Alliant Credit Union vs. Connexus Credit Union: Which Is Best for You?

Tony ArmstrongApr 29, 2021
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Credit unions tend to be known for tight membership requirements and few account options. But Alliant and Connexus are two with the chops to prove that thinking wrong.

Both institutions have a variety of accounts and make it easy to become a member. But which would work better for you?

Snapshot comparison

Alliant

Connexus

Checking accounts

Alliant High-Rate Checking

  • Interest on balances: 0.25% APY.

  • Monthly fee: None.

  • Minimum opening deposit: None.

Connexus Xtraordinary Checking

  • Interest on balances: 1.75% APY on up to $25,000.

  • Monthly fee: None.

  • Minimum opening deposit: None.

Savings accounts

Alliant High-Rate Savings

  • APY: 0.55% APY on balances of $100 or more.

  • Monthly fee: $0 with e-statements.

Connexus Member Share Savings

  • APY: 0.25% APY on balances of $100 or more.

  • Monthly fee: $0.

Certificates of deposit

Alliant share certificate interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.50% APY.

  • 5 years: 0.65% APY.

  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

Connexus share certificate interest rates

  • 1 year: 0.55% APY.

  • 5 years: 1.00% APY.

  • Minimum deposit: $5,000.

Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

  • Overdraft fee: $28 courtesy pay fee; $25 nonsufficient funds return fee.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: Free.

  • ATMs: 80,000+ fee free.

  • Branches: 0.

  • Customer service: 24/7 via phone.

  • Overdraft fee: $29.95.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: Free.

  • ATMs: 54,000+ fee-free.

  • Branches: CO-OP network access to over 6,000 branches nationwide. About 15 public Connexus branches in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and New Hampshire.

  • Customer service: Available by phone 6 a.m.-9 p.m. CT most weekdays and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Alliant Credit Union Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by the NCUA

Connexus Credit Union Overall Star Rating
NerdWallet rating 
Read review

Choose Alliant if:

  • You want higher savings account rates.

  • You want a larger ATM network.

Choose Connexus if:

  • You want — and can qualify for — a high rate on your checking balance.

  • You want a high rate on a share certificate — and are willing to deposit more to get it.

Alliant vs. Connexus: Basic checking accounts

Alliant High-Rate Checking

Connexus Xtraordinary Checking

Monthly fee

$0.

$0.

Minimum deposit to open

None.

None.

APY

0.25% APY.

  • Sign up for e-statements.

  • Make at least one recurring monthly electronic deposit (includes direct deposit, ATM or mobile deposit or electronic transfer).

1.75% APY on up to $25,000.

  • Sign up for e-statements.

  • Make at least 15 purchases or spend at least $400 with your debit card.

Note: Amounts more than $25,000 in the account earn 0.25% APY, and if you don’t meet the requirements, you won't earn interest.

ATM network and fees

  • 80,000+ fee-free ATMs.

  • Alliant will reimburse up to $20 per month in fees incurred at out-of-network machines.

  • 54,000+ fee-free ATMs.

  • For Xtraordinary Checking customers, Connexus offers ATM surcharge rebates of up to $25 per month, as long as interest requirements are met.

Sign-up bonus

None.

None.

Many banks don’t pay interest on checking balances, so by that measure, both Alliant and Connexus are good picks. Go with Alliant if you’re unsure you’ll meet Connexus’ more demanding requirements — but if you’ll qualify, go with Connexus for its higher APY.

» Learn how Alliant and Connexus stack up against top banks with NerdWallet’s round-up of best checking accounts.

Alliant vs. Connexus: Basic savings accounts

Alliant High-Rate Savings

Connexus Member Share Savings

APY on balances of $100 or more

0.55% APY.

0.25% APY.

Monthly fee

$0, with e-statements.

  • With paper statements, $1 monthly fee.

$0.

Minimum deposit to open

$5, which Alliant will credit back to your account.

$5.

Sign-up bonus

None.

None.

Alliant’s savings rate is among the best in the industry. It’s the clear winner if you’re after a strong savings account.

» Want to compare these accounts to those offered at other banks and credit unions? Check out our round-up of NerdWallet's best savings accounts.

Alliant vs. Connexus: Share certificates

Alliant

Connexus

Minimum opening deposit

$1,000.

$5,000.

APY on one-year term

0.50%.

0.55%.

APY on three-year term

0.60%.

0.75%.

APY on five-year term

0.65%.

1.00%.

Alliant’s and Connexus’ certificate rates are both impressive. Choose Connexus for higher rates; go with Alliant if you prefer the lower minimum deposit.

» Find out where you'll get the best CD rates this month

Alliant vs. Connexus: Credit union experience

Alliant

Connexus

Branches

None.

Participates in the CO-OP network with access to 6,000 branches across the country. About 15 public Connexus branches, all in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and New Hampshire.

Membership requirements

Sign up to support Foster Care to Success, a nonprofit that works with foster children. (Alliant will pay $5 to the organization on your behalf.)

Make a $5 donation to the Connexus Association, a financial literacy organization.

Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars for Android.

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars for iOS.

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars for Android.

Customer service

  • 24/7 by phone.

  • Email support available.

  • Twitter support available.

  • Available by phone 6 a.m.-9 p.m. CT most weekdays and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. CT on Saturdays.

  • Live chat support available.

  • Email support available.

Alliant is only available online, and unless you live near a branch, Connexus won't provide a neighborhood bank experience, either. But both are good choices for remote service. Both credit unions’ mobile apps have high ratings.

Alliant vs. Connexus: Overdraft fees

Alliant

Connexus

Overdraft fee

  • $28 “Courtesy Pay” overdraft program covers checks, electronic payments and transfers.

  • Otherwise $25 non-sufficient funds fee for an overdraft transaction.

$29.95 per transaction.

Overdraft protection transfer fee

$0 for a savings transfer; $3 for a line of credit.

$0 for a savings transfer or line of credit.

Extended overdraft fee

None.

None.

Alliant and Connexus’ overdraft fees are cheaper than the national median, but Connexus can charge them up to six times per day, and Alliant can charge them an unlimited number of times per day, while even large banks like Wells Fargo limit the number of daily charges. If you tend to overdraw once in a while, choose Alliant for the slightly lower fees, but if you want extra protection, check out banks that don’t charge overdraft fees.

Banking from home

As long as you don’t mind managing your accounts mostly or completely online, Alliant and Connexus are both good choices. Interested? Read our introduction to online and mobile banking. If you prefer in-person service, check out our list of best national banks.