Ally vs Discover

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TomatoBoy
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Ally vs Discover

Post by TomatoBoy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:05 pm

I suppose I am in coin-flipping territory here. I am looking for an online bank with options for both checking and savings accounts. The impetus is for a higher interest rate than my brick and mortar bank (I will retain a checking account here for cash deposits). It is critical to me that the bank offer two-factor authentication. I am with wells fargo as my brick and mortar for that reason.

Ally bank seems to be the standard around here. 1% APY, interest-bearing checking account, and you get webroot for 3 computers for free (which I happen to use and on 3 computers, so this will save ~$60/year). They offer 2-factor, but it seems as though some users on this board have had issues.

Discover bank has .95%, a $100 sign up bonus, and a "cash back" checking feature, which will compensate a bit for the lower interest. They have 2 factor authentication as well. Bankrate puts Discover in the 95th percentile on it's "safe and sound" rating, though it ranks very poorly in certain areas (e.g., 7th percentile in liquidity). Ally overall is rated in the 81st percentile (still quite good in my view). Obviously, both are FDIC insured, but I am still interested in going with the safer of the banks. Frankly, they both look to be fine.

Does anyone here have experience and can you speak to the functionality of the two-factor authentication with these banks? Particularly with Discover? I have read about some issues with ally two-factor authentication (e.g., they only send & ask for a code here and there). What about with Discover? Can anyone with experience with their 2-factor authentication indicate if it works properly?

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midareff
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by midareff » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:32 pm

Seven full years of Ally with ZERO issues.

TomatoBoy
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by TomatoBoy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:16 pm

midareff wrote:Seven full years of Ally with ZERO issues.
Do you make use of the two factor authentication and does it work smoothly? I have read about problems, but it seemed to largely be early on in its being rolled out.

Dandy
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by Dandy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:51 pm

I had Ally when the CDs were among the highest and the early withdrawal penalty was low. My daughters have their checking and have no complaints. Service was good. While they were once head and shoulders above the others they have since drifted back to being just a very good choice.

I have had Discover Bank for awhile an have no issues. Have pension and Social Security sent to Savings and 2x a month transfer money to Alliant Credit Union Checking account - imitating getting salary payments. Have their money market but their checking seems a bit odd.

I recently opened a checking and savings account at Alliant Credit Union. I really think they have a better checking account than either Ally or Discover. Pays 0.65% on checking balance, 1% on Savings, instant movement between the 2 accounts. No fees with online statement, $20 ATM fee reimbursement per month and with 1,000's of fee free ATMs nationwide, mobile deposit, 24/7 service, etc. Haven't had a problem. As someone pointed out on this board their Bill Payment feature is somewhat dated but fine once you get used to it.

TomatoBoy
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by TomatoBoy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:01 pm

Dandy wrote: I recently opened a checking and savings account at Alliant Credit Union. I really think they have a better checking account than either Ally or Discover. Pays 0.65% on checking balance, 1% on Savings, instant movement between the 2 accounts. No fees with online statement, $20 ATM fee reimbursement per month and with 1,000's of fee free ATMs nationwide, mobile deposit, 24/7 service, etc. Haven't had a problem. As someone pointed out on this board their Bill Payment feature is somewhat dated but fine once you get used to it.
I presume they don't have 2-factor authentication? How do you regard their security?

EricBackus
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by EricBackus » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:08 pm

TomatoBoy wrote:Does anyone here have experience and can you speak to the functionality of the two-factor authentication with these banks?
I've used Ally for 6 months. Savings account only, no checking account. I don't connect very often, but I do use two-factor authentication, and have not had any problems.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by pennstater2005 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:53 pm

I have both. Started with Ally then got Discover as a backup. Tried withdrawing cash from Ally once and it wasn't working for some reason.

I only keep a couple hundred dollars in Discover just in case. I used it once to write a check because I was out of Ally checks. Worked fine. Really no complaints with either.
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FedGuy
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by FedGuy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:21 pm

I'm one of the ones that have complained on this forum about Ally's lack of two-factor authentication. When I first set up my account, I called and emailed Ally repeatedly asking them to enable two-factor authentication. I was repeatedly told that this would be done--"just wait an hour or so for the change to cycle through the system"--but nothing ever changed. Finally, one of their IT people told me flat out that "Ally does not offer two-factor authentication."

TomatoBoy
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by TomatoBoy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:12 pm

FedGuy wrote:I'm one of the ones that have complained on this forum about Ally's lack of two-factor authentication. When I first set up my account, I called and emailed Ally repeatedly asking them to enable two-factor authentication. I was repeatedly told that this would be done--"just wait an hour or so for the change to cycle through the system"--but nothing ever changed. Finally, one of their IT people told me flat out that "Ally does not offer two-factor authentication."
Wow. So do you still use Ally just without 2-factor authentication, or did you find another online bank with this feature?

investor4life
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by investor4life » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:28 pm

Ally does have 2FA. It's somewhat random though in the sense that it will sometimes send you a code and sometimes log you right in (even if you have selected the option where it should always treat your computer as a "public" computer). I find this disconcerting and have had numerous conversations with the Ally people. They assure me (take it for what it's worth) that their algorithm knows when it is necessary to send a code...

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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by FedGuy » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:55 pm

TomatoBoy wrote: Wow. So do you still use Ally just without 2-factor authentication, or did you find another online bank with this feature?
I was using my Ally account to hold cash for a downpayment for a home purchase. Once I bought the home, I left $100 in the Ally account as a nominal amount to prevent the account from being closed. I might be more willing to transfer more money into it if they offered consistent, robust two-factor authentication, but without it I'm happy to leave the $100 to sit and slowly gather interest.

