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Ally Financial Inc. is a digital financial services company that provides a comprehensive range of products and services for its customers. The company started out as an auto financing service company for GM dealers called GMAC in 1919 and changed its name in 2009 to Ally Financial. Its current services include credit, lending, auto financing, and online banking. The company offers its customers an Ally CashBack card that rewards them for frequent gas and grocery purchases. According to the corporate website, this credit card is issued by TD Bank.

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The Good

  • Cash back rewards
  • 24/7 banking
  • Financial education and resources

Cash Back Rewards

The Ally CashBack credit card provides 2 percent cash back on grocery and gas purchases and 1 percent back for all other eligible purchases. The card offers a 10 percent bonus for cardholders who deposit rewards into an Ally banking account and there is no annual fee or caps. There is a $100 bonus for new account holders who spend at least $500 on eligible purchases within the first three billing cycles. Cash back rewards may be redeemed as either deposits or statement credits. Consumers can apply only and will receive the card by mail within 7 to 10 days once approved.

24/7 Banking

Ally customers are able to access their accounts 24/7 through the company's online banking services and mobile apps. Account holders can make deposits, transfer funds, view statements, and make credit card payments from any location. Deposits can be made by simply snapping a picture of the check with the company's mobile app. Account holders are able to use any Allpoint ATM for free and up to a $10 reimbursement on their statement if they use any other company's ATM machine. Account holders can set up automatic recurring payments for their credit card balance and the company's mobile app is equipped to work with Apple Pay on any iPhone device.

Financial Education and Resources

Ally Financial provides numerous financial articles on a wide range of topics for consumers on its website. There are also financial calculators, quizzes, and other resources as well. The company also offers free courses on personal finance issues such as personal credit, budgeting, investments, and auto financing. Ally offers other lending options such as auto loans and mortgages as well. Customers can compare Ally's financial services to other similar companies directly on the website.

The Bad

  • High APR rates
  • Additional fees
  • Redemption limitations

High APR Rates

The company offers a 0 percent introductory APR for the first 12 months. However, after that period expires, the variable APR rates range from 13.49 to 23.49 percent, depending on a person's credit history. The variable APR for cash advance is 23.74 percent. These rates are high for industry standards and are subject to change. Individuals with imperfect credit histories may want to consider alternative offerings with lower rates from similar industry competitors.

Additional Fees

There is a $35 fee assessed for late and returned payments and a three percent fee on foreign transactions. A minimum fee of one to two dollars is assessed when an account has a balance subject to interest. Balance transfer and cash advance fees are either $10 or four to five percent of the total transaction amount. These fees are also higher than what is charged by many other industry competitors. Frequent travelers and those looking to consolidate debt may want to consider an alternative credit card option.

Redemption Limitations

According to the company's terms and conditions, purchases made at warehouses and superstores do not qualify for the 2 percent cash back rewards. This includes stores such as Walmart, Target, and other similar type stores. Purchases made at these stores do qualify for the one percent cash back reward. The cash back balance must be $25 or more in order to be redeemed. If a cardholder's account is cancelled for any reason, the accrued cash back balance is immediately forfeited. Many credit card competitors offer a wider range of reward options with less restrictions. Customers should carefully read all terms and conditions that are fully disclosed on the corporate website.

The Bottom Line

The Ally Financial credit card is best suited for Ally account holders with excellent credit who make frequent grocery and gas purchases. The card offers two percent back on gas and grocery purchases and one percent for everything else. The company also provides online banking services, auto loans, and a wide variety of financial education services for its customers.

The company's high APR rates and interest fees are not suitable for those with less than perfect credit, looking to consolidate debt, or who are frequent travelers. These individuals may want to consider looking for alternative credit card options with lower rates. The financial services company also places restrictions on how rewards may redeemed.

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