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Alliant Credit Union Checking Account Bonus and Updated Checking Review

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Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union’s checking account called High Rate Checking has a long history of competitive rates and useful features. There’s another reason to consider this checking account. Alliant is offering a $50 bonus for open checking and meet the following two requirements by December 31, 2013:

  1. Opt out of paper statements and receive only eStatements sent to your email address, and
  2. Make at least one monthly electronic deposit (each month) to this account such as a direct deposit, payroll or ATM deposit, eDeposit or eDepositPlus, mobile check deposit or transfer from another financial institution

More details are listed in Alliant’s promotions page. Below are some of the important small print:

The $50 bonus deposit is considered as taxable income and will be paid as a special dividend and reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. This account must remain open for at least six months or the bonus amount will be subtracted from your checking or savings account upon closing. When applying for your checking account, use promo code C981.

The bonus isn’t that big, but meeting the above requirements is simple. In fact, these are the requirements that must be met to qualify for the “high” interest rate. This bonus is probably not big enough to justify opening this account just for the bonus. However, if you had been considering a new checking account, the bonus provides an extra reason.

In addition to the checking account bonus, Alliant is also offering a $100 bonus when you finance an auto purchase or refinance your current auto loan (with another lender) with an Alliant auto loan.

High Rate Checking Overview

The High Rate Checking interest rate is not as competitive as it used to be. The savings account offers a little higher interest rate (5 bps higher).

As mentioned above, qualifying for the high rate requires opting out of receiving paper statements (receive eStatements only) and having a recurring monthly electronic deposit to your Alliant checking account each month (e.g., a direct deposit, payroll deposit, ATM deposit, eDeposit, eDepositPlus, mobile check deposit or transfer from another financial institution).

Some of the nice features of the High Rate Checking account include:

  • No monthly service fee
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Over 80,000 surcharge free ATMs
  • Free first box of checks

Any Alliant member has access to the following:

  • ACH transfer service
  • Free quarterly credit scores (VantageScore)
  • Mobile and PC check deposit

Membership

There two easy ways to qualify for Alliant membership. First is through the PTA (either national or local). Second is through the Foster Care to Success (FCS) organization. According to Alliant's Foster Care to Success page:

Members of FCS are eligible to join Alliant Credit Union [...] By making a $10 or greater donation to the Foster Care to Success (FCS), you will become a member of FCS, receive literature and other information from FCS, and qualify to join Alliant.

For the full details on membership, please refer to Alliant's membership page. Those who live or work in parts of Chicagoland can be immediately eligible to join.

You can join Alliant online. Also, most accounts can be opened online and funded with an ACH transfer from your existing bank.

Alliant Credit Union Overview

Alliant Credit Union used to be United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union. That's why many of their branches are located in airports.

In addition to Chicago, Alliant Credit Union branches are located in the metro areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Houston, Washington DC and Newark. Note, some of these branches are located inside airports and are not publicly accessible.

One downside with Alliant is that it's not part of any shared branch network.

With $8.23 billion in assets, Alliant Credit Union is one of the top ten largest credit unions in the nation. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of B+ with a Texas Ratio of 4.28% (excellent) based on June 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Alliant Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 67955).


  Tags: Alliant Credit Union, Illinois, checking account

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Comments
8 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
4 To qualify for the $50 bonus deposit offer, member must open an Alliant checking account between August 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013, and meet the requirements of Alliant High Rate Checking by December 31, 2013, and remain in good standing. No minimum balance required to open the account or earn the bonus. Members who do not open checking or do not meet the high rate checking requirements during the timeframe do not qualify to receive the deposit. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other checking offer. Offer not valid for members with an Alliant checking account. One $50 bonus deposit per member. Once we verify qualifications, we will deposit the $50 bonus deposit directly into the member's account. Please allow up to 60 days for the deposit to be made. Check the status of the bonus deposit on Alliant Online Banking. The $50 bonus deposit is considered as taxable income and will be paid as a special dividend and reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. This account must remain open for at least six months or the bonus amount will be subtracted from your checking or savings account upon closing.

2
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
For what it's worth, though I don't have a "normal" checking account with Alliant, I have both an HSA checking account, and multiple savings accounts with them, and I really like them. Their rates dropped somewhat recently (esp the Health Savings Account rate), but I have found them to be an excellent credit union, with 24hr phone support, a website that's extremely well laid-out, and really good attitude from everyone I've encountered at Alliant. I've never been inside a physical branch (as I don't live in Chicago), but they're really easy to deal with either online or with phone banking (or 24hr live phone support as well).

5
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
too bad, I already have a checking account with ACU, and there was no bonus by opening it at that time :(

2
Comment #4 by me1004 posted on
me1004
It looks to me like the key to this bonus is actually that you opt out of paper statements. All the other requirements are simply those that will get you the high interest rate on the account regardless. 

Unfortunately, I find e-statements to be a real burden and don't want that. 

2
Comment #5 by QED posted on
QED
I've been an Alliant member for a number of years.  It's not my intent to make light of the $50 bonus.  That's a good deal.  But I value my Alliant membership far above a mere $50.  I honestly don't know how I would operate my financial life without Alliant.  It's a fantasticly good institution and, knowing what I now know, I'd quickly pay them $50 to become a member if that payment were required (it's not, of course).  Bottom line, in a world that's pretty badly messed up in too many ways, Alliant is one of the few remaining really good things.   

6
Comment #6 by Sarath (anonymous) posted on
Sarath
Hard pull or soft pull?

2
Comment #7 by vladimir (anonymous) posted on
vladimir
Alliant is not part of a shared branch network, but you can deposit paycheck and other checks to your Alliant account in any Chartway FCU ATM at no cost.  Chartway FCU has many more branches than Alliant. 

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I normally do not post a comment, but I felt compelled to comment about Alliant Credit Union.  It is the best!  Unlimited free ACH transfers  make it easy to link your Alliant account with other financial institutions, and the ACH transfers may be intitiated from Alliant.  The interest earned is much better than other institutions offer, and all the other services are top notch.   I don't think you will be able to find a better credit union or bank. 

1