Ally CashBack Credit Card Review

In an exciting move, Ally Bank has introduced its very first credit card: the Ally CashBack Credit Card. This new rewards-earner offers a simple cash rewards structure with no annual fee. But how does it stack up against other cash back credit cards? We put it to the test in this Ally CashBack credit card review.

Before establishing their inaugural credit card, Ally Bank conducted a series of surveys to find out exactly what the market sought. Their findings?

Of credit card-users surveyed, 58% said they preferred a cash back option over travel rewards, gift cards, or even introductory interest rates. On top of that, 80% of respondents said that if rewards were earned, they would prefer to hold various financial products — such as loans, checking/savings accounts, and credit cards — with the same bank, rather than spread them out.

Ally took this information and created the Ally CashBack, which I expect to hold its own among other cash back offers out there. Here is a bit more about the card:

The Ally Cash Back Card Rewards

In an attempt to be beneficial to all cardholders, Ally eliminated rotating categories and gave its highest cash back rate (2%) to the categories that apply to pretty much everyone: gas and groceries.

While there are cards that offer higher percentages for either category, they are often rotating (such as 5% back with Discover it and Chase Freedom during those promotional quarters). The exception would be my personal favorite, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred — which offers up to 6% on groceries and 3% on gas — though that card also includes an annual fee.

For all purchases not involving gas or groceries, the Ally CashBack card gives 1% back. There is no limit on rewards and they do not expire as long as your account is in good standing.

Bonus — If you’re a customer with the bank, you’ll receive an additional 10% cash back when you deposit your rewards into an Ally non-IRA Online Savings, Interest Checking, or Money Market account. This convenience factor is similar to Fidelity’s Rewards Visa Signature® cash back card, though that one does not offer a bonus for redeeming into existing accounts, as you’ll get from Ally.

You can visit the Ally CashBack site to explore their cash back calculator. Enter your monthly spending on gas, groceries, and everything else, and it will tell you not only your annual rewards, but the potential bonus cash back for depositing in an Ally account.

Ally Cash Back Credit Card Rewards

APR, Annual Fee, and Sign-up Bonus

In the quest to be as competitive as possible, Ally is also offering introductory APR for balance transfers: 0% for 12 months. There is no introductory rate for purchases and the standard APR is 13.24-23.24%, depending on creditworthiness.

The card comes with no annual fee, making its competitive edge just a bit sharper. Also, for a limited time, you will receive an initial spending bonus of $100 when you make $500 in purchases over the first 3 months of holding the card.

Other Extras with the Ally Credit Card

Ally was named the Best Online Bank of 2016 and the number of customer-friendly benefits they offer with their products spills over into the new credit card domain. Namely, these include 24/7 customer service, as well as online and mobile access to all of your accounts.

The Drawbacks

No card is perfect, and the Ally CashBack is no different. While it offers a 0% balance transfer APR for 12 months, it does not have a 0% purchase APR, like the Chase Slate® card or the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Its 2% cash back on groceries and gas is a solid offering, though other cards may offer more at times. For example, Chase Freedom® and Discover it® with CashBack Match™ both offer 5% back on both gas and groceries — the caveat being that those are rotating, quarterly categories (so, you don’t get that rate year round). For some, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may be the best option, with 3% back all year on groceries and 2% all year on gas (all other categories get 1% back).

Whether the Ally CashBack is the card for you depends on where you spend your money, but it’s certainly worthy of consideration.

In Summary

There are cards out there that offer a higher percentage of cash back, though only a few of them have no annual fee. While this is Ally’s first foray into the credit card realm, they are off to a strong start with the Ally CashBack, offering:

  • 2% cash back on gas and groceries
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 10% cash back bonus for redeeming into certain Ally accounts
  • Introductory 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers
  • $100 initial bonus for making $500 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • No annual fee
  • Benefits such as 24/7 customer service and online/mobile account access

It will be interesting to see how the new Ally card competes in the cash back arena, but my gut tells me it will be a strong contender right out of the gate.

You can apply for the card here.

BankAmericard® Credit Card Review – 0% Balance Transfer for 18 Billing Cycles

The BankAmericard® Credit Card does one thing, and it does it really well. It’s 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles is one of the longest available from any credit card.

