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An In-Depth Review of Ally Bank’s Rates

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Ally Bank CD Rates

Interest Checking Account Ally Bank’s CD features three products: the High Yield CD, the Raise Your Rate CD and the No Penalty CD. The APYs currently available range from 0.75% to 2.15%, depending on your opening deposit and term length. All accounts have no minimum balance requirement, though rates will vary depending on the term and amount deposited.

All of Ally Bank’s CDs have a Ten Day Best Rate Guarantee. If their rate goes up within 10 days and you make a deposit within 10 days of account opening, you may get the better rate. This rate also applies when you renew your CD account. Interested is compounded daily with all accounts and your account will be automatically renewed when your CD matures. If you choose to close a CD account, you have a 10-day grace period after the maturity date.

Ally Bank’s CD rates are lower than some of its competitors. You can easily find a 12-month CD at 1.65% APY and three-year at 2.00% APY with only a $500 minimum, as of the date of publishing this review. Other banks also offer higher APYs but require minimum deposits, often $2,000.

High Yield CD Rates

 

Up to $5K

$5K-$25K

$25K+

3 months

0.75% APY

0.75% APY

0.75% APY

6 months

1.00% APY

1.00% APY

1.00% APY

9 months

1.25% APY

1.25% APY

1.25% APY

12 months

2.00% APY

2.00% APY

2.00% APY

18 months

1.90% APY

2.00% APY

2.05% APY

3 years

1.95% APY

2.05% APY

2.10% APY

5 years

2.15% APY

2.15% APY

2.15% APY

The High Yield CD is more a traditional CD featuring a fixed term and interest rate until maturity. You can choose terms anywhere from 3 months to 5 years, with varying APYs. This type of CD has the highest rates compared with the Raise Your Rate and No Penalty CD. The best rate is 2.15%  APY for a five-year term, with no minimum deposit.

With the High Yield CD however, you are subject to an early withdrawal penalty. The penalty charged depends on your CD terms. Usually the longer the term, the more interest you’ll be charged. Currently, the maximum you may be penalized is 150 days of interest. If the interest you’ve earned so far is less than the penalty, the rest will be deducted from the balance in your CD.

Raise Your Rate CD

Term

APY

2 years

2.05% APY

4 years

2.05% APY

The Raise Your Rate CD gives you the option to raise your rate during your term, once for a two-year term, and twice for the four-year term. You’ll get the opportunity to do so if the rate goes up and your balance tier increase. Currently, the APY is lower than the High Yield CD, which could mean that you earn less in interest.

Like the High Yield CD, you will also be subject to early withdrawal penalties. For a two-year term, you’ll be charged 60 days interest; it’s 120 days of interest for the four-year term. Like the High Yield CD, the penalty may de deducted from your CD’s balance if the interest you’ve earned is lower than the penalty amount.

You also cannot make partial withdrawals.

No Penalty CD

 

Up to $5K

$5K-$25K

$25K+

11 months

1.65% APY

1.70% APY

1.90% APY

The No Penalty CD is only offered for 11 months. This type of CD may be suitable for those who may want to withdraw their money before the term is up — for instance, in an emergency or when you reached your short term savings goal. Compared with the High Yield CD, the APY is higher when looking at the shorter terms, which max out at 1.90% APY for a nine-month term with a minimum deposit of $25,000.

There is no penalty for withdrawing your money early, after the first six days. However, if you don’t plan on withdrawing your money for a few years, you may want to consider the other two options for higher interest rates.

Ally Bank Checking and Savings Rates

Ally Bank Savings Account

APY

Minimum Amount to Open

Monthly Fee

1.70% APY

No minimum

none

There are virtually no fees with an Ally Bank savings account, no minimum balance requirements and high interest rates. You can access funds online or via their app by making an ACH transfer (wire transfers are subject to a fee) or by requesting a check. You can make deposits either with an ACH transfer or via Ally eCheck DepositSM.

However, you do not get a debit card with a savings account, meaning you cannot deposit or withdraw cash from your account. You’re also limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle, although you can make unlimited deposits. If you make more than six, you’ll be charged $10 per transaction. Other fees include overdraft fees, cross border transactions, expedited delivery and returned checks.

Other online banks listed on our site have higher APYs as high as 1.30%, as of time of publishing, with no minimums and monthly fees. However, not all banks offer a mobile banking option.

Ally Bank Checking Account

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

Minimum Amount to Open

Monthly Fee

0.10%

none

none

none

0.50%

$15,000

none

none

Ally Bank’s interest checking account gives you access to online bill pay, transfers between bank accounts, an option to send money to others, as well as free checks and a debit card. There are no minimum amounts to open an account but you’ll get a higher APY if you can keep your minimum balance at $15,000. Compared with other banks, their APY is on the low end.

