Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Update on Alliant Credit Union - Competitive Savings Account and CD Rates

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Alliant Credit Union

Update 8/01/09: The savings account and CD rates have fallen. Please check the credit union's website for the latest rates. Other than the rates, the rest of this post is still applicable. Refer to the bottom of the post for the savings account rate history.

Alliant Credit Union has held steady into April with a yield of 4.35% APY on its High-Yield Savings Account. According to the disclosure page and my conversation with the CSR, this should hold for all of April. As you can see from my last weekly rate summary, it's the best savings account rate in the nation. Here's a summary of its features based on their website and info from the CSR:

  • paid monthly on average daily balances of $100 or more
  • $5 minimum balance
  • no maximum balance limit
  • Surcharge-free ATMs at CO-OP Network and Alliance One ATMs (see disclosure)
  • Online free bank-to-bank ACH transfer service is available
  • ACH transfers are limited to $10,000 daily in/out
  • No ACH limit on receiving over $10,000 if initiated at another bank
  • No limit on the number of ACH links to other banks


The savings account with the same rate is also available as an IRA (Traditional, Roth and SEP), a Coverdell ESA, a Trust Account and a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) custodial account. The Health Savings Account even has a higher rate (currently 5.15% APY for a minimum balance of $100). This might be one of the best HSAs in the country. Some of its features include free HSA checks, free Visa HSA debit card and no fees. Refer to this FW thread for a good overview of HSAs.

Update 4/03/08: I asked my contact at Alliant if she could provide more details about their ACH transfer policies. Below is what I received:

In an effort to reduce the risk of potential fraud against Alliant Credit Union or another financial institution account, we do impose limits on Alliant-initiated ACH transfers in the following amounts:

- For initial funding of a newly opened membership without a certificate, the limit is $1,000 (Update 10/08/09: This has been increased to $10,000)

- For initial funding of a newly opened with a certificate, the limit is $11,000 (of which $10,000 can be used to fund the certificate and $1,000 to fund another share/account under the membership)

- Once the membership has been established, the member may subsequently request Alliant-initiated ACH transfers to/from other financial institutions via Skybranch up to $10,000 per day. The process is free of charge. As the process involves batch processing through the Federal Reserve ACH, it can take 2-3 banking days to complete (Update 10/08/09: Alliant has variable maximum limits that are based on the following criteria: Length of membership, Loans, Average Daily balance and if the member is in good standing.)

- A one-time trial-deposit verification process is necessary before full ACH transfers (up to the daily maximum) will be allowed. No paper forms are required. As the verification process also involves batch processing through the Federal Reserve ACH, it can also take 2-3 banking days to complete

- At present, Alliant Credit Union only offers this Alliant-initiated ACH transfer process to/from other financial institution accounts via Skybranch

- Members may initiate ACH transfers through other financial institutions in any amount up to the policy limit of that financial institution. We encourage members to inquire with the other financial institution on any fees they might impose for initiating an ACH request.

- Regulation D does restrict the number of electronic and phone transactions from a Savings share to no more than 6 per month (certain other transactions are included & excluded)

- Members interested in moving larger amounts and/or expediting the process might also consider initiating a wire transfer with their other financial institution. Wire transfers can often be completed the same day and without dollar amount limitations). We encourage members to inquire with the other financial institution on any fees they might impose for initiating wire transfers. Any member interested in wiring funds to their Alliant Credit Union account must carefully follow all inbound wire transfer instructions found on our home page (www.alliantcreditunion.com) to ensure proper execution of the process

- We are constantly looking at ways to improve access and member convenience, while appropriately managing risk. As such, we are currently reviewing our ACH limits and options, and may consider increases and enhancements later this year.


Alliant Certificates

Unlike the savings, the CSR said that CD rates are subject to change at any time. They still have some of the best CD rates as of April 1, 2008:

  • 4.40% APY for 12 to 17 months for $25K minimum deposit
  • 4.15% APY for 18 to 24 months for $25K minimum deposit
  • Rates 40 basis points lower for a $1K minimum deposit


Alliant's Certificate FAQ page is fairly thorough. Some things to note:

  • Dividends earned on a Certificate are not available for withdrawal until maturity.
  • You may have both joint owners and/or beneficiaries on your Alliant Certificate
  • 10 day grace period at maturity
  • Early withdrawal penalties include: 90 days of interest for terms of 12 to 17 months, 120 days of interest for terms of 18 to 23 months and 180 days of interest for a 24 month term.
  • CDs available as a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA and Coverdell ESA


The best deals are the terms from 12 to 17 months. There's not much reason to choose the 18-month CD. With the 17-month CD, you get a yield 25 basis points higher and a shorter early withdrawal penalty.

An important point not mentioned on the website is that you cannot open the CD online and fund it with an ACH deposit over $10,000. If you don't live near a branch, there are a few options you can use. One way is to first transfer the money into your Alliant savings account. You can do this using the ACH or wire transfer service of another bank. You can also FedEx a check if you want overnight delivery service. Make sure to send to their street address since private delivery companies cannot deliver to PO Boxes. Routing number and overnight service address are listed at Alliant's contact page.

