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Alliant Credit Union

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3 User Reviews
LAST UPDATED: September 18th, 2020

Alliant Credit Union is an established, 80-year-strong company committed to serving its members in the Chicago area. With Alliant, you can get high deposit rates with low loan rates, allowing you to save more money. With physical credit union locations, as well as online, mobile, and phone banking options, you can bank quickly and easily. From your phone or computer, you can set up transfers, make payments, manage debit and credit cards, and open new accounts. In addition, Alliant Credit Union has more ATMs available than Chase and Bank of America combined.

Known for having the best checking accounts, savings accounts, and mobile banking services, Alliant Credit Union is a good choice for your banking and bank account needs. Through Alliant, a consumer can bank, borrow, and invest through a variety of account offerings, including IRA accounts, allowing a consumer to customize their experience according to their financial needs. Where Alliant Credit Union thrives is in the smaller details that people call perks. They may not be noticeable on the surface, but after doing the research you will find that these perks can benefit customers.

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The Good

  • Savings Accounts
  • Checking Accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Location and ATMs
  • Mobile Technology
  • Membership

Savings Accounts

Alliant Credit Union has a one of the best earning interest rates for their customers - you could earn 1.0 percent APY on the money in your savings account! This is by far the best we have seen with any credit union. If you are thinking of moving cash into a savings account that will make you some interest, Alliant Credit Union is the place to do that.

Alliant Credit Union offers two types of savings accounts: high-rate savings and supplemental savings. The high rate savings account allows you to build your savings with an interest rate of 0.65 percent APY, an average offering in the industry. A $5 initial deposit is required, and a balance of $100 must be maintained. In the past, it has been recognized as one of the best savings account in the industry.

The supplemental savings account is similar to the high rate savings account, but a consumer is able to open multiple accounts for whatever purposes they choose. Accounts can be given nicknames to help you keep track of your various accounts, and you can easily save for whatever you like all in one place.

Alliant Credit Union also offers kids savings accounts, providing young children a good place to start in their savings. These accounts also have an interest rate of 0.65 percent APY, allowing children to save even more money.

Checking Accounts

Alliant Credit Union has one high-rate checking account, which has a competitive 0.25 percent APY interest rate that is four times larger than the national average. This account gives consumers access to 80,000 fee-free ATMs, which is much higher than all other credit unions in the industry.

A teen checking account is also offered for members between the ages of 13 and 17. There is no minimum balance or monthly fee with this account, providing a good option for teens to place their earnings and learn how to manage their money.

It is important to note that Alliant Credit Union does not offer business checking accounts.

Credit Cards

Alliant Credit Union offers three Visa credit cards: Visa Platinum Rewards, Visa Platinum, and Visa Signature. Each credit card has similar offerings, but some offer rewards points or cash back. Interest rates for Alliant's credit cards are average within the industry.

It is important to note that both the Visa Platinum Rewards credit card and the Visa Platinum credit card do not have an annual fee. However, the Visa Signature credit card has a $99 annual fee.

Location and ATMs

Alliant Credit Union has more than 45 branches in the Chicago area which is great for members in the area. This also scores higher among most other credit unions that may only have half of the locations available. Even better, there are several more ATMs spread throughout the country with Alliant. There are more than 80,000 ATMS, and none of them charge an ATM fee. This is the highest number of ATM machines that we have seen credit union members given access to. If cash is drawn from a machine that isn't fee-free, Alliant will reimburse ATM fees up to $20 each month.

Mobile Technology

Alliant Credit Union offers mobile features that help members save time. For example, Alliant offers a mobile app, mobile check deposits, and mobile wallet features. Several credit unions do not offer all of these options. We find that Alliant Credit Union is one step ahead in providing the best mobile financing features for their customers.

Membership

Living or working in the Chicago area will automatically qualify you to join Alliant Credit Union. You can also become a member if you are an immediate family member of an existing Alliant member to an existing member, employee, or retiree of a qualifying organization.

Another way memberships are available is if you donate to Foster Care to Success. This will make you a member of a "qualifying organization" which will in turn also qualify you to apply for Alliant Credit Union. The only criticism customers have complained about is that there is no list of "qualifying" companies, organizations, and associations through the Alliant website. Instead, potential clients are prompted to supply their company's name to see if they are eligible to apply.

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The Bad

  • Average Rates
  • EMV and Overdraft Protection

Average Rates

Most of the major rates they offer aren't the most competitive. Even though they might not be the worst rates we've seen, we definitely see that there can be some improvement in this area. For example, the checking account rates are 0.65 percent which we don't see as either really good or really bad. Instead, this is an average rate you will probably be able to find at several other credit unions. The same thing will apply for Alliant Credit Union's auto rates, which start at 1.99 percent minimum, and person/unsecured rates, which start at 11.90 percent.

EMV and Overdraft Protection

With all of the fraudulent activity happening with stolen identification and credit card hacks, the industry improved its focus on secure transactions. EMV technology has been implemented, which is the small chip you will see in some cards. This is supposed to limit the number of fraudulent transactions. Several financial institutions have adopted this new technology, especially for debit cards. Alliant Credit Union is one of a handful that has not yet adopted this practice. Potential customers can view this as a huge potential setback when comparing to other credit unions.

Also, a nice perk that many credit unions are implementing is overdraft protection. This allows funds to be moved over from one account when the other does not have the sufficient amount. Alliant does not offer this feature. Instead, when a customer doesn't have enough, they will be charged the $25 overdraft fee each time this occurs.

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The Bottom Line

Alliant Credit Union is a credit union that currently sits in the top 10 with other great credit unions. Their negative traits are minor and only seem significant if you are specifically looking for a credit union that offers one particular feature. However, its account protection offerings are weak within the industry.

The membership eligibility and number of locations and ATMs show that they are a popular and top-choice credit union among consumers. They have a great savings account interest along with helpful mobile technology perks, making online banking quick and easy. We recommend Alliant Credit Union and the services they offer, we believe customers will not be disappointed with them.

Current Alliant Credit Union reviews are limited. If you have worked with Alliant Credit Union, please leave a review to help future consumers.

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Star Rating

1.4

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3 Reviews

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2 grade

33%

1 grade

67%

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Debbie Ashley Raleigh, NC

I understood to the best of my ability. I usually understand better in person about business situations.. I will say the representative that was suppose to come out the next day didn't show up or call me and I was told because it was our refrigerator /Freezer it was considered an emergency so they (SEARS) would be out here our home the very next morning to check it out and see about getting it fixed. Noone showed or called.We lost everything in the refrigerator /freezer. They had us scheduled to for Saturday 9-20--2016. 3 days later than originally promised.Needless to say we called another company to come out and they fixed the problem.

5 years ago

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Ron Jaeger Saint Charles, IL

I have been a member for over10 years . Within the last year have moved my mortgage to another resource with a better rate. Have a new auto loan while also receiving a rejection letter. Alliant is run by idiots.

4 years ago

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Stephen Veal

I have great credit and was denied. They require you to make a donation to a charity, then deny your application. Not cool.

5 years ago