Alliant Credit Union Review

Alliant Credit Union

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

With Alliant Credit Union, you kind of get it all. The mobile app is top-tier, and its online accounts come with fee structures and savings rates that can compete with the best neobanks.

Pros

  • Solid savings rate
  • Plenty of surcharge-free ATMs
  • Few fees
  • Great mobile app

Cons

  • Restrictions on who can be a member
  • Only one physical location
  • Somewhat limited account options

Alliant Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative based out of Chicago, Illinois.

Alliant was founded in 1935 by a group of United Airlines employees aiming to provide fair savings and personal loan rates.

Today, Alliant is still member-owned, offering deposit accounts, home and auto loans, and other financial products.

With over $13 billion in assets and more than half a million members, Alliant is one of the largest credit unions in the U.S.

From how to qualify for membership to its best products and features, you’ll get a full overview of what you can expect from Alliant in our full review.

In This Article

Alliant Credit Union Checking Accounts

Here are the current checking account options you can get from Alliant Credit Union:

High-Rate Checking Account

High-Rate Checking is an interest-bearing checking account that currently comes with an 0.25% annual percentage yield (APY).

There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.

High-Rate Checking comes with a contactless Visa debit card, plus online and mobile banking.

All Alliant accounts come with fee-free access to more than 80,000 ATMs, and with High-Rate Checking, you’ll also get $20 per month in out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements.

Teen Checking Account

Teen checking is open to members between the ages of 13 and 17. This teen checking account is jointly owned by a parent or guardian and comes with all of the features of a High-Rate Checking account.

Teens can learn about responsible banking while taking advantage of a 0.25% APY. There are no monthly fees or balance requirements, and ATM fees are reimbursed up to $20 per month.

Parents can keep tabs on their teen’s account with daily spending and withdrawal limits, plus custom account alerts.

You can easily make one-time or recurring transfers from your linked Alliant account, and the account comes with helpful tools to teach your teen about budgeting.

Alliant Credit Union Savings Accounts

Here are the current savings account options available from Alliant Credit Union:

High-Rate Savings Account

High-Rate Savings is a high-yield savings account with a 0.55% APY. There’s no monthly fee if you opt-in for eStatements ($1 per paper statement), and the initial deposit requirement is $5.

Members will need a minimum balance of $100 to earn interest, and there are no tiers — all balances earn at the same rate with no maximum balance restrictions.

You can easily transfer funds from your Alliant checking account or an external account, and you’ll have 24/7 access to your savings online or through the mobile app.

Supplemental Savings Account

If you want to put money aside for specific savings goals, you can open up to 19 Supplemental Savings accounts with Alliant.

Each of your supplemental accounts comes with the same savings rate and features as High-Rate Savings.

You can give each account a nickname, so whether you’re saving for a vacation or building a college fund, you can keep track of how much you’re allocating toward each goal.

Kids Savings Account

Kids Savings accounts are available to kids aged 12 or younger and are designed to help young people learn personal finance skills.

It functions just like a High-Rate Savings account but is jointly owned by a parent, grandparent, or guardian.

Kids can learn about interest with a 0.55% APY and can start to budget with access to their own supplemental accounts.

The account comes with no monthly fees and requires a $5 minimum deposit to open.

Alliant Credit Union CDs (Certificates of Deposit)

Alliant offers CDs with term lengths ranging from 12 to 60 months.

You’ll need at least $1,000 to deposit when you open a CD, and the interest rate is tiered based on how long you commit your funds.

Here’s a look at the current CD rates:

Term Rate
12 – 23 months 0.50%
24 – 35 months 0.55%
36 – 48 months 0.60%
60 months 0.65%

Alliant Credit Union Credit Cards

Alliant Credit Union offers three different Visa credit card options. All three come with an EMV chip card, $0 fraud liability, and access to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Visa Platinum

Visa Platinum has no annual fee and low standard APRs, making it a good low-risk option. You’ll get a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for your first 12 months after opening, so you can easily pay off existing credit card debt without paying interest.

There are no rewards associated with the card, so this option is best for those looking to build their credit back up or for the first time.

Visa Platinum Rewards

Platinum Rewards is a no annual fee card that earns two reward points for every dollar spent. When you sign up for a new card, you’ll get a 0% APR for 12 months, plus 5,000 bonus points when you spend $500 or more in the first 90 days.

Visa Signature

Visa Signature is a cashback rewards card that earns 2.5% back on all purchases. You can earn up to $250 in cashback each billing cycle, and the card has no foreign transaction fees.

Visa Signature comes with a $99 annual fee, but Alliant waives it for your first year as a cardholder.

Alliant Credit Union Features

Here are some of the top features that you get when you are a member of Alliant Credit Union:

Online Banking

Alliant has just one physical branch located in Chicago, so those thinking about joining should consider it an online-only banking option.

With online banking, you can easily make transfers, take care of payments, and manage all of your accounts and cards.

Mobile App

With the mobile banking app, Alliant members have full access to their accounts on the go. You can deposit checks, move money around, and set up custom alerts from your smartphone.

You should be in good hands whether you use iOS or Android. The app currently has a rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 4.5 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.

80,000+ Free ATMs

When you need to grab some cash, Alliant has more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs throughout the US in its network.

You can quickly find a free ATM on the website or mobile app, but you’re covered even if there isn’t one nearby — Alliant offers $20 in ATM fee rebates per month.

Member Benefits

Like most credit unions, Alliant is member-owned. This means that, as a member, you’ll have a vested interest in the direction of the financial institution.

Alliant doesn’t have stockholders, so the organization moves in whichever way is best for its members.