Membership Qualifications

Membership is open to local and national PTA members. There's a $25 membership fee for the National PTA, and it appears to be open to all. You can find your local PTA here. Membership in your local PTA may be a lower cost option. Please see the credit union's members eligibility page for more details. Note, MyPoint membership is NOT a qualification for membership. Credit union membership requires a minimum deposit of $5 into the savings account.

Some readers have been concerned with yearly membership fees of an association. Here's what Alliant emailed me in January:

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.


This is generally true with all credit unions.

Update 4/25/08: Some readers reported being told that Mileage Plus membership can qualify you for credit union membership. I'm afraid Mileage Plus members do not qualify. I asked my management contact at Alliant Credit Union, and here's the reply I received:

being a member of Mileage Plus does not qualify for membership. Only Mileage Plus employees and their family members are eligible through this relationship.


Reports About Joining, Opening CDs and Customer Service

Several readers have reported problems with Alliant's online membership application. Many had better luck filling out the paper application and mailing it in. One reader mentioned that he sent the paper application and check by overnight mail, and they opened the CD the next day.

One other note regarding membership, several readers have reported a hard credit inquiry by Equifax.

Alliant's customer service has impressed many readers. Reports indicate they answer their phones promptly and provide helpful information. They have 24/7 live phone assistance.

Credit Union Overview

Branches are located in Chicago, Des Plaines, and Elk Grove Township, Illinois. There are also branches in Colorado, California and Virginia. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 67955). It's a large credit union with $4.9 billion in assets and 211,631 members. Alliant Credit Union still has a rating of 3 out of 5 stars (performing) at Bankrate based on 12/31/07 data.

Past Alliant Credit Union Posts and Other Resources

To review my previous posts on Alliant and read past comments, please refer to my Alliant Credit Union page. Also, this FW thread includes has some additional details.

Savings Account Rate History:

  • 01/01/11: 1.15% APY
  • 09/01/10: 1.35% APY
  • 04/01/10: 1.50% APY
  • 07/01/09: 2.00% APY
  • 06/01/09: 2.25% APY
  • 05/01/09: 2.50% APY
  • 04/01/09: 2.75% APY
  • 02/01/09: 3.00% APY
  • 01/01/09: 3.25% APY
  • 12/01/08: 3.50% APY
  • 07/01/08: 3.75% APY
  • 05/01/08: 4.00% APY
  • 02/01/08: 4.35% APY
  • 01/01/08: 4.85% APY
  • 01/01/07: 4.85% APY
  • 07/01/06: 4.65% APY
  • 01/01/06: 3.80% APY

  Tags: California, Virginia, Illinois, Colorado, CD rates, IRA rates, savings account, Alliant Credit Union

Related Posts

Comments
73 Comments.
Comment #1 by Mary (anonymous) posted on
Mary
Alliant, however, cannot open any account for a business or corporation. I have a pension plan trust for my company and the CSR returned all my forms and checks. They, also, can only accept funds in a revocable trust, not in an irrevocable trust, according to our conversation.

1
Comment #2 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
Banking Guy, just to clarify: You wrote that there is no $10,000 daily limit if transferring money in via ACH from another bank, using the other bank to initiate the transfer.

But what if you use the other bank to initiate an ACH transfer from Alliant's Savings Account? Would Alliant restrict that outbound transfer initiated at the other bank to the $10,000 limit?

I tried to call Alliant to get a definitive answer and failed. I asked for a call back, but they never did.

Thank you for the detailed posting on Alliant, since Alliant is the top rate for online savings.

1
Comment #3 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
I called Alliant Credit Union this morning again.

I wanted to know about any daily limits pertaining to withdrawals from their savings account if an ACH transfer is initiated from an external bank.

The rep told me that there would indeed be that $10,000 daily limit.

I then asked if one also opens up an Alliant free checking account, would there be a daily $10,000 limit to transfer from the savings to the checking account internally? The rep answered yes there would be (totally unfair, of course).

I then asked: what if one went to a shared credit union branch in person (a credit union other than Alliant, of course) and then wanted to get a cashier's check from the funds in the Alliant Savings Account? Would there be that $10,000 daily limit for withdrawals? The rep said no. One can get a cashier's check for more than the $10,000 daily limit from a Credit Union Shared Branch.

Whew! I hope the above is clear, and I am assuming accurate (assuming that CSR's give out correct information over the phone).

1
Comment #4 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
One more thing I think is important for people to know:

Since it is a savings account, Alliant Credit Union limits monthly electronic transactions to just 6 per month. So, it's $10,000 daily limit, but it is just allowed only 6 times per month.

Something to keep in mind, which could prove important, should one first deposit a large balance and then the bank drop their rate sharply and then one wants to transfer their money out to another bank that is paying higher interest.

