Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard Review
Why trust us? Investor.com has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.
This simple card offering from Ally has the bones of a decent tiered-rate rewards card. But it lacks meatier perks (like sign-up goodies) and charges a $0-$39 annual fee based on your credit score.
Like Ally Bank’s other rewards card — the Ally Unlimited Cash Back Mastercard — the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard is currently available by invitation only. The biggest selling point for this Ally card compared to other bonus category cards is that there are no quarterly or annual spending caps on the three 3% cashback categories (gas, grocery and drugstore purchases). But the low 1% payout on non-bonus category spending, lack of welcome bonus, and potential annual fee prevents the Ally Everyday Mastercard from being the end-all, be-all card for many households.
Here's another option: A similar bonus-category card — Chase Freedom Unlimited, which does not require an invitation to apply — offers a welcome bonus, 1.5% cash back on purchases that don't qualify for the 3% rate, and charges no annual fee.
The basics: The Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard pays 3% cash back at gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores, with 1% cash back on everything else. The card is available only to those who have received an offer from Ally online or by mail.
Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard pros and cons
- Competitive rewards on everyday purchases
- No reward spending caps
- Better approval odds for “fair” credit
- No penalty APR for late payments
- No foreign transaction fees
- Requires an online or mail-in invitation from Ally to apply
- $0-$39 annual fee based on applicant’s credit
- No sign-up bonus or 0% intro APR balance transfer offer
- Lacks extra cardholder perks
Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard cashback rewards spending categories
The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.
Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (aka the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g., $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”
|Bonus Spend Cap
|Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Tip: Expand the “Spend Categories” in the investor.com credit card rewards calculator above to incorporate additional rewards categories (e.g., Transit, Wholesale Clubs, Utilities) into the cash back per year total.
What we like
Unlimited rewards earning potential. One of the first things I look for in a cashback card is whether there’s a monthly, quarterly, or annual reward spending cap. These caps can severely limit the utility of a card whose main reward categories are high-dollar household line items (like groceries and gas). Good news: The Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard has no reward spending caps on gas, grocery store or drugstore purchases! Score one for Ally here.
Simple reward redemptions. In fact, there’s just one option: applying the cash back you earn as a statement credit. Every dollar you earn in cash back offsets your purchases. No points to manage or complex reward programs to master.
No minimum for cashback redemptions. Cardholders can put earnings to use whenever rewards are posted to their account (typically during the statement cycle after you’ve earned them), even if it’s just a few dollars.
No APR rate hikes for late payments. If you’ve ever slipped up — you forgot to pay your monthly credit card bill or paid it late — you know the consequences can be costly. Mess up with your Ally card, and you don’t have to worry about being hit with a mile-high penalty interest rate.
Lack of common penalty fees. Exceeded your credit limit? Rest easy, Ally won’t hit you with an over-the-limit fee. Same deal on returned payments. However, Ally will charge you late payment fees: $29 for your first infraction and up to $40 each time it happens within six billing cycles.
No foreign transaction fees make the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard a fine travel companion — as in one that won’t charge you 3% each time you use your card outside of the U.S.
Ally offers it all. If you’re already an Ally customer — or are looking to simplify your financial life through consolidation — Ally Bank offers a full suite of products in addition to its credit cards. The company offers loans, checking/savings accounts, CDs, and a high-yield savings account we review. Ally Invest is highly rated by our sister site, Stockbrokers.com, for mutual fund investors and beginning traders.
What we don't like
You need an invitation to apply. Ally’s four credit card offerings — Ally Platinum, Ally Everyday Cash Back, Ally Unlimited Cash Back, and Ally Unlimited Cash Back for Nurses & Educators — are only available if you’ve received an online or by-mail invitation to apply. Ally says a broader rollout to the unwashed masses (this includes me, btw) is coming.
Where are the sign-up goodies? Not here, unfortunately. The Ally Everyday Cash Back card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, 0% intro APR balance transfer offer, or introductory no-interest period on purchases.
The 1% cashback rate on “everything else” — as in anything that’s not gas, groceries or drugstore purchase — is underwhelming. The best reward card strategy is to use this Ally card solely at gas stations, supermarkets and drugstores, and whip out a rewards card that pays a higher rate when shopping elsewhere. (See our picks for Best Flat-Rate Cashback Credit Cards for options.)
Statement credit is your only rewards redemption option. Limited cashback redemption options aren’t necessarily a dealbreaker. Just know that reward card ninjas aren’t going to be able to game the system by combining or transferring earnings.
The 4% balance transfer fee (minimum of $5) is on the high side. Same with the 5% (or $10 minimum) fee on cash advances. Consider these fees — and other reasons I’ll go into next — as deterrents from using the card for anything other than purchases you can pay off right away.
Not a good debt-management card. Because of the card’s middle-of-the-road APR and the fact that there’s no 0% intro APR on the table, I don’t recommend the Ally Everyday Cash Back card for those trying to pay down debts.
Offers just basic Mastercard network benefits — zero liability protection, ID theft protection and Mastercard Global Service for account assistance when traveling. These Standard Mastercard benefits are all good, but cards with Mastercard World and World Elite benefits provide extras like cellphone protection, retail partner discounts, and access to travel and concierge services.
The bottom line
Is the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the investor.com Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.
Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard fine print
Ally credit cards are currently offered only by invitation. Review your individual Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard offer for specific terms (e.g., annual fee and APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances). General terms and conditions for all Ally credit cards can be found in its cardmember agreement.
Does the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard charge an annual fee?
Yes, the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard charges an annual fee of $39.
Roughly 14% of the consumer cashback cards we track in our database charge an annual fee. The average annual fee is $72.60, while the median is $95.
Does the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard offer a welcome bonus?
No, the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard card does not currently offer a welcome bonus.
Of the more than 60 cashback credit cards in our database, 66% offer a welcome bonus. Currently, the average sign-up bonus on a new cashback card is $210.71, with the median being $200.
How much cash back can I earn with the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard?
The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $165.96 in cash back per year using the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the investor.com database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.
These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard depends entirely on your unique spending habits.
Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.
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Compare Ally Everyday Cash Back Mastercard
The results of the investor.com Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.
To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:
- Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
- Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
- Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
- Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
- Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.
What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)