But, as previously noted, if your minimum balance amount is greater than $15,000, Ally Bank will offer a better rate.

You can send money to friends and family with Popmoney®. All you need is the person’s mobile number, email address or bank information, and funds will be transferred via Ally Bank’s app or online. If you link your account to a savings account, you can get free overdraft protection. And you can make unlimited transactions, unlike with the online savings account.

In addition to online transfers, you also get a MasterCard® debit card. Although you cannot make cash deposits, you can easily withdraw cash from any ATM. There are no fees if you take money out from any AllPoint ATM in the U.S. For other domestic ATMs, you’ll get reimbursed a maximum of $10 per statement cycle.

However, if you use your debit card outside the U.S., you’ll be charged a 1% transaction fee. If you want same-day or overnight bill pay, you’ll be subjected to a fee. Other fees include stop payments, rush delivery (debit card/checks) and returned deposits.

Ally Bank Money Market Account Rates

Ally Bank Money Market Account

APY

Minimum Amount to Open

Monthly Fee

0.75% APY

none

$0

Ally Bank’s money market account rate isn’t the greatest rate you’ll find out there by a long shot — you can easily find rates as high as 1.30% APY elsewhere, as of date of publishing. You can even score a better rate by parking your cash in a regular Ally Bank savings account, which earns 1.70% APY.

Still, Ally Bank’s Money Market Account has some useful features. You get a free debit card and checks with a money market account. There are no fees if you withdraw cash from any Allpoint ATM, but you will be reimbursed up to $10 per statement cycle for fees charged at other cash machines nationwide. You’re also limited to six transactions per statement cycle like the online savings account, though you get unlimited ATM withdrawals.

Ally Bank IRA CD Rates

Ally Bank’s IRA CDs come in terms from three months to five years. Accounts are available as a Traditional, Roth of SEP IRA and interest is compounded daily. When the IRA CDs mature, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw your money or it’ll be automatically renewed. You also have the option to do a rollover to Traditional or Roth IRAs. Both IRA CDs will offer the best rate within 90 days after account opening, or when you fund your account.

As listed on our site, other banks offer higher rates, some as high as 1.62% APY with a $5,000 minimum, as of date of publishing. However, there are no minimums at Ally Bank.

IRA High Yield CD Rates

 

Up to $5K

$5K-$25K

$25K+

3 months

0.75% APY

0.75% APY

0.75% APY

6 months

1.00% APY

1.00% APY

1.00% APY

9 months

1.25% APY

1.25% APY

1.25% APY

12 months

2.00% APY

2.00% APY

2.00% APY

18 months

1.90% APY

2.00% APY

2.05% APY

3 years

1.95% APY

2.05% APY

2.10% APY

5 years

2.15% APY

2.15% APY

2.15% APY

The High Yield CD IRA is best for those looking for a short-term option or seeking a higher rate for longer terms. The highest rate offered is for the five-year term with no minimum deposit. For those interested in creating CD Ladders, this type of account offers an excellent opportunity.

However, there are early-withdrawal penalties which vary depending on your CD IRA terms. You’ll be charged more the longer the term. The minimum you’ll be charged is 60 days of interest with a IRA 18 months or less, and 150 days of interest with terms longer than 48 months. Usually the longer the term, the more interest you’ll be charged. Currently, the maximum you may be penalized is 150 days’ interest.

IRA Raise Your Rate CD

Term

APY

2 years

2.05% APY

4 years

2.05% APY

The Raise Your Rate CD IRA gives you the chance to increase your rate if your balance tier or the rate for your term increases. You can do this once for a two-year term account and twice or a four-year account. This account is best for those who believe interest rates will go up.

There are no minimums with this account but you may be subject to a maximum amount depending on the type of IRA you choose. You’re also subject to early-withdrawal penalties. A two-year IRA will be charged 60 days of interest; it’s 120 days for a four-year account. If you’re under the age of 59.5, you may also have to pay another 10% to the IRS.

Ally Bank IRA Online Savings Account

APY

Minimum Amount to Open

Monthly Fee

1.70% APY

none

none

The rate for the IRA Online Savings is variable, meaning it may change after you open an account. Though the rate is lower compared with the other IRA options, you’re not subject to an early-withdrawal penalty, though the IRS may tax you if you’re under 59.5.

If you do make early withdrawals, you’re only allowed a maximum of six per statement cycle. You get charged $10 for each transaction over that amount. To access your money, you’ll need to request a distribution.

