Alliant Credit Union CD & High Yield Savings Review 2023
If you still have money languishing in a regular savings account and earning next to nothing in interest, now is the time to look for better options.
At Alliant Credit Union, you can choose between a high-yield savings account and certificates of deposit, both of which offer competitive interest rates that exceed many other institutions.
Alliant Credit Union At-a-Glance
Find the Best Savings Account and CD Interest Rates
Pros and Cons of Alliant Credit Union CD & High Yield Savings
No one financial institution can meet the needs of all people, so be sure you are familiar with the pros and cons of Alliant Credit Union before opening an account.
- Competitive APYs on both high-yield savings and CDs
- Jumbo CDs are available with higher rates for those with larger deposits
- Belongs to a network of 80,000 ATMs nationwide
- Offers a full range of products for those who want to do all their banking in one place
- One of the largest credit unions in the country, with 700,000 members nationwide
- NCUA insurance of up to $250,000 per depositor
- Multiple ways to become a credit union member
- Online application and account management
- $1,000 minimum deposit for CDs
- Savings only earns interest with a $100 minimum balance
- Penalties may be assessed for early withdrawal of CD funds
- No branches or in-person assistance is available
If you like the idea of online banking but would prefer a credit union, then Alliant Credit Union may be a good fit for you. It offers everything you would expect from a big-name financial institution, including banking, borrowing, investing, and insurance products.
For savers, Alliant Credit Union’s high-rate savings account and CDs are comparable with those offered by other online institutions. Since the credit union is not-for-profit, fees may also be lower than what you’ll find elsewhere.
You will need to qualify for membership, though. Employees of partnering businesses and organizations and their family members are eligible, as are those who live or work near Alliant’s Chicago headquarters. If none of those apply, you could still become a member by joining the organization Foster Care to Success, and Alliant will cover the $5 membership fee for you to do so.
Compare to Others
Before you open a savings account or CD with Alliant Credit Union, see how it compares to other institutions.
The CIT Savings Connect account is one of the best savings accounts available now, thanks to its low fees, low minimum balance requirements, and competitive interest rate. As of this writing, its interest rate was higher than Alliant Credit Union’s, but you’ll need $100 to open an account. The bank’s CDs also have competitive rates and include a no-penalty CD option.
Like Alliant Credit Union, CIT is a digital institution with no customer branches. But while you’ll get ATM access with Alliant, that isn’t an option for CIT savings accounts.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Marcus by Goldman Sachs also has a no-penalty CD that can be a good option for those who want the flexibility of accessing their money early if needed. The CD has a $500 minimum deposit, which is lower than the Alliant requirement, but it doesn’t have the same flexibility in term lengths as the credit union.
High-yield savings accounts are also available through Marcus by Goldman Sachs, and these have no fees or minimum deposit requirements.
American Express®, Member FDIC
You could also use American Express®, member FDIC, for high-yield savings and certificates of deposit. You won’t get an ATM card with American Express, but their savings accounts have no minimum requirements or monthly fees.
American Express has a no-penalty CD too, which isn’t an option at Alliant Credit Union. On the other hand, it doesn’t have short-term CDs available, and only some of its CD terms offer competitive interest rates.
Citi offers competitive rates and an extensive network of branches if you prefer to bank in person. However, you’ll want to open a Citi Accelerate Savings account online to get its best savings rates. These accounts may offer an interest rate higher than Alliant Credit Union, but you’ll need to maintain a $500 average monthly balance or be charged a $4.50 monthly service fee.
Citi also has several CD options. These include a no-penalty CD, but the APY on this account is significantly less than what is currently being paid by Alliant Credit Union.
How Alliant Credit Union Works
Alliant Credit Union makes it simple to open and maintain a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit. You can open a new account online and link an existing bank account to fund it.
Once you have money in a savings account, interest is paid out as dividends at the end of each month. Assuming you have at least $100 in your account, these dividends will be automatically added to your balance.