If Banking Guy already posted about this 6 electronic transactions per month rule, I apologize for repeating it here.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Guys, usually restrictions like this don't apply if you close the account completely. Someone should ask Alliant this. You can probably close the account and wire all the money out in one day. For those who don' like wire fees, keep in mind that days lost in interest due to ACH delay usually add up to the same as a wire fee. - sfchris

1
Comment #6 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
To: All
Re: Alliant

Alliant is kind of a no-brainer. I have had very good response from their CSRs, and from the local branch manager in San Mateo, CA. Nice as could be. Their "flex-term" CDs work very well with tax planning. You can pick the term so your CD matures in January, as I do, thus deferring the tax until the next year.

I'm still amazed they are offering such (relatively) high rates (well, anything over 4% in this environment is "high", although I hate to equate a negative real rate of return with the word "high").

Luckily, I locked in Alliant's 5.4% for 24 months in January. I plan to move my Patelco CD to Alliant this month for the 4.4% for 12 months (same amount, $50K on both). So, the blended rate won't be far from 5%.

However, those who followed my advice on buying a financial ETF on St. Patrick's day (Mar. 17) would be very happy these days. Look up my post(s). Tooting my own horn here.

You are now free to bash me. Bozo seems to be a favorite target on this blog.

Yours,

Bozo

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bozo, maturity date doesn't mean you only realize income on that date. Most banks credit you monthly or quarterly throughout the duration of the certificate's life. So you have to pay tax in that calendar year as well. - sfchris

1
Comment #8 by John (anonymous) posted on
John
I've looked and do not see anything about ACH $10,000 limit per day. There is a mention about a $10,000 deposit per day using a convenience card at ATMs. But I do not see anything about ACH. Can someone point me to the page with this?

1
Comment #9 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
Hi John,

It is me, Michael. I promise you I have researched Alliant so much since I am desperate for a new place for my money. (I was with Southland CU, and they lowered their rate to 3% yesterday.)

Alliant's Website leaves a lot to be desired. I've asked several Alliant CSR's for links on their site where they explain the ACH rules in detail. Every CSR told me that their ACH rules are not listed on their site.

But I assure you that multiple CSR's have confirmed that there is a $10,000 daily ACH limit, and that there is a 6 ACH limit per month.

Good luck!

1
Comment #10 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
To: sfchris

I had a Hillary attack. I meant tax planning in your IRAs. I try to adjust my IRA CD ladder so that the maturities are in January, so that only one ladder matures in any tax year (the ladder I cash out and on which I must pay tax). I started the ladder back in August, 2006, so that all the CDs came due in August. With 16 month CDs, I can adjust those to come due in January(ies). No need to find four month parking any more.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Wow, that's a sad rate.

If you're eligible, try NWFCU.org. 4.79 + .25 (bonus for 50YO+ members, or premier checking members) for a 5yr cd. Or, 4yr 5% apy cd at National city, no membership requirements. Of course, the bank sale to Key may "call" your cd.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"However, those who followed my advice on buying a financial ETF on St. Patrick's day (Mar. 17) would be very happy these days. Look up my post(s). Tooting my own horn here."

Bozo:

You just don't get it, do you?

Most of us visit this site to keep up to date on savings and CD interest rates, not for stock trading advice.

Many, many, thanks to Banking Guy!

1
Comment #13 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
I've been a member of Alliant for about a month and love them! Grea share rate (4.35%) terrific customer service and the online banking is excellent also!

I use them for my day to day banking now, transferring funds to checking as i need to....

The free atm access is superb now, with 75,000 surcharge free atms nationwide through: COOP, ALLPOINT, CU24, and ALIANCE ONE networks...

Excellent atm locator on their website...

Oh, and transfers from Savings to Checking at the ATM Machine DOES NOT COUNT TOWARD THE 6...I KNOW, I HAVE TESTED IT MYSELF.....

It's a great CU to be with...hope they can keep up that rate...

Though you should keep in mind, that Alliant HAS a LONG TIME REPUTATION of having very high share savings and cd rates, making it an excellent CU to stay with for the long term....

1
Comment #14 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
To: Anonymous
Re: Your April 3 post

Friend, it would be easier to identify you if you would perhaps use a handle other than "anonymous", but, yes, I do "get it".

Dollars are fungible. Investments can be in CDs, equities, bonds, real estate, oil, gold, you name it. With CD rates now offering negative real rates of return, I thought I'd proffer my opinion (for which I was roundly bashed, and continue to be bashed).

Bottom line: it was a good call, and nobody has said to the contrary.

Why is everyone so petulant? Are you afraid others might have a moderately-good opinion on something other than CDs now and then?

Yours,

Bozo

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just opened a jumbo cd at Alliant for 4.4% thanks for your tip! it's the best rate we've seen around here in Los Angeles. They were very nice and it was quick and easy to open. We are members of the PTA (parent teachers assoc.). they even gave us $5 for the savings account. Thanks banking guy!

