Ally Bank, known for its competitive online savings and checking accounts, has entered the credit card market with their Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard®. This card offers generous cash back rewards and a straightforward approach to earning and redeeming rewards. Designed for consumers who appreciate simplicity, the Ally credit card focuses on skipping fees in place of additional perks and welcome offers.
The Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard® features elevated cash back rates on everyday spending categories. This allows cardholders to maximize their rewards without having to juggle multiple cards or navigate complicated rewards structures. Its user-friendly approach makes it an appealing choice for those who prefer a no-frills and stress-free credit card experience.
In this article, we will delve into a comprehensive review of the Ally credit card, exploring its cash back rewards system, fees, benefits, and overall suitability for various types of cardholders. By the end of this review, you should have a clearer understanding of the card’s features to determine if it aligns with your financial habits and goals.
Ally Credit Card Overview
Ally Bank, a leading digital financial services company, offers a range of credit card products to cater to different spending habits and financial needs. In this section, we will discuss three of their popular credit cards: Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard, Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard, and Ally Platinum Mastercard.
Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard
The Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard is an ideal choice for those seeking generous cash back rewards without worrying about fees. This card allows users to earn unlimited cash back on their everyday purchases. The rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, giving cardholders more flexibility in managing their finances.
Some key features of the Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard include:
- No annual fee
- Competitive cash back rates on purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard
The Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard may be suitable for individuals who want to earn cash back on typical daily expenses while enjoying a simple and straightforward rewards structure. However, this card may not offer as many perks as other cash back cards, so it might not be the best choice for everyone.
Key benefits of the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard include:
- Cash back rewards on everyday spending categories
- No annual fee
- Easy-to-understand rewards program
Ally Platinum Mastercard
The Ally Platinum Mastercard offers a range of benefits for cardholders seeking a comprehensive credit card solution from Ally Bank. With this card, users can enjoy advantages such as low interest rates and access to credit-building tools. This card is ideal for those who want to improve their credit score or want a reliable credit card for everyday use.
Notable features of the Ally Platinum Mastercard include:
- Low interest rates
- Credit-building tools and resources
- Zero liability protection from unauthorized charges
Overall, these Ally credit card products cater to different needs and financial goals. They offer competitive rewards and benefits, making them a viable choice for customers looking for Mastercard options from a reputable bank like Ally.
Rewards and Benefits
Cash Back Rewards
The Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard offers elevated cash back on everyday spending, making it a great alternative to flat-rate cash back options. Cardholders receive:
- 2.2% cash back at gas stations
- 2.2% cash back at grocery stores
- 2.2% cash back at drugstores
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
These cash back rewards, combined with the card’s simplicity, make it an attractive choice for those with predictable, everyday purchases at gas stations, supermarkets, or pharmacies.
Travel and Perks
Although the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard focuses primarily on cash back rewards, it also comes with some travel benefits and additional perks. A few of these include:
- Free online FICO score: Stay informed about your credit performance with access to your FICO score free, updated monthly.
- Zero fraud liability: Shop with confidence, knowing that you are protected against unauthorized transactions on your account.
- Foreign transaction fees: Cardholders will be pleased to know that there are no foreign transaction fees, which can save you money when traveling abroad.
The Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard does not typically offer a sign-up bonus like similar rewards cards designed for consumers with good credit. However, it is still worth considering for those seeking simplicity and strong cash back rewards on everyday purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and drugstores.
In summary, the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard is an effective cash back card with a focus on everyday spending. Though it lacks a sign-up bonus, it offers competitive cash back rewards rates and additional perks like a free FICO score and zero foreign transaction fees.
Fees and Rates
There is no annual fee for the Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard®. However, the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard may have an annual fee ranging from $0 to $39, depending on your creditworthiness.
Interest Rates and APRs
The Ally Platinum Mastercard® has a variable APR ranging from 17.99% to 28.99%. Keep in mind that this APR can vary based on the prime rate.
Balance Transfers and Intro APR
The balance transfer fee for the Ally Platinum Mastercard® is 4% or $5, whichever is greater. Unfortunately, there is no information available about intro APR offers for balance transfers or purchases.
Foreign Transaction Fees
Ally credit cards do not have specific information on foreign transaction fees. You should contact Ally Bank directly to inquire about any potential foreign transaction fees associated with their credit cards.
