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September 15, 2009
4:49 pm

ally is not on your list, they are a divison of resmor and cdic insured. there savings account is 2% and they have good gic rates, also an early withdrawal rate of 1.5% if you need your dollars sooner or this govt decides saving is better than going into debt. forgot to put this in, you can also do telephone banking 24 hours a day if you don't trust the internet

October 15, 2009
9:43 pm

I've just signed up with Ally. Wish it would get added to the list. A few comments.

Pros: Great 2% rate. You can link to another external savings account. Yes, doesn't have to be a chequing account. Once everything was finally set up, my first external transfers went smoothly and fast.

Cons: Twice I've tried to do internet transactions between midnight & 1:00am and couldn't because their computers were busy. You'd think they'd set it to crunch it's numbers after 3:00am or something. Yes, there is 24-hour telephone service. But they can't do anything the computers can't do. Also, any problems have to be solved during business hours. Another problem - I couldn't complete the on-line application using Google Chrome as my browser. It isn't supported yet. I had to switch to Internet Explorer or Firefox. I keep forgetting this because Google Chrome is my default. Some things work with it. Some don't.

Warning 1: After filling out the application form, you need to send in a signed cheque. But the web program doesn't tell you who to make the cheque out to or who needs to sign it. If you have applied for a joint account, you need to make the cheque out to both of you and both of you need to sign the cheque. I didn't know this and it delayed the process, having to send in a 2nd cheque.

Warning 2: About the GICs that can be cashed any time - the small print is difficult to find. The telephone operators don't seem too clear on how much you get back when cashed early. I found it difficult to find on the website and at one point found a contradiction. I'd be wary about this.

Although Ally is new and has the above quirks, they seem to be genuinely trying and very interested in improving.

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