Ally credit card review

Ally CashBack Credit Card Reviews

Ally CashBack Credit Card has the potential to earn decent rewards for customers of Ally Bank who spend an average or above-average amount on gas and groceries.

  • Category:
  • Finance
  • Review Topic:
  • Credit Cards,
  • Personal Finance
  • Website:
  • www.ally.com/credit-cards

About Ally CashBack Credit Card

The Ally CashBack Credit Card is the flagship cash-rewards card offered by Ally Bank, one of the leading online banks in the country.

While Ally may not have the brick-and-mortar branches to compete with big banks like Chase and Bank of America, its CashBack card has the potential to give credit cards from any bank a run for their money.

Exactly why that is will be something that you’ll learn throughout this review. But we aren’t just going to focus on rewards; that’s short-sighted. We’re also going to analyze this credit card’s benefits and its rates and fees, things that every consumer should know before signing up for a credit card.

In the end, our goal is to help you know if this credit card is right for your particular situation. To achieve that, we’ve spent time reading through Ally’s website – fine print included – to unearth the facts that we think are most valuable to consumers just like you.

Yes, the rewards you’ll get are great. But are there certain exclusions you need to be aware of? Are there any benefits to being an Ally Bank customer while owning this card? These are the kinds of important questions we’ll answer in the next few minutes.

When it comes to the categories of spending that you can put on your credit card, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that groceries demand the highest spend.

In other words, the average American household spends more on groceries than they do in every other category of spending that you could put on your credit card.

And here’s the good news: Ally’s CashBack card will give you 2% cash back on all your grocery purchases. That 2% extends to gas station purchases, too, making this card seem like a good fit for families who spend a lot in these categories.

But how much, exactly, are you spending on gas and groceries, Well, according to the BLS’ numbers, the average family is spending about $4,000 on groceries and $2,000 on gas. The grand total each year is $6,000, which equals $120 in cash rewards at a 2% rate.

For contrast’s sake, the Discover it Chrome gives 2% back on gas and restaurants and we estimate those yearly rewards to be about $100.

Assuming that you spend another $19,000 a year on things other than gas and groceries, you’ll earn another $190 from your 1%, bringing your total yearly rewards to about $310.

Now, there are a few things you need to keep in mind about this 2% rewards rate. First, you can pretty much eliminate any purchases you make at warehouse clubs, whether it’s gas or groceries. Those stores use a different merchant ID number than traditional grocery stores and gas stations, which is why your purchases there won’t get rewards.

Second, any grocery purchases you make that you return won’t accrue rewards. Technically, you’ll get those rewards but they’ll be returned after you return the items you bought.

The next reward you get with this card is a $100 bonus if you can spend at least $500 in the first three months of owning this card. Based on our research, hitting the $500 should be super easy since most families and individuals can put at least $500 a month on their card.

It’s important to note, though, that balance transfers and any interest payments you make won’t count toward that $500 requirement.

Also, the clock starts ticking on that three-month deadline the day you’re approved for the card and not the day you get it in the mail. So, if there’s a delay in getting your card, remember that you’ll have less time to hit the spending requirement.

According to the fine print, it will take about six to eight weeks for the $100 to show up in your account once you spend $500.

Your Ally online account will be where you go to check up on your cash rewards balance. If you want to redeem your rewards, you have to do so in increments of $25. The rewards will then be applied to your credit card balance.

Basically, you can divide this card’s benefits into two groups: the bonus for depositing to an Ally account and the Visa Signature program.

As we mentioned earlier, one of the questions you should ask is whether or not you get a bonus for depositing your rewards into an Ally account. Many banks do this – Bank of America is a good example.

Ally will give you a 10% bonus on your rewards if you choose to put them in any of the following Ally accounts:

It’s worth noting that these accounts don’t have any fees so you won’t be losing any money by opening them just to get the bonus. Also, you’ll earn a small bit of interest by depositing to each of these accounts.

