Ally CashBack Credit Card Review: Is it Worthwhile if You Don’t Bank with Ally?
As of June 17, 2019, this credit card offer is no longer available. You can continue to use your card as usual, earning cash back with the same great features and services you enjoy now.
Last year, Ally Bank rolled out the Ally CashBack Credit Card with a rewards program that offers 2% cash back on gas and groceries with no cap. In addition to the cash back you earn from spending, Ally gives you a special 10% Ally Deposit Bonus when you deposit cash back earned into an eligible Ally Bank account.
Ally CashBack Credit Card Offer
1. Earn up to 2.2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores.
Factoring in the 10% Ally Deposit Bonus, you have the potential to earn a total of 2.2% cash back in the gas and groceries category.
You have to deposit cash back earned into a qualifying account to get the 10% bonus. Qualifying accounts include:
- Ally Money Market accounts
- Non-IRA Online Savings accounts
- Interest Checking accounts
Fine print alert: Discount stores, superstores, and warehouses are not included in the groceries category. Stores like Target, Walmart, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club specifically may be off limits for 2% cash back.
Ally Bank qualifies your purchases for cash back using merchant codes. You can call up a store directly to see if it has a merchant code within one of these eligible 2% cash back categories:
- Service stations
- Automated fuel dispensers
- Fuel dealers
2. Earn up to 1.1% cash back on all other purchases.
Purchases outside of groceries and gas earn 1% cash back. You can earn a total of 1.1% if you add in the 10% Ally Deposit Bonus.
How to Redeem Cash Back
You can redeem cash back in two ways. As mentioned, you get the extra 10% bonus if you deposit cash back into an eligible Ally Bank account.
The second option is redeeming cash back for statement credit. You need to build a balance of at least $25 before you can redeem cash back.
What We Like About the Ally CashBack Credit Card
You guessed it — we think the most attractive feature of the Ally CashBack Credit Card is the 10% Ally Deposit Bonus. We also like that this card has no spending cap for the 2% categories.
Other benefits are that there’s no annual fee and the interest rate range is reasonable.
Ally CashBack Credit Card Fine Print
One of the major drawbacks of this card is the merchant code restrictions.
Don’t get us wrong — the Ally CashBack Credit Card isn’t the only cash back rewards program that uses merchant codes to qualify purchases. Pretty much every niche category card has some fine print related to what you will and will not earn bonus cash back on.
Before shopping at a warehouse or specialty food store with this card (or any category card for that matter), double-check the merchant code to see if the purchase will be eligible for 2%.
One more spot where the Ally CashBack Credit Card has fine print is the program termination policy. If your account is canceled for any reason, by you or Ally Bank, you forfeit the cash back balance. Ally Bank also reserves the right to change terms or cancel the cash back program. If this occurs, you may give up your balance.
To avoid losing out on money, keep the card in good standing and cash out whenever you hit the $25 mark just in case Ally Bank should change terms in the future.
Who the Ally CashBack Credit Card Is For
This card is best suited for current Ally Bank customers, but even people who bank with Ally Bank should explore other options.
For non-Ally Bank customers, the 2.2% on gas and groceries is not worth opening two new accounts (the credit card account and a qualifying savings or checking account) to earn maximum cash back.
There are too many other category cards to consider ahead of this one that can give you more than 2.2% on gas and groceries.
There are even a few cards that offer you 2%+ cash back on all spending with no pesky category restrictions to keep up with.
We’ll share two alternatives with you in the next section.
But first, here’s an example to give you an idea of how much you can earn with the Ally CashBack Credit Card:
Say you spend $4,000 per year on groceries and $2,000 on gas. You can earn up to $132 in cash back for the year. (This includes the 10% Ally Deposit Bonus.)
Keep this scenario in mind because we’ll reference it next when reviewing a competitor.
For eligibility criteria, Ally Bank doesn’t get specific about the type of credit history or score you need to get approved.
However, some applicants have reported getting declined because of too many recent inquiries or new accounts. These are factors to be mindful of that could hurt your chances of getting approved.