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Based on Banking Guy's update, it seems there is NO dollar limit if the ACH is initiated at another institution (i.e. ACH from Alliant to Countrywide INITIATED at Countrywide would have no limit except max at Countrywide). Did I read this correctly? Also, could one move funds from the savings account to the checking account and then ACH out from the checking account over the 10,000 limit? Is there a $ limit in moving between accounts?
Thanks

1
Comment #17 by fife (anonymous) posted on
fife
All, If you're going to join the national PTA in order to join Alliant, I suggest looking up a local PTA (http://www.pta.org/jp_find_your_pta.html) and seeing what their local fee is. I performed a search in my area and quickly found at least two (with working websites) that listed membership fees at $5 which enrolls you in the local, state and national PTA. One form mentioned "Membership is open to anyone concerned about issues concerning children." This may be a less expensive route if you decide to play the membership system. Any thoughts?

I haven't tried this, but may soon as Alliant's savings account at 4.35% is tempting. From what I've read, it's too bad they do hard pulls.

1
Comment #18 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks fife for the info. I've updated the post with the link to the local-PTA finder.

1
Comment #19 by George (anonymous) posted on
George
I was told by a CSR that there is still that $10,000 daily limit if transferring from Alliant Savings to Alliant Checking. (And if you initiate the transfer electronically, you are limited to 6 transfers per month.)

Regarding an ACH transfer initiated from Countrywide (or any other bank):

I was told by the CSR that there would still be that $10,000 daily limit withdrawn from Alliant Savings. There would be no limit on the amount you can transfer from Countrywide into Alliant Savings, unless Countrywide (or any other bank) limited the amount.

Now of course, CSRs are notorious for giving out wrong information. Since there is absolutely nothing on Alliant's site in writing to confirm the above, I don't know if the above information is truly accurate.

P.S. I attempted to join Alliant via their Online Application. It failed at the end and they did a hard credit report from Equifax.

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
On xfers between Alliant accounts (e.g., savings to checking), I obtained clarification directly from the Electronic Funds Transfer dept.: The $10K limit per transaction applies only to ACHs. When the transfer is between Alliant accounts, the amount is subject only to fund availability.

If you had, say, $25K in savings and wanted to take out $20K, you can do $10K over two days by ACH. You can also access that $20K by transferring it first to your Alliant checking, then writing check(s) for that amount; requesting wire transfer (subject to $30 fee); OR requesting an official bank check (no fee).

I agree the web site could be more explicit. Anyone with lingering questions can call dept. as well.

1
Comment #21 by George (anonymous) posted on
George
Thank you to Anonymous above.

It is amazing how many CSRs give out misinformation.

I specifically asked the CSR about Alliant Savings to Alliant Checking Transfers and was told the $10,000 daily limit would apply.

I believe what you posted, however, since you said you contacted the Electronic Funds Transfer Department directly.

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I posted earlier on my conversation with the Electronic Funds Transfer dept. and neglected to include link explaining limitations on six transfers, http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/pdf/global/AccountAgreementAndDisclosures_P105R1107.pdf. Link is to the six-page Account Agreement and Disclosures. See #11, "Transaction Limitations" starting at bottom of page 1.

I understand the limitation on six is to comply with government regulations. Ditto for the $10K limit on ACH transfers -- it's to help Alliant comply with reporting requirements on large deposits and withdrawals.

I wanted to include this info because I like the organization and don't believe their intentions are to unnecessarily deny us access to our funds.

1
Comment #23 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
It's true...sometimes CSRs can get confused or give wrong info...i still think their Customer Service is pretty outstanding and helpful, though....

Besides the great savings rate, the atm coverage is outstanding...all those surcharge free atms you can use!

And as i mentioned before, Alliant has a long term history of outstanding share savings and cd rates....

I've made it my "main banking place"....it's one of the nicest CU's i have run across...just offers so many great features....

By the way, the usually declare each monthly "dividend rate" around the 20th of each month...

And i had no problem "pushing in" $50,000 to Alliant via ACH from my Schwab account.....I haven't tried to test pulling more them $10,000 out from them.....but really, no big deal....

1
Comment #24 by George (anonymous) posted on
George
Thanks, Craig. Quite helpful.

It will be interesting to see if Alliant will lower their Savings Rate on the 20th of April.

1
Comment #25 by bosskoffee (anonymous) posted on
bosskoffee
Hey it looks like my lucky day, I just signed up--and it looks like they're giving a $10 bonus to sign up for online banking and electronic statements!
Can't wait for the mail to get here. Says bonus is good through May 31 on their site.

1
Comment #26 by Ryan (anonymous) posted on
Ryan
BossKoffee, lucky day today, but what will you do once Alliant lowers their rate into the 3 percent range?

They won't be able to afford paying over 4% for a savings account for very long. They are not desperate for money, and they have to know that 99% of every other bank and credit union is paying below 4%.

Enjoy the 4%+ rate while it lasts (perhaps for just 12 more days?).

1
Comment #27 by Medusa (anonymous) posted on
Medusa
I agree with Ryan, and the proof in the pudding is the huge drop by OneUnited bank, down to 3.6%.

OneUnited was the top dog for a very long time. Their biggest negative was that they post interest quarterly, but with their rate being so much higher than a lot of others, it was tolerable.

But now, I would avoid OneUnited like the plague.

So if OneUnited had to drop down to 3.6%, you can be assured that Alliant will be dropping their savings rate down to the mid to low 3's soon.