Using the numbers we talked about in the rewards section, we think that you could earn an extra $31 a year using the 10% bonus. With all rewards and bonuses taken into account, you’re looking at around $340 in cash rewards.

That puts this card on par with the rewards you’d get from cards like the Capital One Quicksilver and Chase Freedom Unlimited, which have flat rates of 1.5% that can earn the average family around $375 in rewards each year.

This Ally cash rewards card is part of the Visa Signature program, a great suite of benefits that provide everything from reimbursements on travel or items that went down in price within 90 days of buying them to complimentary car rental insurance and extended warranties.

All the details you need to know about the Visa Signature program will be included with your card when Ally sends it to you.

Remember, though, that these benefits are only available for items you purchase with your Ally card.

Whenever we review cash back cards, we try to find the various ways that the credit card issuer – in this case, a bank – tries to get money from you.

One of the notorious methods they use is penalty APR – an interest rate around 30% that kicks in when you make one late payment or have a payment returned.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards card and Citi’s Double Cash both use penalty APR’s. Fortunately, the Ally CashBack doesn’t.

Even though there’s no penalty APR, there’s an ongoing APR of 13.99%, 18.99% or 23.99% that will kick in if you don’t pay your balance in full every month. The better your credit scores, the better the interest rate you’ll get.

As far as APR’s on cash rewards cards go, Ally’s is pretty good. It’s not as low as the Discover it’s 11.99% but it’s better than the American Express Blue Cash Preferred’s 14.24% and the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 15.99%.

Here’s a list of the other rates and fees associated with this card:

  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • Cash advance fee: 5%
  • Cash advance APR: 24.24%
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Late/returned payment fee: Up to $35

Public Opinion About the Ally CashBack Card

Many of the experts say that this card is a solid choice for earning cash back, mainly because there’s no cap on the rewards you can earn and because you get a 10% bonus when you deposit the rewards into an Ally account.

As far as consumers go, much of what we read from Ally customers was more about the bank than the credit card. The reviews were mixed, with one customer complaining that Ally allowed fraudulent charges to continue even though they called to notify Ally.

It’s hard to get a read on the Ally customer experience, so the usual rules of good banking apply here: Keep an eye on your recent transactions to make sure no unlawful transactions have taken place.

Unlike checking accounts, you aren’t liable for fraudulent charges made to your Ally credit card.

Pros, Cons and Who It’s Good For

The strengths of this credit card lie in its rewards. While the $100 bonus isn’t as much as competing cards that offer $150 (Freedom Unlimited, Quicksilver, B of A Cash Rewards) the 10% bonus you get for depositing your cash back into an Ally account is a nice perk.

Also, we like how the card doesn’t have a penalty APR and the lowest regular APR is better than several competing cards.

If this card has a weakness, it’s that you’re required to open a new bank account in order to take advantage of the 10% bonus. You may not feel comfortable opening a new financial account just to earn, by our estimation, an extra $31 a year.

We believe the person who is best suited for this card is an Ally Bank customer who spends more than the average amount on gas and groceries each month.

If you’re undecided about this card, that’s okay. It’s better to ask questions first and make a decision later. It might help you to read through our guide to the best cash back cards so you can get a side-by-side comparison of some of the cards we mentioned here.

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Review for Ally CashBack Credit Card (Sept, 8)

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  1. Review for Ally Credit Cards. Categories: Credit Cards, Visa. Store Rating: 8 out of 10 stars. Usability Rating: 9 out of 10 stars. Value for Money Rating: 7 out of 10 stars. Deals Rating: 7 out of 10 stars. Review Details: Ally Credit Card is a Visa Card issued by Ally Bank, so you can pay confidntially everywhere where visa is accepted. The Ally CashBack Credit Card offers an easy way to cash in on everyday purchases, hassle-free. Apply now here https://www.ally.com/bank/cash-back-credit-card/. Start your online application, subject to credit approval. If you’ve already received your new Ally CashBack Credit Card, you may activate it online. The website has very attractive ultra-modern design. Page loading is super-fast. Ally Bank offers 2% Cash Back on Gas and groceries and no annual fee. Very interesting offer, we recommend!

