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In the FAQ & Discussion about the Daughter of the Mother thread,

Katoo said:
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I see in the fee schedule for Alliant. Under Account Basics:

Manually Paid Checks and ACH Items..............(effective 5/1/08)$29
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Here's the answer to my email asking what "manually paid" things are:

"When an item does not post electronically and we have to manually process the item is when members would be subject to manually processing fee.

Some examples of situations where a check or an ACH item is manually paid are as follows: when an ACH item is keyed in wrong or set up improperly with either wrong account number or share, when the MICR line (the printed numbers on the bottom of a check) cannot be read electronically, and when a check is called in verbally and a wrong account number is provided."

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Confirming a hard pull on Equifax when opening by mail.

Has anyone tried opening a CD by telephone?

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yep...i can confirm that too...hard pull from Equifax....though well worth it for this great CU......

By the way, having done extensive "field testing" (lol) personally, i can give you the exact breakdown on how to avoid any atm fees from Alliant....

Based on reading the fee schedule, most people (and probably most of the Csrs at Alliant) would probably get the impression that you can only do a total of 8 transactions per month at an atm, before the $1 Alliant fee kicks in...

It is actually far more flexible then that!

If you have both Checking and Share Savings with Alliant (as i do) this is what you can do (with no fees) at an atm....

8 free balance inquiries from Checking each month
8 free cash withdrawals from Checking each month
8 free transfers from Savings to Checking each month

8 free balance inquiries from Savings each month
8 free cash withdrawals from Savings each month
8 free transfers from Checking to Savings each month

**These are per ACCOUNT...not per card..each ACCOUNT is treated totally SEPERATELY even though linked to the same card
Also, the Balance Check that may print out at an atm along with your Cash Withdrawal does NOT count toward the Balance Inquiries you do each month!

You can do the Balance Inquiries and transfers at ANY atm...but when making a Cash withdrawal (which is where you would get hit with a fee from the OTHER ATM, if you do it at an ALLPOINT/COOP/ALLIANCE ONE/CU24 atm, NO FEE AT ALL!

So with all this free atm flexibility...plus the the excellent Online Banking, Bill Pay, Customer Service and outstanding Share Savings Rate, and terrific free atm coverage at 75,000 atms nationwide....it's an outstanding banking package....

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ThursdaysChild said: Confirming a hard pull on Equifax when opening by mail.

Has anyone tried opening a CD by telephone?

I haven't but it was a hard pull on Equifax for me when opening in person.

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I don't think this has been mentioned yet in THIS thread: One potential disadvantage of Alliant's great savings account and overall service (about the only demerit I can find once the account is open) is that there is no way to ACH more than $10,000 out of the account in one day, even pulling via another institution's system. That's pretty unusual. And remember that they have the typical 6 withdrawal a month limit, so it's not as if you could even ACH out $70,000 over a period of seven days (unless it straddled the statement date).

But you can withdraw any amount in person if you're near a branch (or maybe an affiliated CU...I'm not sure). Or, they will send you a no-fee check for any available amount (regular check, not Cashier's). I assume you could also wire funds out, but their wire fee is pretty high.

Anyway, this is one thing to keep in mind if you think you might have a sudden need to withdraw more than $10k (or are one of those compulsive rate-chasers that craig10x says Alliant doesn't want ). That said, I doubt the mail would take more than a day or two longer than ACH, anyway.

Two other watchouts, although they are very minor (especially #2): (1) When verifying an account for use with their ACH system, they do one withdrawal that matches the verification deposit. So take that into consideration if you're nearing the monthly withdrawal-frequency limit on the other account. (2) There is a $10/yr inactivity fee for any year in which there are no deposits or withdrawals.

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lol dejanu...well, i know you are not one of those "rate chasers"

However, just out of curiousity, i did a little "test" for you, the results of which should please you....i just transferred $50,000 instantly from my Alliant Savings to my Alliant Checking, and it went through with no problem, so the limitation doesn't apply to transfers within your own accounts...

Once arriving in Checking, you are not subject to the "6 ach limitation" of course, and can then move out $10,000 each day with no worries!

Of course, i instantly transferred the money right back to Savings, so i could get my nice 4.35% apy again!

PS: I still wonder if you could not pull more them $10,000 from them using another bank's ACH system...i had no problem pushing in $50,000 to them from Schwab in 1 day...though i haven't tried the reverse (pulling it out)....

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As craig10x, there is no limit to the number of transfers from checking. I'd also like to add that you are limited to 6 transfers a month from savings - this includes transfers from savings to checking; however, if this type of transfer is done at an atm it doesn't count toward the transfer limit (I do this at an alliant atm so I don't know if it works at all affiliate atms). Lastly, I have never had a problem transferring more than 10k from checking...in the past month, I've had Fidelity pull money from my checking account in amounts of 20k and 25k.