1
Comment #28 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
Perhaps...but then again..perhaps not...Alliant is a CU which is non-profit as opposed to a Bank...the profits are given back to members in the form of high share rates and cd rates, and lower loan rates...

While they may find it necessary to drop rates somewhat....perhaps they will only drop it down to 4% (if they do find that they need to)...

Well, i guess we will find out around the 20th (lol)....

Still, as i mentioned, they do have a rep for very high share and cd rates, so RELATIVELY speaking, in whatever interest rate environment they are in, they should should have comparatively high rates...

Also, they have many other fine features that make them desirable as a good long term banking bet...

1
Comment #29 by Drew (anonymous) posted on
Drew
Craig, I appreciate what you are saying, but I feel the first part of your posting might be a little off base.

There are thousands of credit unions nationwide, and Alliant is the only one currently offering a savings account over 4%.

All credit unions are non-profits, and all are in business to give back to its members, as you said. According to what you wrote, the implication is that Alliant is so much more profitable than every other credit union, which is why they can pay a much higher rate than all of the others.

This cannot be true.

I think the better theory is that Alliant had a specific goal and chose to keep its rates as high as possible while they could. But that after seeing that 99.9% of every other CU and bank is in the 3 percent range, and with the Fed Funds rate so low, Alliant will have no choice but to lower their rates.

I hope you are correct that they will lower their rate in low increments, but I feel very strongly that their board will decide that it is best for Alliant to lower their rate.

I wish I was wrong, but I am not.

1
Comment #30 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
Hello Drew...appreciate your feedback on my comments....what you say, i would normally agree with 100%...that Alliant was just keeping the rate high to get alot of new customers, and now would soon be dropping the rates alot...

However, i did alot of research about Alliant before opening the accounts...

First of all, Alliant does have a very long term reputation of paying far higher rates then most CU's do.....

While the average CU was paying perhaps 1% in their share accounts, Alliant last year (for the entire year) was paying 4.85% APY! (just 15% less then most 5% Online Savings Accounts were...

Despite the large bunch of fed interest cuts, Alliant has only reduced the rate 1x during the last 3 months..and that was from the 4.85% to the current 4.35%...

From what i have read, they run a very efficient operation, and avoid those bad type of loans that many banks have made that get them in trouble.

So, though i obviously can't promise you they won't drop it around the 20th, my guess is that if they need to, they wouldn't drop it as much as you think they might....

And for sure, i can tell you that their super high share rates for a CU is not a "teaser" but their STANDARD POLICY...they are rather unique in that aspect....

In fact that policy was in force when they were originally the United Airline Employee's CU and then they expanded their field of membership and are now known as Alliant CU....

1
Comment #31 by Drew (anonymous) posted on
Drew
Craig, I am an Alliant customer, and I hope you are right. I am tired of "Bank Hopping," as one poster to this blog said.

I like Alliant, as you do, and would love to be able to stay with them for a long time.

As you know, the Fed will be meeting again soon, and it is expected they will reduce the Fed Funds Rate another 1/4 of 1%. Let's hope two things: That this will be the very last rate cut and that Alliant will keep their Savings Rate close to 4%.

Good luck to all!

1
Comment #32 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
thanks Drew..yeah, me too...i am VERY TIRED of bank hopping...Alliant has a great set up and i enjoy using them for all my banking!

Didn't know the feds were considering one more cut...though they were finished (lol)!

Well, i would say, if they don't make another cut, there is a good chance Alliant will retain the 4.35% rate...if another cut happens, they may drop it to 4%

...i don't think they'd go lower as they like to show a very attractive rate on their website, and below 4% wouldn't look as "attractive" (lol)....

As long as their rate remains competitive, i will stick with them, since i am not a "rate chaser" and like the entire package they offer...

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Comment #33 by Drew (anonymous) posted on
Drew
All over the news:

"Bernanke, in a congressional appearance last week, didn't tip his hand about the Fed's next move on interest rates. Many economists, however, believe the Fed will lower rates again at its next regularly scheduled meeting on April 29-30, especially in light of the faltering employment market."

Fed Rate speculators are betting the Fed will make a 1/4 of 1% cut at the end of April.

Sad, but true.

1
Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened both a savings account and checking account at Alliant CU today.

I first attempted to open the accounts using their online application system. It totally failed.

So, I made the trek to Los Angeles and traveled to their El Segundo, CA, branch, which is next to LAX.

It is a very small branch and not at all impressive when you walk in. But of course, this is irrelevant. We want high interest rates. This is what is important.

At first, one of the two tellers wanted to handle opening my account. But since I had many technical questions about the transfer limits, etc., and since I was depositing a substantial amount, I requested to deal with someone higher up than a teller.

After a small delay, I was invited to meet with the branch manager. She was very nice and the procedure went very smoothly.

I was disappointed to learn that you cannot walk into a shared credit union to handle transactions, like you can with some other credit unions. But this fact would not be a deal breaker. You can use other credit unions' ATM's for limited deposits and withdrawals, however.