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Ally CashBack Credit Card Review: 2% Cash Back on Gas and Groceries + 10% Relationship Bonus

If you have an Ally Bank savings or checking account, you’ve likely been pitched their new Ally CashBack credit card recently. Here are the highlights:

  • $100 bonus when you make $500 in eligible purchases during the first 3 billing cycles.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No limits on rewards categories.
  • 10% boost on earned rewards when you deposited into an eligible Ally Bank account.
  • No annual fee.
  • Intro 0% APR for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers. (No 0% APR on purchases.) Balance transfer fee is either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater.

As with all the big banks, Ally is working on their cross-marketing. They want you to keep your checking, savings, IRAs, brokerage, and credit cards all at the same place. Ally’s strong in the online banking side (named best online bank by Money Magazine for the fifth year in a row). Credit cards are here, and a brokerage arm is just around the corner (TradeKing). I am personally interested in such convenience, as for years Ally Bank has been my primary checking, savings, and CD accounts.

Including the 10% relationship bonus, this Visa Signature card would get you 2.2% cash back on gas stations and grocery stores and then 1.1% on all other purchases. While this structure is better than the traditional 1% flat credit cards, the competition has heated up in the last few years. Consider:

  • Citi Double Cash Review with 1% cash back on every purchase plus another 1% cash when you pay for those purchases.
  • Fidelity Rewards Visa Credit Card Review with flat 2% cash back on all purchases, when redeemed into an active Fidelity account.
  • BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card Review offers up to a flat 2.625% back on all purchases, when applied towards a travel purchase (deposit requirements apply).
  • Blue Cash Preferred from American Express offers 6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and a $95 ($75 if your application is received by 8/3/16). The no annual fee version offers 3% on groceries and 2% on gas.

The best program to compare against is Bank of America. The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. Bank of America also offers a 10% bonus on rewards earned when you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account. However, they also have premium relationship tiers that offer up to a 75% bonus on rewards that would work out to 1.75% cash back on every purchase, 3.5% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 5.25% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. To me, this made it worth it to build up a “relationship” with them, including opening up a new brokerage account and new credit cards.

Ally touts this new card as “simple”, but what would have really been simple is a flat 2% cash back card on everything and then a small relationship bonus on top of that. That way, when taken together with an Ally Bank account, the card would have been the best in many respects. Combined with their high-interest deposit accounts, you’d have a combo that could shake up the industry. The weakest point of my Bank of America combo is their piddly 0.05% APY on savings accounts and sad CD rates, whereas one of the strongest points of Ally is the 1.00% APY of their savings account and highly-competitive CD rates.

Bottom line. The rewards are above-average overall, and might be worth a look for Ally-centric customers. However, there are top cards in the marketplace that offer close to a flat 2% on everything, and better gas and grocery-specific cards as well. I personally prefer to pick things à la carte unless the sum is greater than the parts, as is the current situation with Bank of America.

We want you to get rewarded for the things you buy most. The Ally CashBack Credit Card offers an easy way to cash in on everyday purchases, hassle-free.

  • No annual fee. Get the details
  • Earn unlimited rewards as you shop:
    • 2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Get a 10% Ally Deposit Bonus when you deposit your cash rewards into an eligible Ally Bank account
  • Receive a $100 bonus when you make $500 in eligible purchases during the first 3 billing cycles
  • Pay confidently anywhere Visa® is accepted
  • Can be added to Apple Pay® and Samsung Pay™

This is a Visa cash back rewards card issued by TD Bank. This card is intended for consumers, or "personal use" with a nearly perfect credit history. Rates may vary among applicants, however the lowest standard APR is 14.24%* and may be as high as 24.24%* (Variable)*, depending on your credit worthiness*.

There is not an introductory APR for this card, so the lowest or standard rate may apply immediately or after the grace period for eligible purchases. There is no annual fee for this card.*

This card is a cash back card, where you can expect cash rewards for your purchases.

