credit card news
In a Nutshell: Ally Bank introduced the Ally CashBack Credit Card in response to consumer demands for an intuitive and competitive rewards-based credit card. The new cash back card earns an unlimited 2% on gas, 2% on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases, for accounts that are open and in good standing. Ally then amplifies those rewards with a 10% Rewards Bonus when users deposit them into an eligible Ally Bank account. In addition to its powerful uncapped rewards program, the Ally Visa has no annual fee and offers a 12-month 0% APR balance transfer period. For its first foray into this market, Ally made a bold move and delivered one of the best new cash back offers available.
You might not dream about credit cards like we do, but you’ve surely thought, at some point, what the holy grail of cards might look like for you.
What features would you include to build the perfect card? A powerful rewards program, perhaps? Or maybe a nice signing bonus? What about 0% APR for balance transfers over a generous period of time?
Ally Bank put a lot of thought into its first credit card product. The digital bank polled its members to get a sense of what they wanted out of a card, and the answer was resoundingly a cash back program that was straightforward and easy to use. Instead of offering rotating categories or requiring hoops to jump through for cash back redemption, Ally created a simple, competitive rewards structure that integrated especially well with current Ally Bank customers.
As we researched the new card, we reached out to Rebecca Schultz, Senior Director of Transactional Products for Ally, to get a better understanding of how Ally determined what rewards to offer and learn more about how the card works. On a recent call, Rebecca shared with us the ins and outs of the new Ally CashBack Credit Card, and we were more than impressed.
Ally Visa Offers Uncapped Cash Back Rewards
Rebecca began by explaining that one of the differentiators between Ally’s new card and other rewards cards on the market is the ability to earn unlimited cash back. The rewards, a competitive 2% on gas and groceries with 1% on all other purchases, are then amplified when coupled with an Ally account.
Cardholders who choose to deposit their rewards into an eligible Ally account earn an additional 10% Rewards Bonus on their rewards earnings. For example, if you earn $200 in cash back and allow Ally to add it into an account with the bank, then $220 will be deposited.
Eligible Ally accounts include money market, non-IRA savings, and interest checking accounts, all of which already offer higher-than-average interest returns of up to 1%.
Earn a $100 Signing Bonus in the First 3 Months
In addition to the cash back earnings, the new Ally credit card also gives you a $100 signing bonus after you spend $500 within the first three billing cycles.
Unlike other signing bonuses, which often require thousands to be spent within the first few months, Ally focused on offering cardholders a more attainable signing bonus with the $500 spending requirement.
The bonus is posted to your Ally CashBack Rewards account within six to eight weeks where you can then decide how to enjoy that Benjamin.
Calculate Cash Back Earnings on Everyday Purchases
Ally offers a rewards calculator that we found extremely useful to see just how much you can expect to get back when using the new card.
Broken down into the three categories — gas, groceries, and everything else — cash back is determined based on the spending statistics you supply. We put in a few ballpark numbers and quickly realized how easy it was to rack up extra cash back thanks to the 10% bonus reward.
A Well-Rounded Card with No Annual Fee
A major feature beyond the signing bonus is that the card does not carry an annual fee. Ally wanted the card to be accessible for any consumer seeking a quality cash back rewards card.
“It was all about creating a straightforward credit card and just making it easy for customers to benefit from its features,” Rebecca says.
In addition to the rewards, this card also has an introductory offer of 0% APR for balance transfers within the first 12 months. After that, the APR is a competitive 13.24% – 23.24%, depending on creditworthiness.
TD Bank Partnership Includes Visa Branding for Wider Acceptability
Rebecca explained how Ally sought out an established issuer to help get the new card to market as quickly as possible. Ally turned to TD Bank, forming a strategic relationship to issue the Visa rewards card.
“By partnering with a successful card issuer,” Rebecca began, “we were able to get a product out there that we felt confident in and utilized some of their best-in-class offerings.”
Through Visa, the card offers other benefits as well, including the ability to add the card to digital wallets and payment programs like Apple, Android, and Samsung Pay.
24/7 Customer Support from an Experienced Bank
New users will immediately notice how much Ally emphasizes customer service. While other companies have grown too big to focus on individual success or may rely on the in-person experience to compensate for poor service on the phone or online, Ally was born in the digital age to be a leading digital company.
Part of the company’s promise is to be “obviously better,” which simply means that when researching your options for banking, financing, or other products, like the new credit card, Ally offerings should stand out as a clear winner above the competition.
“There are a lot of cards in the marketplace that are really great products, but you have to pay a lot of attention to maximize your rewards, and we wanted to keep it easy,” she says. “So for me, that’s what being obviously better is.”
Users Pleased with Ally’s Foray into the Credit Card Market
As our call with Rebecca wrapped up, we realized that Ally works tirelessly to listen and respond to consumer demands. Ally members wanted a compelling rewards card, and the online bank delivered.
The card combines market-leading features — from the uncapped rewards program and non-existent annual fee to the 0% balance transfer for the first 12 months — into a slick metallic package for members and non-members alike.
“We’re all about trying to create a customer experience,” says Rebecca, and judging by Ally’s first move into the credit card market, they seem to be right on track.