Looking to save for a rainy day? Selecting a savings account that fits your individual needs can be a headache. From joint accounts to multiple online options, there’s no shortage of savings accounts to choose from.
We’ll help you take the guesswork out of the savings account option offered by the member-owned Alliant Credit Union in Illinois.
What is Alliant Credit Union?
Alliant Credit Union, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a member-owned financial cooperation with a product line of savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates, loans, credit cards and IRAs.
An account with Alliant gives you access to an online banking system, mobile deposits, ATM deposits, a 24/7 member contact center and 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs around the world.
What are the benefits of a high-rate savings account with Alliant Credit Union?
Alliant Credit Union offers several options to save, but first we’ll look at its high-rate savings account. Here are some of the account’s highlights:
- Competitive APY. Alliant’s 1.11% APY is on par with competitors.
- 80,000 ATMs. Access your money with ease through a comprehensive network of ATMs.
- No maintenance fee. Opt to receive your statement online, and Alliant waives your monthly account fees.
- No maximum balance limit. There’s no maximum balance limit, so you can save with efficiency.
- $5 complimentary deposit. For new members, Alliant takes care of the $5 savings deposit for free.
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 effective 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. To earn interest on your savings, you must maintain a minimum daily balance of $100.
- Limited monthly transactions. You can make up to six transfers monthly to external accounts. 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.
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 sign up?
- Visit the Alliant website and click Apply online.
- Find out if you’re eligible by entering your organization in the field.
- If you’re eligible, provide your personal information and account agreement to continue.
- Verify your identity.
- Finalize your online account access.
Am I eligible?
These accounts come with strict eligibility requirements, though you can satisfy them if:
- You are a member, employee or retiree of select organizations.
- You are a relative of an existing Alliant member.
- You donate $10 to Alliant partner Foster Care to Success.
- You live or work in a community on Alliant’s qualifying list.
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 1.11% 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 1.11% APY.
- Health savings. Save tax-free at 0.65% APY on funds used to pay for current or future medical expenses.
- Coverdell ESA. A savings option for those looking to invest in their child’s future, this account offers a 1.11% 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 1.35% to 2.1%.
- IRAs. Traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs come with competitive interest rates of 1.104% and APYs of 1.11%.
Alliant Credit Union Foundation
The Alliant Credit Union Foundation, in collaboration with VeteransPlus, lent a hand to more than 3,600 military members in 2016 by helping to create savings plans for veterans. VeteransPlus assists ex-servicemembers in navigating financial stressors and conducts outreach programs to coach those in need
The Alliant Credit Union high-rate savings account boasts a high 1.11% APY alongside a comprehensive ATM network to access your funds. And it’s available only to those who satisfy eligibility requirements that include a one-time $10 donation to the nonprofit Foster Care to Success. But you’ll want to take note of such restrictions as withdrawal limits, a minimum balance to earn interest and a up to six monthly transactions.
If you’re seeking a simple savings option and willing to maintain Alliant’s $100 daily balance to earn interest, this account could be a practical choice.