Alliant Credit Union Review – Forbes Advisor


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Alliant Credit Union is an online credit union that offers a full range of products and services. It provides a competitive APY on its savings account and offers many options for personal banking, including accounts for children and teenagers.

Alliant offers membership to employees, retirees, and members of various organizations, relatives of current Alliant members, and people who live or work near the bank’s Chicago headquarters. But you can also join the credit union by paying $5 to become a member of Foster Care to Success (FC2S), which offers scholarships and scholarships to teens in foster care across the United States. Alliant will cover your $5 membership fee by depositing the amount into your account once you are set up.

Here’s an overview of Alliant’s banking products and how they compare to other online banks and credit unions. Returns earned on credit union accounts are called dividends rather than interest. Annual percentage returns (APY) and account details are accurate as of July 22, 2022.

Account Basics

Verification

High throughput verification. This checking account offers 0.25% APY with no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. You must make at least one electronic deposit per month in order to receive dividends on your balance; this deposit can be a direct or payday deposit, an ATM or mobile deposit or a transfer from another financial institution. It comes with a Visa debit card and is eligible for free overdraft protection when you link an Alliant savings account. Check dividends are paid on the last day of the month.

Teen verification. This account is available to members ages 13-17, with co-ownership by a parent member. There is no minimum balance or monthly fee, and this account also earns 0.25% APY. The Visa debit card has a daily limit of $100 for ATM withdrawals and $300 for purchases.

Savings

High savings rate. Alliant High Yield Savings Account offers 1.20% APY. The minimum deposit to open the account is just $5 (which Alliant pays for you), but you must maintain an average daily balance of $100 in order to earn dividends. The account does not charge a monthly fee, but it does charge $1 per month if you want to receive paper statements.

Additional savings. Once you have a high rate savings account with Alliant, you can open up to 19 additional accounts. You can name these accounts for your savings goals, and each earns the same APY as your main high-yield savings account. You must keep at least $5 in each savings account to maintain it, and the $100 minimum balance to earn dividends applies to each additional account.

Children’s savings accounts. Children 12 and under can open their own High Yield Savings Account as a co-owner with an Alliant parent, grandparent or guardian. Alliant pays the $5 opening deposit and there are no monthly fees as long as you opt for electronic rather than paper statements, for which Alliant charges $1 per month. The account requires a balance of $100 to earn the same APY as the High Rate Savings Account.

CDs (share certificates)

Alliant markets its Certificates of Deposit (CDs) as Alliant Certificates. Alliant offers certificates with maturity dates ranging from 12 to 60 months. The highest APY you can earn with an Alliant CD is 3.05% for a 60 month term. You must have an active savings account or trust account with Alliant to open a CD.

Alliant requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open a certificate. Dividends earned on Alliant Certificates are compounded on a monthly basis.

For those interested in retirement savings, Alliant also offers a traditional IRA certificate, a Roth IRA certificate, and a SEP IRA certificate. Each of these IRA certificates earns the same APY as the regular Alliant certificate. The same minimum deposit of $1,000 is required.

Other accounts

Alliant Credit Union offers a variety of other services beyond its banking offerings, including:

  • Credit card
  • Home loans
  • Car loans
  • Personal loans
  • Commercial real estate loan
  • Traditional IRAs, Roths and SEPs
  • Trust accounts
  • Deposit accounts
  • Life, home and auto insurance

Access on the go

Alliant is an online credit union, so it has a robust set of online and mobile banking tools for its members. The credit union app is available for iOS (rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on the App Store) and Android (rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play). The app allows users to deposit checks, monitor balances, and make payments with bill pay. If you have a question about your account, you can ask it via the application’s secure messaging.

The Alliant Mobile Banking app also includes a planning tool that helps users create and monitor budgets and set financial goals.

Alliant’s ATM network includes more than 80,000 free locations. Participating ATMs are available at convenience and grocery stores, and even at some banks and credit unions. Deposits are not accepted at all locations. If you use an ATM outside of the network, Alliant offers up to $20 per month in ATM fee rebates, which can be applied to deposits, withdrawals, transfers or balance inquiries.

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs
  • Current account offers dividends with no high balance requirement
  • Extensive network of ATMs with various options

The inconvenients

  • Alliant does not have branches, so you should be comfortable with banking online, by mobile app and by phone only
  • Children’s savings accounts must be opened before the age of 12
  • Paper statement fee of $1 per month

How Alliant Credit Union Compares

Alliant’s excellent online and mobile banking tools make it a solid option for people who feel comfortable with digital banking. And Alliant’s High Rate Chequing Account ranks among Forbes Advisor’s Top Chequing Accounts.

Alliant offers competitive APYs and its offering of additional savings accounts makes it easy to save for specific goals. The barrier to joining is low and Alliant’s few fees are clearly explained to customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my money safe at Alliant Credit Union?

Yes. Alliant deposit accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for up to $250,000, per depositor, for each category of account ownership, in the event of a credit union bankruptcy.

Does Alliant Credit Union have branches?

No. Its headquarters are located in Chicago. In addition to using online and mobile application support, you can access a network of over 80,000 ATMs.

Does Alliant Credit Union charge a monthly fee?

There are no monthly maintenance fees. If you choose to receive a paper statement, you will pay a fee of $1 per month. Standard charges apply for NSF and check printing.

Why should I choose a credit union over a traditional or online bank?

Today, consumers have more banking choices than ever before, whether it’s using a traditional bank, an online bank or a credit union. While credit unions and banks may offer similar products and services, credit unions tend to be known for their customer service, competitive dividend yields, and financial education offerings. Understand the differences between banks and credit unions can help you make the right decision for your family.


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