Ally Bank is now limiting the number of links that you can use to transfer money to and from your other bank accounts. I just confirmed this with an Ally CSR via online chat. The frustrating thing is that the CSR stated she had not been notified of what the limit is. I first learned of the issue at this FW thread, and the FW members are reporting the same response from Ally. They found out about this limit when they tried to add an external link and received the message "maximum number of external accounts exceeded". If you run into this problem, you'll need to delete old links before you add a new one. Based on this procedure, FW members are reporting a limit of around 10 to 20.
This is disappointing on three levels: 1) there's now a limit on the ACH links, 2) no apparent notification of this change, 3) no info on what the limit is. If Ally believes it needs to limit the number of links from a security point-of-view, it should still notify customers with the exact limit number and ensure this information is known by the CSRs.
This link limit reminds me of that Ally commercial in which the banker prevents the girl from riding her bike outside a small square unless she pays a fee. This new link limit is like having a square that's invisible. You don't know how far you can ride until you hit the invisible wall.
Some may think that there's no reason to have more than one or two dozen links. However, for those who are trying to get a decent return on their money, it can require opening many deposit accounts. In today's record low interest rate environment, savers are having to work much harder. So banks should not be suspicious of those with many ACH links.
Overview of ACH Links
For those not familiar with ACH links, these are links that are used when you want to electronically transfer money to and from your accounts at different banks. Many online banks have this feature. You first establish the link by entering the routing and account number of your other bank account. You will then be required to verify that you own that account. This is often done by trial deposits in which the bank will make two small deposits into your external account. You will then have to log into that account and record the amount of the trial deposits. With this information, you can finish the verification process, and the link is established. You can then initiate deposits and withdrawals via that link.