I had many questions about Alliant's various limits, and the branch manager had to call someone to get the answer to one of my questions, but she was very nice about it.

I highly recommend Alliant CU if they can just keep their interest rate at a relatively high level.

And finally, the best way to get large amounts of money out of your Alliant savings account, if needed, is by opening up an Alliant free checking account and then doing a transfer from the savings to checking (no dollar limit to the amount, just the limit of 6 transactions per month), and then you can write yourself out a check of any amount from your checking account.

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Comment #35 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Absolute hard credit pull by Alliant.

I opened my account on April 10, 2008.

I subscribe to a credit monitoring service.

I was notified on April 13, 2008 by my credit monitoring service that a change had been detected. I logged into my account and found that Alliant CU did a hard credit inquiry via Equifax.

Sad, but true.

I opened my account in person at an Alliant branch.

So, Banking Guy can now write that for sure a hard credit inquiry will be pulled by Alliant.

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Comment #36 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info on the hard credit pull. I've highlighted the mention of the hard pull in the post.

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Comment #37 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
Banking guy, i confirmed with a very reliable csr i often communicate with at Alliant that while their ach system limits one to $10,000 in or out each day, when you use an outside ACH system to pull or push from them, there is no limiation at all...

Also, you can transfer from Alliant Savings to Checking any amount (up to your available balance)...

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Comment #38 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
I can confirm what Craig said, that there is no transfer limit if transferring from Alliant Savings to Alliant Checking (but of course this is an instant internal transaction and not an ACH transaction).

There is no transfer limit in or out if the ACH transfer is initiated at an external bank, unless your external bank places a limit (some do).

And finally, I can confirm that Alliant pulls a hard credit inquiry, using Equifax. (Thank you, Banking Guy, for highlighting this, in case it is important to the reader.)

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Comment #39 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just curious...Do virtually all banks that do hard pulls for deposit accounts use Equifax?? I've had three hard pulls in the last couple years -- AmTrust Direct, Alliant, and Verizon Wireless (not a bank, of course), and all have been via Equifax. BTW, I opened an Alliant Account recently, and they're great. Hope the APY stays at or near #1, even if it drops. CSR's are great. 24/7/363 by phone, rarely a wait, friendly, and *usually* very knowledgeable. Same goes for email. Responses quick and comprehensive, and they really make you feel like a valued customer -- not just a charade.

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Comment #40 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
yes...they do treat you great!

They are excellent to bank with, even if the rate should go down (hopefully, it won't..or at least not too much)..

But they like to keep the rates as high as possible...it's part of their "philosophy" which you can read about in the "about alliant" section on their website...

Yes..it does seem like most hard pulls are done on Equifax...i have noticed that also....

By the way, the Board of Directors meets toward the end of each month and decides on the rate for the next month...

my contact tells me it will be next thursday, so we should know by next weekend if the rate stays the same next month....

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Comment #41 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
Banking Guy, you might want to update the line about the free surcharge access atms:

Alliant has greatly expanded it's free atm coverage....

approx 75,000 atms surcharge free atms available nationwide, through: COOP/ALLPOINT/CU24 and ALLIANCE ONE......

went into effect in March.....

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Comment #42 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Will a member please kindly voluteer to "pose" as a relative (by blood or by marriage)of mine so I can get membership? I just need to give them your name and tell them we are related. I am a caucasian female. panther_chick8 (at) yahoo.com. Thank You

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Comment #43 by Sofa King Single (anonymous) posted on
Sofa King Single
Dear Panther-Chick8,

How old are you?

I need to know this if we are going to pose as a married couple.

Oh, and are you attractive?

Do we have kids yet?

How tall?

Your weight?

Eye color?

Hair color?

Thank you.

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Comment #44 by Ron Woods (anonymous) posted on
Ron Woods
Lying on a credit union application (claiming false eligibility to join) is punishable, so be careful.

If the credit union later finds that you falsified information to join, the credit union can and will withdrawal all of the interest money they paid to you since the date the fraud was perpetrated. They will also immediately cancel your account.

If you can join legitimately (in the case of Alliant, anyone can pay money and join the National PTA), you are urged to do so.

If you find a good credit union but are ineligible to join, do not consider committing fraud on your application to join. You will get caught eventually, especially after a bank of NCUA audit.

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Comment #45 by Ron Woods (anonymous) posted on
Ron Woods
Typo: Meant to type "bank or NCUA audit." Sorry.

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Comment #46 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, the U.S. economy has gotten so bad, people are ****ing themselves out just to get a decent rate.
This is sad, people.

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Comment #47 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
To: Panther-Chick

I assume your post was a bit "tongue-in-cheek", since everyone here (including me) raves about Alliant. If, however, you are in a serious quandry, I suggest joining a "local" PTA. Check that box on the member app. Bang, done, you're in.

The last I checked, you could "join" a local PTA by calling the principal of any local school.

Yours,

Bozo

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Comment #48 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
Sad news about Alliant.

It is me, Michael from Orange County, CA.

I just spoke with an Alliant CSR. He told me Alliant has decided to lower their Savings Account rate to 4% APY, which will take effect on the 1st of May.

