Editorial Review

Alliant Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Alliant Credit Union’s above average rates and broad membership criteria make it worth considering.

Chanelle BessetteJanuary 6, 2020

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Overall bank rating

Alliant Credit Union
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

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 and less polished technology. But Alliant Credit Union combines the best of both worlds with broad membership criteria, great rates and a good tech experience.

Pros

  • More than 80,000 free ATMs.

  • 0.25% APY on High-Rate Checking is well above average.

  • 1.20% APY on savings.

Cons

  • $25 overdraft fee; no limit on number of daily charges.

  • Doesn't participate in shared branching.

Full review

Best Bank or Credit Union for Online Experience

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

1.20%

With $100 minimum balance

Alliant's High-Rate Savings earns an above-average rate and doesn’t charge a monthly fee if you select e-statements. It also lets members open as many as 19 separate, supplemental accounts — each with its own nickname — and provides 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

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Alliant offers teen and high-rate checking accounts, neither of which charges a monthly fee. Qualify for High-Rate Checking's APY by enrolling in free e-statements and receiving at least one electronic deposit per month — and you’ll receive the great rate, plus up to $20 per month in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees.

Alliant Credit Union CD

Alliant Credit Union CD

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.80%

3-year APY

0.85%

5-year APY

0.90%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Alliant's share certificates come with above-average rates, but opening one does require some cash: You’ll need a $1,000 minimum opening deposit. APYs range from 0.80% to 0.90%; longer terms and larger balances earn higher yields. Compare Alliant's share certificates to other financial institutions' with our tool.

» Looking for top options? Check out our list of the highest CD rates

Banking experience

4.0

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 $10 donation to a nonprofit that supports foster children.

Of course, Alliant has some flaws. Unlike thousands of credit unions, it doesn't participate in shared branching, and it only has two physical locations, both in Chicago. But it does offer solid mobile and online banking platforms.

Members have access to online bill pay, as well as budgeting and financial planning tools, and they can check their credit scores for free.

Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Alliant is generous with ATM fee reimbursements, but its overdraft policies are less consumer friendly. It charges $25 per overdraft an unlimited number of times per day.

This shouldn't deter you from banking with Alliant, but if you do, it should encourage you to keep an eye on your balance — and set up overdraft transfers from your Alliant savings account. Unlike some financial institutions, Alliant will perform these for free.

Best Bank or Credit Union for Online Experience

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

1.20%

With $100 minimum balance

Alliant's High-Rate Savings earns an above-average rate and doesn’t charge a monthly fee if you select e-statements. It also lets members open as many as 19 separate, supplemental accounts — each with its own nickname — and provides 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

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.25%

With $0 minimum balance

Alliant offers teen and high-rate checking accounts, neither of which charges a monthly fee. Qualify for High-Rate Checking's APY by enrolling in free e-statements and receiving at least one electronic deposit per month — and you’ll receive the great rate, plus up to $20 per month in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees.

Alliant Credit Union CD

Alliant Credit Union CD

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.80%

3-year APY

0.85%

5-year APY

0.90%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Alliant's share certificates come with above-average rates, but opening one does require some cash: You’ll need a $1,000 minimum opening deposit. APYs range from 0.80% to 0.90%; longer terms and larger balances earn higher yields. Compare Alliant's share certificates to other financial institutions' with our tool.

» Looking for top options? Check out our list of the highest CD rates

4.0

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 $10 donation to a nonprofit that supports foster children.

Of course, Alliant has some flaws. Unlike thousands of credit unions, it doesn't participate in shared branching, and it only has two physical locations, both in Chicago. But it does offer solid mobile and online banking platforms.

Members have access to online bill pay, as well as budgeting and financial planning tools, and they can check their credit scores for free.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Alliant is generous with ATM fee reimbursements, but its overdraft policies are less consumer friendly. It charges $25 per overdraft an unlimited number of times per day.

This shouldn't deter you from banking with Alliant, but if you do, it should encourage you to keep an eye on your balance — and set up overdraft transfers from your Alliant savings account. Unlike some financial institutions, Alliant will perform these for free.

How does Alliant Credit Union compare?

APY

1.30%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

1.15%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

1.15%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$500

Requirements to qualify

RATING 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.