If you have a savings ATM card from Alliant Credit Union and are in good standing, you’ll have a $500 daily withdrawal limit and a $10,000 daily deposit limit.
Dividends for CDs are added to the account balance each month. When the CD reaches its maturity date, money can be withdrawn or rolled over to a new CD. Withdrawing money from a CD before the term is over could result in losing some interest.
Who Is Alliant Credit Union For?
Alliant Credit Union will be a good fit for anyone who can be described as follows:
- Comfortable banking online without access to branches
- Has at least $1,000 to save in a CD
- Plans to keep at least $100 in a savings account
- Willing to join Foster Care to Success (at no charge) to become a credit union member
- Looking for an institution that will allow them to do all their banking in one place
Rating the Features
Here’s a closer look at what Alliant Credit Union has to offer to its members.
As a digital institution, Alliant Credit Union maintains a user-friendly website and app that are easy to navigate. Its website even has a page dedicated to new members that provides step-by-step instructions for getting started. If you should get stuck, customer service is available by phone for immediate assistance.
Credit unions traditionally have lower fees than banks, and you won’t pay any monthly service fees on a high-rate savings account here. The only fees that might be charged are a $1 fee for paper statements or a $10 fee for inactive or dormant accounts. But you need $5 in your savings account to keep it open.
CDs have an early withdrawal penalty for closing a certificate before its maturity date. Alliant doesn’t reveal on its website how much this fee costs but notes that it doesn’t apply if certificate funds are moved to Alliant Retirement and Investment Services. CD dividends can also be withdrawn early without penalty.
The APY on Alliant high-rate savings accounts is significantly higher than the industry average – 19 times higher, according to the credit union. However, there are higher rates available right now. You’ll find an entire percentage point higher rates at some other online banks.
On the other hand, CD rates at Alliant Credit Union align with what the best online banks offer. In fact, Alliant has the edge over the competition because all its CD terms currently offer high APYs, unlike some institutions that only offer great rates on a few of its products.
You’ll need $25 to open a high-rate savings account at Alliant Credit Union and $5 to maintain it. You can open a regular CD with a minimum of $1,000, or if you have $75,000, you’ll be eligible for a jumbo CD which might come with a slightly higher APY.
Between its website and mobile app, Alliant Credit Union offers its members a variety of options to manage their money:
- Free funds transfers
- Mobile check deposit
- Account alerts
- Secure messaging
If you are not yet a member of Alliant Credit Union, you can reach customer support via a toll-free number or email. Those who are members can send a secured message through their online account or the mobile app.
Since Alliant Credit Union doesn’t maintain any physical branches, money in an account can be accessed via transfers to external accounts or by using a provided ATM card. Money management is also available through the Alliant app, which can be used on both Apple and Android devices.
Safety and Security
When it comes to account security, Alliant Credit Union says it uses the following strategies to keep your money and information safe:
- Fraud analysis that looks for suspicious transactions
- Strict data privacy policies
- Device registration for frequently used devices
- Secure web browsing and app data transmission
- EMV chip-enhanced cards
Plus, deposits at Alliant Credit Union are insured for up to $250,000 per depositor through the National Credit Union Administration.
Applying for Alliant Credit Union is an easy online process, but you’ll need to decide whether to open a high-rate savings account or a CD. Then, you’ll complete an online application that requests your personal information, or you can print and mail an enrollment form. Once your application has been approved, your selected account will be opened.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, Alliant was founded in 1935 by United Airlines employees and was originally called the United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union. Since then, it has expanded its membership base, has more than 700,000 members, and holds approximately $17 billion in assets.
There are multiple ways to become a member of Alliant Credit Union. If you don’t work for a partnering business or organization or live or work in a community near Alliant’s headquarters, you can join by becoming a member of Foster Care to Success, a college fund for foster youth. Alliant will even pay your $5 membership fee to join.
No, Alliant Credit Union is a fully digital institution with no branches. Money can be accessed online or using one of more than 80,000 in-network ATMs.