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Update on Alliant Credit Union and Their Field of Membership

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Alliant Credit Union
Update 1/25/08: The top CD yield has fallen to 4.90% APY. Please check the credit union's website for the latest rates.

For those wanting to join Alliant Credit Union so you can lock into their 5.40% APY CD, I've just received information directly from their management regarding membership qualification via MyPoints. I'm afraid MyPoints membership does NOT qualify. Below is what I received:
After extensive research, we have found that MyPoints membership is not a qualification for membership eligibility under our by-laws. The good news, however, is that Alliant Credit Union has a relationship with nearly 100 employers, a local community charter in certain Chicagoland Suburbs near O'Hare Airport (that means anyone living or working in one of these qualifying communities is eligible for membership) and several other associations, including the PTA.

To see other ways to qualify, please refer to the credit union's Eligibility page. Membership in the National PTA still seems to be an valid qualification. Unfortunately, membership is not free. The minimum PTA membership fee is $25.

For more information on Alliant Credit Union, these 5.40% CDs and their high yield savings and HSA accounts, please refer to the following posts:

There has been a lot of confusion on this MyPoints issue. Several readers including myself have received conflicting information. I'm afraid this type of confusion has been fairly common with credit unions that have field-of-memberships that include both members and employees of organizations (although it usually gets resolved quicker). It's often not clear if one needs to be an employee or a member. In one case in the past at another credit union, the issue didn't get resolved until the board of directors meeting. Unfortunately, credit unions are required to strictly follow what's in their charter so there's no room for slack. I wish credit unions would post their official charters online so everyone would have access to what's official. At the very least they need to carefully specify if members and/or employees qualify for every organization they list.

Update 1/18/08: I received some additional information from Alliant's management regarding membership and the application process:
Alliant does not review accounts on a monthly basis to ensure eligibility criteria is met. Once an applicant qualifies for Alliant membership, they can remain a member regardless of the continued status of the original qualifying relationship. Once a member becomes a member, they are always a member. However, accounts can be closed voluntarily by the member or by Alliant as a result of it not being in good standing.

Either Local or National PTA is an eligibility qualification under Alliant by-laws.

Alliant's online application process utilizes electronic Identity Verification (IDV) which can, at times, result in false declines. Anyone having difficulty with the online application can complete and mail a paper application, which can be found at the Application and Forms page. To ensure proper execution, make sure to complete all necessary fields and include a clear copy of valid U.S. Government issued ID (such as a Driver's License or Passport)

Update 1/21/08: Readers who had joined Alliant CU via MyPoints have received an email from Alliant in which they are offering to enroll them into the National PTA with one year membership paid by Alliant. The email also states that you can cancel the PTA membership at any time without affecting your Alliant membership. So it looks like Alliant realized its mistake and is trying to rectify the problem for members who had joined via MyPoints membership. It seems like a very fair resolution.
  Tags: Illinois, Alliant Credit Union

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Comments
13 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
One of the eligibility options in the drop down menu when you apply for an account is "local" PTA. Does anyone know if this is valid?It only costs $10 to join the local PTA, whereas it costs $25 to join national PTA. Thanks.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yesterday, I attempted 3 times to apply online. All 3 attempts failed. This was very frustrating.

When I called the toll free number to ask why, the CSR just laughed and told me that their online application was not very reliable.

She said she could not take my application over the phone, but offered to mail me an application. Because the 5.40% rate could change any day, I told her I would find another credit union.

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Comment #3 by Dave (anonymous) posted on
Dave
I had the same problems. It is difficult for me to put my money in an institution that:

1) cannot even get their application process to work correctly, and

2) cannot be clear on who can be a member who who cannot.

Even though 5.40% is a good rate, I will also find another credit union or bank to park my money.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Most CUs don't want people from outside the area, unless they have an explicit charity or whatever featured on their site like Pentagon Federal.

Until they suddenly find themselves deluged with calls by folks like us, they have never had to deal with the issue.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I tried to apply today, and I will concur with earlier posters that talk about how good customer service is. I got someone on the phone quickly and he was knowledgeable.

One snafu I ran into was selecting "certificate". According to the CSR, I can only transfer 10k at a time from another institution, so I can't actually open a jumbo certificate online. Instead, he suggested that I just open up the savings account, then mail in a check to deposit in the savings account, then call back to have the jumbo cd opened.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
One of the questions asked in the online open an account process is: "I belong to the following association or oragnization". "Please select your association or oraganization." MyPoints shows up as a selection in the list.

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Comment #7 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
OK, quick and simple. Any member of a local PTA can join; they take your word for it (membership). I also had problems with the on-line application. I motored on down to the branch in San Mateo this morning, joined up and opened the 24 month jumbo. Took 15 minutes. Great customer service for me, including on-line e-mail (Colleen), phone (Saroya) and in person (Luis).

Yours,

Bozo

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I tried twice to apply online today. Neither was successful. Most disappointing!

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Comment #9 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
To: All with Problems Joining On-Line

I suggest you use the feedback form on their web-site. I did, and Colleen got back to me first thing the next day. Maybe if enough folks alert her to the same problem (even Luis at the branch in San Mateo said it was a common problem), they will fix it. It is kind of frustrating to know they are doing a hard pull to verify your application and then the application fails for some unknown reason.

For me, no harm, no foul. However, it seems a shame some might forego this great deal because of the problem with the on-line application.

Yours,

Bozo

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Comment #10 by James (anonymous) posted on
James
I have attempted several times to open an account with their online application. Each time, I get the following message:

"We are sorry, but we cannot open an account for you at this time."

Don't waste your time!

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
When precisely did the lower Jumbo rates take effect? I am sure a number of people had money in at various stages of being processed.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Log into Skybranch (online banking) and it will tell you exactly what interest rate you got. (Note: They show interest rate, not APY.)

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Comment #13 by J. Powers (anonymous) posted on
J. Powers
Lifted from the PTA website:

Plus, exclusively for new Alliant Credit Union members who are also PTA members, Alliant Credit Union will deposit $10 into local PTA members' accounts, which can be used toward their local PTA/PTSA membership dues for one year, and $15 into the accounts of National PTA members.

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