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0.25%--Alliant Credit UnionHigh-Rate Checking
Rates as of February 19, 2024.

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.

Related Pages: Alliant Credit Union, Chicago, CD rates, savings account, checking account

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  |     |   Comment #1
ALLIANT is the best hub account out there
  |     |   Comment #2
I have had account at Alliant for 3 years and they are great to do business with.

  |     |   Comment #3
Alliant CU is the best in everything - rates, customer service and now after the upgrade the interface as well...
  |     |   Comment #4
Like everyone else so far, I think Alliant is great.

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.
  |     |   Comment #5
The only problem I have had with them is their rather low limit on ach transfers.  Even after 4 years with them, I can't ach 50k or 100k using alliant as a hub.
  |     |   Comment #6
"This checking rate requires direct deposit and e-statements." Wrong - here's the policy:


  • Have at least one of the following recurring monthly electronic deposits to your Alliant checking account:
    • Set up direct deposit with your employer. Provide your 14-digit Alliant checking account number and the Alliant ABA Routing and Transit Number 271081528
    • Make a monthly ATM deposit
    • Make a monthly deposit using eDeposit or eDepositPlus
    • Transfer funds from another financial institution every month
      To set up recurring transfer from another financial institution you can log in to Alliant Online Banking, select “Transfer Money” and then “Other Institutions”.
      |     |   Comment #7
    Alliant CU is our primary CU for everyone in our family. Alliant’s IRA department personnel have been very helpful with setting up accounts and handling transfers from 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.


      |     |   Comment #8
    @#4  Other than a couple of institutions in the past allowing me to open a CD online with credit card funding, the process you describe for opening a CD online (have the funds already available at the institution before opening the CD) is standard at Alliant and every other institution.  I don't understand your disappointment; or is it that you thought it would work differently?
      |     |   Comment #9
    #8--my experience is completely different from yours.  At almost all online banks at which I have CD accounts--eg, Ally, Nationwide, Discover, MetLife, Bank of Internet, etc. --you can initiate the funding as part of the online application itself.  That locks in your rate immediately upon completing the application form, even if you have to wait for funding account verification, like trial deposits.  With Alliant, you can't lock in the rate until they receive the funds.  Then, and only then, are you allowed to apply.
      |     |   Comment #10
    @#9 With the exception of one or two now long-matured CDs at ING, all my CDs have been opened at B&M institutions.    That may account for the different experiences. 

    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.
      |     |   Comment #11
    Pearlbrown: My experience with the brick-and-motar banks is the same.  That's one reason, among numerous others, that I prefer the online institutions, where I can guarantee my rate before I fund.  To each his or her own, I guess.

    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.
      |     |   Comment #12
    @#4/#9/#11   :D

    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. 
      |     |   Comment #13
    Pearlbrown:I have a bunch of IRA CDs, and try to be careful that I know the bank's policy on locking in rates.  If I can't lock-in or can't get a straight answer, I set up an IRA savings or MMA (if permitted), so I don't get stuck for several years with the wrong rate.  If the rate is still good when the money arrives, I move it into a CD.

    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
      |     |   Comment #14
    @4/9/11/13    Thanks for the great info on the lock.  I'll keep it in mind for when the next opportunity presents itself. 
      |     |   Comment #15
    Pearlbrown: You're welcome.  This is a good blog, because your can learn new things, not just from Ken but from the readers, and everyone (or most everyone) posts comments responsibly.

      |     |   Comment #16
    #### i agree
      |     |   Comment #17
    Anonymous - #9,  The only problem I encountered while applying for my Alliant membership was that the online application wouldn't permit me to fund a CD for more than $10k. I got around that by mailing in a CD application and check along with my printed membership form and $5 initiation fee. (Alliant will pay your membership fee to Foster Care to Success. There's a box for this on the membership application).  Within three days, Alliant had opened my membership and funded my CD. I can't be sure if Alliant would have applied a lower interest rate to my CD had there been an intervening reduction in CD rates. However, I covered myself by including a note requesting that they not fund the CD under such a circumstance without first contacting me.
      |     |   Comment #19
    I like Alliant, good customer service and good rates.

    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.
      |     |   Comment #20
    Do you join Foster Care first before you fill out the online application?  With all the favorable comments on Alliant, I'm thinking about joining.

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