Does Ally Invest offer ACH, Wite Transfers (domestic, international), and Check Writing service?

Transferring Money with a Ally Invest Account

Although Ally Invest is the brokerage arm of Ally Bank, they also offer their investment clients some options when it comes to managing and moving their cash around. Although checking accounts are generally meant to maintain a cash balance for immediate and short-term expenditures, it can take time (upwards of a week) to deploy some of this idle cash to an investment account. This can be a burden when trying to act quickly to take advantage of a fleeting investment opportunity. This article will discuss some of the cash-related services available to Ally Invest accounts that could ease this burden.

Ally Invest ACH Transfers

ACH transfers are probably the most common method of moving money around to different accounts electronically because it is generally free, fairly quick, and easy to request. This is no different at Ally, where ACH transfers to and from your Ally Invest account are free of charge. If you’re moving money from an external bank to your Ally Invest account there is the option for next day transfers where your funds should be available to use the next business day as long as your request is submitted prior to 7:30pm on a business day. Standard transfers from non-Ally banks will take one to three business days to process. If you have an Ally checking or savings account, moving this money to your Ally Invest account is instant.

Ally Invest ACH Transfers


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Ally Invest Account Transfers

As with most brokers, Ally charges a $50 fee for both full and partial outgoing account transfers. If you are moving your portfolio from another broker to Ally Invest, there is no fee from Ally but the initiating broker will likely charge a fee. Ally offers to reimburse other brokers’ account transfer fees (up to $150) if the portfolio you’re moving to Ally is worth at least $2,500.

Ally Invest Wire Transfers

When time is of the essence, you may choose to move your money using a wire transfer, which is generally processed same day. Ally charges a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers, which is typical of most brokerages. There is no fee for incoming wire transfers, however the sending bank will likely charge a fee for it. There is a $30 fee for any failed wire transfer requests so you should ensure you have adequate funds available before requesting any wires.

Ally Invest Debit Cards and Check-Writing

Your Ally Invest account also gives you the option to basically have it double as a checking account for an annual fee. The Apex Select annual checking feature costs $20/year and comes with 50 free checks (additional books of 50 checks each can be re-ordered for $15/book). Bounced checks will also incur an additional fee of $35.

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To add a debit card to this account, which you can use to easily access the idle cash in your Ally Invest account, you will pay another $35/year. The combined fee of $55/year for the checking feature and debit card is a bit surprising since other brokers, like TD Ameritrade, offer these cash services free of charge. Additionally, Ally charges a $1 ATM withdrawal fee, whereas TD Ameritrade offers free ATM transactions.

Ally Invest ACH, Wire Transfers Summary

Ally is following in the footsteps of other major brokers by offering embedded cash services within their Ally Invest brokerage account. Being able to access the cash in your investment account via a debit card and checks blurs the once black and white line that separated a checking account from a brokerage account. This makes it easier for the investor to act on investment opportunities faster than in the past. We feel this is the direction most brokers will head in as the future unfolds, however we don’t like the annual fees Ally charges for the checking account and debit card capabilities when other major brokers are offering these for free.

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