Yes, 4% APY is still better than most of the other banks, so I will be keeping my money with Alliant.

The thing is, of course, if the Fed cuts the rates more, which is absolutely expected, Alliant will continue to drop their Savings Account Rate, as well.

Also, I recently set up an ACH relationship between WaMu and Alliant. WaMu took it upon themselves to send over a code that makes the money transfer to and from my Alliant checking and not savings. So, be careful. If one has WaMu, and you want to log into WaMu to request a transfer from Alliant, and if you have an Alliant checking account with your savings account, make sure you first transfer your funds from your Alliant savings to your checking.

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Comment #49 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
Thanks for the rate update! Still, not bad though (it is only a .35% apy drop)...

I suspected if they dropped it, it wouldn't be lower then 4% and looks like i was right.....

they like to keep the rate as attractive as possible.....

True, if rates continue to move downward because of more fed rate cuts, they will probably have to follow suit,

But considering all the rate drops over the last few months, their drops have been minimal....4.85% to 4.35% apy over the last few months and .35% now.....

So once again, you can see Alliant always tries to minimize the drops and does it as infrequently as it can (unlike many other banks and cu's)...

Which is why, even on a downward rate trend as now, they are always a good long term High Yield Savings Account to stay with.....

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Comment #50 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
Oh, and to the gal who wanted to have someone pose as a relative (if she was for "real" and not just a "put on"....don't be so darn cheap!...

either join your local pta for 1 year or the National PTA for the $25...it's an EASY and HONEST way to qualify....and WELL WORTH IT....

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Comment #51 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I called a CSR to find out if membership in United's "Mileage Plus" frequent flyer club would allow you to join under United and she indicated that it would. (From what I recall when I opened up my "mileage plus" membership, it was free.

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Comment #52 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
i wonder about that (that being a member of the United Frequent Flyer program) would qualify one for membership....it's not mentioned on Alliant's website....

I know the csr told you that but maybe she thought you worked for them (which would make you a UA employee).....

Anyway, what is the big problem some seem to be having about PTA membership...it's simple and fairly inexpensive....

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Comment #53 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
To: All
Re: Alliant's savings account

Some things to consider when comparing Alliant's savings account to other cash-management vehicles.
First, it is totally liquid (unless you are moving great sums with great frequency, in which case you are probably a money-launderer anyway). Second, you can open an Alliant checking account, which is totally free; even the first 120 checks are free. No monthly fees, no per-check fee, nada. Third, you can move money instantaneously from savings to checking, either on-line or with the 1-800 toll-free CSR. No worries about delays with ACH.

Put it all together, and it's like a checking account that pays interest at (soon-to-be) 4%. The best part is the "no gimmicks". No requirement you have a debit card and use it "X" times a month (fees, natch), or a credit card you don't want, or a minimum balance in a non-interest-bearing checking account, or another high-earner product (for the bank, not you). That's the fine print in the "rewards checking" that gets you.

The only minus is the lack of a fixed rate, unlike liquid CDs. But since you can add to the savings any time you want, it works better overall, even if you're a dinosaur like me who still uses bank-by-mail deposit envelopes.

Seems like a pretty fair arrangement.

Yours,

Bozo

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Comment #54 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
Craig and Bozo, you are correct.

Oh, and one more thing: Alliant doesn't verify the PTA membership, nor does it ask for a PTA membership number.

You can put on the application that you are a member of the National PTA even if you are not, and Alliant will take your word for it.

Of course, if your conscience gets the better of you, you can always really just join the PTA.

P.S. It would be so nice if Alliant will keep the rate at 4% APY. Please! Even if the Fed cuts the Fed Funds Rate down to 2%. (Positive energy people.)

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Comment #55 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
thanks michael and bozo....i figured they probably didn't check but i joined anyway (national pta)it is a good cause...

Yes, and let's hope they can keep it at 4% for awhile (and that the fed doesn't getting too "cut crazy"...lol...positive thinking, yes!!!

See reply from my reliable csr at Alliant regarding next month's rate and also clarified that the frequent flyer club doesn't qualify for membership:

1) Our Board of Directors has declared a rate of 4.00% APY on our Savings Share(s) for the month of May.

2) Unfortunately, being a member of Mileage Plus does not qualify for membership.

Only Mileage Plus employees and their family members are eligible through this relationship.

A new potential member must be employed or a blood/legal relative of someone who is employed by one of our nearly 100 Select Employer Groups (SEGs), live/work in one of our eligible communities in the Chicagoland Area, be a member of Lifetime Fitness, a blood or legal relative of an existing member, or a PTA member.

To see a full list of eligible employers and organizations, please visit our website at www.alliantcreditunion.org, select how to join from the top menus, click on the orange join online button, and scroll through the eligibility lists on the following screen.

If one is not eligible under one of the above-mentioned categories, they can always join the PTA (locally or nationally) at the time they become a member (or shortly thereafter). While there is a small yearly fee (approximately $15) associated with PTA membership,

we think most would agree that it is a small price to pay for the great loan and savings rates we offer, and serves a great purpose—helping to guide the direction of our children’s education!

