Alliant Credit Union Review

Alliant Credit Union





  • Available nearly nationwide
  • High interest rates
  • Interest bearing checking and Kid's accounts


  • No physical branches outside Illinois

How would you like to bank with a financial institution where you’re a member and not a customer? That’s what you’ll be if you open an account with Alliant Credit Union.

They pay some of the highest rates in the country under deposit products and offer most financing you’re likely to need.

Table of Contents
  1. Who is Alliant Credit Union?
    1. Alliant Membership Requirements
  2. Alliant Credit Union Features & Benefits
  3. Alliant Credit Union Deposit Accounts
    1. Checking Accounts
    2. Savings Accounts
    3. Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
    4. IRA Accounts
  4. Alliant Credit Union Fees
  5. Alliant Credit Union Loan Programs
    1. Credit Cards
    2. Auto Loans
    3. Personal Loans
    4. Home Loans
    5. Commercial Real Estate Loans
  6. Other Alliant Credit Union Services
    1. Retirement and Investment Services
    2. Insurance
  7. Alliant Credit Union Pros & Cons
  8. Should You Open an Account with Alliant Credit Union?

Who is Alliant Credit Union?

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Alliant Credit Union has been in business since 1935. The credit union has more than $11 billion in assets, and 450,000 members nationwide. It’s the largest credit union in Illinois and one of the largest in the country.

As a credit union, it’s a not-for-profit financial cooperative. As a result, working with the credit union means you’re a member and not simply a customer.

Alliant Credit Union offers interest-bearing checking, high yield savings accounts, and CDs with some of the best rates in the country. They also offer an entire suite of loan products including credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, home loans, and commercial real estate loans.

Alliant Membership Requirements

As is the case with all credit unions, you have to qualify for membership. Fortunately, it’s really easy.

You qualify if:

  • Are a current or retired employee from one of the many businesses and organizations Alliant partners with in the U.S.
  • Are a domestic partner or immediate family member of a current Alliant member
  • Live or work in one of the communities near our Corporate Headquarters in Chicago. Check our website’s list of eligible communities to see if you qualify. 
  • If you are not eligible through another option you can become a member of Foster Care to Success (FC2S) and become eligible for Alliant membership. FC2S serves thousands of foster teens across the United States, focusing on those who are aging out of the foster care system. FC2S awards grants and scholarships for higher education and provides care packages, mentoring and internships. (Alliant will pay the one-time $5 membership fee to FC2S on the member’s behalf.)

With the last bullet, eligible by membership in Foster Care to Success, it means anyone can join. They even pay for the $5 membership fee.

Alliant Credit Union Features & Benefits

Available Accounts: Checking, savings, CDs, minor accounts; traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs; trust accounts. Loan programs available include the following: credit cards, personal loans, auto and recreational vehicle loans, home loans, and commercial real estate financing.

Geographic availability: Nationwide.

Online Banking: Offers all banking services including transfers, making payments, managing credit and debit cards, and even opening new accounts.

Mobile Banking: Available for both Android and iOS mobile devices, the app provides all the services of online banking. It comes with mobile deposit, so you can locate one of the 80,000 surcharge free ATMs or even check your ATM fee rebate status. It even enables you to log in with finger touch or Apple Face ID.

Free credit scores: Members are provided with free quarterly credit scores.

Customer service: Available by phone and email on a 24/7 basis.

Account Security: Accounts are protected by the US Government sponsored National Credit Union Association (NCUA) for $250,000 per depositor.

Alliant Credit Union Deposit Accounts

Checking Accounts

Alliant Credit Union offers two checking accounts:

High-Rate Checking: Currently paying 0.45% APY, the account requires no minimum balance and has no monthly service fees. It comes with a free Visa debit card, your first box of checks, and offers both Courtesy Pay and Overdraft Protection. You can use the debit card at more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

Teen Checking: This account is available for members between the ages of 13 and 17 and requires joint ownership with parents. The account also pays a rate of 0.45% APY and has no minimum balance requirement. It comes with a Visa debit card, similarly available, for surcharge-free use at more than 80,000 ATMs.

Both checking accounts provide for ATM rebates of up to $20 per month for use at out-of-network ATMs.

Savings Accounts

Alliant Credit Union offers three savings accounts:

High-Rate Savings: You can earn a rate of 3.10% APY with an initial deposit of just $5. You’ll need a minimum average daily balance of $100 to earn that rate, but there are no monthly fees if you elect eStatements (rather than paper statements). You can access your funds through the nationwide ATM network.

Supplemental Savings: Works just like the High-Rate Savings account except you assign a goal to it. You can have multiple accounts. Just like the High-Rate Savings account, you can open an account with just $5, there are no monthly fees when you select eStatements, you can access your funds through the surcharge-free ATM network, and earn a current rate of 1.65% APY with a minimum average daily balance of $100.

Kids Savings Accounts: Designed for kids 12 and under, the account requires joint ownership with parents, grandparents or a guardian. The credit union will even pay the $5 initial deposit. There are no monthly fees, and the account will earn 1.65% APY with a minimum average daily balance of $100.

Kids over 12 can apply for a regular High-Rate Savings account or convert a Kids Savings Account into a Teen Checking account.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Alliant Credit Union pays some of the highest rates on CDs available anywhere. Certificates are available in minimum investments of $1,000 and in terms ranging from 12 to 60 months.

