gmGMAC Financial Services, the partially severed auto-financing, mortgage-lending, insurance-vending, banking, and investing arm of General Motors, has rolled out a new name for its banking services.

Starting May 15, call it Ally Bank. The old General Motors Acceptance Corporation had spun itself into GMAC Financial Services last year and declared itself a bank eligible for TARP largess. The change to Ally is an effort to rebrand, to make you think about something other than the general mess of General Motors.

A new name may help, but it’s no guarantee. I’m thinking of changing my name to Bill Gates IV. Maybe something will fall out of that tree.

While I’m waiting, I’m keeping an eye on my GM credit card reward points. My latest statement says I’ve got $3,200 redeemable against the purchase price of a new GM vehicle. If the car company goes belly up, do I lose my reward points? Am I another unsecured debtor?

And, if my new car points go down the tube, can I claim the loss on my next tax return?

Piney Woods Pete

Piney Woods Pete

Hard-charging salesman by day, Piney Woods Pete stays up late into the foggy night to render words.