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midareff
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by midareff » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:13 am

TomatoBoy wrote:
midareff wrote:Seven full years of Ally with ZERO issues.
Do you make use of the two factor authentication and does it work smoothly? I have read about problems, but it seemed to largely be early on in its being rolled out.
I do not use two factor. I rely on a password manager and use a distinct different extra long alpha numeric upper and lower case password for each financial site. Access is also device and country restricted. Not to be paranoid, but the time and effort it would take to hack is better spent on the Bank of New York and some countries hundred million dollar account.

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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by TomatoBoy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:32 am

midareff wrote:I do not use two factor. I rely on a password manager and use a distinct different extra long alpha numeric upper and lower case password for each financial site. Access is also device and country restricted. Not to be paranoid, but the time and effort it would take to hack is better spent on the Bank of New York and some countries hundred million dollar account.
Would you mind explaining briefly the access being device restricted? My searches did not reveal anything.

Also, based on my discussion with a representative, Discover does not offer two-factor authentication. They send you a code when you are opening an account or if you forgot your password. A representative at Ally indicated that they will send you a code when you log in from a new device (but I understand from reading around here that, in practice, it doesn't always work that way).

MikeG62
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:48 am

midareff wrote:[...I do not use two factor. I rely on a password manager and use a distinct different extra long alpha numeric upper and lower case password for each financial site. Access is also device and country restricted. Not to be paranoid, but the time and effort it would take to hack is better spent on the Bank of New York and some countries hundred million dollar account.
Same for me. I use LastPass.

I do not use two factor authentication with any financial institution other than Fidelity. Reason being I use Fidelity's Full View as an account aggregator. Using two factor anywhere else would preclude Full View from being able to access my accounts at other financial institutions. FWIW, I have been using Full View for over a decade (as far as I can recall) without any issues so far.
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midareff
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by midareff » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:21 am

TomatoBoy wrote:
midareff wrote:I do not use two factor. I rely on a password manager and use a distinct different extra long alpha numeric upper and lower case password for each financial site. Access is also device and country restricted. Not to be paranoid, but the time and effort it would take to hack is better spent on the Bank of New York and some countries hundred million dollar account.
Would you mind explaining briefly the access being device restricted? My searches did not reveal anything.

Also, based on my discussion with a representative, Discover does not offer two-factor authentication. They send you a code when you are opening an account or if you forgot your password. A representative at Ally indicated that they will send you a code when you log in from a new device (but I understand from reading around here that, in practice, it doesn't always work that way).

Sure.. LastPass allows you to restrict access by country and check the box to require email authorization for any device other than the customary. LastPass itself requires your email address and password for which I use a different extra long alpha numeric upper and lower case password.

gator1
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by gator1 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:52 pm

Ally.

No experience with Discover. My coin-flip was between Ally and Alliant CU. I picked Ally because more Bogleheads use Ally. Follow the Leader kind of thing.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:21 pm

midareff wrote:
TomatoBoy wrote:
midareff wrote:I do not use two factor. I rely on a password manager and use a distinct different extra long alpha numeric upper and lower case password for each financial site. Access is also device and country restricted. Not to be paranoid, but the time and effort it would take to hack is better spent on the Bank of New York and some countries hundred million dollar account.
Would you mind explaining briefly the access being device restricted? My searches did not reveal anything.

Also, based on my discussion with a representative, Discover does not offer two-factor authentication. They send you a code when you are opening an account or if you forgot your password. A representative at Ally indicated that they will send you a code when you log in from a new device (but I understand from reading around here that, in practice, it doesn't always work that way).

Sure.. LastPass allows you to restrict access by country and check the box to require email authorization for any device other than the customary. LastPass itself requires your email address and password for which I use a different extra long alpha numeric upper and lower case password.
Where does LastPass actually store your passwords? On your device, or on their servers?
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

MikeG62
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:01 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:...Where does LastPass actually store your passwords? On your device, or on their servers?
I think it's both places. See here:

https://lastpass.com/support.php?cmd=showfaq&id=425

Also, see this article which compares the top password managers:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407168,00.asp

Lastly, I use two factor authentication to log into LastPass. So not only would someone need to crack my very long master password, but they would need to have my phone with them at the same time. Feels pretty secure to me.
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MikeG62
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:35 pm

I am in the process of consolidating online banks (savings accounts) as I have been deploying (investing) excess cash over the last year or so.

Currently I have online savings accounts with Ally and Discover (and a few CD's with Barclays). I am now in a position to consolidate the online savings account to one bank and be fully within the FDIC insurance limits (could not do that before, which is why I have been using multiple banks) and have done that for all practical purposes (99.9% of the online savings account $ is now with Ally).

So I have been wondering whether I should keep a token amount of $ with Discover (they have no minimum balance requirement) so as to maintain the relationship or just transfer all remaining $'s in Discover to Ally, close the account and be done with them? The rationale for keeping the account open is that if in the future their rates (and offerings) are better than Ally's, it would be easier to just move things to Discover.

Any opinions/suggestions?
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SrGrumpy
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:04 pm

MikeG62 wrote: So I have been wondering whether I should keep a token amount of $ with Discover ...
That's what I am doing, keeping $100 in Discover, with most of my $$ in Ally. [Well, actually CIT right now so that I can get their $100 bonus despite their horrible web site.] Ya never know - maybe Discover will offer some special CD deal, and you want to be ready to transfer $$ in.

In such cases, I subscribe to depositaccounts.com which emails me with news from banks I have chosen to track.

Gronnie
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Re: Ally vs Discover

Post by Gronnie » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:19 pm

I wouldn't trust email or SMS based 2FA. It must be a rolling code generated by a trusted hardware device or it is essentially useless.

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