Alliant Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Alliant Credit Union's above-average rates and broad membership criteria make it worth considering.
Written by Chanelle Bessette
Banking Writer and Spokesperson
Profile photo of Yuliya Goldshteyn
Assigning Editor
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Alliant Credit Union
Learn more

at Alliant Credit Union, Federally insured by NCUA

  • Certificates of deposit
  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Savings
  • Customer experience
  • Overdraft fees

Overall institution rating

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

Many credit unions offer better interest rates than banks do, but they also may have narrow membership requirements or less polished technology. But Alliant Credit Union combines the best of both worlds with broad membership criteria and strong rates, plus a good online and mobile banking experience.

Best for: Consumers who want high-yield checking and savings rates and a large ATM network.

Pros

  • No overdraft fees.
  • No monthly fees.
  • Competitive rate on share certificates.
  • Anyone can become a member.
  • Large, free, nationwide ATM network.

Cons

  • No branch access.

Full review

Certificates of deposit

Alliant Credit Union Certificate

CD

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
5.05%
3-year APY
4.15%
5-year APY
4.00%
Minimum deposit
$1,000
Learn more

at Alliant Credit Union

Alliant's share certificates come with way above-average rates, and the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 is somewhat low compared to other institutions'.

» COMPARE: See our list of the best CD rates

  • 3-month: 4.25% APY.

  • 6-month: 5.00% APY.

  • 1-year: 5.05% APY.

  • 18-month: 4.50% APY.

  • 2-year: 4.30% APY.

  • 3-year: 4.15% APY.

  • 4-year: 4.00% APY.

  • 5-year: 4.00% APY.

Checking

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Checking

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$0
APY
0.25%
With $0 min. balance for APY
Bonus
N/A
Learn more

at Alliant Credit Union

Savings

Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account
Alliant Credit Union Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
3.10%
With $100 min. balance for APY
Bonus
$100
Requirements to qualify

Alliant's The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account, which is the savings account we factored into the overall rating of the institution, is similar to its High-Rate Savings Account. It pays a competitive rate and is free if you opt into e-statements (otherwise, paper statements will cost you $1 each). Customers can make up to 19 supplemental accounts to save for specific goals.

Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings
Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
3.10%
With $100 min. balance for APY
Bonus
N/A

Alliant's High-Rate Savings account, which did not factor into our overall rating of the credit union, earns an above-average rate and doesn’t charge a monthly fee if you select e-statements. Alliant also lets members open as many as 19 separate, supplemental accounts — each with its own nickname.

The credit union also offers a special savings account for parents who want to teach kids about money management.

» Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Customer experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Alliant's rates are commendable, but its inclusion is really impressive. Other credit unions restrict membership to people who work for certain companies or live in specific communities. With Alliant, you can apply for membership after making a one-time $5 donation to a nonprofit. Alliant will even pay the donation on your behalf.

Alliant has some drawbacks for those looking to bank in person. Unlike over 1,600 credit unions, it doesn't participate in shared branching, and is completely online. But it does offer a solid online banking platform and a highly rated mobile app, and customer support is available via X (Twitter) and 24/7 by phone.

Members have access to online bill pay and can check their credit scores for free.

» Learn more: See how Alliant compares to the other best banks and credit unions for mobile banking

Overdraft fees

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Alliant does not charge overdraft fees. Other banks and credit unions still charge overdraft fees of around $30-$35, up to several times per day.

Alliant doesn't offer an overdraft line of credit, which can be a low-cost way consumers can cover important bills when they're temporarily short on cash.

The credit union still offers an overdraft option, called Courtesy Pay, to help avoid declined transactions.

How does Alliant Credit Union compare?

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5

APY 

4.60%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY 

5.00%

With $5,000 min. balance for APY

Bonus 

$300

Earn up to $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Bonus 

N/A

Learn more

at SoFi Bank, N.A.

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at CIT Bank

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.