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Comment #56 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Craig, thanks for confirming the new rate and the Mileage Plus qualification. I received the same info about that qualification. I just updated the post.

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Comment #57 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
People, be careful when setting up your external bank ACH relationships from the external bank. Always inquire about the externals bank's ACH transfer policy. Some of these policies are just awful.

Union Bank of California only allows $5,000 maximum to be transferred.

Washington Mutual will make you wait at least 5 business days before they will allow the transfer to be processed from Washington Mutual. (This angers me that they would make you wait so long. It is your money, and you should be allowed to have the transfer commence within 1 business day.)

So again, always checks your external bank's transfer policy.

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Comment #58 by Altman (anonymous) posted on
Altman
If you mail in a check for deposit into your Alliant CU Savings Account (still paying 3.93% as of today), Alliant will put a 7 business day hold on your deposit (except for the first $2,500 of said deposit).

Alliant does this even if your account is over that first month old.

This 7 business day hold is unfair, in my opinion.

I hope Michael or someone else will call Alliant before the end of the month again to see if Alliant's rate is going to change.

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Comment #59 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
I called Alliant.

Rep I spoke with said she is positive rate will not be changing for June. Will stay at 3.93%.

Of course, we have all been given misinformation from reps, so please don't hold it against me if Alliant does lower their rate for June.

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Comment #60 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
To Altman: That 7 day hold is ONLY because it's a new account..after 30 days, $2500 of a check is available same day as received, next $2500 available second business day and anything over $5,000 will have a hold of several extra days.....

it's standard policy at most banks and cu's to have longer holds for the first month on a new customer....why were you so surprised???

To Michael (and Altman)..yes, the 4.0% rate is continuing into next month (June) they meet around the 25th and decide, and i am posting this on the 28th, so we are good to go....

Alliant tends to not change it's rate very often (they are not like most banks and cus in that regard) and they always try to keep share savings and cd rates as HIGH as they possible can...

That has been Alliant's LONG TERM POLICY...
So if you were looking for HIGH RATES AND STABILITY you have come to the right CU!

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Comment #61 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
upon re-reading, you said it was over 30 days....their check clearing policy states that second $2500 should be available second business day, and anything ABOVE $5,000 gets the 7 day hold......

You might prefer to get a free checking account with Bank of America as i have, deposit it there first, and after it clears in a few days, just ach it over to Alliant. using Alliant's FREE ACH TRANSFER SYSTEM)..that's what i do.....

I also have my Pension Checks Direct Deposited to Alliant...a great convenience.....

Alliant is great to bank with....and using those "shortcuts" i mentioned help to speed things up...

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Comment #62 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Alliant lowered their CD rates effective June 2nd. The rate for a $25,000 CD is now 3.9%.

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Comment #63 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
One little wrinkle I just discovered is that, when you are already an Alliant member with a savings account and perhaps a time deposit account and you later apply for a checking account, they then do another hard credit pull. So I was told by a CSR today.

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Comment #64 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Allianst rate on their "Regular Savings" Account for July will be 3.75%.

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Comment #65 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Rate still shows as %4.00 on their site

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Comment #66 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Alliant CU July '08 RATE (vs quoted APY/'yield')set at 3.69%.

Since it is a 'liquid' account, the APY/ 'yield' is irrelevant unless there were no changes for the entire year (never happens).

It is the RATE one should rely upon.

Hope this info is helpful

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Comment #67 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
is funding by credit card done as a purchase or csh advance?

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Comment #68 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Any fax# for Alliant? Anyone able to fax in their sig card? Anyone fund their account with a credit card as a purchase?

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Comment #69 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Banking Guy's post from Alliant rep said that Alliant was thinking of increasing ACH amount greater than $10,000. Did this ever go through?

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Comment #70 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
for anyone who funded an ALLIANT savings with a credit card... did they deposit $5 into the savings?

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Comment #71 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
If my average daily balance over the 31 day month of October is less than $100 (over $100 for most of the month but down to $5 for a few days) will I earn the 3.69%rate for October?

Anyone have any real life experience with this? I get conflicting answers from reps. Thx

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Comment #72 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Very old systems at Alliant. They've lost 2 of my checks. Had to mail them in because I don't live local. Trying to deposit money if you don't have a branch with check is impossible. A lot of ATMs don't accept checks from other institutions. I mailed them in and they mysteriously disappeared. Of course I couldn't get any answers from their cracker jack staff. I tried to talk to someone at a higher level there and when you try to get a receptionist, you always get a voicemail. Hear from a friend they are having some issues with staff and waste a lot of member money on parties and trips. My one friend that works at their San Mateo branch said they flew a whole bunch of people out to Napa for training. Have you every heard of a not for profit doing something like that? I would like to see their expenses broken out a litle more and someone from the IAM on their board.

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Comment #73 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Wanted to ACH 30k into Alliant (3x10k). ACH failed (due to no ACH pulls on the other side). Alliant happily charged me $87 in fees. I guess I will save more somewhere else even if APY is lower.

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