- Above-average annual percentage yields, particularly on savings accounts and certificates
- Easy-to-use platform for loan applications
- Large ATM network
- Out-of-network ATM fee rebates
- No branch locations
- No money market account
Alliant Credit Union Overview
Alliant Credit Union got its start in 1935 when a handful of United Airlines employees decided to create a credit union. Today, Alliant Credit Union has more than $14 billion in assets and serves more than 700,000 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. GOBankingRates has ranked it number one in its list of the Best Credit Unions of 2023 in its yearly list of rankings.
Here are more details about the features Alliant Credit Union offers.
Alliant offers one main checking account — High Rate Checking — along along with Teen Checking for members younger than 18. 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 Alliant checking accounts is .
Alliant’s primary savings account, aptly called High-Rates Savings, is a completely free account as long as you opt out of paper statements. The credit union even pays the initial $5 deposit for new members. To earn interest, though, you have to maintain a daily balance of $100.
The credit union offers two additional savings accounts, Supplemental Savings and Kids Savings Account. Supplemental Savings is identical to High-Rates Savings, but members have the ability to open up to 19 Supplemental Savings accounts. Members can open a Kids Savings Account for children 12 and younger. All Alliant savings accounts have no monthly fees and an APY of , significantly higher than the national average.
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 for standard certificates, and the minimum deposit is only $1,000. Dividends are compounded monthly. APYs are very competitive, ranging from to .
Since Alliant has no physical branches, it gives members alternative ways to take care of their banking, including ATM banking, automated and live phone service, online banking and mobile banking. Online banking offers the most banking services, and members can call the Member Care Center whenever they need assistance. The mobile app has a rating of 4.4 on Google Play, with mostly 5-star reviews from members. It has a rating of 4.7 on the App Store.
Comparable Credit Union Options
See how Alliant Credit Union stacks up against similar credit union options.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union offers more checking account options and fewer savings options than Alliant, but Alliant has the edge when it comes to APY. At Navy Federal, the APY for its standard checking account is . The APY for a Navy Federal Savings account is compared to Alliant’s .
Navy Federal Credit Union might be preferable if you want the option of visiting a physical branch and you qualify for membership. Navy Federal operates 53 branches near Navy bases around the country, and Alliant has no physical branches. Alliant Credit Union makes it easier for people to become members, since all they have to do is join the Foster Care to Success program. To join Navy Federal, you must be a current or retired service member, current or retired Department of Defense employee, or a relative of a current member.
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
Texas-based Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union has a single checking and savings account for adults. Like Alliant’s offerings, these accounts are fee-free and come with access to a robust mobile app. RBFCU can’t compete with Alliant’s APY. The APY for its checking account is and for its savings account. Randolph-Brooks offers a greater range of certificates, with terms up to seven years and APY starting at and up to .
Alliant Credit Union has enough features in the plus column that it should appeal to a wide range of banking customers. Fee-free accounts and competitive interest rates go a long way toward helping members meet their savings goals. The credit union also offers a fully functional mobile app and a user-friendly web-based interface, but it’s lacking when it comes to branch locations. It’s best for individuals who are comfortable with digital banking and don’t need to speak to a representative in person.
Alliant Credit Union FAQHere are answers to some of Alliant Credit Union's more commonly asked questions.
- Is Alliant a real credit union?
- Yes, Alliant is a real credit union that has been in operation since 1935. Its corporate office is located in Chicago, Illinois. Alliant is a member of the National Credit Union Administration, and its routing number is 271081528.
- Should I use Alliant Credit Union?
- Alliant Credit Union may be a good fit if you're comfortable with digital banking and find products that meet your banking needs. Joining the credit union is easy, and the high APY offered on certificates can help maximize your savings. Other financial institutions reserve their best rates for the highest balances and longest terms, but Alliant's 12-month certificate comes with its top rate of 4.60% APY.
- Is Alliant better than Chase?
- Chase has a physical presence in every state except Alaska and Hawaii and more than 4,700 branches, which makes it a convenient option for someone who travels frequently. Its checking accounts have monthly service fees, and some accounts don't have options for waiving the fee. Only one account earns interest. The APY for savings accounts is 0.01%. If you're willing to trade access to physical branches for a higher APY, Alliant may be the better choice.
- What credit score is needed for Alliant Credit Union?
- Your credit score does not affect your eligibility for joining Alliant Credit Union. Membership is open to current and retired employees of an Alliant partner, family members of current members and individuals who live or work in one of the communities near the Chicago headquarters. If you don't fall into one of those groups, you can join the credit union's Foster Care to Success program to become eligible for membership. If you apply for a loan or credit card through Alliant Credit Union, it will consider your credit score. However, factors like debt-to-income ratio and your income are included as well. Since credit score is not the only determining factor, the credit union does not list specific requirements on its website.
To discover the Best Credit Unions, GOBankingRates looked exclusively at the 50 credit unions in terms of total asset size that had available published data. To determine rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) total assets as sourced from the NCUA; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the NCUA; (3) minimum deposit to open a checking account; (4) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) checking APY; (6) minimum to open a savings account; (7) minimum balance needed to achieve savings APY; (8) savings APY; (9) minimum to open a 12-month CD account; (10) 12-month CD APY; (11) 60-month CD APY; (12) customer service options offered (24/7 customer service and live chat with a human); (13) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (14) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (15) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1), (2) and (12) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (14) was weighted 2 times. For all savings and checking account data, only the basic accounts/products offered at each institution were analyzed.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 5, 2022.
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The information related to Chase Savings was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.