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Alliant Credit Union VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • ATM fee reimbursement
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Variety of personal deposit accounts

Cons:

  • Must qualify to become a member
  • No business accounts offered
  • To earn interest requires qualifications
  • Jumbo CD rates similar to regular CDs
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • CDs have competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amount
  • CDs offered to save for education
  • Low monthly fee for checking account

Cons:

  • High opening balances for CDs
  • Low-interest rates
  • Best rates require large balances
  • Do not offer a variety of accounts
Alliant Credit Union Review

Accounts offered through Alliant do not have monthly maintenance fees. The only fee is if you receive paper statements. To keep the account open requires a $5 balance. To earn interest does require $100 in all the savings accounts.

Alliant participates with over 80,000 ATMs free of charge. If you withdraw money from an ATM not in their network, Alliant will reimburse those fees. They reimburse up to $20 per month in ATM fees. Deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and checking account balances qualify for a rebate. The high rate checking, and teen checking account qualify for ATM reimbursement.

The amounts required to open Alliant accounts is low. The savings accounts require $5 to open. The checking accounts do not list a set amount to open. All the regular CD terms require $1,000 to open. Alliant does offer jumbo CDs, but they require $25,000 to open.

Alliant offers a good variety of personal accounts. They offer a free, high-rate, and teen checking account. They offer two savings accounts and a savings account for kids. Personal credit cards, lending options, and insurance options are also available.

To open Alliant accounts, you must become a member of their credit union. You must meet qualifications to become a member. Those requirements include working with specific companies or be related to someone who is a member of Alliant. If you do not meet those requirements, you may be able to qualify through Support Foster Care to Success. Find out if you are eligible on the Alliant website.

Alliant does not offer specific business accounts. Only personal deposit accounts are available. Those accounts include savings accounts, checking accounts, and CDs. Personal credit cards, lending options, and insurance are also offered.

The interest rates on Alliant accounts are not tiered. To earn the most competitive interest rate, you must meet specific qualifications. Those include receiving eStatements and having at least one monthly electronic deposit. Direct deposits help you qualify.

The Alliant jumbo CDs interest rates are only slightly higher than the regular CD rates. The jumbo CDs require $25,000 to open, but do not offer much higher rates than the regular CD rates. The regular CDs require $1,000 to open. Alliant offers six regular and six jumbo CDs.

Read the full Alliant Credit Union review.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed CDs have competitive interest rates. The rates on CDs are competitive with online-only accounts. The longer you can invest the money in the CD the higher the interest rates you will earn. CD terms range from six months to seven years.

All accounts, other than CDs, have a low opening balance of only $25. The more you invest in the money market account, the higher interest rates you will earn. However, you are only required to have $25 to open an account with PenFed.

PenFed offers CDs designed to save specifically for education costs. These CDs only require $500 to open instead of $1,000. The education CDs range in term from one year to seven years. The interest rates earned on these CDs are competitive with other CD accounts.

Only the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee. The fee is low and is easy to waive. The fee is waived by having a daily balance of $500 in the account. Having a direct deposit into the account of more than $500 each month will also waive the fee. The savings account and money market accounts do not have a monthly fee.

To open a CD, PenFed requires $1,000. The CD terms vary in length from six months to seven years. The longer you can invest your money in a PenFed CD the higher interest you will earn over the CD term. The interest rates on these CDs are competitive with other online-only CDs.

The interest rates for PenFed savings, checking, and money market accounts are not competitive. The rates are low. Those interest rates are competitive to your typical bank rates. Online only accounts offer much higher interest rates for these accounts.

To earn the highest interest on the PenFed checking account, a daily balance of $20,000 to $50,000 is required. If you do not have at least $20,000, you will earn much lower interest rates. Any amount earns interest. To get the highest rates, your daily balance must meet the requirements.

PenFed only offers one checking account, savings account, and money market account. This does not allow you to find the account that best fits your needs.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

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