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Alliant Credit Union Increases CD Rates, Holds Savings Account Rate Steady - Available Nationwide


Update 10/24/09: Savings account rate of 2.00% APY will be holding through November.

Alliant Credit Union did something that's rare these days. They raised rates on all of their CD terms. Their 12-month to 48-month CDs are now very competitive. The following is the list of all of the CD rates as listed in the Alliant's rate table as of 9/24/09:
  • 2.30% APY for 12 to 17 months
  • 2.40% APY for 18 to 23 months
  • 2.55% APY for 24 to 35 months
  • 3.00% APY for 36 to 47 months
  • 3.25% APY for 48 to 60 months
Minimum deposit for the above rates is $25,000. The rates are 15 basis points lower for a $1,000 minimum. CDs are also available for IRAs (Roth, Traditional and SEP) and Coverdell ESAs.

Alliant's Certificate FAQ page is fairly thorough. Some things to note:
  • CD can be opened by phone, at a branch, by mail and via online banking
  • To open a CD, you must be a member with a minimum $5 balance in the savings account
  • Dividends will post monthly
  • You may elect to withdraw the dividends earned on the Certificate without incurring a penalty
  • No partial withdrawals are allowed
  • 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.
In the past, members were limited in the amount that they could fund a CD online using an ACH transfer from an external bank account. That limit has been $10,000. Leave a comment if this has changed. If you don't live near a branch, there are a few other 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.

Savings Account Update

I received confirmation today from Alliant that the savings account rate will remain at 2.00% APY for the month of October. Alliant's board of directors typically meets around the middle of the month to decide on next month's rates. However, unlike the savings account, the certificates don't have a set date for rate changes. The current CD rate table has a 9/24/09 date, so it appears these rates changed today.

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:
Depositing Checks at Home

Another useful service provided by Alliant is remote deposits through its eDepositPlus program which allows you to deposit checks electronically into your account using your home scanner. If you have used this feature, please leave a comment about how well it has worked.

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 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.

General Info

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 based on 6/30/09 data. However, it only has a 3-star rating (performing) at Bankrate.com which based on 3/31/09 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
Related Pages: CD rates, IRA rates, savings account, Alliant Credit Union, Chicago

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  |     |   Comment #1
Thanks for the good news! I had an Alliant CD mature last month which I switched to Delta Community Credit Union. In the past year, Alliant CD rates haven't been too noteworthy. They've been okay but not outstanding. Let's hope this marks a return to more stellar rates, at Alliant specifically and with CDs generally.
  |     |   Comment #2
eDepositPlus works quite nicely. You enter the check amount and which account you want to deposit to, then it leads you through scanning both sides of the check, and finally you verify the info and print the confirmation if you want.

It does open a new window so sometimes, if scanning takes a while, your ACU session in the other window might time out.

A couple times I have had difficulty in scanning postcard type rebate checks. I've used it for about 20 checks total.

I don't think it's any faster than preparing a mail-in envelope, but it's free and I like those deposits earning interest immediately.
  |     |   Comment #3
I'm also a fan of eDepositPlus. Just scan the check and forget about it...no ATMs or envelopes to mail. Fantastic. I wish all banks would adopt it, but unfortunately, most have expensive branches to maintain.
  |     |   Comment #4
I called to ask a few questions before I joined. It seems they have a $1000.00 ACH limit for six months on new accounts. No thanks..... After that they gradually raise it with longevity. I didnt ask the lady what the max ACH transfer limit was, but another member told me $25K.
  |     |   Comment #5
You start off with a $10,000 ACH limit, which is then raised after 6 months.
  |     |   Comment #6
Interesting, they must have changed that because I asked the lady twice and she verified that it was $1K, not $10K. She seemed to be very knowledgable on everything else. Maybe she was mistaken, but that is what she told me.
  |     |   Comment #7
According to their FAQ, it is 1k for first 30 days, then 10k after that. It specifies possibilty of raise again aftgre 36 months.
  |     |   Comment #8
I just called Alliant for the fourth time in a week about ACH limits, and received my fourth (different) answer. The CSR said the daily outbound ACH limit was $1,000 for the first 6 months, and then they would consider a higher limit based upon one's history with them. The previous 3 calls yielded other limits, which were different versions of a $10k daily limit plus various monthly limits. I don't find the limits mentioned by the previous poster (According to their FAQ....) anywhere on the site. Too much confusion for me...
  |     |   Comment #9
Talked with very helpful Alliant CSR today, and confirmed $1K max opening ACH.
Also confirmed Hard Pull credit check.
Only way to get Jumbo Certificate ($25K+) is to mail check or wire funds after savings account approval.
They were knowledgable and nice.
Beats Discover Bank any day (lowered online savings 2.0 to 1.85% today)!!!
  |     |   Comment #10
Why do you care what the ACU ACH limits are? Just initiate the transfer from another bank.
  |     |   Comment #11
Went into the Denver branch. Everything went very smoothly. The CSR didn't check for a verification of my membership to the National PTA.
  |     |   Comment #12
Interestingly, if joining Alliant membership in a local school PTA should definitely be the way to go rather than going with the cost of a national PTA membership. For example, membership in my neighborhood elementary school PTA runs $5, the middle school PTA membership is around $7 and the high school PTA membership runs around $8.
  |     |   Comment #13
Re Customer Service with this bank - my experience was terrible this morning so am not impressed at all. The CSR was not only lackadaisical, she could not answer questions consistently on a couple of topics.

Since I had previously looked on the Website and could not find information about early withdrawal penalties I asked her about them. Her first answer was that it was 90 days interest regardless of term. A little later in the conversation I circled around again and was told it was 180 days depending on how long the account had been open. I finally asked where the information was documented on the Website and she didn't know, also asked a colleague who didn't know either and she finally said it wasn't on the Website.

This was like dealing with the Keystone cops and hardly left me feeling reassured about doing business with this bank.
  |     |   Comment #14
Alliant definitely does a Hard Credit Inquiry -- and if you send in the application via mail (as is required if you have a fraud alert on your credit report), they don't cross check for credit cards or other product eligibility. If you want a credit card too, then that is a separate credit pull even if you just opened the account (I did it within 30 days and was told they'd have to do a second credit inquiry. Also, the initial ACH limit is $1,000 -- I just initiated the transfer of fund from an external account into Alliant to get around this. So far, their customer service has been excellent, but some of their policies (i.e., hard credit pulls) are very shortsighted.
  |     |   Comment #15
CD rates changed today. 12 month jumbo CD down from 2.1 to 1.75 apy

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