Update on Alliant Credit Union - Top Rates Continue
With all the favorable opinions from many readers for Alliant Credit Union, I thought it was time for another post. There's not much new. However, I did just confirm that Alliant will be keeping its savings and checking rates the same for November. Alliant Savings Account has a 1.15% APY on balances of $100 or more. Its High Rate Checking has a 1.10% APY on all balances. This checking rate requires monthly electronic deposits and e-statements.
Alliant has a long history of keeping these rates very competitive. In addition to competitive rates, Alliant has several nice banking features as described at Alliant's checking page. I have more details on Alliant's other features like remote deposit and free credit score in this Alliant Credit Union account review.
Another reason to join Alliant is if you're looking for competitive CD rates. The Jumbo CDs have a minimum deposit of $25,000, and their rates are 10 basis points higher than the regular CDs. Some of the best CD rates include 1.55% APY for 18 months, 1.70% APY for 2 years and 2.20% APY for 4 years. These are currently the highest rates from nationally available CDs. These rates are listed at Alliant's rates page as of 10/27/2011.
The CDs are available as Roth, Traditional and SEP IRAs and as a Coverdell ESA. The CD details are described at Alliant's CD FAQ page. Some important details to note:
- Early withdrawal penalty for terms of 24 to 60 months is up to 180 days of interest
- No partial withdrawals are allowed
- You may elect to withdraw the dividends earned on the Certificate without incurring a penalty
There two easy ways to qualify for membership into Alliant. 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.
One downside with applying for membership is that Alliant does a hard credit inquiry which can temporarily ding your credit score.
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 $7.86 billion in assets, Alliant Credit Union is the sixth largest credit union in the nation. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 4.81% (excellent) based on June 2011 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).
Edit 3:11pm ET: Changed direct deposit to electronic deposit and added warning about hard pull.
As far as account funding goes, however, as an existing member, I've only been able to establish a CD after transferring, by check deposit, ACH transfer or wire, the funding amount into my savings account. Then, I either open the CD online (if the transferred funds are "available") or by phone (if the funds are being held).
Maybe I'm missing something.
To set up recurring transfer from another financial institution you can log in to Alliant Online Banking, select “Transfer Money” and then “Other Institutions”.
I would highly recommend this Credit Union to everyone. We have been with Alliant since Feb 2009 and have checking, savings, CD's, Traditional & Roth CD IRA's and Education IRA's accounts.
When I open a CD online at a new B&M institution (ie: this is my first transaction with them) my experience has been the same as yours - the funding is initiated as part of the online application process and the rate is locked at that time.
When I open a CD online at a B&M institution with which I already have a relationship (even if it is other CDs), I must have the funds already there for the CD to be opened and the rate locked. This is what #4 experienced as an existing Alliant member.
Alliant is sort of a cross between online and B&M. Because I live in Southern California, I can mail a check to Alliant's LA "drop". It always arrives the next day, and is posted online by 4 pm Pacific time. I usually call at 4:01, and set up the CD over the phone.
By the way, I am both #4 and #9--and now, it appears, I'm #11.
Aah, the good old days - as late as a couple of years ago, some B&M banks (regardless of new relationship or not) would allow one to open a CD by phone and lock the rate at that time as long as funding was received within x number of days.
Of course, having a guaranteed rate in hand before funding is the optimal situation. However, with rates dropping so frequently, these days I either overnight checks, or use wire transfer or next-day ACH to get the funds to their destination. It's a nuisance and/or extra expense but if the rate earned (compared to other alternatives) is good enough I can live with it.
I haven't opened many IRA CDs but have seen institutions be willing to be *slightly* less rigid about having the funds available before locking in the rate in those instances.
Alliant is very efficient on IRA CDs. Although you have to fund an IRA savings account before you can lock-in your rate, its IRA transfer form is online and pre-signed by it in facsimile, so you cut days off the transfer process.
Ally's new IRA CDs are great--you get a 90-day rate-lock to do an IRA-to-IRA transfer, so you can essentially do a "forward" transaction!
##4, 9, 11 and 13
THE ANONYMOUS READER WITH ALL THE ##
What I don't like about Alliant is that Joint Account owners don't have online access. Only the primary account holder can view the accounts online. What is the point ofhaving Joint ownership if both the owners cannot deposit ,withdraw and view accounts online?? The answer I got from them is due to secuity issues...Are all the large banks stupid that they let Joint owners deposit and withdraw and provide onlien access??
Hope Alliant can change how their Joint Ownership works.