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Ally Bank's Loyalty Rewards Program for CD Renewals

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For the last few years Ally Bank has been offering a loyalty rewards program to its CD customers when the CDs mature. This is intended to encourage customers to renew their CDs at Ally rather than moving the money to another bank. The current reward is a 0.25% rate bump. DA reader cumulus has a useful thread with information on this program that he learned from Ally. He reported that the current loyalty rewards program ends June 30, 2012, but in the last few years it has been common for Ally to renew the program every 3 or 4 months.

I've been hesitant in discussing this program since it's not documented by Ally, and it would be easy for Ally to change the rules and who is offered the loyalty reward. So if you open an Ally CD in hopes that you'll be offered a loyalty reward when it matures, you might be disappointed. I've decided that a post describing this program could still be useful since the program does have a long history. Just be aware there is no guarantee that you'll be offered the loyalty reward when your Ally CD matures.

Here are the details I received today from an Ally CSR regarding the loyalty program:

Beginning on the day of maturity, you have a 10 day grace period during which you can make changes to your CD. During your 10 day grace period you have the option of adding or removing funds, or even changing the term to take advantage of a higher rate. Regardless of what changes you make, if any part of your CD is left on deposit, we'll add the loyalty reward.

It's nice to see that the loyalty reward program allows customers to change CD terms and to add to the CD. With CD terms as short as 3 months and without CD minimum deposit requirements, it would seem like these features could be useful in getting a higher rate on the 5-year CD. However, as I mentioned above, there's no guarantee that you'll be offered the loyalty rewards, and the chance may go down if customers game the system.

Another thing to consider about this loyalty reward program is that it's another way Ally can attract more deposits. Back in 2009 the Wall Street Journal reported that FDIC asked Ally officials to keep the rates on deposits low enough so the bank wasn't one of the nation's top five rate payers, as measured by Bankrate.com. This came after the American Bankers Association complained to the FDIC about Ally's deposit rates. The ABA thought it was risky for Ally to be allowed to pay above-market rates since Ally was receiving government assistance.

I haven't carefully tracked Ally CD rates since 2009, but it does appear that Ally's rates have remained below the rate caps as described above. Thus, this loyalty rewards program may be a way for Ally to attract more deposits without raising a red flag for the FDIC. That may also be why Ally has such a small CD early withdrawal penalty. If these features are part of Ally's strategy to get around these rate restrictions, I'm happy to see it. The government is already punishing savers like never before. We need all the help we can get.


  Tags: Ally Bank, CD rates

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Comments
6 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've encountered a number of banks (MetLife, CalFirst, Rabobank, AIG)  that have offered me rate bump-ups for sticking around.  Usually, they're not publicized, are available for a limited period and then are discontinued.  It's always a good idea to check by indicating to the CSR that you want to close your CD when it matures.  They may come back with a rate premium to get you to change your mind.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ally's rates have been dropping faster than average over the last year. Lately, the bonus add-on doesn't even bring their base rates up to competitive levels. I, like many, jumped into Ally when they were giving the best rates, but now I have been moving my maturing CDs elsewhere.

2
Comment #3 by Robert (anonymous) posted on
Robert
I've always been offered a loyalty bonus by Ally at CD renewals.  And this goes back about three years.  Has there been a time period in the past few years when Ally actually did NOT offer a renewal loyalty bonus?

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Comment #4 by Robert (anonymous) posted on
Robert
I had this exchange with an Ally Chat representative today:
 
Robert: James - I'm just curious if you know if Ally is planning on extending the CD renewal bonus program beyond 6/30/2012

James: At this time we have no information if the Loyalty Reward will be ran again after that above date. However, personally I have never seen it not ran again.

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Comment #5 by Robert (anonymous) posted on
Robert
I just asked again today - via online chat - and the customer service rep did not know of an extension of the loyalty bonus beyond June 30.  I suspect they will wait until July 1 and then announce that Ally is continuing the 0.25% CD renewal loyalty bonus.

3
Comment #6 by Robert (anonymous) posted on
Robert
Good news: I did an online "chat" with Ally customer service rep "Pat" today and he or she told me that Ally has extended their "CD renewal loyalty reward of 0.25%" out to Sept 30.  So if you renew any CD through Sept 30, 2012, you get a bonus of 0.25% on the rate.  See also: http://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/2012/04/ally-banks-loyalty-rewards-program-for-cd-renewals.html .  Note that given this information, you should be able to "work the system" to use that bonus to your advantage in bigger or longer term CD's.  If you open a small ($100 or less?) 3-month CD today (June 11, 2012), it will mature on Sept 11 at which point you can add thousands of dollars more and extend it to a longer term CD (Like the popular 11-month no-penalty CD or 5-year CD) and still get the 0.25% bonus added to the rate.

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