Ally Bank ATM Fee Rebates Work At Exorbitant Las Vegas Casinos

I spent a few days in Las Vegas last month as an extended layover, and wasted some time gambling. This also gave me a chance to try out those unlimited ATM fee rebates on my Ally Bank checking account. I went to three different ATMs at three different places, and the ATM fees were $2.50, $4.99, and $4.99. Can you imagine taking out $40 and getting charged $2-5 from your own bank, and then $5 from the ATM owner? Ouch. (Ally doesn’t charge you to use other ATMs, but most big banks do.)

By the third try, even I felt bad for Ally paying for all that and took out a larger sum for the rest of the trip. At the end of the month, the total fees of $12.48 was credited automatically to my account as promised. (My total eventual losses for the trip were around $100, I’m sad to say.)

Oh, and if you’re confused by the negative balances, I have it set up for free overdraft transfers from my Ally online saving account to my checking account whenever my balance hits zero. This way I am earning the most interest possible in the savings account at APY. I can’t do more than 6 withdrawals per month, though.

Comments

  1. I’m considering signing up as well but have you ever changed the PIN number for your Ally ATM card?

    I was reading up on it online and some people said you have to call them to change it, so I’m wondering if it’s an automated system or if you actually have to tell the CSR your desired number?

    Also, some posts seem to suggest that you can’t actually select a number and instead they mail you a random one to your address.

  2. One of my friends went to Vegas and said he spent over $60 in ATM fees at casinos and “other places” with high ATM fees. He had a reward checking account at a credit union which reimbursed all of the ATM fees.

    It’s probably a good idea for banks like Ally to have a monthly cap on ATM fee reimbursements. I don’t want the bank to be forced to lower deposit rates to pay for ATM fee refunds.

  3. Matthew B says:

    There’s an automated system, but it didn’t work for me (wouldn’t recognize my phone number I was calling from). I just stuck with the randomly generated one.

    Ally’s impressed me on more than one occasion. Regarding ATM fees, they recently mailed me to let me know they’d audited my account history and discovered they’d failed to reimburse me some of my ATM fees. They automatically credited me the fee, plus interest (rounded up to $1.00 if below that).

    I never keep track of if they actually reimburse me, so this was a nice surprise in customer service.

  4. @ Matthew B

    Thanks!

    Having an online-only checking account makes me a little nervous in cases like this but I think I’m going to try it out :)

  5. Good to know. I figured they would have a monthly cap or even a per-transaction limit of how much they would refund.

  6. Totally agree about reimbursement limits. I’d much rather prefer savings from introduction of such limits be translated into slightly higher interest rates. This would promote more responsible financial behavior – rare positive quality in modern civilization.

  7. Too bad they are GMAC and they still haven’t paid back their TARP. They are one of the few who still have not paid back fully or not at all. What does that say about the financial health of the business? Thumbs down.

  8. I don’t think it should be a concern that they were GMAC. They clearly have learned their lesson and are doing their best to becoming a more customer friendly bank. I give them credit for that.

    Besides, unless you have more than 250k with Ally, all your monkey is FDIC insured anyway.

  9. Its a matter of opinion whether banks have learned their “lesson”. I would argue none of them have learned their lesson. What is clear though is that a bank’s inability to pay back TARP means the bank is having a lot of financial problems. It just means more desperation and more opportunities to make poor choices with your money. “FDIC insured anyway”? That’s my tax payer money too. I rather not have to contribute any further to bad behavior that I have to bail out.

  10. FDIC is not funded by taxes

  11. Wow, pretty cool! My credit union does this too but I’ve never had to use random ATMs before. But I think mine does have a $25 cap per month (which seems perfectly fine in any case.)

  12. My mistake, thanks for the correction DS.

  13. I have been so impressed by Ally, from the Ease of Opening Accounts, the Speed of Transferring Money, Great Interest Rate(for today’s economy), ATM Rebates, Free Checks, Free Overdraft from Savings, Great Customer Service (both phone and chat), I’m highly considering closing my Wells Fargo accounts and going online only.

    My only complaint about Ally is that the eCheck Deposit, it is slow and often requires me to scan multiple times to get an image that it will accept (especially with hand-written checks). The hold time for deposits is also much longer than it needs to be. However they will mail you out pre-addresss, pre-paid envelopes to mail in your checks, which I actually find easier.

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