Ally offers free checking, debit rewards

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For savers turned off by the big banks' move toward higher checking account fees, online banks are a good alternative.

Among the best online bank accounts is the Interest Checking Account at Ally Bank.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank charges no monthly fees and requires no minimum balance.

It offers free ATM use nationwide (it will reimburse fees you incur from other banks) and pays an interest rate that rivals short-term CD rates.

Balances below $15,000 earn 0.50% APY; balances above that amount earn 0.80% APY.

Ally offers free, unlimited check-writing, and if you shop with your debit card (which is free), you can earn cash back through the Ally Perks plan. Your account will be credited with rewards when you make qualifying purchases from participating retailers.

It also offers a free online bill pay.

Like most Internet banks, you’ll need to complete an interbank transfer and sign up for direct deposit or mail in a check (Ally will pay for the postage) to make a deposit.

Before you consider paying for a checking account, use our 8-step guide to landing a free checking account.

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