Alliant Credit Union’s checking account called High Rate Checking has a long history of competitive rates and useful features. There’s another reason to consider this checking account. Alliant is offering a $50 bonus for open checking and meet the following two requirements by December 31, 2013:
- Opt out of paper statements and receive only eStatements sent to your email address, and
- Make at least one monthly electronic deposit (each month) to this account such as a direct deposit, payroll or ATM deposit, eDeposit or eDepositPlus, mobile check deposit or transfer from another financial institution
More details are listed in Alliant’s promotions page. Below are some of the important small print:
The $50 bonus deposit is considered as taxable income and will be paid as a special dividend and reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. This account must remain open for at least six months or the bonus amount will be subtracted from your checking or savings account upon closing. When applying for your checking account, use promo code C981.
The bonus isn’t that big, but meeting the above requirements is simple. In fact, these are the requirements that must be met to qualify for the “high” interest rate. This bonus is probably not big enough to justify opening this account just for the bonus. However, if you had been considering a new checking account, the bonus provides an extra reason.
In addition to the checking account bonus, Alliant is also offering a $100 bonus when you finance an auto purchase or refinance your current auto loan (with another lender) with an Alliant auto loan.
High Rate Checking Overview
The High Rate Checking interest rate is not as competitive as it used to be. The savings account offers a little higher interest rate (5 bps higher).
As mentioned above, qualifying for the high rate requires opting out of receiving paper statements (receive eStatements only) and having a recurring monthly electronic deposit to your Alliant checking account each month (e.g., a direct deposit, payroll deposit, ATM deposit, eDeposit, eDepositPlus, mobile check deposit or transfer from another financial institution).
Some of the nice features of the High Rate Checking account include:
- No monthly service fee
- No minimum balance requirement
- Over 80,000 surcharge free ATMs
- Free first box of checks
Any Alliant member has access to the following:
- ACH transfer service
- Free quarterly credit scores (VantageScore)
- Mobile and PC check deposit
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.
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 $8.23 billion in assets, Alliant Credit Union is one of the top ten largest credit unions in the nation. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of B+ with a Texas Ratio of 4.28% (excellent) based on June 2013 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).