing it will will arrive one business day later.

      2) Alliant now limits both outgoing and incoming ACH transfers (initiated by them) to $25k per day. This could be a problem for those funding larger CDs or otherwise moving bigger amounts. You could break it up over a few days, but watch out for that 6x/month transfer limit on savings accounts.

      • I haven’t had any experience with same day transfers via ACH at Alliant. All of their standard transfers are processed for posting the next day (so 1 day ACH). They did reduce transfer limits to $25k a couple of years back. You can always push or pull more than $25k from the other bank’s end or, like you said, break up the transfer over a couple of days. If you need to make a really big transfer quickly, a wire is always an easy option ($25 fee). You need to fax your wire request in and then they will call you back to confirm.

        While we’re on the topic, GS Bank (formerly GE Capital Bank) makes transfers from their savings account super easy and fast. They have 1 day ACH transfers (in my experience) with a limit of $125,000 per transfer and wire transfers (for anything larger) are free. Wire transfers are handled by calling into customer service which has always been painless for me.

      • If you schedule your transfer by 1pm EST from the web site or App then it is next business day. If you schedule it for 1:01pm EST then it’s second business days. I think the 1pm EST is an arbitrary cut off time. But so be it.

        Yes, Alliant instituted a $25,000 outbound per day limit (no per month limit) a few months back with $100,000 per day inbound limit. I believe it was because too many people where using them as a hub account. They want customers to use them as their primary bank, not just be a hub to move money around. They do allow up to $20,000 per day in app based check deposits and up to $20,000 per day in deposit taking ATM’s. They also reimburse up to $20 in ATM fee’s per month and do so next business day (you don’t have to wait till end of the month like Ally).

        In regards to incoming ACH, yes they do have same day ACH funds release for inbound. Reimbursements from my Flexible Spending account this year have been coming in 1 day sooner then it did last year. They are talking about having customer initiated same day ACH by end of 2017.

        The point of my original comment was, Alliant has a strong track record to being customer focused. GMAC/Ally has not. Ally’s web site is more like a powerpoint presentation then a functional banking site, slow and graphics heavy. Also, IRA’s with Ally are a NIGHTMARE. They change the rules arbitrarily over the years for no reason. I opened up an IRA at Ally when they first started, it was a horrible experience. When I went to transfer the money over to Fidelity, even though Fidelity sent paperwork with a medallion signature guarantee, Ally refused to process it! I had to close the IRA out myself and do it as a 60 day rollover.

        Also, Alliant has had a stronger track record of rates then Ally. Alliant was at 1% for almost a year longer, while Ally was at 0.87% on the saving account, CD rates are also generally better. While not a big difference, every basis point counts in today’s rate world.

        Lastly, Alliant is a full service bank and has been for years. Besides savings, checking, CD’s. You can get a mortgage, car loan, HELOC, personal LOC, etc. All with the same login and interface.

        Alliant isn’t perfect by a long shot, but compared to all the other online banks, they are better. IMO.

  4. I am a happy Alliant Credit Union customer, but wanted another on line bank that paid good interest. Based on past comments on this site I decided to give Ally a try. This one day transfer does not work to transfer money from Alliant to Ally using Ally to make transfer. It takes longer. So, I have been moving money from Alliant to Ally using Alliant for the transfer.

    So far, Alliant is clearly better for my needs. But, I will stick with Ally for a while to give Ally a fair chance,

    I would appreciate other readers thoughts on other banks that pay good interest on checking and saving, interface well with Quicken, allow timely transfers, and allow higher limits on transfers.

  5. I’d read elsewhere you can set up a Square Cash account and transfer cash between accounts ‘instantly’ similar to a debit card transaction.

  6. To qualify for the 1 day transfer At Ally Bank, you have to do at least one $250 transfer in and out of the external account and then it goes into effect 2 months after that is done…so ALL your transfer accounts can qualify for 1 day transfers if you follow that rule…They should mention on the website…i found it out from a CSR….

    Let us not forget that Alliant reduced the amount of outgoing transfers to $25,000 where as Ally allows $150,000 per transfer…

  7. Fred Jones says:

    While Ally invested in a nicer user interface, they should allow users to sort their checking/savings accounts in the dashboard view.

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