Based on the FICO score recommendation, applicants should have a great credit record. A FICO credit score of 746 is recommended for a higher chance of approval, but this is not required. There are a number of other factors that this issuer may also consider when making decisions for approval. While your FICO score is usually a very important factor, you may want to consider other areas that may affect a decision for approval. For example, your debt to income ratio, recent credit inquiries, 30+ day delinquencies, or current credit accounts nearing the maximum amount may affect a credit decision.

The grace period listed for the Ally CashBack Credit Card is at least 25 days*. So interest charges will not be applied for new purchases during this time. Be aware that some issuers will begin charging interest on cash advances and balance transfers on the transaction date.

This card contains the brand of Visa, where acceptance is global. Most businesses that accept credit cards will accept Visa as a form of payment.

Cash back rewards are competitive, with 2% cash back at gas stations and on grocery stores - and 1% everywhere else. The 10% Ally Deposit bonus magnifies rewards and savings even more, which would be an easy way to add to your savings goal.

Currently, we have no applicant results in our system. You can be the first one to help by submitting your application results to assist other applicants before they apply for this card.

Approval time for this offer is not listed. You should expect a final credit decision within a couple of weeks, but normally much sooner.

There are no reviews. If you have experience, you can write one now.

United TravelBank Credit Card Review

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $150 in United TravelBank cash when you spend at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within 3 months
  • Rewards: Unlimited 2% TravelBank cash on airline tickets purchased from United; unlimited 1.5% TravelBank cash on all other purchases; no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn
  • Benefits: 25% discount on in-flight food and beverage purchases; trip cancellation and interruption insurance; shopping benefits such as purchase protection
  • Intro APR: None
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Credit Needed: Good/Excellent

United TravelBank from Chase is an approachable credit card with no annual fee and a straightforward rewards program that’s more than enough to earn it a slot on our list of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market. Every dollar in purchases made with this card earns TravelBank cash, which you can then redeem for airline tickets on United.com’s booking portal or the United Reservations phone hotline.

The United TravelBank Card doesn’t have the attractive fringe benefits or luxury perks of higher-end travel rewards credit cards, including stablemates like the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card and Chase United MileagePlus Club Card. But it’s a great option for regular fliers for whom it’s no trouble to remain loyal to United Airlines.

Here’s what you need to know about the United TravelBank Card’s features, benefits, disadvantages, and overall suitability for your travel needs.

When you spend at least $1,000 in eligible net purchases within the first 3 months your account is open, you get $150 in bonus TravelBank cash, which can be redeemed for United airfare at United.com and the United Reservations phone hotline.

Earn unlimited 2% United TravelBank cash per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased from United. Purchases must be made directly with United, on United.com or the United Reservations phone hotline. United airfare purchases made through third-party travel booking sites, such as Expedia and Booking.com, don’t qualify for the 2% rate.

Earn unlimited 1.5% TravelBank cash per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. TravelBank cash automatically accumulates in your TravelBank account, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. TravelBank cash doesn’t expire as long as you maintain your account in good standing and with qualifying activity under the terms of the TravelBank program.

You can redeem your accumulated TravelBank cash for United airline tickets purchased directly from United (flights signed with United and United Express). $1 in TravelBank cash is worth $1 toward eligible United airfare purchases.

You don’t need to wait until you’ve accumulated enough TravelBank cash to cover the full cost of a flight. You can combine TravelBank cash with other eligible forms of payment, including credit card payments, during the redemption process.

25% Rebate on In-Flight Food and Beverage Purchases

As long as your account remains open and in good standing, you’re entitled to a 25% rebate on in-flight food and beverage purchases charged to your card on United and United Express flights. The rebate comes as a statement credit.

This card has some additional travel and shopping benefits backed by Visa and Chase. You don’t need to pay anything out of pockets to be eligible for these benefits, though there may be costs associated with invoking them.

