bank rates

Hey, Alliant CU, Take A Cue From PenFed

alliant credit union logoThis month’s extension of Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s 3.04% APY, 5-year CD offer got me wondering about what ever happened to Alliant Credit Union.

I periodically go onto Alliant’s website ( just to see where its deposit rates are heading.

The answer is always the same: nowhere.

Alliant is an Illinois-chartered institution based in Chicago. The country’s sixth-largest credit union, it has about $7 billion in deposits and a four-star Bankrate Safe & Sound rating.

Membership is open to residents of certain Chicagoland communities and to employees or members of specific businesses and organizations.

Membership is also available to anyone joining (with a $10 minimum contribution) Foster Care for Success, a charity aimed at helping foster teenagers become successful adults.

Alliant offers a broad range of deposit products, including checking accounts, savings accounts and CDs. Tax-deferred accounts include health savings, educational savings and individual retirement accounts.

I joined Alliant in 2011 to take advantage of CD rates that were higher than those then available at most banks and other credit unions.

For whatever reason, Alliant has long since joined the ranks of rate laggards.

Its regular savings account rate, for example, is 0.70% APY, barely higher than the more competitive 0.65% APY it pays on its “high-rate” checking account, which requires only one electronic deposit per month to avoid fees.

CD rates are middle-of-the-road at best.

Compare selected Alliant rates with the highest bank APYs shown on our CD Rates Leaderboard:

Alliant Vs. Top Nationally Available CDs

CD Term Alliant Leaderboard Rate
12-month 0.75% 1.10%
24-month 1.05% 1.25%
36-month 1.25% 1.45%
60-month 1.55% 2.16%

Alliant’s rates pale, of course, in comparison with PenFed’s current offerings, which, in addition to the top 60-month CD, include a 1.41% APY 2-year CD and a 2.02% APY 3-year CD.

Nevertheless, while not currently compelling to a rate-chaser like me, Alliant offers features to recommend itself to those seeking a “full-service” credit union.

It has, in my opinion, one of the most easily navigable and informative websites among banks and credit unions.

Answers to questions concerning products and services can usually be found by searching the site, avoiding a call to customer service.

I also like Alliant’s online funds transfer service, which provides for posting the next business day for ACH requests initiated by noon Chicago time.

On balance, I’m happy I’m with Alliant and will bide my time until I see its CD rates improve.

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