Alliant Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Alliant Credit Union's above-average rates and broad membership criteria make it worth considering.
Aug 19, 2022

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Overall bank rating

Alliant Credit Union
  • CD rates

  • Savings

  • Savings

  • Checking

  • Banking experience

  • 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 and strong rates, plus a good tech experience.

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

Pros

  • More than 80,000 free ATMs.
  • Interest rates on checking and savings are well above average.
  • No overdraft fees.

Cons

  • No branches.

Full review

Alliant Credit Union Certificate
Alliant Credit Union Certificate

CD

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
3.10%
3-year APY
3.30%
5-year APY
3.60%
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 3.10% to 3.60%; longer terms and larger balances earn higher yields. Compare Alliant's share certificates to other financial institutions' with our CD comparison tool.

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

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

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
2.00%
With $100 min. balance for APY
Bonus
$100
Requirements to qualify

Alliant's The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account, which did factor 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.

The Ultimate Opportunity Savings Account also offers new customers a $100 bonus for making 12 consecutive monthly deposits of at least $100 each. You can learn more about this offer and other promotions in our list of the best bank bonuses.

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

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
2.00%
With $100 min. balance for APY

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 — 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

Checking

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$0
APY
0.25%
With $0 min. balance for APY
Bonus
$100
Requirements to qualify

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. The account also offers up to $20 per month in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees.

Banking 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 that supports foster children. Alliant will even pay the donation on your behalf.

Alliant has some drawbacks for those looking to bank in person. Unlike nearly 2,000 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 Twitter and 24/7 by phone.

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

» Want to learn more? See how Alliant compares to the other best banks and credit unions for mobile banking

Overdraft fees

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Alliant was one of the first institutions in a recent wave to announce it would eliminate overdraft fees. Other banks and credit unions still charge overdraft fees of around $30-$35, up to several times per day.

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

Alliant Credit Union Certificate
Alliant Credit Union Certificate

CD

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
3.10%
3-year APY
3.30%
5-year APY
3.60%
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 3.10% to 3.60%; longer terms and larger balances earn higher yields. Compare Alliant's share certificates to other financial institutions' with our CD comparison tool.

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

How does Alliant Credit Union compare?

NerdWallet rating 

4.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5

APY

2.35%

With $5,000 min. balance for APY

APY

2.15%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

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.