Alliant Credit Union reduced its savings account and High Rate Checking rates by 5 basis points. The new April yields are 0.95% for the savings account and 0.90% for the High Rate Checking. There was also a cut to the Health Savings Account rate. The yield fell from 1.75% to 1.50%.
I was hoping that Alliant would be repeating 2011 when they kept the savings and checking accounts rates steady for the whole year. At least they only cut these rates by 5 basis points this time.
It's also disappointing to see the savings account rate fall below 1.00%. In my last weekly summary I counted 8 savings and money market accounts with yields of at least 1.00%. With Alliant's rate cut, this is now down to 7. It should also be noted that 3 of these 7 are only promo rates. For the 4 that remain, 2 are likely high due the recent launches of the internet banks. In short, the 1.00% savings account yields are an endangered species.
So based on the competition, I don't think it's fair to be too down on Alliant Credit Union. The 0.95% savings account yield is still very competitive, and hopefully, this will last at least for several months.
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 and IRA CD rates. Alliant used to give a 10-bps rate premium on its Jumbo CDs which have a minimum deposit of $25,000. There are currently no difference in the rates between the regular and Jumbo CDs. The minimum deposit is $1,000. Unlike the savings and checking rates which only change at the start of the month, Alliant can change CD rates at any time.
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 $8.24 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 5.76% (excellent) based on December 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).