Fees

When it comes to pricing, credit unions and online banks are both known for keeping member costs low.

Alliant checks both of these boxes, so it’s no surprise that there isn’t much to talk about in the way of fees.

You won’t have to worry about monthly service fees or low-balance fees, and ATM transactions are almost entirely covered.

That said, there are still some charges that could pop up, so here’s a look at the common fees that you should be aware of with Alliant.

Overdraft Fees

Alliant allows for free overdraft protection with a linked bank account, but if you go into the red without it you’ll be charged a $25 non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee.

You can also opt to use a line of credit rather than a savings account for overdraft protection, but it comes with a $3 fee every time you use it.

Paper Statement Fees

All Alliant accounts come with the option for free eStatements, but if you prefer paper, there’s a $1 fee per statement.

Wire Transfer Fees

Incoming wire transfers are always free, but there’s a fee when you have to send one out. Outgoing domestic wires cost $25 each, and sending international wires is $50.

Getting Started

Unlike banks, credit unions usually require a little more than an ID and a deposit to get started.

To become an Alliant member, you’ll need to meet certain qualifications. To be eligible for an account, you’ll need to meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Be a current or retired employee of one of Alliant’s partner businesses or organizations
  • Be an immediate family member of a current Alliant member
  • Live or work in one of the communities near Alliant’s headquarters in Chicago
  • Be a member of a qualifying organization
  • Become a member of Alliant’s partner charity, Foster Care to Success

If you qualify, you can apply online or mail in an application. Once you’ve opened your new account, you can enroll in online banking from the website or the mobile app.

Alliant only runs a soft credit check for new accounts, so your credit score won’t be affected when you apply.

Alliant Credit Union Promotions

BankAmountExpiresRequirements 
Alliant Credit Union LogoAlliant Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account $100 bonus December 31, 2021
  • Minimum Balance
see all bonuses

When you sign up for a new Ultimate Opportunity online savings account, you can earn a $100 bonus for good savings habits.

The account, which is offered in a partnership with well-known financial advisor Suze Orman, is the same thing as High-Rate Savings aside from this bonus opportunity. It’s also only available to new Alliant members.

It’s not as simple as traditional sign-up promotions, and it’ll take a little longer to get your hands on the bonus. Here’s how it works:

To qualify for the bonus, you’ll first need to open an account through this link. Once your account is open, you need to deposit at least $100 per month for 12 consecutive months.

After that, if your total balance is $1,200 or more, you’ll qualify for the $100 bonus, which will take up to 4 weeks to show up in your account.

When you add it all up, this is one of the more interesting and lucrative bonus offers you will find from any bank or credit union.

Security

As an almost entirely online institution, Alliant puts online and financial security at the forefront.

Alliant utilizes comprehensive fraud monitoring to keep track of any unusual spending patterns and may alert you or deny a transaction if it seems suspicious.

Alliant also assures secure browsing on its website and mobile banking app and requires security questions when your account is accessed from an unfamiliar device.

When you’re using your Alliant debit or credit card, you’ll have an EMV chip and contactless payment technology to add a layer of protection against fraud.

Like most credit unions, Alliant accounts are protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which serves the same role that the FDIC does for banks.

This means that all of your deposits are protected up to $250,000 if the credit union goes under.

Customer Service

When you need some support, your first stop should be the Alliant website, which has a ton of useful FAQs.

If you end up needing to get in contact with someone, Alliant’s customer service line (800-328-1935) is available 24/7. You can also opt to send an email or reach out on Twitter.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Solid savings rate
  • Plenty of surcharge-free ATMs
  • Few fees
  • Great mobile app

Cons:

  • Restrictions on who can become a member
  • Only one physical location
  • Somewhat limited account options
  • Long qualifying period for the sign-up bonus

Alternatives to Alliant Credit Union

If you don’t qualify for Alliant membership or want to see what else is out there, you’ve got options. Other institutions like:

…all offer accounts nationwide.

For those who like the idea of an online bank account but aren’t tied to the idea of a credit union, there are plenty of online banks to choose from. Take a look at:

These banks all offer low-fee digital platforms and won’t have the same barriers to entry as most credit unions.

FAQs

Is Alliant a good credit union?

Alliant is widely considered one of the best credit unions around. It’s one of the biggest in the U.S. and has a lot to offer overall. Whether or not it’s the right fit for you depends on what you want and need.

Is Alliant Credit Union FDIC insured?

No, but neither is any other credit union. Credit Unions are insured by the NCUA, which provides the same $250,000 coverage that the FDIC does for banks.

Can I use Zelle with Alliant Credit Union?

Alliant has stated that it has plans to add Zelle functionality in the future, but at the moment, it isn’t available.

Is Alliant Credit Union Right For You?

If you like the idea of a member-owned institution with a digital-first approach, Alliant could be a great banking option for you.

Traditionally speaking, the main draws of banking with a credit union over a bank are lower fees and higher APYs.

With smaller, local credit unions, the main tradeoff is usually a sub-par online and mobile banking experience.

With Alliant, you kind of get it all. The mobile app is top-tier, and its online accounts come with fee structures and savings rates that can compete with the best neobanks.

Add a nationwide ATM network and fee reimbursements, and you’ve got plenty to like when it comes to banking with Alliant.

On the downside, Alliant has some aspects that could feel a little restrictive. Membership is only available to those who qualify, and the account options are relatively limited compared to big national banks.

Overall, Alliant is a capable online banking solution that should serve most needs. Whether you prefer the cooperative nature of a credit union or just want to take advantage of its high APY, Alliant provides enough to make it a worthy option.