A reader recently commented about a new way you can qualify to join Alliant Credit Union. You can now qualify for credit union membership by becoming a member of Orphan Foundation of America (OFA). Alliant now has a special page that explains this:
Members of the OFA are eligible to join Alliant Credit Union and experience the Alliant Advantage [...] By making a $10 or greater donation to the Orphan Foundation of America, you will become a member of OFA, receive literature and other information from OFA, and qualify to join Alliant.
For the last several years, one could qualify for membership through the PTA (either national or local). The full list of qualifying organizations is available here.
Alliant Credit Union has been offering 2.00% APY on its savings account since July 2009. We should soon know if this 2.00% APY will continue through April. Alliant's board of directors typically approves next month's rates around this time of the month. Update: Readers have reported that Alliant will be reducing the savings account yield to 1.50% starting in April :-(
Please refer to my Alliant Credit Union review for more details about Alliant and the savings account. I also have the savings account rate history at the bottom of the review.
One thing to note about its rate history is that even though Alliant has a history of competitive rates, they weren't the best back in 2007 when many online banks were paying over 5%. So I don't know if they'll be able to maintain their current rate which is extremely competitive in today's rate environment. Nevertheless, I do expect them to keep the rate very competitive.
In addition to the best savings account rate, Alliant also offers great rates on its High Rate Checking Account (currently 1.75% APY). It's not a reward checking account that requires debit card usage. However, it does require direct deposit to receive this high rate.
Another useful service that complements the checking and savings account is Alliant's 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.
Alliant's CD rates also have a long history of top rates. Its Jumbo certificates have the best rates, and unlike most Jumbos, these only require a $25K minimum deposit. The 1-year Jumbo CD continues to have a 2.10% APY as of 3/23/2010. Please refer to my Alliant CD review for more details. One thing to note about Alliant's CDs is that unlike the savings account rates, CD rates can change at anytime.
Alliant also offers top rates on many other deposit products including Health Savings Accounts, IRAs (Traditional, ROTH and SEP) and Coverdell ESA.
Alliant Credit Union Oveview
Branches are located in Chicago, Des Plaines, and Elk Grove Township, Illinois. There are also branches in Virginia, Colorado and California.
Alliant Credit Union continues to have the highest rating (5 stars) for safety and soundness at BauerFinancial based on 12/31/09 data. However, it continues to have only has a 3-star rating (performing) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/09 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).