Advertiser Disclosure

Alliant vs. Connexus: 2 Credit Unions With Top Accounts

April 11, 2018
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Credit unions are known for tough membership requirements and a lack of account options. But Alliant and Connexus are two with the chops to prove that thinking wrong.

Both institutions have a variety of accounts, some great interest rates, 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: 0.65% APY
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly fee

  • Connexus Xtraordinary Checking

  • Interest on balances: 1.75% APY on up to $25,000
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly fee
  • Savings accounts
    Alliant High-Rate Savings

  • Interest rate: 1.75% APY on balances of $100 or more
  • Monthly fee: $1
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5, which Alliant will credit back to your account
  • Connexus Personal Savings

  • Interest rate: 0.25% APY on balances of $100 or more
  • Monthly fee: $5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Certificates of deposit
    Alliant certificate interest rates

  • 1 year: 2.35%
  • 5 years: 2.85%
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000

  • Connexus share certificate interest rates

  • 1 year: 2.50%
  • 5 years: 3.25%
  • Minimum deposit: $5,000
  • Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service
    • Overdraft fee: $25

    • Overdraft protection transfer fee: None

    • ATMs: 80,000+ fee free

    • Branches: 10 (+2 open only to United Airlines employees)

    • Customer service: 24/7 via phone. Also available via email and Twitter.

    • Overdraft fee: $29.95

    • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $8.95 per use

    • ATMs: 54,000+ fee-free

    • Branches: 9 (+4 open only to Liberty Mutual employess)

    • Customer service: Available by phone Monday through Saturday; also available via chat and email.

    Choose Alliant If:

    Choose Alliant If:

    • You want higher savings account rates
    • You use overdraft protection transfers

    Choose Connexus if:

    Choose Connexus if:

    • You want a high rate on your checking balance
    • You want a high rate on a certificate — and are willing to deposit more to get it

     

    Below is a detailed breakdown of how the credit unions compare when it comes to checking, savings, share certificates, credit union experience and overdraft fees.

    Checking accounts

     Alliant High-Rate CheckingConnexus Xtraordinary Checking
    Interest on balances0.65% APY


    You must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Sign up for e-statements

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

    [Back to top]

    1.75% APY on up to $25,000


    You must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Sign up for e-statements

    • Use your debit card at least 15 times per month

    • Receive at least one direct deposit per month

    • Have at least one third-party online bill payment clear your account

    • If you have more than $25K in the account, you’ll earn 0.25% APY, and if you don’t meet the requirements, you’ll earn 0.20% APY
    [Back to top]

    Minimum opening deposit$0$0
    Monthly feeNoneNone


    ATM fees and network
    • 80,000+ fee-free ATMs
    • Alliant will reimburse fees incurred at out-of-network machines up to $20 per month
    • 54,000+ fee-free ATMs
    • For interest-earning Xtraordinary Checking customers, Connexus offers ATM surcharge rebates of up to $25 per month
    • But after six non-network ATM transactions, Connexus charges its own fee of $2 per transaction
    » Learn how Alliant and Connexus stack up against top banks with NerdWallet’s list of best checking accounts
    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’s long list of requirements — but if you’ll qualify, go with Connexus.

     

    » MORE: Read our review of Alliant

    Savings accounts

     Alliant High-Rate SavingsConnexus Personal Savings
    Monthly fee$1


    Sign up for e-statements
    [Back to top]
    $5


    You must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Maintain a balance of at least $100
    • Have another account with Connexus
    • Waived if the account has been open for less than a year or the member is 23 or younger


    [Back to top]
    Interest rate1.75% APY0.25% APY
    Minimum opening deposit$5, which Alliant will credit back to your account$5

    Automatic transfer from linked checkingYesYes
    » Want to compare these accounts to those from other banks and credit unions? Check out NerdWallet's best savings accounts
    Alliant’s savings rate is among the best in the industry. It’s the clear winner if you’re after a savings account — plus, Connexus charges a higher fee.

     

    Share certificates

     AlliantConnexus
    Minimum opening deposit$1,000$5,000
    APY on 1-year term 2.35%
    2.50%
    APY on 3-year term 2.50%2.75%
    APY on 5-year term 2.85%3.25%
    » Find out where you'll get the best CD rates this month
    Alliant’s and Connexus’s certificate rates are both impressive. Choose Connexus for higher rates and Alliant if you’d prefer the lower minimum deposit.

     

    » Read NerdWallet’s full review of Connexus Credit Union

    Credit union experience

     Alliant Connexus
    Branches10 (CA, CO, DC, IL, TX) (+2 open only to United Airlines employees)

    9 (WI, OH, MN) (+4 open only to Liberty Mutual employess)
    Membership requirementsAgree to support Foster Care to Success (and Alliant will donate $5 on your behalf)Make a $5 donation to the Connexus Association
    Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)
    4.5 out of five stars for iOS; 4.3 out of five stars for Android4.5 out of five stars for iOS; 4.4 out of five stars for Android
    Customer service
    24/7 by phone; also available via email and TwitterAvailable by phone 6 a.m.-9 p.m. CT most weekdays and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays; also available via chat and email.

    Unless you live near one of their branches, neither Alliant nor Connexus will provide a neighborhood credit union experience. But both are a good choice for remote service. Choose Alliant if you’d like the most flexibility.

     

    Overdraft fees

     AlliantConnexus
    Overdraft fee
    • $25 nonsufficient funds fee; no limit to fees in a given day
    • “Courtesy pay” overdraft program covers checks, electronic payments and transfers that otherwise would be rejected for nonsufficient funds; $28 per occurrence
    $29.95 per transaction, no maximum number of fees per day
    Overdraft protection transfer fee$0 for a savings transfer, $3 for a line of credit$8.95
    Extended overdraft feeNoneNone
    Alliant and Connexus’s overdraft fees are cheaper than the national median, but they can charge them an unlimited number of times per day, which not even large banks like Wells Fargo do. If you tend to overdraw once in a while, choose Alliant for the lower fees, but if you’d like extra protection, check out banks that don’t charge overdraft fees.

     

    Banking from home

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

    Updated April 11, 2018.

    About the author