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Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account review

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Balances earn interest and this account has few fees — but you’ll have to be a member.

finder.com’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0

★★★★★

If you’re looking for an account that gives back, the Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account could be a practical choice. With 0.25% APY and ATM fee rebates, this account is designed to help your money grow. But you’ll need to be an Alliant Credit Union member to qualify.

$0 per month

Fee

0.25%

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY0.25% Meet two requirements each month to qualify for high-interest checking.
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$0
ATMsOver 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs inside Alliant Credit Union’s nationwide ATM network
ATM transaction fee$0
ATM fee rebatesReceive up to $20 in monthly fee rebates when you use an ATM outside Alliant’s ATM network
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Foreign transaction fee1%
Overdraft fee$28
Nonsufficient funds fee$25

Expert review

Shannon Terrell

Review by


Shannon Terrell is a writer for Finder who studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto. On any given day, you can find her researching everything from equine financing and business loans to student debt refinancing and how to start a trust. She loves hot coffee, the smell of fresh books and discovering new ways to save her pennies.

Expert review

Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account is best for those looking for an interest-bearing account. It earns up to 0.25% APY and has no monthly service fees. Plus, you’ll get reimbursed for up to $20 in monthly ATM rebates.

But you’ll need to become an Alliant Credit Union member to open the account.

How do I open an Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account?

To open an Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account, you must first become an Alliant member.

To join Alliant, complete the online membership application or print out a member enrollment application from Alliant’s website. Complete the form and mail it:

Alliant Credit Union
PO Box 66945
Chicago, IL 60666-0945.

Once your membership is confirmed, you can apply online for the High-Rate Checking account. Your Alliant Visa debit card and first box of checks will be mailed to you within seven to 10 business days.

Eligibility

Meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account:

  • US citizen
  • Social Insurance number
  • Alliant Credit Union member as an employee of a qualifying company or organization, as an immediate family member of an Alliant member, by living in a qualifying Chicagoland community or by supporting Alliant’s partner charity, Foster Care to Succes

Required information.

Before you start your application, gather the following:

  • Name, date of birth and residential address
  • Employment information
  • Contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Valid form of US government or state-issued photo ID

What are the benefits of an Alliant checking account?

You’ll receive mobile banking and overdraft protection with Alliant’s high-rate checking account, along with the following:

  • Earns interest. This interest-bearing checking account offers up to 0.25% APY if you opt in to electronic account statements and make at least one electronic deposit monthly.
  • No monthly service fees. With this checking account there’s no need to worry about service fees chipping at your funds.
  • ATM fee rebates. Receive up to $20 in monthly fee rebates when you use an ATM outside Alliant’s ATM network.
  • Free box of checks. Your first box of personal checks is free when you sign up for this account.

Alliant Credit Union’s ATM network and fees.

The Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Checking account comes with a Visa debit card. With it, you can access over 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs inside Alliant Credit Union’s nationwide ATM network.

Using an ATM outside Alliant’s network may result in a surcharge but Alliant offers rebates up to $20 in ATM fees monthly. The rebate applies to any deposit, withdrawal, transfer or balance inquiry made at a non-Alliant ATM, but doesn’t apply to cash advances.

What should I look out for?

In addition to $25 outgoing wire transfer fees, the Alliant Checking account has these potential drawbacks:

  • Limited eligibility.To be eligible for this checking account, you must be a member of Alliant Credit Union.
  • $10 early account closure fee. If you close your account within 90 days of opening it, you’ll pay a $10 early account closure fee.
  • $15 checks. Your first box of checks comes free but subsequent boxes start at $15 each.

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements to become a member, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when choosing a checking account.

Compare to other checking accounts

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
HSBC Premier Checking
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus, up to $600 (max. $100 per month) during first six months after account opening. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by September 30, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
BBVA Online Checking
$25
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
$3
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks, plus up to a $250 signup bonus when you meet deposit requirements
Axos Bank Essential Checking
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
$50
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
N26
N26
$0
Fee-free ATM withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
$0
A digital bank account with no hidden fees, no minimum account balance and no maintenance charges.
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How do I deposit or withdraw money from my Alliant checking account?

With an Alliant checking account, you can access your funds in five ways:

  • Online. Transfer funds to or from an externally linked account.
  • Mobile. Deposit checks using the Alliant Mobile App or set up Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay for everyday transactions.
  • ATM. Access your funds at any of the 80,000 ATMs in Alliant’s nationwide network.
  • Checks. Your first box of personal checks comes free with this account.
  • Wire transfer. While there’s no charge for incoming wire transfers, outgoing domestic transfers cost $25 and outgoing foreign transfers cost $50.

What other checking options does Alliant Credit Union offer?

Aside from its High-Yield Checking account, Alliant also offers the Teen Checking account, designed to help teens manage their money through joint account ownership with a parent or guardian.

The account is available to teens between 13 and 17 years old and offers 0.25% APY, no service fees, ATM fee rebates and a Visa debit card.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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