Alliant Credit Union Review
In the vast universe of online credit unions, Alliant Credit Union has built a fairly impressive reputation. This is perhaps due to the fact that Alliant is much, much older than the internet. First established in 1935, the company has a wide range of products and services. The more you learn about this company, the easier it will be to determine whether or not they will be a good fit for your needs. You can start this research by keeping in mind the range and potential benefits of their many products and services. This is a financial institution known for meeting just about any financial needs you may have.
For a lot of different people from different walks of life, Alliant could prove to be exactly what they have been looking for. While not without a few notable flaws, this credit union is likely to impress more often than not.
Alliant Credit Union Basics
Credit unions are good for people who want to be highly specific about what they are looking for in a financial institution. Even going back to the company’s formative years, Alliant has had a strong reputation for offering compelling incentives and strong customer service.
While credit unions are certainly not a new invention, online banking is. In recent years, technology has made it easier than ever to control all of our banking and finance needs from our devices, whether we have a computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Alliant Credit Union makes it easy to handle everything you need to do online. The online component with Alliant is widely considered to be one of the best things about the company. If you are someone who likes credit unions, but also likes taking care of their banking needs online, this will almost assuredly be the company you’ve been looking for.
Alliant even has a program designed to teach kids about money. This program has been praised by parents and educators alike. It also fits nicely with Alliant’s commitment to enriching their communities.
There are a few potential downsides to choosing Alliant, to be clear. Yet at the same time, as you compare and contrast the pros and cons of Alliant, it is likely that the good is going to outweigh the bad. The first thing to keep in mind with this company is its financial strength. As of this writing, this company has nearly $10 billion dollars in assets. You should also keep in mind that all of your deposits will be insured up to federal limits.
Alliant Credit Union Pros And Cons
Alliant Credit Union offers the ability to set up a savings account without any fees. This is one of the first things about the company that will likely impress you. In fact, the benefits and advantages of Alliant can become obvious almost immediately. That includes the application process. Not only is it straightforward, but it is also connects you to the long list of perks we’re talking about. The ability to set up a special account for children is worth mentioning again, as well.
You can get a checking account which includes rebates to cover those pesky ATM fees. How many times have you stopped yourself from picking up a little cash, simply because you didn’t feel like paying fees that can be anywhere from $3 to $10? No one should be stuck with these unnecessary fees, so it’s nice to see Alliant making an effort to relieve the burden to a certain, meaningful degree.
As we mentioned before, absolutely everything you need or want with this company can be done online. Alliant has one of the best websites for online banking to be found anywhere. This may just be their most significant advantage. Beyond the ability to utilize online bill payments, you can also take advantage of CDs that won’t punish you for wanting to cash it out early. Cash deposits are offered at certain ATMs, too. You will want to find out if this is offered in your area.
In terms of ATMs, keep in mind that Alliant Credit Union is connected to more than 80, 000 ATMs. These would be all of the ATMs along the Allpoint network and CO-OP network.
Now, you will want to keep in mind that signing up isn’t free. You will be asked to make a small donation to a charity. Some find this distasteful or frustrating, so it’s best to decide now if those are going to be along the lines of your own response. If so, you may want to go somewhere else. Everyone else should be just fine with paying a nominal fee in the form of a charitable contribution. Doing so will allow you to instantly enjoy all of the Alliant pros that we have mentioned thus far. This is a credit union with far more good points than potentially negative ones.
Yet there are a couple of possible cons that you should probably keep in mind.
Further Pros And Cons Of Alliant Credit Union
Are there downsides to Alliant? Absolutely, but it naturally depends on what you are ultimately looking for in a financial institution. For example, the lack of money market accounts is a bit disappointing. These are accounts designed for those who are interested in high interest rates with easy spending abilities.
The fact that Alliant Credit Union isn’t part of any national shared branching networks. If you require the experience of having an actual agent you can visit at a physical location, Alliant unfortunately isn’t for you. This is perhaps why the company has gone to such great lengths to give their customers the best online banking website possible.
Furthermore, should you opt in, you will want to be aware of the overdraft fees. These fees are not uncommon with credit unions, but the actual amount can vary from one business to the next. As far as this particular credit union is concerned, we found the fees to be noticeably higher than the average. It is very easy for fees like these to financially overwhelm someone.
Additional Considerations For Alliant Credit Union
All of the major account types are available at Alliant, beyond the exceptions we just covered in the above paragraph. Alliant Credit Union has a strong reputation behind the accounts you can open through them, including high-rate checking accounts and checking accounts for teenagers.
This is perhaps best experienced as a family credit union. Since there are features and educational materials for kids and teens, it is very easy indeed to see Alliant as an institution that can benefit everyone in your household. This is something Alliant likes to emphasize to a certain extent, and it is perfectly reasonable for them to do so.
While all of their account types come with certain benefits and perks, the high-rate savings account is probably our favorite thing about these guys. This competitive online banking account is certainly unique, as is the fact that they give you an ATM card. In case you are wondering, yes, this ATM card can be used in conjunction with the savings account. For those who don’t know, that is indeed rather unusual. Most banks ask you to transfer money out of the savings, in order to have it turned into cash. Alliant skipping that step entirely is just one of the reasons why they have become so popular with online banking enthusiasts and others. Within this type of account, you can also open up subaccounts. In fact, Alliant gives you the ability to have as many as nineteen subaccounts. Very few people would actually need that many, but it’s certainly nice to know that the option is available to you.
Also, while the overdraft fees aren’t great, Alliant does offer what is known as overdraft protection. There is no fee associated with this option either, which is nice.
Keep in mind that Alliant Credit Union also offers two tiers with their CDs (certificates of deposit). On the one hand, you have the standard, which comes with a 1K minimum. Jumbo CDs are also available, but remember that these have a minimum of $25, 000.
At the end of the day, Alliant is clearly one of the best online credit unions out there. They have a fantastic website, benefits without any hidden fees or hassles, and strong, online-based customer service. Just about everything with this company impresses us on one level or another. We would go so far as to say this should be your first consideration, if you happen to be in the market for a new credit union.
Alliant has enough diversity and flexibility to make it easy to manage your finances as you see fit. They are also a good place to go for those who are just beginning to learn about banking, finances, and saving money. This is a credit union that aspires to have something to offer every member of your family. To that end, it certainly seems as though they have succeeded in the most impressive fashion possible. This is a great credit union for virtually anyone.
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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