I received confirmation from Alliant Credit Union that the savings account rate will remain at 2.00% APY for the month of December 2009. Hat tip to the reader who first commented on this news. Alliant's board of directors typically meets around the middle of the month to approve next month's rates.
The savings account requires only $100 balance to qualify for this 2% APY, and there is no maximum balance limit. The only issue with the savings account is that Alliant is tight on its ACH transfer limits. In early 2008, I received the following info regarding their ACH transfer service:
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.
Last month I received an update from my Alliant contact. They appear to be more flexible now, but it can vary. Here is what I was told:
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.
If you have experience with ACH transfers at Alliant, please leave a comment about any transfer limits that you've experienced.
In addition to a top-notch savings account, Alliant also has a checking account (non rewards) that pays a very competitive rate. Refer to the following posts for a review of the savings and checking accounts:
In addition to competitive savings and checking account rates, Alliant Credit Union also has top CD rates. However, it's important to note these rates are not guaranteed to last through December. These are subject to change at anytime. The CD rates have remained the same since September 24th. Refer to my September Alliant post for more CD details.
Membership and Joining Alliant Credit Union
Credit union membership is open to local and national PTA members. There's a $25 membership fee for the National PTA, and it's 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.
One downside regarding membership is that several readers have reported a hard credit inquiry by Equifax in the application.
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.
Branches are located in Chicago, Des Plaines, and Elk Grove Township, Illinois. There are also branches in Colorado, California and Virginia.
Alliant has a top rating of 5 stars for safety and soundness at BauerFinancial. However, it only has a 3-star rating (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 6/30/09 financial data. It's a large credit union with over $6.3 billion in assets.
The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 67955).
Other Competitive Savings Accounts and CDs