Alliant Credit Union continues to offer 2.00% APY on its savings account and 1.75% APY on its checking account, and I just received confirmation from an Alliant Credit Union CSR that these rates will last for at least another month through September. Thanks to the reader who also reported on this yesterday. During the first half of this year, Alliant was dropping these rates almost every month by 25 basis points. The last rate cut was on July 1st. With rates remaining the same for another month, hopefully this is a sign of a bottom.
Alliant Credit Union has a long history of keeping rates very competitive. I've included its rate history below. I didn't pay much attention to Alliant back in 2006 and 2007 since its savings account rate never broke 5%. However, the rates were close to 5%, and when interest rates began to fall, Alliant's savings account held up better than most savings accounts from internet banks.
Alliant CU's Savings Account Rate History:
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
Please refer to the Alliant savings account page for the full details. Some important features of Alliant Savings account include:
- dividends paid monthly on average daily balances of $100 or more
- no maximum balance limit
- Online free bank-to-bank ACH transfer service is available
- ACH transfers are limited to $10,000 daily in/out (readers have reported getting this increased to $25K)
- No ACH limit on receiving over $10,000 if initiated at another bank
- No limit on the number of ACH links to other banks
For more savings account details, please refer to my Alliant savings account and CD review.
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 3.50% 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 my HSA post for more HSA information.
Free High Rate Checking
The checking account rate has remained just 25 basis points under the savings account rate since the high rate feature was started early this year. There are two requirements as specified in the disclosure to qualify for the high rate:
- Opt out of paper statements
- at least one monthly electronic deposit, e.g. a direct deposit, payroll deposit, ATM deposit, eDeposit, eDepositPlus or transfer from another financial institution
Unlike reward checking accounts, there are no debit card usage requirements. Also, there are no balance caps. The top rate applies to all balances. Some features of the checking account include:
- no monthly service fees
- no minimum balance requirements
- free online bill pay
- first box of checks are free
Alliant also has a history of competitive certificate rates. Unlike the savings and checking accounts, the rates may change more than just at the first of each month. The best rates require a minimum deposit of $25,000. As of 8/25/09, these rates include:
- 2.15% APY 12 to 23 months
- 2.30% APY 24 to 35 months
- 2.75% APY 36 to 47 months
- 3.00% APY 48 to 60 months
Rates are 15 basis points lower for a $1,000 minimum deposit. These same rates also apply to IRA certificates.
Credit union 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. 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. This can temporarily ding your credit score.
Credit Union Overview
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.
One thing to note about Alliant Credit Union is that it used to be United Airlines Employee Credit Union. Consequently, most of its branches are located in airport terminals. Branches are located in Chicago, Des Plaines, and Elk Grove Township, Illinois. There are also branches in Colorado, California and Virginia.
Alliant Credit Union has some fair to strong ratings for soundness: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 3/31/09 data. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 67955).
Other Competitive Savings Accounts and Certificate of Deposit Rates