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Ally Bank’s Removal of Early Withdrawals in Online CD Management

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A couple of months ago Ally Bank disabled a useful feature from its online CD management section. This section of Ally Bank’s online account management allows customers to control several aspects of their Ally CDs including renewals, interest disbursement and early withdrawals. The early withdrawal feature was especially useful for No-Penalty CDs. It made it possible to quickly close a No-Penalty CD and transfer the funds (the principal and all the accrued interest) into your Ally savings, checking or money market account. You could also transfer the funds to an outside linked account. Transferring the funds to an Ally account allowed the transfer to be immediate. Being able to quickly close a No-Penalty CD and transfer the funds into a liquid account enhances the appeal of no-penalty CDs.

When customers now enter the early withdrawal section of Ally’s online CD management section, the following message has been displayed since September:

We’re only processing early withdrawals by phone right now.

Call us at 1-877-247-2559. We’re here 24/7.

Ally claims it’s only temporary

There have been claims that this change is permanent. According to my contact at Ally Bank, this change is only temporary. Below is the response from my Ally contact regarding this change:

Ally Bank offers service that is unique in the industry, and we take our customer commitment seriously. We constantly balance both convenience and security measures, and have temporarily taken our CD close and ACH transfer feature offline to strengthen the security for our customers. We intend to reintroduce the capability within a few months. In the meantime, with just a call, Ally’s customer care team can complete the same process on behalf of our CD customers in under five minutes. It’s always a good idea to check the wait times – posted online and on the mobile app –prior to calling.

I’m not sure why it’s taking Ally so long to strengthen the security of this feature. Closing a CD and transferring funds to an external account would be done to a verified linked account just like when you initiate an ACH transfer from your Ally savings or checking account. The online early withdrawal feature also allowed customers to transfer funds to their Ally savings or checking account. That doesn’t seem to be an activity that would have security issues.

On the other hand, I don’t see much benefit that Ally would be receiving by making this change in the current environment. I would assume the vast majority of customers who have Ally CDs have rates higher than rates that are now available. You would think in this environment with very low rates and a large surplus of deposits, Ally would make it easier for customers to close CDs. If rates were rising, Ally would then have a reason to make it harder to close CDs early.

Early CD closures can still be done with help from CSRs

It should be noted that Ally customers still can close their CDs early, but currently, you have to reach an Ally customer service representative. According to Ally’s messages, this requires the customer to call Ally by phone. Readers have also reported being able to close CDs via Ally’s online chat service. DA reader Buckeyes shared his experience closing his Ally No-Penalty CD in the DA Forum (Thanks Buckeyes!)

Ok so Ally has closed my NP CD and the money has been sent to my online savings account. So to summarize my experience, I closed this with a 20 min online chat yesterday. Somehow I was first in line. It took almost exactly 24 hours for the CD to close. So although you cant do yourself, you can do via chat, or a phone call if you wish, and it took them 24 hours via the online chat route to close it. So a bit of a pain but it could be worse. Hope this info helps.

Online account management has been one of the fortes of Ally. Many of the other online banks (especially the smaller ones) have limited capabilities on what the customer can control via their online account platform. I hope Ally is serious about restoring this online early withdrawal feature.

Related Pages: nationwide deals, Internet banks
Comments
DaveJ
  |     |   Comment #1
I closed a 11 month no-penalty CD on Sept 24th. I had to call in , and it was done quickly and the transfer into my on-line savings account was immediate. I was amused they asked me why I was doing it. I told them I needed the cash. So there was no delay on fund availability by phone for me.
P_D
  |     |   Comment #2
I have had quite a few Ally NPCDs over the years. I have not closed any early recently, and most of the ones I closed in the past I closed by phone anyway. Think I only closed one through the site. But I agree it is useful to have that option available. I prefer to do things online rather than over the phone whenever possible not the least of the reasons for which it leaves a better paper trail.

I like Ally as a "hub" bank. Have had accounts there for many years. Has not had the greatest rates in the past couple of years, but great for managing a lot of accounts conveniently. To that end, I don't like them removing features as that makes it less useful and convenient for this purpose. So I hope this is not a sign of things to come there and we can take them at their word they will restore it soon.

