Alliant Credit Union Review 2022: User-Friendly Mobile Banking

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
Quick Take: Alliant Credit Union offers some of the highest interest rates available on checking and savings accounts. This branchless credit union has an impressive range of options for managing your money on the go.
  • Rates
    5.0
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Accessibility
    4.0
  • Mobile App/Digital Experience
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Above-average annual percentage yields, particularly on checking and savings accounts
  • Easy-to-use platform for loan applications
  • Large ATM network
  • Out-of-network ATM fee rebates

Cons

  • No branch locations
  • No money market account

About Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union got its start in 1935 when some United Airlines employees decided to organize a credit union. Over time, it grew from an organization with 146 members and $5,088 in assets to one of the largest credit unions in the United States. In fact, GOBankingRates has ranked it one of the Best Credit Unions of 2022 in its yearly list of rankings; as well as among the Top 100 Banks of 2022.

Today, Alliant Credit Union has $14 billion in assets and serves more than 600,000 members across the country. In addition to banking services, it provides a range of other products and services, including retirement planning and investment, financial management and budgeting tools. Although Alliant Credit Union has phased out its physical locations, you can easily find fee-free ATMs across the United States.

Alliant Credit Union Checking Account

Alliant offers one main checking account — High Rate Checking — along along with Teen Checking for younger members. For the most part, both accounts are identical, but a teen account must be opened with a parent or guardian. There is no monthly or minimum balance requirement on either account, and both pay interest.

Account holders get access to more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs and $20 per month in ATM fee rebates for using non-network machines. The APY on checking accounts is 0.25%.

Alliant Credit Union Savings Account

No fees, a competitive APY of 0.60% on the standard savings account and low minimum deposits make Alliant savings accounts an appealing place to keep an emergency fund or save for a big-ticket item. There are three savings accounts to choose from, each one targeting a different type of saver: High-Rate Savings, Supplemental Savings and Kids Savings. There is no monthly fee on any if you select eStatements. 

You’ll need a $5 opening deposit, but Alliant will pay for it. Deposits and withdrawals are available through ATMs.

Alliant Credit Union CDs

Alliant  offers a decent selection of certificates – the credit union version of certificates of deposit – including traditional certificates as well as traditional IRA, Roth IRA and SEP IRA certificates. Terms range from 12 to 60 months. The minimum deposit is only $1,000, and there is no maximum. Dividends are compounded monthly. APYs are very competitive, ranging from 0.55% to 0.80%, with the longer terms getting the higher rates.

Alliant Credit Union Features

Rates

Alliant pays very competitive interest rates across all of its deposit accounts, with an APY of 0.25% on checking accounts, 0.55% on savings accounts, and up to 0.80% on certificates. Those rates will stand up against just about any financial institution.

Fees

There aren’t many costs to banking with Alliant. Checking, savings and certificate accounts all come with no monthly maintenance fees if you select eStatements. For the most part, you won’t encounter any fees unless you trigger them through your activity, such as for stop payments or non-sufficient funds. Those are standard for most banks and credit unions, and most are easy to avoid.

Accessibility

When Alliant Credit Union closed its last branches, it switched to a completely online model. For people who prefer banking in person, this is a negative. Otherwise, access is not a big issue with Alliant Credit Union. With more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs plus a generous out-of-network fee rebate policy, you’ll never be far from your money.

Mobile App/Digital Experience

Alliant Credit Union’s mobile app is designed so that you can take care of your banking needs through your smartphone. The app has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on the App Store and 4.6 out of 5 on Google Play. In addition to making deposits, transferring funds and monitoring balances, you can use the app to send secure messages to the credit union. Two-factor authentication keeps information secure.

Editor’s Favorite

Alliant Credit Union’s Supplemental Savings account is a great tool for setting and reaching financial goals. You can have up to 19 supplemental accounts — each dedicated to a specific savings goal. This is an advantage over keeping all of your money in a single savings account. You can stop borrowing from one account to pay another. And there’s no need to calculate how much of your savings is tagged for your emergency fund, down payment on a home or college education.

Alliant Credit Union vs. Competitors

It’s a good idea to consider all your options before you select a financial institution. Here’s a look at Alliant Credit Union against a few of its competitors.

BANK BEST FOR
Alliant Credit Union Higher-than-average interest rates for checking and savings accounts
Ally Bank Daily compounding interest and short-term CDs of less than 12 months
Capital One 360 No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance required to earn interest and large branch network
Navy Federal Credit Union Multiple checking and savings accounts available and more than 340 physical branches around the world

Alliant Credit Union vs. Ally Bank

Both Alliant Credit Union and Ally Bank offer competitive interest rates on savings products. Alliant Credit Union’s supplemental savings account is an attractive option for savers who like having better control over their money. Ally only has one savings account, but interest on the account compounds daily, potentially leading to higher returns. Alliant’s savings account interest is compounded monthly but its APY of 0.60% is slightly higher than Ally’s, at 3.00%.

Alliant Credit Union vs. Capital One 360

Both Alliant Credit Union and Capital One 360 have interest-earning checking accounts. Alliant’s ATM network with more than 80,000 ATMs is superior to the 40,000 ATMs available in Capital One’s Allpoint network. Capital One might be a better choice if you prefer in-person banking because of its wide network of branches and cafes.

Alliant Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

If you’re comfortable with fully online and mobile banking, Alliant Credit Union has an impressive suite of tools. Navy Federal Credit Union might be preferable if you want the option of visiting a physical branch and you qualify for membership.

Final Take

Alliant Credit Union has enough features in the plus column that it should appeal to a wide range of banking customers. It offers a fully functional mobile app and a user-friendly web-based interface, but it’s lacking when it comes to branch locations. You’ll need to use an ATM to make a cash transaction.

Alliant Credit Union FAQ

Here are answers to some of Alliant Credit Union's more commonly asked questions.
  • Where is Alliant Credit Union located?
    • Alliant Credit Union is headquartered in Illinois. The credit union has no physical branches, but members have access to more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the country.
  • Does Alliant Credit Union have Zelle?
    • Alliant Credit Union is not a Zelle partner. However, you can still use Zelle to send money to people if you are an Alliant Credit Union member.
  • How do you qualify for Alliant Credit Union?
    • You can become a member of Alliant Credit Union if you meet any of the following membership criteria:
      • • An employee or retiree of a qualifying company
      • • An immediate family member or domestic partner of a current member
      • • A member of a qualifying organization
      • • Live or work in a neighborhood near the credit union's headquarters
      • • A member of Foster Care to Success

Vance Cariaga contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of April. 20, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Alliant Credit Union. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Alliant Credit Union.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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