Alliant Online Banking Review
Alliant is a member-owned, not-for-profit, financial institution that offers a range of financial services, including savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates, credit cards, loans and investment options. Unlike conventional banks, Alliant is not owned by stockholders, but by the account holders or members of the credit union. With over $13 billion in assets, it is one of the largest credit unions in the US. Since Alliant is a not-for-profit organization, the benefit is passed over to the account holders in form of lower fees and better APY rates.
- High Savings APY of 0.55%
- Low fees
- 80,000+ fee-free ATMs
This article explores the types of bank accounts offered, the key features associated with each account and the benefit of keeping your money with Alliant.
Bank Account Types
Alliant mainly offers the following four types of accounts:
|Account Type||Key Features|
|Savings Account||· 0.55% APY
· Minimum fees
· $100 minimum balance
|Checking Account||· 0.25% APY
· No service fees
· 80,000+ fee-free ATMs
|Credit Cards||· Introductory rate = 0%
· Standard rate = 10.24% to 22.24%
· No annual fees
|Certificates||· 0.65% APY
· $1,000 minimum deposit
· Flexible maturity dates
Savings Account Review
Alliant offers three different types of savings accounts; high-rate savings account, kids savings account and supplemental savings account. The annual percentage yield (APY) is consistent at 0.55% for each of these accounts.
The high-rate savings account can be opened with a minimum balance of $5, but you need an average daily balance of at least $100 to start earning the interest. The account can be accessed anywhere from the mobile or online banking feature. There is no maximum balance limit and no monthly fee for sending electronic statements. However, Alliant does charge certain fees for sending paper-based statements, manual checks and inactivity amongst others.
Alliant calculates the interest on the daily bank balance but pays it on the monthly basis. There are certain limits on the number and value of transactions you can conduct. The invested value, however, is secure and insured up to $250,000.
The kids savings account is ideal for children up to the age of 12, whereas supplemental savings account allows you to assign a goal and maintain separate savings account for each purpose. The rates and fees for these accounts are similar to the high-rate savings account.
Checking Account Review
Alliant offers high-rate checking and teen checking accounts. Unlike some of its competitors, Alliant allows you to earn as much as 0.25% APY on your checking account. There are no monthly service fees and no minimum balance requirements. You also get access to 80,000+ fee-free ATMs and earn up to $20 per month in ATM fee rebates in case you use out-of-network ATMs. Alliant only offers personal checking accounts, and business checking accounts are specifically prohibited.
The mobile deposit feature with this account allows you to virtually deposit checks anytime from the mobile app. The liabilities are fraud protected, which means you do not have to pay any unauthorized charges. Alliant has won multiple awards for offering unparalleled service and features with its checking account. The overdraft facility, which Alliant calls courtesy pay, is also available for the customers. You may, however, have to pay up to $28 per occurrence for availing this facility. The funds in your checking account are fully secured up to $250,000 by virtue of NCUA insurance.
The teen checking account works in a similar manner and is suitable for members aged between 13 and 17. There are no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service fee.
Credit Cards Review
Alliant offers Visa Platinum and Visa Signature Credit Card options. The platinum card offers an introductory rate of 0% for a period of 12 months. After the introductory period, the standard interest rate that varies between 10.24% to 22.24% is applicable. The card is secured with EMV chip and also supports mobile payments, including Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. There are no annual fees for availing the credit card and you accumulate reward points for every dollar you spend.
The Visa Signature Credit Card is targeted at high spenders with an excellent credit history. Apart from the benefits available with the Platinum card, there are no foreign transaction fees and you earn up to 2.5% cash back rewards. While the annual fee for using this card is $99, it is waived during the first year. There are additional fees associated with cash advances, balance transfers and return payments.
Alliant also offers a special Credit Union Certificate that allows you to earn as high APY as 0.65%. The maturity dates are flexible and vary between 12 to 60 months. The minimum balance required is $1,000, and there is no maximum balance limit. You need to have an individual retirement account (IRA) prior to opening an IRA certificate.
The following table demonstrates the APY% offered on the certificates for different maturity dates:
|Term||Dividend % / APY %|
|12-17 Months||0.50 / 0.50|
|18-23 Months||0.50 / 0.50|
|24-35 Months||0.55 / 0.55|
|36-47 Months||0.60 / 0.60|
|48 Months||0.60 / 0.60|
|60 Months||0.65 / 0.65|
What is Alliant Account Best For?
Alliant is best if you want to generate high APY without incurring significant service charges. The account can be easily opened online and you can start using your debit or credit card within days. Alliant has won multiple awards for customer service and easy-To-use features, making it a trustworthy choice. You do not just earn APY on the certificates or savings account, but also earn it on the checking account. The funds kept in the Alliant accounts are insured up to $250,000, and you do not have to pay a penny for unauthorized transactions. You can also open an account for children or teenagers, a facility which is not offered by every other online bank. The range and reliability of solutions offered by Alliant makes it an interesting choice for regular personal account users.
The overdraft facility offered by Alliant is not as convenient as some of its peers. While you can pay an amount over and above your existing balance by availing the Alliant Courtesy Facility, you have to pay the fees up to $28 per transaction. In addition, there are fees for exceeding your balance and rejected transactions. Having an account with Alliant means that you have to be careful about your balances and you cannot get away without paying the charges.
Opening an Account at Alliant
You can directly open an account with Alliant by applying online anytime. Simply collect your personal information, including the government issued ID and social security number. Fill out the online application, which is then reviewed by Alliant. Once approved, you can start funding and using your account. You can also open an account by calling the Alliance customer support team, sending a mail or visit their office.
Pros and Cons of Alliant
|1||The bank offers an exceptional APY savings rate. The savings APY rate is 0.55%, the checking APY rate is 0.25% and the APY on certificate of deposits can be as high as 0.65%.||While the APY of up to 0.65% on the Alliant certificates is relatively high, you need a minimum of $1,000 to get started. Similarly, you need at least $100 to earn interest on the savings account.|
|2||Alliant is an established brand name with some $13 billion in assets. It has a large network of 80,000+ ATMs and you can get a rebate of up to $20 per month for using out of network ATMs.||The overdraft fees charged by the bank is relatively high at $28 per transaction. If you are looking for fee-free overdraft services, you may be better off with other online banking options, such as Chime.|
|3||The fees charged by the bank is relatively lower than its peers. Since Alliant is a not-for-profit organization, you do not have to bear the high margins often charged to increase stockholders’ wealth.||Alliant offers limited flexibility in terms of the certificates. You need to keep the money for at least 12 months, and there is no option but to bear early withdrawal penalty in case you face an emergency.|
Comparison with Similar Banks
The two other online banks include Chime and SoFi. Here’s how Alliant stands in comparison with these two:
|Link to review: Link||Link to review: Link||Link to review: Link|
|APY: Up to 0.55%||APY: Up to 0.50%||APY: Up to 0.25% (TD Beyond Savings)|
|Minimum balance: $100||Minimum balance: $0||Minimum balance: $500|
Disclaimer: The APY offered by Alliant is variable and could be changed without notice. While Alliant advertises the minimum balance for savings account as $5, you need an average daily balance of $100 to earn interest. You cannot withdraw more than six times per month from the savings account, and will be subject to mobile deposit limit, which varies from user to user. The APY of 0.65% advertised for the certificate of deposits is only applicable for maturity beyond 60 months. The insurance coverage offered by Alliant is only up to $250,000. International withdrawals on checking account are subject to 1% fees. There are additional fees applicable on other services offered by Alliant, which must be carefully read before opening an account.