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Alliant High-Rate Savings account review October 2018

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Get a 1.90% APY with no initial deposit requirements or monthly service fees.

Looking to save for a rainy day? There’s no shortage of financial institutions and savings accounts to choose from. The Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings account is an online account designed to help you reach your financial goals. It offers a competitive 1.90% APY and easy online access with no monthly fees or initial deposit.

What are the benefits of the Alliant High- Rate Savings account?

The Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings account has a number of features that make it stand out:

  • Competitive APY. Alliant’s 1.90% APY is on par with other top banks and financial institutions.
  • Easy access. Access your money with ease through a comprehensive network of ATMs, a mobile app, website or by phone.
  • No maintenance fee. Opt to receive your statement online and Alliant will waive your $1 monthly statement fee.
  • No maximum balance limit. There’s no maximum balance limit, so you can save for any financial goal, no matter the size.
  • Low initial deposit. For new members, Alliant takes care of the $5 initial deposit for free.
  • Free card replacements. You won’t be charged for a new card if yours is lost or stolen.
  • Supplemental savings accounts. Alliant allows you to open multiple savings accounts in order to better organize your money and work towards financial goals.

What is the difference between an interest rate and an APY?

Your interest rate is the simple interest you’re paid on an account or an investment over the period of a year. For example, if you’ve invested $1,000 into an account that comes with 1% interest, you’ll have earned $10 on that investment at the end of a year.

The annual percentage yield is a bit trickier. An APY is an annual rate of return that takes into account the effect of compounding interest over a year. In short, it’s the interest rate compounded monthly over the course of a year.

What should I look out for?

The Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings account is flexible and easy to access. But here’s what you should know before applying.

  • Minimum balance. You must maintain a balance of at least $5 to keep your account open and a minimum daily balance of $100 to earn interest.
  • Limited monthly transactions. Regardless of which institution you choose, every savings account is limited to six monthly transfers. Exceeding this number can result in Alliant suspending or closing your account.
  • Withdrawal limit. If you have a ChexSystems record, your daily withdrawal limit is $200. Without one, you can withdraw up to $500 daily.
  • Membership required. In order to open an account with Alliant, you’ll need to meet one of the four eligibility requirements below.
  • Limited branch locations. Alliant operates almost entirely online, so if you prefer to do your banking in person, you might want to keep looking.
  • Lots of fees. Alliant charges fees for almost everything, so you should understand the full fee schedule to avoid as many as possible.
  • Soft credit inquiry. Alliant will do a soft credit inquiry when you apply for this account.

What is ChexSystems?

ChexSystems is a consumer reporting agency that many banks use to confirm whether you’ve had trouble with bank accounts in the past. It keeps track of such account-related issues as bounced checks and unpaid fees, assigning potential account holders a score that’s similar to those used by credit reporting bureaus.

Just as you have the right to your credit report each year, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act empowers you to request your ChexSystems report online or by phone, fax or mail. If you don’t have a ChexSystems report, that’s a good sign; your report exists only if you’ve had a negative account history.

How do I apply?

  1. Visit the Alliant website, hover over Bank and click High Rate Savings.

2. Click Apply Online Now.

3. Enter your employer’s information or click Another way to qualify. Once you’ve confirmed eligibility, click Continue with your application.

4. Enter your personal information, ID information and employment information, then continue.

5. Confirm your information, then proceed to the account agreement.

6. Once you agree to the terms and finalize account access, your application will be submitted for review.

Eligibility requirements

In order to become a member and open an account with Alliant, you’ll need to meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Be a current or retired employee at one of Alliant’s partnered businesses or organizations
  • Be an immediate family member or domestic partner of a current Alliant member
  • Make a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success
  • Live or work in one of the communities near the Alliant headquarters in Chicago

Required information

You’ll be asked for the following information when you apply for an account:

  • Social Security number or tax ID number
  • Valid US government-issued ID
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Employment information

How do I deposit and withdraw money?

Alliant Credit Union offers a number of ways to manage your money:

Deposits

  • Deposit-taking ATMs
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Direct deposit
  • By mail

Withdrawals

  • ATMs
  • Bill pay
  • Mobile transfers
  • Transfers to external accounts
  • By phone

How do I contact Alliant customer service?

There are a number of ways you can get in touch with Alliant customer service:

Phone: 800-328-1935

Email: Via contact page on the Alliant website

Twitter: @AlliantCU

What other savings options does Alliant Credit Union offer?

Alliant Credit Union offers a range of savings accounts to meet you where you are in life.

  • Supplemental Savings. Open up to 19 savings accounts to supplement your individual savings needs. These accounts are identical to the high-interest savings account, with a 1.90% APY and no maintenance fees.
  • Kids Savings Account. Children up to age 12 can take advantage of this account that provides joint options for parents and guardians and a competitive 1.90% APY.
  • Coverdell ESA. A savings option for those looking to invest in their child’s future, this account offers a 1.90% APY, no maintenance fees, tax-free earnings and a maximum contribution limit of $2,000 a year.
  • CDs. Terms range from 12 to 60 months and offer APYs of 2.45% to 3.00%.
  • IRAs. Traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs come with competitive interest rates of 1.884% and APYs of 1.90%.

Compare with other savings accounts

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit Minimum balance to earn interest APY
CIT Bank Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account
CIT Bank Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account
$0
$100
2.15%
A super-high interest rate if you're in the habit of saving at least $100 per month or have $25K in the bank.
$0
$1
$0
2.01%
Get one of the highest interest rates available without high balance requirements or fees.
$0
$0
$0
1.9%
Earn one of the highest interest rates without the fees.
$0
$0
$0
1.85%
The most common services and transactions are free with Ally Bank.
$15 per quarter
(can be waived)
$25
1.8%
Earn one of the highest interest rates if you have at least $10,000 in savings.
$0
$100
$0
1.55%
Earn a high interest rate with no monthly fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The Alliant Credit Union high-rate savings account boasts a high 1.90% APY alongside a comprehensive ATM network to access your funds. Plus, Alliant will cover the initial $5 deposit and you can avoid any monthly fees by enrolling in e-statements. However, you should watch out for withdrawal limits, the minimum balance to earn interest and the lack of branch locations. In any case, it’s important to compare your options to find the right account for your situation.

Frequently asked questions about the Alliant Credit Union High-Rate Savings account

Kelly Waggoner

Kelly Waggoner is a senior editor with finder.com. She's worked with publishers, magazines and nonprofits throughout New York City, including ghostwriting a how-to on copyediting for the Dummies series. Between projects, she toys with words, flips through style guides and fantasizes about the serial comma's world domination.

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