I have two large NPCDs there maturing in several days @ 1.95%. Probably will just let them roll @0.65% as lousy as it is as I need to keep these funds somewhat liquid. May end up sending them both out at some point if Ally doesn't come up with some better CD deals.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #3
Thanks Ken. I'd like the add a couple of things. First off my first attempt via online chat to close this was a flop, as the rep immediately wanted me to call Ally. My second attempt went to someone named Danyell who seemed hesitant to close the CD but she put me on "hold" to "check things" and then came back to close my CD, which is pretty much why the call took 20 minutes. So your luck may completely depend on the willingness or knowledge of the rep to help. When I told her what I wanted to do and asked her if she could, she came back with "good question". As stated it took 24 hours for the money to leave the CD and hit online savings, and it actually happened in the middle of the day, as at noon the next day it hadn't closed, but at 2pm it had. Since this was a couple weeks ago now, hopefully all the reps are by now on the same page.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #9
Ugh.. I wish I could edit. I stated the "call" went 20 minutes. The chat went 20 minutes I closed my NP CD all online with a rep named Danyell who seemed hesitant at first but once she got approval or something somewhere went ahead and took care of it. The "official" closing occurred almost exactly 24 hours later, midday in fact, when the money transferred to online savings.
blazer9
  |     |   Comment #4
Would "HUB" ACH transfers out of Ally be Affected?
111
  |     |   Comment #5
Has anyone recently cashed out No-Penaly CDs from Marcus (Goldman-Sachs) lately? Either early, or at their normal maturation date? Was this process automated (like Ally USED to be), or manual - if manual, was it a PITA? I have a bunch maturing in January, and I probably won't renew.
Hooked
  |     |   Comment #6
@111 - I have a Marcus no penalty CD maturing in a week’s time. Provided instructions online (automated) to close the CD upon maturity and deposit the funds into my Marcus savings. Marcus sent me an email confirmation.
111
  |     |   Comment #8
Thanks for the info.
MikeG62
  |     |   Comment #10
I've had a number of NP CD's mature at Marcus over the last several months. All were set to transfer the funds to my online savings account. All happened automatically and on time (the morning the CD matured).
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #7
Chase recently has been requiring that I verify any large ACH transactions in or out of my checking account. Within a couple of hours after the transaction I get an automated call that I have to verify transaction (The transaction is in a "pending review " status when I check on line). When I called the rep they transfer me to an automated process to do a 2 step verification. The 1st step requires you must enter the last 4 numbers of your ATM card, the expiration date and security code. After that you need to answer security questions and then the rep allows the transaction to go through.

One time I was unable to get the automated system to recognize my entries for the ATM card info and I was told I had to go to a branch. The branch is down the street from me. Had to show my ATM card and drivers license to the CSR and she had to contact the fraud department to authorize the transaction.

Maybe Ally had some security issues with doing online CD closures. They are the only bank a I've dealt with that allows on line CD closures. Maybe they are adding extra verificationto their processes

Only been dealing with Ally when they offer bonuses. Otherwise their rates have not been competitive for a long time.
JimDavis
  |     |   Comment #11
Just had Chase annoy me with a lock on my 'new' account and cancellation of an ACH PULL, from an account I had just PUSHED money to .

Had to go to a branch. I have been a cust of Chase on and off for decades.

Their security systems are set with a trigger finger.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #12
I opened a Keybank checking account to get a $400 bonus. I opened the account with $10 and had to make a $500 deposit within 60 fays to get the bonus. I made the $500 deposit a few days later. It took sometime for the teller to process the transaction.Then the teller went to a printer and gave me a sheet of paper that said the $500 deposit had a hold for 7 days since it was a new account. I did get the bonus posted my account 2 weeks later.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #13
how much did you lose in various fees against the $400? That sounds like an awfully rich offer.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #15
It was a targeted offer from Keybank. The Keybank rep said they rarely see the offer I got. Most she said required direct deposit.
I did have to do a Finacial wellness review with the rep that took 45 minutes. I Opened a basic checking account with $10 and had to make a $500 deposit within 60 days to get the $400 bonus. If I close the account within 180 days you have to pay an early closure fee of $25. I'll be closing the account after the 180 days are up. No other fees apply to get the bonus and no direct deposit. The only fees are basic checking fees like bounced checks. Just a Checksytems check and no credit agency inquiries. I have no intention of using this account.

I've been doing bonuses in this low rate environment. Put 15k in a Chase savings account and after 3 months getting a $200 bonus. Opened a Chase Brokerage account with 25k and will get a $200 bonus and can close after 90 days. We opened a Fidelity 2% on all purchases charge card and got a $150 bonus after charging $1,500. My wife opened that and she has an 850 credit score. Next going to open a Chase Freedom rewards card and get a $200 bonus after spending $500. My credit score is 850 so no worries. Looking at doing a Citibank $400 bonus offer on opening a Checking and savings account with 15k between the two for 60 days
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #17
i have done almost all the same bonuses. I nabbed the Citi $400 and got paid a month ago. I did the same Chase savings and brokerage and should be paid any day now, i hope. My problem now is I have been in and out of just about every credit card there is so there are very few bonuses out there I may qualify for. So for now I'm stuck with my Amex card which pays awesome rewards at the store (6%!) plus Chase and Discover. So to repeat I feel kinda stuck right now with little out there for me unless I take a whirl and go to Merchants Bank paying 1%.. We are pretty much all in the same boat.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #19
You mention Merchants Bank 1% account. What bonus are they paying? What are the requirements?