- Cash advance fee: 5% or $10, whichever is greater, for the Ally Platinum Mastercard®.
- Minimum interest charge: $1.50 for the Ally Platinum Mastercard®.
- Zero overdraft fees: Ally Bank offers zero overdraft fees on their deposit accounts, which could be a benefit if the account is linked to your credit card.
Please note that it is always a good idea to review the cardmember agreement for a full list of fees, rates, and terms associated with your specific credit card.
Credit Requirements and Application Process
Credit Score Requirements
Ally Bank credit cards cater to a range of credit profiles. However, to be eligible for their cards, having a good credit score is vital. Although the specific FICO score requirement for an Ally credit card is not disclosed, a good credit score generally falls in the range of 670 to 739. Maintaining a good credit score is essential as it increases your chances of approval and access to better features and benefits provided by the bank.
Application and Approval
The application process for an Ally credit card is straightforward and can be completed online. While some applicants may receive a prescreened invitation to apply, others may directly visit the Ally Bank website to submit their application. The approval process takes into consideration factors such as your credit history, FICO score, and debt-to-income ratio. Once approved, cardholders may benefit from several perks, such as regular credit line reviews and automatic account reviews for credit line increases.
Ally Bank also offers free online access to your FICO credit score, enabling cardholders to monitor their credit health and improvement. Additionally, Ally Bank cards come with zero fraud liability and 24/7 customer service support.
In summary, to be eligible for an Ally Bank credit card, you should:
- Have a good credit score (typically between 670 – 739).
- Provide relevant financial details during the online application process.
- Maintain a healthy credit standing to increase your chances of approval and better benefits.
Security and Customer Support
Fraud Protection and Monitoring
Ally Credit Card offers zero fraud liability for cardholders, meaning you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges on your card. They implement advanced fraud monitoring to detect suspicious activity on your account and take necessary steps to protect your information.
- Card lock feature: In case you lose your card or suspect unauthorized activity, you can easily lock your card through the online portal or mobile app, preventing any unwanted usage.
- PIN protection: The card comes equipped with a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) for added security while using it at ATMs or point-of-sale terminals.
Customer Service and Support
Ally Credit Card is known for providing accessible and efficient customer service. They offer 24/7 customer service to promptly address any concerns or inquiries you might have:
- Phone support: Reach out to their customer service by phone whenever you need assistance.
- Online help center: Ally offers an extensive online help center with answers to frequently asked questions and guides on various aspects of their products and services.
- Mobile app support: Access customer service and manage your card conveniently through Ally’s mobile app.
In conclusion, the security measures and customer support offered by Ally Credit Card are reliable, aiming to protect your financial information and provide assistance when needed.
Pros and Cons of Ally Credit Cards
Ally Bank offers a variety of credit cards that cater to different financial needs and preferences. In this section, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of these cards, along with their value and key benefits.
- Rewards and cash back: Ally credit cards offer cash back rewards on everyday spending categories, such as gas and groceries. This allows cardholders to maximize their savings on daily purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees: Travelers can appreciate that Ally cards don’t charge any fees for transactions in foreign currencies. This makes it a cost-effective choice for international trips.
- Standard features: All Ally credit cards come with features like zero fraud liability, free FICO score access, and the ability to lock the card if it’s lost or stolen. These features provide added security and let users keep track of their credit health.
- No over-the-limit fees or penalty APRs: Ally does not charge any fees if you exceed your credit limit, nor do they apply penalty APRs. This can be advantageous for cardholders who occasionally overspend.
- Limitations on cash back rewards: For some Ally cards, the 2% cash back savings on groceries and gas has limitations when purchases are made at warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco. This can be an inconvenience for shoppers who frequently shop at these types of establishments.
- No travel-specific rewards: While Ally cards do provide some perks for travelers, such as no foreign transaction fees, they do not offer travel-specific rewards or benefits. This may not be the ideal card for those who prioritize travel rewards or seek cards with additional travel benefits.
In summary, Ally credit cards present a range of pros and cons that potential cardholders should weigh when choosing the best credit card for their needs. The value and suitability of these cards depend on factors such as spending habits, preferences, and financial goals.
Other Financial Products from Ally
Ally Bank Savings and CD Accounts
Ally Bank offers a range of savings products, including:
- Online Savings Account: This account offers a competitive interest rate, with no minimum deposit required and no monthly maintenance fees.