Cash Back Alternatives
We have a list of the top cash back cards for all categories in this post. Here are two alternative cards from that roundup to take a look at:
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of our top picks for gas and grocery shopping rewards. This card gives you a huge 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. The card also offers – NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $95 annual fee.
Back to our example scenario from above:
If you spend $4,000 annually at U.S. supermarkets and $2,000 annually on gas, you earn $300 in total cash back from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Subtract the $95 annual fee, and you still net $205 in cash back. Remember — the Ally CashBack Credit Card only gives you up to $132 in this same spending scenario. The moral of the story is, rewards cards that have an annual fee can still outperform cards with no annual fee. So don’t let a fee deter you from reviewing an offer.
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card
If you do most of your shopping at wholesale stores or you prefer a non-category card, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card is another option we recommend. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card gives you an unlimited 3% cash back during the first year; 2.5% cash back afterwards. $99 annual fee, waived the first year. If your spending is all over the map, an unlimited cash back card like the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card can give you more flexibility than the Ally CashBack Credit Card.
Rewards Cards: Frequently Asked Questions
Does Ally cash back expire?
No, Ally cash back does not expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. There is no limit to the amount of cash back rewards that may be earned.
Can I do better than 2% cash back?
Anything over 1.5% cashback is a good deal. There are some cards that offer more — as much as 5 or 6% cash back on purchases. But sometimes those offers are too good to be true. Banks don’t like to lose money, and will pepper the fine print with all sorts of limitations. For example, they may offer 5% cash back on only purchases at certain types of retailers and only for certain periods of time. And those categories may change every quarter, which can make it hard to keep track.
What happens if I can’t pay my credit card bill in full?
Don’t let those cash back promises pressure you into spending more than you can afford. If you don’t pay your statement balance in full each month, you could get slapped with sky high interest charges. That would totally negate any benefit you might get from earning cash back. Cash back cards are only valuable if you can pay your bill in full and capture the entirety of your cash back rewards.
What’s the best way to redeem cash back?
It depends on the card. Some cards allow you redeem cash back dollar for dollar as a statement credit, which can help lower your total balance. Just keep in mind that applying cash back to your card statement does not count as a monthly payment. Other cards will increase the value of your cash back if you spend on certain categories, like travel. Review your terms carefully to be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
What’s the best way to use a rewards card?
Find the card that fits your day-to-day spending needs best, beyond the flashy sign-up bonus offers and cash back promises. Pay your bill in full each month (spend only what you can afford to pay off).
Ally CashBack Credit Card $100 Bonus Cash
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If you have an Ally Bank savings or checking account, then check out Ally CashBack Credit Card today. Continue reading below if you are interested in this card! This is a decent everyday card and depositing your rewards into your Ally account will earn a 10% bonus on your redemption.
It features the opportunity to earn $100 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Not only can you earn 2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases, but this card also has no annual fee!
Ally CashBack Credit Card Summary
|Bonus Available||Get a $100 cash bonus when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.|
|Travel Credit||No travel credit|
|Ongoing Rewards/Benefits||Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Receive a 10% bonus when you deposit your cash rewards into an eligible Ally Bank account.
|Foreign Transaction Fees||3%|
|Airport Lounge Access||N/A|
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by HustlerMoneyBlog and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
Recommended Free Credit Score (Get Free Score)
690 – 850 (Good – Excellent)
- No annual fee
- Welcome bonus
- Ally deposit bonus
- Simple rewards
- Good-Excellent credit needed to qualify
- Minimum redemption requirement
- Foreign transaction fees
Ally CashBack Card $100 Bonus Cash Offer
Get the Ally CashBack card’s $100 bonus cash welcome offer. To qualify for this offer, simply charge at least $500 to your card within the first 90 days of your account opening.