Conclusion

You don’t need to rely on your brick-and-mortar bank for competitive rates, products and customer service. Ally Bank provides products at competitive rates, with convenient access via their mobile app or online portal.

Ally Bank’s no-minimum opening deposits and fees make it more accessible to everyone. Its online accounts for checking and savings cover all the basics, and with no maintenance fees.

Because there are a growing number of alternative online banks these days, it’s important to compare rates at a number of banks to find your best option. Depositaccounts.com, also owned by LendingTree, is a great research tool you can use to compare rates easily online.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Credit Cards, Reviews

The Platinum Card from American Express Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

If you’re a frequent traveler looking for a top-of-the-line luxury credit card with lounge access and other premium perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express might be the card you want to carry. It charges a high annual fee of $550, but it comes with unparallelled airport lounge access, statement and travel credits which can help you cut down on the cost of the annual fee and a strong welcome offer, among other perks.

We’re going to look at the details of where this card stands out and where it falls short, and help you determine how well it fits your spending habits and travel needs.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply |  Rates & Fees

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee
$550
Rewards Rate
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Where The Platinum Card® from American Express stands out

Lounge access. This is where The Platinum Card® from American Express outshines its competitors. You’ll get access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection®, which includes more than 1,200 airport lounges in 130 countries.

Annual airline fee statement credit. You can select one qualifying airline and receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year to cover incidental fees (such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments) that are charged to The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Annual Uber credit. When you link this card with your Uber account, you can get up to $15 per month (and up to $20 in December) in Uber Cash. That adds up to almost $200 a year.

Welcome offer. 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Rewards. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Points are worth varying amounts depending on how you redeem them — booking airfare and hotel stays through American Express Travel will net you good value, with each point being worth 1 cent when redeemed that way.

You can also transfer your points to the following airline loyalty programs:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios)
  • AeroMexico Club Premier (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,600 Premier Points)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Aeroplan Miles)
  • AIR FRANCE KLM Flying Blue (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Flying Blue Award Miles)
  • MilleMiglia Alitalia(1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Alitalia Miles)
  • ANA Mileage Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 ANA Mileage Club Miles)
  • Asia Miles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Asia Miles)
  • Avianca LifeMiles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 LifeMiles)
  • British Airways Executive Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios)
  • Delta SkyMiles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 miles)
  • El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 20 Matmid Points)
  • Emirates Skywards (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Skywards Miles)
  • Etihad Airways Guest (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Etihad Guest Miles)
  • Hawaiian Miles HawaiianMiles (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 HawaiianMiles)
  • Iberia Plus (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios)
  • JetBlue TrueBlue (250 Membership Rewards points = 200 TrueBlue points)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer (500 Membership Rewards points = 500 Qantas Points)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 KrisFlyer Miles)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Flying Club miles)

And you can transfer your points to the following hotel loyalty programs:

  • Choice Privileges (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Choice Privileges)
  • Hilton Honors (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 2,000 Hilton Honors Points)
  • Marriott Bonvoy (1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points)

Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. You can get a credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or a credit of up to $85 for TSA Precheck when you use this card to pay. If you purchase both, you’ll only get a credit for the one that’s charged to your card first.

You can get the Global Entry credit once in a four-year period or the TSA Precheck credit once in a 4 ½-year period.

Additional benefits

Fine Hotels & Resorts Program. Receive complimentary benefits at more than 1,000 properties, such as daily breakfast for two, guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and a room upgrade when available.

Where The Platinum Card® from American Express falls short

Annual fee. At $550, the annual fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express is in the top tier for what it charges you as well as for the perks it offers. If you’re only a casual traveler, you may be better off with a mid-tier travel card charging an annual fee in the $95 range.

Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Another big name among premium travel cards is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Here’s how it stacks up against The Platinum Card® from American Express:

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Welcome offer

60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Credits

Up to $200 in statement credits per year to cover incidental airline fees. Up to $200 in Uber Cash each year.

Up to $300 in statement credits each account anniversary year as reimbursement for travel purchases.

Rewards

5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Annual fee

$550

$450

Annual fee for additional cards/authorized users

$175 for up to three additional cards. $175 per card for each card after that.

$75 for each authorized user.

Both of these cards offer significant value for frequent travelers who have the funds to cover a high annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is slightly less expensive than The Platinum Card® from American Express, but when you factor in the value of the annual credits offered by both cards, the two annual fees are relatively similar.

