Ally Bank CD Early Withdrawal Penalty Change: Details & Analysis

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Ally Bank LogoAlly Bank just announced that they will be changing the early withdrawal policy on their CDs starting on December 7, 2013. Found via Ken Tumin’s DepositAccounts post, the details are now officially outlined in the fees tab of their certificates of deposit page. A screenshot:

I have several 5-year Ally CDs earning between 1.8% APY and 3.1% APY, bought largely due to their uniquely short 60-day interest penalty as it meant that I could effectively have access to my funds if required and still earn an interest rate that was higher than anything any other bank CD.

For example, let’s look at their 5-year CD currently paying a 1.60% APY (as of 10/27/13) with no penalty, a penalty of the last 60 days of interest, and a penalty of the last 150 days of interest. Here’s how your actual annualized interest rates would look like based on time of withdrawal:

With the current policy, if you hold it a year and withdraw, your effective yield is already at 1.33% APY – higher than other 12-month term CD that I can find (including being higher than Ally’s 1-year CD). With the future/post-December 7th policy, your effective yield is now 0.93%, now slightly less than Ally’s current 1-year CD yield of 0.98% APY (as of 10/27/13). But also notice that the difference gets smaller the longer you hold. At two years (24 months) the effective yields are 1.47% (60-day) and 1.27% (150-day). 1.27% is still higher than many 2-year CDs. Note that Ally’s 2-Year CD has current rate of 1.05% APY (as of 10/27/13), but it also has a Raise Your Rate feature that lets you bump up your rate once if it increases in the future.

The good news is that this does not affect existing CDs. If you’re looking for FDIC-insured safety, you still have about a month to open an Ally CD with the current early withdrawal penalty. I also have both Ally Bank checking and online savings accounts as my primary bank, due to their free ATM rebates, mobile check deposit, high interest on savings (0.86% APY as of 10/27/13), and free overdraft transfers from savings. But I’ll have to look more closely at other bank CDs once mine mature.

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  1. Even with the increased penalties, Ally CDs remain a great deal. I closed a CD there last week and had no trouble. It took about 3 days to get the money back into my checking account.

  2. Darn. Like all good deals, they’re too good to last.

  3. Shtinkykat says

    My Ally 5 year CD will mature next year. I’ll probably just roll it into another 5 year CD but perhaps I should be laddering my CDs to even out the risk of the early penalty.

  4. Jonathan,
    Do they give a referral bonus?

  5. Nice catch, thanks!
    I just rolled over an Ally CD. With the loyalty bonus (.25) it was still less than some others, like State Farm or Barclays, but I confess the convenience of not having to find and parse new terms and conditions (but mostly not having to create a byzantinely complex password like most new accounts require now) was worth something to me. And indeed their terms are less favorable if you’re going to withdraw early, on a par with what Ally’s will shortly be.

  6. Big fan of the Ally 5yr CDs. I buy one every quarter as a potential long term income replacement. This change is unfortunate but hopefully most people can find ways to keep their CD as opposed to withdrawing funds early.

  7. Barclays 5 year CDs have a 180 day interest penalty, but they’re currently at 2%. So they’re better than the current Ally 5 year CD if you hold for more than 22 months, and better than the upcoming Ally terms after 10 months. Seems like a decent deal to me.

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