Here are some ideas on meeting the spending requirement:
|Meeting Credit Card Bonus Spending Requirements|
|• Plastiq – Using Plastiq allows you to pay for your personal expenses such as rent, tuition, mortgage, auto lease etc. Although they charge a 2.5% processing fee for using your credit card, this will contribute to the card bonus that you will receive. There is also a referral program that allows you to earn “Free-Free Dollars” that goes towards processing fees as well.|
|• Funding Checking Accounts – When it comes to funding a checking account, opening your initial deposit with a credit card is the usual way to go about it. However, if you want to have more opportunities, you should open a checking account that offers a sign-up bonus. This allows you to work towards bonuses from not one but two different sources instead. Banks like Chase, Huntington Bank, TD Bank and BBVA offers credit card funding, and for your opening deposit, you can often fund anywhere from $50-$1000 with a credit card, depending on the bank.|
|• Gift Card Purchases With Using a Credit Card – Another way to acquire the bonus is using your credit card to purchase gift cards. Buying a a gift card or an individual merchant card typically do not require a purchase fee and are used towards leisure, so gift cards are ideal. However, gift cards such as a Visa or American Express do incur purchase fees because they can be spent anywhere, but gift cards that are specifically for a certain online shopping site such as Amazon or eBay don’t.|
|As for a Citi Credit Card, you should call customer service and ask them to lower your Cash Advance limit to $0 before making any purchases because Citi tends to read gift card purchases as a Cash Advance.
Ideally, you should do this with any card just to be safe. Lastly, there is such thing as a discounted gift card which can be purchased on Raise or eBay. If you use a credit card often for everyday purchases, it can build your credit score that will contribute towards paying for things such as bills and taxes.
|Alternative Ways to Meet Spending Requirements|
Earning Ally CashBack Rewards
With this card, you will be able to earn 2% cash back on gas and grocery spending, as well as, 1% cash back on all other purchases. The downside is that discount stores, superstores and warehousess do not count as “grocery stores”, so you will not be able to earn 2% cash back on your puchases there. This includes retailers like Target, Walmart, BJ’s and Sam’s Club.
There are no spending caps and no expiration on rewards as long as your account is active and in good standing.
Redeeming Ally CashBack Rewards
To view all of your cash rewards and manage them, long into your Ally online account. You are allowed to redeem in $25 increments which you can apply towards:
- Statement credits
- Electronic deposits into an eligible Ally Bank account
The best way to redeem is to deposit your cash back into an Ally account.
Ally Deposit Bonus
The special bonus that is offered with this card is the extra 10% bonus you get when you deposit your cash back into your eligible Ally Bank account. This boosts your rewards rates to 2.2% for cash and groceries and 1.1% cash back on everything else. Also, your sign-up bonus will also get a 10% bonus if you deposit it into an Ally bank account, so you can get a $110 bonus value instead of $100.
To qualify for the redemption bonus, you will need to open a new bank account if you’re not already banking with Ally. A good perk of Ally accounts is that they don’t have any fes, so there’s no risk to opening a new bank account just to get the deposit bonus. If that doesn’t convince, you should also know that Ally accounts earn interest.
*Check out Ally banking bonuses for new accounts.
Why You Should Apply for This Card
This card is best suited for those who already have an account with Ally Bank but you could always join if you aren’t already a member. There’s an introductory bonus of $100 if you spend $500 within the first three months of having this card. You will earn unlimited rewards as you shop by getting 2% cash back at gas stations and grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases! It’s a great card for those of you who want to earn easy cash back for your purchases. All of these benefits for no annual fee sounds like a great offer!
|Best Credit Card Categories|
|0% APR||Airline Rewards||Balance Transfer|
|Cash Back||Hotel Rewards||Military|
|No Annual Fee||No Foreign Transaction Fee||Premium|
|Small Business||Student||Travel Rewards|
If you are on the market for a new credit card, consider signing up for the Ally CashBack Credit Card to start earning cash back on your purchases. There is no annual fee and there is no limit on your rewards so spend and get rewarded today.
You will get a sign up offer of $100 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. You could also get a 10% Ally Deposit Bonus when you deposit your cash rewards into an eligible Ally Bank account. We understand that this card isn’t suited for everyone. So if this is the case, feel free to check out our full list of credit card bonus promotions.
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.
What’s The Competition?
|The Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.You’ll earn an unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases with no rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards.
This card comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
|The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Card offers a one-time $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
You’ll be able to earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day with no rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards.
This card comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees which makes this card a viable option for your go-to everyday card.