Ally Bank Accounts Fully Functional, But …

I just had an argument with the bank that doesn’t make me feel very comfortable.

When I opened Ally Bank accounts last week, I deposited only $1,000 in the 9-month No Penalty CD account. That’s just the initial deposit that I plan to add more to later after the account is set up (it doesn’t make too much sense to have only $1,000 in a CD account, doesn’t it?).

So this morning, I decided to put more money into the CD account, but first I want to transfer the money already in the Savings Account to the CD account because the CD yield (2.15%) is a little higher than the yield of the savings account (2.00%). Interestingly, it doesn’t have the option to do such a transfer:

Ally Bank Fund Transfer

It’s only possible to transfer between Savings Account and external accounts, but the CD account is not in the mix. At first I thought it’s pretty weird because banks usually allow transfers between internal accounts. So I called Ally Bank and asked why I can’t add new money to the existing CD account. I was told that I can’t add new money to a CD account that is already funded. I will have to open a new account if I want put more money in CDs. Quite understandable. If that’s the procedure, then I just have to follow it.

While still logging in my account, I started the process of opening another CD account. Then I was a little surprised to see that it seems that I have to go through the entire process as if I am opening an account as a new customer, not an existing customer (I am still logged in my account). It turned out that I need to select “How Many Account Owners?” first before I can see the option to open an account as a current customer. It would be much easier if it shows the option at the very beginning instead of having to click a few buttons to see it. But that’s not the real problem.

I selected Joint Account, the account I want to open (9-month No Penalty CD), put in the initial deposit I want to have in the account, then I was asked to sign in as I am already a customer (I am still logged in). Without thinking of anything else, I logged in again with my own ID. The next screen I saw was with me as both the first and second account owner. That’s not right. So I had to call Ally Bank again and was told that I have to log out and asked, log in with my wife’s ID, then I will have my wife and I as the account owners, not just me. I followed the instruction: Logged out  first (the application wasn’t completed yet when I logged out), logged in my own again, restarted  the application, and logged in with my wife’s ID. When I got to the point that I had to select how to fund the account, I noticed that there are two CD accounts with two different account numbers, not just one, with the same amount of deposits that I want to put in the account. That’s not right. So I selected only one account to fund, not two, but I got an error message, saying I must select how to fund the account. If I must in order to go to next step, I must. I went back, selected to fund both accounts using my BofA account, and got the Congratulation page.

Then I checked my account list. Yes, I now have 3 No Penalty CD accounts and on the Pending Transfers page, I have to pending $56,000 transfers. When tried to delete one of the transfers, the Delete button was just disappeared (both the Edit and Delete buttons are clickable when I got the page first, but they are all inactive once I selected an account). It was just a few minutes between I finished opening the account and I tried to delete the transfer.

Ally Bank ACH Pending Transfers

So I had to call Ally Bank once again and was told that I can’t delete it now because the order is already being processed. When I asked them how much time they give customers to make changes (since they have that Edit and Delete functions available, they must allow customers to do so, right?), a manager said maybe a few minutes, even seconds). On the Pending Transfers page, this is what it says:

You can view, edit and delete your scheduled Ally Bank and External Bank transfers below. Any immediate transfers to a non-Ally Bank account are processing so you won’t be able to edit or delete them.

So basically, even Ally Bank, like another bank, uses 3 business days to clear an ACH transfer, it won’t allow me to change my transfer once I submitted the request. This is really bad. I had done ACH transfers with many banks and as far as I know they all allow me to make changes, immediately or even hours later, but not Ally Bank. They told me there’s nothing they can do to stop the transfer. If I want it stopped, I will have to call BofA and stop the transfer. So I did and it cost me $30 :(

Yes, there may be mistakes at my end, but the experience I had this morning really made me upset. Not that it really matters now because Ally Bank just reduced the yield of 9-month No Penalty to 2.05%. The stop order at BofA will stop both transfers, so no money will be transferred to Ally Bank.

I really don’t like to deal with banks that make things difficult. Seems Ally Bank belongs to that category. And before I make any money from the bank, I already paid $30.

Ally Bank Rates Summary

The following are the up-to-date rates for Ally Bank products.

Ally Bank Rates Effective -
Duration Rate
3 Month High Yield CD
6 Month High Yield CD
9 Month High Yield CD
12 Month High Yield CD
18 Month High Yield CD
2 Year High Yield CD
3 Year High Yield CD
4 Year High Yield CD
5 Year High Yield CD
9 Month No Penalty CD
Online Savings Account
Money Market Account

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This post was written by Sun You can find out more about Sun and his activities on Facebook , or follow him on Twitter .

12 Responses to “Ally Bank Accounts Fully Functional, But …”

  1. Ken |  Jul 02, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    It’s rare for banks to allow you to make additional deposits into a CD. There are a few add-on CDs out there, but not many. It is a nice feature that provides protection against falling rates.

    GMAC Bank’s CD interface wasn’t that good, and it appears they haven’t made any improvements with their website change. The ACH transfers may be treated a little different for CD applications vs. savings account debits/withdrawals.

  2. Sun |  Jul 02, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Ken: I can totally understand why banks won’t allow me to add new money to an existing CD because the term and rate may not be the same, even though in this case the rate doesn’t change. However, I was frustrated by the process. My first application didn’t complete, but a new account was still opened. Also the fact that they have the function to modify a transfer, but didn’t allow me to do so even made me more unhappy. It seems that I can only edit or delete the transfer if it is scheduled, say, to start at a different date. If no specific date is specified, then there’s no way to change it. I am surprised that many other banks, like HSBC, Dollar Savings Direct, IGoBanking do allow me to change, but not Ally. Not sure if the restriction is particular to CD account or not, but I doubt that’s the case.

  3. Lulu |  Jul 08, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I tried to open a savings account with them after creating the 9 month cd and saw the whole rigmarole about opening as a new customer so I just gave up.

    It was too frustrating to do all of that over again but I am glad you said there is an option to find it…even though it is hidden.