Alliant Credit Union review: It's easy to become a member, with high interest rates on savings and checking

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  • Alliant Credit Union (federally insured by the NCUA) is easier to join than most credit unions.
  • Alliant pays high interest rates on savings, checking, and CDs.
  • The credit union reimburses up to $20 per month for fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers.
  • See Business Insider’s picks for the best credit unions »

Is Alliant Credit Union the right fit for you?

You might like Alliant if you…You might not like Alliant if you…
  • Are comfortable banking digitally
  • Prefer a credit union over a bank
  • Prioritize earning high interest rates
  • Want a checking account that earns interest
  • Use ATMs frequently
  • Aren’t comfortable banking digitally
  • Prefer a bank over a credit union and/or want an institution that compounds your interest daily rather than monthly
  • Are worried about overdraft fees

The bottom line: Alliant is one of the best credit unions out there, but its high overdraft fees mean it may not be the best fit for someone who overdraws regularly.

Alliant High-Rate Savings review

Alliant High-Rate Savings Account

Alliant Credit Union Alliant High-Rate Savings Account

Alliant High-Rate Savings is a solid online savings account. It pays a competitive interest rate, and there are no monthly service fees. There’s technically a $5 minimum opening deposit, but Alliant will cover the cost. Keep in mind that you do need to keep a $100 balance to earn interest, though.

Alliant High-Interest Checking review

Alliant High-Interest Checking Account

Alliant Credit Union Alliant High-Interest Checking Account

You don’t need any money to open an account, and there are no monthly service fees. You’ll have free access to over 80,000 ATMs nationwide. If you do use an out-of-network ATM and the provider charges you a fee, then Alliant will reimburse you up to $20 per month.

The main thing to look out for is overdraft fees. You’ll automatically enroll in overdraft protection if you also have an Alliant savings account. But if you aren’t enrolled, then you’ll pay a $28 overdraft fee — and there’s no limit on how many times Alliant can charge you for overdrawing.

Alliant Certificate review

Alliant Certificate

Alliant Credit Union Alliant Certificate

An Alliant Certificate (the credit union version of a certificate of deposit) pays pretty good rates. Its early withdrawal penalties are relatively low, especially for longer-term certificates. Alliant requires $1,000 to open a CD, but if you don’t have that much money on hand, you can find other institutions that require less.

Alliant Credit Union features

Alliant Credit Union is an online institution, and you can open accounts from anywhere in the US.

Unlike banks, credit unions require you to become a member to open accounts — and Alliant makes it easier to join than most credit unions. Join Alliant by being an employee, retiree, or member of certain organizations. You can also qualify by living in certain parts of Illinois or being a relative of an existing Alliant member. But the easiest way to become a member is to join Foster Care to Success, and Alliant will cover your $5 joining fee.

Alliant pays competitive interest rates. But like most credit unions, it only compounds your interest monthly. Most banks compound interest daily, which helps you earn more money in the long run. If it’s important to you to maximize your earnings, then you may prefer an online bank over a credit union.

But if you prefer a credit union over a bank, then Alliant is a strong contender.

The Alliant mobile app has received mostly positive reviews. It has 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Speak to an Alliant representative by calling customer service 24/7. Alliant doesn’t have a live online chat feature, but you can fill out an online form and wait for a response if you don’t want to talk over the phone.

Your deposits are federally insured by the NCUA for up to $250,000, or $500,000 for joint accounts.

Is Alliant trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau gives Alliant Credit Union an A+ in trustworthiness. A good BBB rating signifies a company responds effectively to customer complaints, has honest advertising practices, and is transparent in how it handles business.

Alliant doesn’t have any public scandals. Between the strong BBB rating and positive public image, you may decide you’re comfortable banking with Alliant.

How Alliant compares to similar credit unions

We’ve compared Alliant to two other online credit unions that are easy to join: Pentagon Federal Credit Union and Connexus Credit Union.

Alliant Credit Union
Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Account types

Savings, checking, certificate

Account types

Savings, checking, certificate, money market account

Account types

Savings, checking, certificate, money market account

Savings APY

0.55% APY

Savings APY

0.55% APY

Savings APY

0.25% APY

Monthly fees


Monthly fees

Up to $10

Monthly fees


ATM network

Yes; $20/month for out-of-network fee refunds

ATM network

Yes; $1.50 charge for using out-of-network ATM

ATM network

Yes; no charge for using out-of-network ATM

Open an accountOpen an accountOpen an account

Alliant Credit Union review vs. Pentagon Federal Credit Union review

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is the clear choice if you want to open a money market account, because Alliant doesn’t have money market accounts.

You’ll probably prefer PenFed if you want a combination of online and in-person banking, and live near a PenFed branch. You can open a PenFed account online, but there are also branches in 13 US states and DC, and on military bases in Guam, Puerto Rico, and Japan.

But you might like Alliant if you use ATMs regularly. Both credit unions have large free ATM networks, but PenFed doesn’t reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers. PenFed will also charge you a $1.50 fee for using an out-of-network ATM.

Alliant Credit Union review vs. Connexus Credit Union review

You’ll want to go with Connexus Credit Union for a money market account, because Alliant doesn’t offer money market accounts.

You might prefer Alliant if you think you’ll use out-of-network ATMs. Connexus has an ATM network and doesn’t charge you for using out-of-network ATMs. But if a provider charges you for using an out-of-network ATM, then Connexus doesn’t refund you. Alliant reimburses up to $20 per month for fees charged by ATM providers.

If you care about interest rates, then your choice between the two credit unions could depend on whether you keep more money in savings or checking. Alliant pays a better APY on savings, but you can earn a much higher APY with Connexus’ checking account.

Laura Grace Tarpley is the associate editor of banking and mortgages at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.

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