I just confirmed that Alliant Credit Union will be keeping its savings and checking rates the same for December. 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.
With these rates holding through December, Alliant has become the only institution that has kept its savings account rate unchanged for all of 2011. It was back in December 17, 2010 that we learned that Alliant was going to cut its 1.35% APY to the above yields on January 1, 2010. That was a big cut that put Alliant way down on my list of the best savings accounts. However, all other banks and credit unions on that list have cut rates this year. The only institution that was on this list in January that is still above Alliant is Incredible Bank which offers a money market account with a 1.18% APY.
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 HSA, CD and IRA CD rates. The Jumbo CDs have a minimum deposit of $25,000, and their rates are 10 basis points higher than the regular CDs. Unlike the savings and checking rates, Alliant can change CD rates at any time. That happened on November 17th when all of the CD rates fell by 20 bps. Even with these cuts, the CD rates remain competitive.
There two easy ways to qualify for Alliant membership. 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).