Ally Bank Launches Several New Accounts and Services
After some hints of upgrades, Ally Bank has just launched four new accounts and services:
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that can hold savings account and CDs
- 4-Year Raise Your Rate CD that allows the rate to be increased two times
- Cash back debit card program called Ally Perks
- Person-to-Person Transfer Service via Popmoney
I'll give a brief overview of each of these for now. I'll go into more depth in future posts.
Ally Bank's IRAs
This has taken a while. I first received news that Ally would be offering IRAs in September 2010. Ally Bank is offering Traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs. In the IRA, you have a choice of standard CDs, the Raise Your Rate CDs or the online savings account. The rates are the same as the non-IRA accounts. Ally has a new IRA overview webpage where you can read more about the IRAs and apply.
4-Year Raise Your Rate CD
Ally's 4-year CD has been converted into a new Raise Your Rate CD. It gives you the option to raise the CD rate twice during the 4-year term. This is a little better than the 2-year CD which only allows a one-time bump-up. Now the question for us to decide is if this is a better deal than the 5-year CD.
Ally Perks Program
This program requires that you have Ally's Interest Checking account and its debit card. You then can sign up in Ally Perks. When you make qualifying purchases using the debit card, Ally will reward you with money back (deposited to your account). The "qualifying purchases" appear to be those connected to offers they will list when you log into your account. This cash back money seems to come from retailers who want to increase their sales (like SmartyPig's gift cards) rather than from interchange fees. So it probably won't be impacted by the new regulation that's coming.
Person-to-Person Transfer Service via Popmoney
I haven't found any mention of this new service on Ally's public website. However, if you log in, you'll notice a new option in your "transfer funds" page. The new option is for moving money "Between your Ally accounts and other people". When you click on that option, a page describing Popmoney will be shown. According to this page, it's a free service in which you can "send money to anyone in the U.S. using their email address, mobile phone number or bank account information." For a recipient who doesn't have an Ally account, they "will be notified that you sent money and they will be directed to www.popmoney.com/ally to learn how to receive it. Money sent to a bank account will be automatically deposited." For those with an Ally account, you shouldn't have to worry about going to popmoney.com. You just log into your Ally account.
New Account Disclosure
Ally Bank also released a new account disclosure with a 6/18/2011 date that lists all of these new accounts and services. I did a quick review of it and made sure the mild early withdrawal penalty of 60 days of interest is still listed. If you find any noteworthy changes, please leave a comment.
It's nice to see these new accounts and services. As I described in this review of CD early withdrawal penalties, Ally Bank's 11-month No-Penalty CD and 5-year CD with a 60-day EWP make them very competitive when compared to other banks' short-term and long-term CDs. Ally Bank's Interest Checking Account has several nice features, and this is being enhanced with their new remote deposit service called Ally Bank eCheck Deposit. The improvements are nice to see. I just hope their rates continue to be competitive.
Update 6/24/2011: My in-depth reviews of the above new services:
Probably one of the stupidest things Ive ever seen.
If anything, you would think they would want to SHOW the perks and then use them as an incentive to open a checking account.
But, I guess they dont have common sense.
Personally I have used their bill pay for several months and never had any issues.
I really wish they would go ahead and give us pending transaction information, finish rolling out remote deposit, and release iPhone/Android apps for mobile banking/remote deposit.
How about some feedback from users who have experience with Ally IRA opeing process? For example, were they able to complete online, or was human help needed. I'd like details from anyone who does a Traditional IRA Rollover from another bank (within the 60 day limit) and not a Trustee to trustee direct transfer. Thx
In order to make an annual contribution to a Roth or Tradtional IRA, you must have taxable "compensation" income. Compensation income includes salary, wages, commissions, net self-employment, and alimony. It does not includes pensions, dividends, capital gains, or interest. If you file a joint return, your spouse's compensation income also counts. There are no income requirements for a rollover contribution.
And I even set my billpay up at West Bank where I have a rewards account that DOES use checkfree but it wasnt as good as I was used to in that it forced me to open another window for billpay.
ING seems to solve that problem and they are with checkfree. The only difference is it seems like they make it a point to tell you set up your payments 4 days before they are due.
My other account didnt do that and I never had a problem with a late payment and I always scehduled for the due date.