This card is ideal for those wanting to transfer high interest credit card debt to a 0% card. The 0% introductory APR last for 18 billing cycles. Keep in mind, however, that you must initiate the transfer within the first 60 days of getting the card. There is no annual fee.

BankAmericard® Credit Card Snapshot

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 11.24% – 21.24% Variable APR
  • Balance transfer fee of either 3% of the amount of the transfer or $10 (whichever is greater) applies
  • No annual fee
  • The perfect card for those seeking a simple yet convenient-to-use credit card
  • Zero liability fraud protection, so you’re not responsible for any fraudulent charges made on your account
  • If you apply for a card over the phone and are approved, our representatives can transfer your balance over the phone
  • More details: BankAmericard® Credit Card

0% Introductory Rate

The card offers a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles. The transfer must be made within the first 60 days of getting the card. Note that there is a 3% fee (minimum $10) on balance transfers.

What we like about the BankAmericard® Credit Card

  • 0% introductory APR for 18 billing cycles
  • No annual fee

What could be better

Summary

  • 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 11.24% – 21.24% Variable APR
  • Balance transfer fee of either 3% of the amount of the transfer or $10 (whichever is greater) applies
  • No annual fee
  • The perfect card for those seeking a simple yet convenient-to-use credit card
  • Zero liability fraud protection, so you’re not responsible for any fraudulent charges made on your account
  • If you apply for a card over the phone and are approved, our representatives can transfer your balance over the phone
  • Regular Purchase APR: 11.24%-21.24% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR:Up to 29.99%, based on your creditworthiness
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee:Up to $37
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Ideal for those looking for a 0% balance transfer
  • Well suited for those wanting a rewards card with no annual fee
  • Requires Excellent/Good Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Discover it® Cashback Match Review

The Discover it® Cashback Match™ comes in two versions. The long balance transfer version offers a 0% APR for 18 months, but 0% APR on purchases for just 6 months. With this version, you get 0% APR on both balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.

Discover it

Discover has always been best known for offering 5% cash back in rotating categories and that hasn’t changed. This version of the Discover it® offers a 0% APR introductory rate on balance transfers and purchases for 14 months. It also comes with no annual fee and provides free access to your FICO score.

Discover it® Cashback Match™ Snapshot

  • You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. New cardmembers only.
  • Earn 5% cash back in new bonus categories like gas, restaurants, Amazon and more – up to $1500 every quarter you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements and online.

Rewards Program

There are three components of the Discover it® rewards program: (1) 5% cash back; (2) 1% cash back; and (3) Double cash.

1.  5% Cash Back: This card offers 5% cash back on categories that change each quarter. These categories include gas, home improvement and department stores. They are rotating categories which change every quarter so you have to stay on top of what the categories are so you can maximize your earning. You must activate the 5% categories each quarter to qualify.

Keep in mind that the 5% cash back is on $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. Once you’ve charged $1,500 to the card for the 5% category, any additional purchases will earn 1% cash back.

2. 1% Cash Back: On all purchases that fall outside the 5% categories you will earn 1% cash back with no spending tiers or caps.

3. Double Cash: The first year only, Discover doubles your cash back at the end of the year.

0% Introductory Rate

The card offers a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Note that there is a 3% fee on balance transfers. There is no fee for taking advantage of the 0% introductory APR on purchases.

Other Perks

The Discover it® card offers several additional benefits:

  • Freeze ItSM on/off switch for your account: This cool feature enables you to freeze or unfreeze your card in seconds with Discover’s mobile app or via its website. This is a great feature if you lose or misplace your card.
  • Track your recent FICO® Credit Scores for free: Stay on top of your credit and avoid surprises. Now you can see your recent FICO® Credit Scores in one easy-to-read chart on monthly statements and online. Plus see the key factors online from your credit history that affect your score the most.
  • $0 Fraud Liability: You’re never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your credit card.
  • Last Minute Payment: Pay your bill up to midnight (ET) the day it’s due by phone or online.

What we like about the Discover it® Card

  • Up to 5% cash back
  • 0% introductory APR
  • Double cash back the first year
  • No annual fee
  • Free access to your FICO® score

What could be better

  • The 5% cash back has a spending cap
  • You must sign up each quarter to qualify for the 5% cash back
  • No signup bonus
  • Requires Good/Excellent Credit