We also like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® better for ongoing rewards, as it offers 3X points on a wide variety of travel purchases, whereas The Platinum Card® from American Express has a more limited category for earning a higher rewards rate — airline tickets (booked either directly with the airline or via American Express Travel) and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. Plus, you get 50% more value when you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

When it comes to airport lounge access, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a Priority Pass Select membership (you’ll need to complete a one-time enrollment), which can get you into more than 1,300 lounges around the world. But this is territory where The Platinum Card® from American Express truly excels. The American Express Global Lounge Collection® allows you access to the following:

  • Air Space
  • Delta Sky Club®
  • Escape Lounges
  • Plaza Premium
  • The Centurion Lounge
  • The International American Express Lounges

In short, if wide-ranging lounge access is what you’re looking for, The Platinum Card® from American Express is probably the card for you.

The bottom line

If you’re looking to travel in luxury, you’ll find a lot to like about The Platinum Card® from American Express. It stands head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to airport lounge access. And if you make use of the annual airline fee statement credit (up to $200) and the annual Uber statement credit (also up to $200), that knocks the effective annual fee down to a more reasonable $150.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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Earning Cashback, Reviews

Sallie Mae Accelerate Credit Card Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

If you’re looking for a cashback credit card, the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM offers an OK flat APR along with an interesting incentive — bonus cash back when you use your rewards to make a payment on a student loan. At a time when American college students and graduates are facing daunting levels of debt, this could be another weapon in your arsenal to apply toward paying down student loans. Let’s take a look at the details of what this card offers, where it falls short and how it stands up against other cashback cards.

Where the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM stands out

Chance to earn bonus cash back. Unlimited 1.25% cash back on every purchase. Earn a 25% bonus on your cash back rewards used to pay down your student loans. You can earn the bonus toward both federal and private student loans.

No annual fee. This card’s annual fee is $0, and since it’s targeted at recent college grads who are often on a tight budget, that’s important.

Additional benefits

Intro APR. Get a 0% Introductory APR for purchases for 12 months. After that, a 14.74% to 24.74% variable applies. The intro purchase APR is a decent amount of time to purchase a big-ticket item and pay it off without accruing interest charges, but there are cards with longer intro periods listed on our site.

Cellphone protection. When you pay your cellphone bill with this card, you can get up to $600 per claim in cellphone protection. Note that this is secondary coverage only (meaning it kicks in after any other insurance) and each claim is subject to a $50 copay. Terms apply.

Free FICO Score. The FICO® Score is one of the most common credit score models around. If you apply for a credit card, car loan or other credit product, it’s likely the bank will check your FICO Score before approving or declining you. Your FICO Score will influence the interest rate that you can get approved for – it’s smart to keep an eye on it.

Read: View Your Free FICO Score for all 3 Credit Bureaus

Where the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM falls short

Low cashback rate. It’s pretty easy to find a credit card that offers 1.5% cash back, and some offer up to 2% — and that’s just for flat-rate cards. You can earn up to 5% cash back with cards such as the Discover it® Cash Back, which offers a 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter you activate, then the rate drops to 1% cash back).

Earning 1.25% on the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM doesn’t cut it. And while it’s true that you can earn a 25% bonus on your cash back when applied toward a student loan, that’s likely not a big enough bonus to make up for getting a subpar cashback rate on all your purchases.

The minimum amount of cash back to redeem is $25.

Discover it® Cash Back

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Foreign transaction fee. If you use the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM outside the United States, there’s a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. It’s better to leave this card at home and travel with a card that charges no foreign transaction fee.

Compare it with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

One of the best cards around for earning flat-rate cash back is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Let’s take a look at how the two cards compare:

 

Sallie Mae AccelerateSM

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Rewards

Unlimited 1.25% cash back on every purchase. Earn a 25% bonus on your cash back rewards used to pay down your student loans.

Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

Purchase APR

0% Introductory APR for purchases for 12 months. After that, a 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR applies.

15.49% - 25.49% (variable)

Balance transfer APR

14.74% to 24.74% variable

Intro 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. After that, a 15.49% - 25.49% (variable) APR applies.

Annual fee

$0

$0

Foreign transaction fee

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

3%

The clear winner is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, with a cashback rate that’s 0.75% higher than the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM. Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. (We recommend paying your card in full each month if possible.)

Another strong choice for flat-rate cash back is the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s website

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Intro BT APR
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Rewards Rate
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The bottom line

Earning bonus cash back when you use your rewards toward student loan payments is an interesting feature offered by the Sallie Mae AccelerateSM. However, the card’s cashback rate is subpar, and a card such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer or the Discover it® Cash Back can put more rewards back in your pocket.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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