[Update May 2021: Alliant Credit Union has not lowered nor raised the APY on any of their deposit products this year. The last rate change was a decrease of 0.10% APY on all savings and CD accounts in September of 2020.]
Alliant Credit Union is the 8th largest credit union in the country and the largest credit union in Illinois. This institution was established in 1935 by 146 United Airline employees under the name the United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union. Headquartered in Chicago ever since and now called Alliant, the financial cooperative serves 450,000 members nationwide today.
Alliant is not only large, but it’s also impressively decorated with various awards including “MONEY’s Best Credit Union of 2019,” “Bankrate Best Credit Union of 2019,” and “Nerdwallet Best Banks 2019.” There are many ways to become an Alliant member and take advantage of good CD rates and superb savings options.
Alliant Credit Union CD Rates + Details
Alliant Credit Union sells CD terms ranging from one to five years. There are no shorter term products such as 3 or 6 month certificates available, which is somewhat unusual, and terms are sold as ranges rather than fixed lengths.
Alliant certificate deposits are federally insured by the NCUA up to $250,000.
Alliant Credit Union CD Rates:
|12 – 17 months||0.50%|
|18 – 23 months||0.50%|
|24 – 35 months||0.55%|
|36 – 47 months||0.60%|
When opening the CD, you will first be asked to choose either a 12 – 48 month CD or a 60 month CD before making any deposits. If you choose a 12 – 48 month CD, then you will be asked to specify the exact duration within said range later in the account opening process.
When viewing the annual percentage yields above, keep in mind that the national average for 12 month CDs currently sits around 0.60% – and this figure is steadily dropping. Therefore you could safely say that Alliant has competitive rates of return for its certificates albeit more competitive offers through online banks.
All of the above terms require a minimum deposit of $1,000. Interest is compounded and paid monthly, which you can withdraw or reinvest as you please.
Early withdrawals are allowed but penalized unless within the 7-day withdrawal grace period upon your deposit’s maturity. If you do withdraw your funds within 7 days, you won’t earn interest on your money during that grace period, but you’ll get everything else back. If you need to withdraw funds outside of the 7 day grace period for any unexpected emergencies, here’s how you’ll be charged:
Alliant Credit Union Early Withdrawal Penalties on CDs:
|CD Maturity Periods||Fee|
|12 – 17 months||Number of days’ interest since issuance up to 90 days|
|18 – 23 months||Number of days’ interest since issuance up to 120 days|
|24 – 48 or 60 months||Number of days’ interest since issuance up to 180 days|
If you have a 24 month certificate and have to withdraw after 120 days of opening, for example, you will be charged 120 days’ interest—the total interest your account would have earned—but still receive your initial principal in full.
Opening an Alliant certificate account is easy because there are four ways different ways to do it:
- Call (800) 328-1935
- Mail in a certificate application
- In person at the Alliant branch
Other Savings Accounts Offered By Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union has three different savings accounts:
|Savings Account Name||APY|
|High Rate Savings Account||0.55%|
|Supplemental Savings Account||0.55%|
|Kids Savings Account||0.55%|
The high-rate savings account is your share in Alliant and is opened automatically when you become an Alliant member; this was ranked the best savings account of 2018 by NerdWallet and WalletHub as well as the best online savings account of 2017 by MagnifyMoney. With an APY rate of 0.75% compared to the national average of 0.07%, it’s easy to see why.
A high-rate savings account requires a minimum opening deposit of just $5—which Alliant pays for you—and a minimum average daily balance of $100 to earn interest. Withdrawals from this account, which must be pre-authorized, may not exceed six per month, per savings account. There are no monthly fees when you elect for eStatements and no maximum balance limits. Paper account statements cost $1 each.
There is no real difference between a high-rate savings account and a supplemental savings account other than that supplemental savings accounts are in addition to the required high-rate savings account. A supplemental savings account also earns a rate of return of 0.75% and needs an average daily balance of $100 to accrue interest. You may open up to 19 supplemental savings accounts.
One nice perk of Alliant savings accounts is that they come with Alliant Savings ATM cards if you don’t already have an Alliant checking account debit card. This makes accessing funds a whole lot easier because cards can be used at any of 80,000+ Alliant-affiliated ATMs.
Finally, there is the kid savings account. This, like the others, earns 0.75% interest. Unlike the others, it’s only for individuals 12 years old and younger. Joint ownership with a parent or guardian that is an Alliant member is required. Everything else is the same for this savings account.
About Alliant Credit Union + Eligibility
There are 450,000 Alliant members across the country. Alliant currently has over $11 billion in assets and $8.5 billion in loans.
As big as this credit union is, there is only one physical Alliant Credit Union branch and it is the headquarters location in Chicago. Other than that, there is no way to do in-person banking. Unfortunately, Alliant does not participate in shared or co-op branching with other credit unions, but it does give its members access to over 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs, some of these Alliant-owned and some shared with other credit unions.
Nearly anyone can qualify for membership with Alliant Credit Union because there are five eligibility requirements:
- You are a current or retired employee of a business or organization in partnership with Alliant (search these here).
- Someone in your immediate family or your domestic partner is an Alliant member.
- You live or work in a qualifying community around the Alliant headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
- You are a member of a qualifying organization.
- You are a member of Foster Care to Success ($5 membership fee paid on your behalf by Alliant).
If you don’t otherwise qualify and choose to go the #5 route, all you have to do is show your support for Alliant’s partner charity, Foster Care to Success, by letting Alliant donate $5 under your name. Anyone can become a member this way. This nonprofit serves foster teens nearing the age limit of the foster care system by connecting them with educational and employment opportunities and resources.
The generous eligibility policies of Alliant make it possible for any U.S. citizen to join Alliant, but even non-U.S. residents can join as long as they have a valid Social Security number or unexpired ITIN.
Alliant Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the country for good reason. The APYs offered on both their deposit and savings products are solid when pitted against the current national average – although better deposit rates can be found through online-only banks.
Banking with Alliant means banking 100% through an app, online, or over the phone (unless you happen to live near the Chicago headquarters). If access to in-person locations is important to you, Alliant likely won’t be a good fit. But if digital banking is right up your alley, then so, probably, is Alliant.