Also Can you send the link for the American Express card that pays 6% on all store purchases? I would like to get that card.
Hooked
  |     |   Comment #22
@Rickny - The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card should be what Buckeyes was talking about. It is 6% (on up to $6k spend each year) for supermarkets, not all stores. I received a targeted offer to upgrade my AE Blue Cash Everyday rewards card to the Preferred card, with first year’s fee waived and a $150 bonus if I spend $1000. Found a post on DoC which has a similar offer but for a $300 bonus with $3000 spend. This latter offer suits me better even though the targeted version has a higher percentage yield. I signed up using the public offer link at the DoC post (it said if you abort the application, you will not be able to apply again so please make sure you are ready first). Happy to send you a private message with the link if interested.

On First Merchants Bank of Indiana, Ken had a write-up a few days ago. No sign up bonus. There are a few comments on DA from people who applied recently.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #23
Hooked. Thanks for the help. Yes your post is spot on with what i was referring to. With AMEX I upgraded my existing card and got the $150 you mentioned. Yes the 6% is only groceries but with how expensive food is I got back the annual fee in a short time. The questions I have with this card relate to the $95 annual fee. I got hit within a month with a prorated fee i think of around 30 bucks that gets me to the next $95 cycle. In March I am going to get hit with the full $95. I asked if I could cancel before that happens and was told it's possible I could lose the $150 bonus. She advised me to wait a full calendar year before canceling. That makes little sense to me. Any ideas?

Second- On Merchants bank I am waiting for some more reviews. I have pee poor luck moving money between banks as capital one and discover went down almost as soon as I did a transfer earlier this year. The .4 % difference between Merchants and Ally (and almost everyone else) is something to consider though. The 1% is a bloody long term CD rate nowadays. What's the expression? If it sounds to good to be true...
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #24
the prorated fee amount i mentioned should have been 60 bucks not 30 (fat fingers). for some reason i cant edit my posts.
Hooked
  |     |   Comment #26
@Buckeyes - The AE Blue Cash Preferred is the first credit card that has an annual fee for me. Since the $95 fee is waived for the first year (DoC says that’s rare) and offers a $300 bonus, I signed up. I will have 12 months to decide if I want to cancel after 1 year + 1 month (pay prorated fee for just one month), or keep the card if I can spend $6k each year to justify the $95 annual fee.

I am sticking with Ally since I don’t have much liquidity. Very grateful to Ken/DA (for all those add-on CDs last year) and DoC for bank bonuses.

@Rickny - I am doing the Citi bonus (for the second time). The application process seems to have improved. Someone says Citi typically offers the $500 bonus in the January round but I didn’t want $15k sitting in my savings account earning 0.6% APY.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #27
@hooked- I just finished up with Citi and their $400 offer. Everything about it was super easy. One of the best things I liked was the ability to talk to a rep pretty much instantly on their site. Try that with say, oh, the cable company. Twice I had to contact a rep and after you get by the Citi Bot they pick up pretty much instantly. They will also close the accounts via chat which is another nice thing. Wish I could do it again tomorrow. I can't believe they don't even try to keep you, meaning the rate on the account is so bad you are forced to leave. I was getting 20 cents a month interest.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #25
Buckeye said "6% at the store", Thanks for the correction on the erroneous information. I saw the 6% grocery reward card but saw the $95 anual fee yesterday. I have a no fee Amex Blue card that gives 3% on groceries. The Chase Freedom gives 5% on groceries for 1 year up to 12k. I also don't go for any card with a fee. I don't close cards either so my percentage of card usage is low keeping my credit score high. So waiting for my Chase Freedom card so I can earn my bonus. Opened my Chase Brokerage account for another $200 bonus. Opened Keybank checking account under the wife's name to get another $200. Did on line took 10 minutes.

Next month I'll go for the Citi bank bonus.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #28
@Rick- Sorry for the confusion. Literally the only store I go to these days is the grocery store. When I tell the wife I'm headed to the store she's knows I'm headed to Wegmans!
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #14
Never mind I found the Key offer on doctor of credit.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #16
I see a $200 offer that Keybank has for the same account I opened. I did not see any direct deposit requirements just the $10 to open and a $500 deposit in 60 days.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #18
Buckeyes Didn't see the $400 offer from Keybank on doctorofcredit.com can you post the link to that offer so I can get the promo code? For $400 my wife will open another checking account.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #20
i found it via a google search but now i see its been changed to a $200 offer Nov 4.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #21
The nice thing with the $200 offer is it can be done on line. My $400 required an office visit. Wife will open an account and we will get a $200 bonus.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #29
i beieve this post still has a lot of eyes on it so I'd like to inform the team that I did open up an account today with Merchants Bank of Indiana earning 1% interest with absolutely 0 headaches. The rep was actually familiar with this site, She said they got quite a few applications over the weekend. Hopefully this works out. I recommend for sure. She told me to "tell my friends"!
Hooked
  |     |   Comment #30
@Buckeyes - In case you are not aware, AE has referral programs. If you send a referral to your spouse, she can apply for any of the cards available and both of you will be rewarded once approved. I’ve just referred spouse on the no fee AE Cash Magnet card. Referrer receives $100 statement credit while Referee receives $200 statement credit after a $1000 spend in three months.

If this post gets deleted by the moderators, I will send you a private message.

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