I didn't expect any more rate cuts at Alliant Credit Union, and it looks like we won't see any in February, at least for the savings account and High Rate checking. A reader just reported that Alliant had their board meeting last Thursday, and they decided to keep the savings and checking rates unchanged for February. Hopefully, the next time they change, the rates will be headed up.
The savings account rate is currently 1.15% APY for balances of $100 and above, and the High Rate Checking rate is currently 1.10% APY. This checking rate requires e-statements and recurring monthly electronic deposits. There is no monthly service fee.
Please note that Alliant doesn't wait to the start of the month to change CD rates. These can change at anytime. Even though Alliant's CD rates fell in late December, the rates are still very competitive.
Account Feature Improvements
Even though Alliant is no longer a rate leader, Alliant still has some of the best online banking features, and improvements continue to be made. In addition to the enhanced online banking features that were released last October, Alliant revised its transfer limit guidelines to be more generous. In the past, ACH transfers initiated when you're logged into Alliant were limited to $10K per day. This has changed to $100K per day after the first month of membership. During the first month of membership, it's still $10K per day. According to my contact at Alliant, they can decrease the limit to $1K if any adverse action items occur on the account within a particular month.
Another nice change is scheduled to take place on March 1, 2011. Alliant will no longer charge a $1 fee after 8 ATM transactions. Currently, Alliant charges a $1 fee after 8 transactions have been performed in a month at non-Alliant ATMs, including the CO-OP Network and other networks. This is in addition to any surcharge fee that might be assessed by the ATM owner. Refer to Alliant's ATM locator to find ATMs that are surcharge free.
Remote Deposit and Free Credit Score
Two nice perks that Alliant has been offering for a while are its remote deposit service called eDepositPlus and its free credit scores. The eDepositPlus service allows you to deposit checks electronically into your account using your home scanner and eliminates the need to mail checks. Members who have maintained accounts in good standing for at least six months can qualify. One reader described his experience with this service in the comments:
the funds are usually available immediately. Sometimes I write myself a check instead of ACHing money in just because its faster and you don't have to set up a link.
The free credit score is updated quarterly. According to Alliant, it's "provided by Experian with scores ranging from 150 to a high of 950, which differs from a FICO score."
There are two easy ways to qualify for membership into Alliant. First is through the PTA (either national or local). Second is through the Orphan Foundation of America. According to Alliant's Orphan Foundation of America page:
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 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.
Credit Union Overview
In addition to Chicago, Alliant has locations in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, Denver and the Washington DC vicinity.
With $7.48 billion in assets, Alliant Credit Union is the seventh largest credit unions in the nation. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 4.08% (excellent) based on September 2010 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).