  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage: This card comes with a nice travel insurance policy that provides up to $1,500 in reimbursement for nonrefundable travel purchases forfeited when you cancel or cut short your trip due to certain covered reasons.
  • Rental Car Insurance: When you decline your rental car company’s offer of coverage and pay for your rental in full with your card, you’re covered for loss and damage claims (secondary to your primary auto insurance policy) up to certain predetermined limits. Check your cardmember agreement for details.
  • Purchase Assurance: This benefit covers the replacement or reimbursement of stolen or damaged items purchased in full with your card for 120 days from the date of purchase. It’s capped at $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Price Protection: When you find a lower advertised price on an already-purchased item within 90 days of purchase, you’re reimbursed for the difference up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year.

United TravelBank has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 5% of the transferred or advanced amount. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%.

This card requires good to excellent credit.

  1. No Annual Fee. The United TravelBank card has no annual fee. That’s great news for penny-pinching travelers who want to maximize their return on spending.
  2. Solid Return on Regular Spending. This card has a solid return on regular spending – 1.5% on all purchases, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn. That’s in line with some of the best cash back credit cards on the market.
  3. Solid Sign-Up Bonus. This card’s sign-up bonus is worth $150 in TravelBank cash. It requires just $1,000 in spending over 3 months to achieve. You can probably clear the threshold on your next family vacation.
  4. Discounts on Certain In-Flight Purchases With United. When you charge in-flight food and beverage purchases to your TravelBank card on United and United Express flights, you’re entitled to a 25% rebate, payable as a statement credit. This is a nice value-added perk for fliers who don’t have time to fill up or kick back at the airport. If you fly often and regularly order food in the air, it could be worth tens or hundreds of dollars each year.
  5. Straightforward, Flexible Redemption. Redeeming your TravelBank cash is a cinch – simpler and more straightforward than redeeming United MileagePlus miles, for sure. All you need to do to cash in your TravelBank dollars is log into your MileagePlus account and book airfare directly through United. If you don’t have enough TravelBank cash to cover the full cost of your flight, you can combine other payment methods to complete the transaction.
  6. No Foreign Transaction Fees. If you regularly fly United overseas, you’ll love the lack of foreign transaction fees on this card. This is a relatively rare benefit for an annual-fee-free credit card – and a welcome one for frugal globetrotters.
  1. Limited Travel Benefits. The United TravelBank card’s travel benefits aren’t particularly generous. Besides the 25% in-flight food and beverage discount, there’s not much here beyond the standard Visa-backed travel benefits package. If you’re looking for a fuller lineup of travel perks, look to a premium alternative like The Platinum Card from American Express or the Citi Prestige Card.
  2. Earnings Capped at 2%. There’s no way to earn more than 2% back on spending with this card. That’s a drawback relative to some no-annual-fee cash back cards, such as Chase Freedom and Discover it. Both earn up to 5% back on regular spending.
  3. TravelBank Cash Is Not Like Regular Cash. TravelBank cash isn’t nearly as versatile as regular cash. In fact, it’s only good for one thing: United airfare purchased directly from United Airlines. Since earning free or reduced air travel with United is the whole purpose of this card, that’s not really a deal-breaker. But it would be nice if you could redeem TravelBank cash with other travel partners, such as hotels, or – gasp – non-travel items.
  4. Must Redeem Through United.com or United Reservations. You can only redeem your TravelBank cash through United.com or the United Reservations phone hotline. While the redemption process itself is straightforward, a better menu of redemption options would be welcome – for instance, the ability to redeem through third-party booking sites.

United TravelBank is a great first travel rewards credit card. It’s easy to use, easy to understand, and pretty much free of red tape.

But there are some catches. The ideal user is someone who’s quite loyal to United Airlines, or at least okay with flying United more often than not. TravelBank cash is misleadingly named, too – it’s not really “cash9rdquo; if you can’t use it for anything other than airfare purchases.

Perhaps these are quibbles. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional airline credit cards, which can be mind-numbingly confusing to understand and frustrating to use (especially come redemption time), United TravelBank might be your ticket to free or reduced-cost air travel.



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