- Money Market Account: Combines the features of a savings account and a checking account, allowing for checks and debit card transactions, while also offering a competitive interest rate.
- Certificate of Deposits (CDs): Ally Bank provides various CD options, such as High Yield CD, Raise Your Rate CD, and No Penalty CD. The terms range from 3 months to 5 years, with varying interest rates depending on the term and deposit amount.
Ally Loans and Mortgages
Ally Bank provides multiple loan and mortgage options:
- Auto Loans: They offer competitive rates for new and used cars, as well as refinancing options for existing auto loans.
- Home Loans: Ally offers a variety of mortgage products, including fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and jumbo mortgages. They also provide mortgage refinancing options.
Ally Debit Card
Ally Bank’s debit card comes with several features and benefits:
- No Fees: No monthly maintenance fees or charges for transactions, including withdrawals at over 43,000+ Allpoint ATMs nationwide.
- Direct Deposit: Set up direct deposit for paycheck, government benefits, or other income sources to access funds faster.
- Payments: Use the debit card for everyday transactions, bill payments, and online shopping.
- App: Ally Bank’s app allows you to manage your debit card, monitor transactions, set up alerts, and more for a seamless banking experience.
Alternative Credit Cards for Comparison
When considering the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard®, it’s helpful to compare it with other credit building cards available in the market. Credit-builder cards are designed to help people with less-than-stellar credit scores work on improving their financial standing. Many of these cards also take into account late payments as a way to rebuild trust between borrowers and lenders.
One example of a credit-building card is the Platinum Mastercard® from Capital One. This card appeals to those with average credit scores and offers features such as payment flexibility, credit monitoring tools, and no annual fee. However, it does not include any rewards program – unlike the Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard®, which offers a generous cash back.
Another option is a secured credit card, such as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. This type of card requires a deposit but allows users to earn rewards, such as cash back on purchases. For a flat-rate card, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers an effective 2% cash back rate on purchases (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay).
According to Bankrate, the Ally Everyday Cash Back Card is an ideal choice if you want a straightforward card that lets you earn cash back on typical daily expenses. The card offers 2.2% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% cash back on all other purchases without annual fees. However, it lacks some of the perks offered by other rewards cards, such as sign-up bonuses and intro APR offers.
In considering different credit cards, keep in mind the financial decisions that matter most to you. For instance, if you want to prioritize building credit, you might opt for the Platinum Mastercard® or a secured credit card such as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. On the other hand, if you have a better credit score and are mostly interested in a cash back rewards program, the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard® or the Citi® Double Cash Card may be a better fit.
Lastly, always be aware of your spending habits and financial goals when choosing a credit card. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that an average American household spends approximately $4,000 per year on groceries. Thus, selecting a credit card with rewards on grocery purchases, like the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard®, may help you maximize your cash back potential.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the credit limit?
The credit limit for Ally credit cards may vary based on individual creditworthiness and other factors. Exact limits can’t be determined without applying for the card, but generally, higher credit scores and incomes lead to higher credit limits.
Is pre-approval available?
While Ally Bank does not offer a specific pre-approval process for its credit cards, credit card issuers often have tools on their websites to check your eligibility and see if you pre-qualify for their cards without affecting your credit score.
How do I contact customer service?
To contact Ally Bank’s customer service for their credit cards, you can call their dedicated phone line at 1-877-247-ALLY (2559). Customer service is also available through their secure messaging system on their website.
How is cash back earned?
Cash back is earned on the Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard® and Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard. The Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard® earns 2% cash back on all purchases, while the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard offers higher cash back rates on everyday spending categories. Cash back rewards can then be redeemed as statement credits or deposited into an eligible Ally Bank account.
What credit score is required?
The specific credit score required for Ally credit cards is not publicly disclosed. Generally, a good to excellent credit score (around 670 or higher) will increase your chance of approval. However, the issuer takes other factors into account, such as income, employment, and payment history.
Does application affect credit score?
Yes, applying for an Ally credit card may have a temporary effect on your credit score. When you apply, the issuer completes a hard inquiry on your credit report, which may cause a slight decrease in your score. However, responsible usage and timely payments can lead to a positive impact on your credit score over time.