Alliant Credit Union Review
If you are a savvy consumer, you probably have many accounts at different financial institutions, each one serving a purpose best suited for its features. Alliant Credit Union at first glance does not have the highest savings rate nor the highest checking rate but it is still worthwhile to have an account there?
Alliant's interest checking is 0.65% (as of 4/21/2015) but the biggest advantage is the easy requirements to qualify for that rate, just one deposit a month from a wide variety of sources. Straight from Alliant's website they state that the electronic deposit "can be a direct deposit, payroll deposit, ATM deposit, mobile deposit or transfer from another financial institution." This is in contrast to other accounts that require 10 debit card purchases or direct deposit requirements. There is also no minimum balance requirements to maintain. If you're someone that wants a simple checking account with a very decent interest rate, Alliant is worth a look.
Alliant's savings account interest rate is 0.9% (as of 4/21/2015), not too far from the popular Ally bank's 0.99%. However, Alliant's checking product is much better than Ally's. Ally requires a minimum balance of 15,000 to qualify for their 0.6% interest checking.
Perhaps Alliant's biggest advantage is their ACH system which allows free inbound and outbound transfers with the fastest transfer times among its competitors. If you have many accounts at different banks, this feature is a must have to quickly move funds around.
If you regularly deposit cash, a popular option is to pair a mostly online bank like Alliant or Ally with a bank that has local branches. I use TD Bank's Convenience Checking which has a $100 minimum balance requirement to waive the monthly fee. This works out well for me because I prefer a bank with many branches throughout my area and TD Bank is in literally every city in New England. You could just as easily open an account with your local credit union and most of them will have free checking.
At the end of the day, Alliant doesn't excel at any one thing but the combination of all their above average products and easy requirements makes it a worthwhile bank to have. They are offering a $50 signup bonus for new High Rate Checking accounts (their official name for the interest checking account) with promo code CNM.