IRA Accounts

Alliant Credit Union offers traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs, with no minimum deposit and no maintenance fees. Any of the three IRAs can be invested in one of three ways:

  • Through Traditional IRA shares (currently paying 1.65% APY)
  • IRA CDs (see rates above)
  • Through an investment alternative (see Alliant Retirement and Investment Services Program description below)

Alliant Credit Union Fees

Alliant Credit Union fees and early withdrawal penalties on CDs are as follows:

  • Stop payments, free if submitted by Online or Phone Banking, otherwise $25
  • Return deposit item, $15
  • Paper statement, $1
  • NSF, $25
  • Manually paid checks and ACH items, $5
  • Inactivity or dormant account fee, $10
  • Deposit of check drawn on non-US bank, $35
  • Courtesy Pay fee, $28 per occurrence
  • ACH initiated online, free ($10 if initiated by phone)
  • Account closed within 90 days of opening, $10
  • Wire fee, incoming, free
  • Domestic wire fee, outgoing, $25
  • Foreign wire fee, outgoing, $50
  • 1% Visa foreign transaction fee with use of the debit card.

Early withdrawal penalties on CDs occur if you liquidate some or all a CD prior to maturity. The following penalties will apply:

  • During the seven-day grace period for new certificates, no dividends are earned.
  • Term of certificate, 12 – 17 months, up to 90 days interest.
  • 18 – 23 months, up to 120 days interest.
  • 24 – 48 or 60 months, up to 180 days interest.

Alliant Credit Union Loan Programs

Credit Cards

Alliant Credit Union offers three different credit cards:

Visa Platinum Rewards: Comes with a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers, then 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR. There is no annual fee, and you’ll earn two rewards points for every dollar spent.

Visa Platinum: Also comes with a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers, then offers ongoing rates ranging between 10.99% and 22.99% variable APR. The card comes with no annual fee.

Visa Signature: You’ll earn unlimited 3% cash back in the first year, then 2.5% cash back each year thereafter. Rates start as low as 11.99% APR. There is no foreign transaction fee, and the $99 annual fee is waived in the first year.

Auto Loans

Auto loan terms are quite favorable with loans for a variety of vehicles. Loans for recreational vehicles are available at slightly higher rates but for much longer terms. The rates for new vehicles are as low as 2.99% APR, and used vehicles are as low as 3.24% APR. Loans have a max term of 60 months. There are no pre-payment penalties, and you can get same day approval in most cases.

Alliant Credit Union also offers a car buying service. If you use it to purchase a vehicle and finance it through the credit union, your interest rate will be reduced by 0.50% from the rates shown above. The service also offers an upfront, discounted price on an extensive inventory of pre-owned vehicles. Participation is in a nationwide network of certified dealerships.

Personal Loans

Alliant Credit Union offers unsecured personal loans for just about any purpose. You can borrow from $1,000 to $50,000 and terms from one year to five years. Current interest rates range from 6.49% to 10.49% APR. The credit union is often able to provide same-day approvals and funding. Loans have no origination fees or prepayment penalties.

Home Loans

Offerings include, both, mortgages and home equity lines of credit. Current mortgage terms offered are for: 3/1 ARM, 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM, 10/1 ARM, 15-year fixed, 20-year fixed, and 30-year fixed. They also offer 0% down for well qualified first-time homebuyers and 3% for non-first-time home buyers. They don’t charge an application or escrow waiver fee. Plus, their origination fee is as low as $995. You can get a loan for up to $2,000,000.

The home equity line of credit (HELOC) enables you to borrow up to 90% of the equity in your home with terms as long as 30 years. There are no closing costs or appraisal fees, and a 15-year HELOC is currently available at a rate as low as 4.00% APR. There’s also an option to pay interest only for the first 10 years of the loan.

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Alliant Credit Union offers commercial real estate loans for a variety of property types, such as: office buildings, industrial and retail space, multifamily properties, self-storage facilities, hospitality, parking garages, and manufactured housing communities. Each loan is tailored specifically to the subject property as well as based on the financial profile of the borrowing entity.

Other Alliant Credit Union Services

Retirement and Investment Services

For investing in non-bank/credit union vehicles, the credit union offers the Alliant Retirement and Investment Services Program. The program is offered through LPL Financial, which is a registered investment advisor and broker/dealer, as well as a member of both FINRA and SIPC.

The service offers no cost, no obligation consultation to help you create a financial plan. They can help you with comprehensive financial guidance, assistance with a specific financial goal, or just a second opinion on a financial idea you’re bouncing around.

A representative will help you determine your net worth, financial needs, retirement plans, and comfort level with investing. You’re under no obligation to make any investments, and you’re always in full control of the process.

They can help you make decisions about your 401(k) or pension if you: change jobs, develop a savings and investment plan, plan funding for college, choose retirement savings plans, manage your investments, create a retirement income plan, and much more.


Alliant Credit Union offers whole- and term-life insurance, as well as homeowner’s, auto, and accidental death insurance. All policies are offered through either TruStage or CMFG.

Alliant Credit Union Pros & Cons


  • Alliant Credit Union is an Illinois-based credit union that offers its products and services to customers in most of the United States.
  • The credit union pays high rates on savings products and charges low interest on loans.
  • Checking accounts and Kids’ accounts are interest-bearing.
  • Since it’s a credit union, depositors are considered members of the institution and not, simply, customers.
  • Alliant Credit Union offers credit cards, personal loans, home and auto loans, and even commercial real estate loans, in addition to deposit products.
  • Get reduced rates on both a car and a car loan when you purchase through the Alliant Credit Union car buying service.


  • No physical branches are located outside Illinois.
  • Deposit accounts have no monthly fees, but there are a larger number of special services fees than online banks.

Should You Open an Account with Alliant Credit Union?

If you like the credit union concept – where you’re a member and not just a customer – and you haven’t been able to find a satisfactory one where you live, Alliant Credit Union is available to depositors nationwide.

They offer some of the highest rates being paid on deposit products and most loan programs you’re likely to need. What’s more, deposit products require very small account minimums and have no monthly fees.

If you’d like more information, or you’d like to open an account, visit the Alliant Credit Union website.

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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