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dejanu said: I don't think this has been mentioned yet in THIS thread: One potential disadvantage of Alliant's great savings account and overall service (about the only demerit I can find once the account is open) is that there is no way to ACH more than $10,000 out of the account in one day, even pulling via another institution's system. That's pretty unusual. And remember that they have the typical 6 withdrawal a month limit, so it's not as if you could even ACH out $70,000 over a period of seven days (unless it straddled the statement date).
What makes you say they don't allow to ACH more than $10K when the ACH is initiated by another bank?

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thanks ndogg...there you go dejanu...

You are right SweetCash, I just read over their electronics disclosure, and the $10,000 (actually $9,999.00) daily limit applies to Alliant's own ACH system, not to other banks ach systems....and as ndogg confirmed, you CAN pull out as much as you want, using another bank/cu's ach system....

Ndogg, i have done transfers from savings to checking at outside bank's atms (i don't live in Alliants branch areas) and they don't count toward the monthly 6....though i am not sure if all outside atms will let one transfer very large amounts like that..probably many will...i will have to check it out when i get a chance and i will post back on it....

But either way, one can simply move what they need to from savings to checking on their Online Banking, and then pull it all out at one time, using an outside source....

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What stops me from withdrawing a large amount (i.e. $50K) from an Alliant Savings account, if I initiate an ACH transfer from another bank?

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SweetCash said: What stops me from withdrawing a large amount (i.e. $50K) from an Alliant Savings account, if I initiate an ACH transfer from another bank?

Nothing, actually.....the only reason why i mentioned transferring to checking first is because i always set up outside ach systems to my Checking accounts....but you are correct, if you have your Savings at Alliant linked to an outside ACH at another bank or cu, no reason why you couldn't pull it directly from the savings....

Oh, and dejanu, probably many have gotten the misconception about pulling more then $10,000 from Alliant (from outside) because of some Csr's confusion about the issue (these type of things, and even the atm business that i cleared up in my previous post can best be accurately determined by "field testing" as we do here on fw and then let everyone else know!...lol)....

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SweetCash said: What stops me from withdrawing a large amount (i.e. $50K) from an Alliant Savings account, if I initiate an ACH transfer from another bank?

If I had money to try this out at the moment I would, but all the money I was moving around earlier was AOR money. AFAIK, I didn't know such a limit existed.

Hope dejanu replies back and clarifies whether or not he did try this and it was rejected or as craig10x said, there was a misunderstanding between dejanu and the csr.

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Maybe it's time for me to change the moniker from "tired member" to "greedy member", but is there something else to the Alliant CU deal other than one of the greatest interest rates and an EQ inquiry?

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cyberkost said: Maybe it's time for me to change the moniker from "tired member" to "greedy member", but is there something else to the Alliant CU deal other than one of the greatest interest rates and an EQ inquiry?

what's cool about them is that it's more then just a place to drop money into and get a very decent interest rate, it's a really nice overall banking package....the online banking interface is really neat and the free atm access is extensive, as well as the Customer Service being very impressive and available 24/7........

when you look at most credit union's share savings rates, and see an average of anywhere from perhaps .25% up to maybe a maximum of 1%, it makes one appreciate how outstanding their rate is (especially for a Credit Union).....

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A telephone CS person was quite explicit about the fact that I could NOT transfer more than $10,000 per day from my Alliant Savings to another institution, even if the transfer was a pull initiated by the other bank. I wasn't too surprised, because the reason I checked is that someone had warned about this in another forum, based on his pre-account-opening query to CS. Nonetheless, I double-checked with the CSR to ensure she hadn't misunderstood the question, or I hadn't misunderstood the response. She even offered up that there is no such restriction on pushes from other banks (that one I already knew from experience). Since (per the CSR) I couldn't use another bank's ACH system to pull out more than $10,000 in one day, I asked what alternate method(s) I could use. That's when she said I could always have them cut me a check.

Has anyone else here actually asked CSR the question about a daily dollar limit on pulls via another bank? If not, how about another FW poster giving it a try and reporting back? Naturally, you'll need to be sure they understand you're not referring to a SkyBranch withdrawal. I've already bugged 'em enough with a long string of questions! I do note that the account agreement document discusses the $10,000 limit ($9,999.99, actually) ONLY in the SkyBranch section. That said, I've seen bank documentation inaccuracies (sometimes significant) on more than a few occasions.

Regardless, if a $10k/day limit on PULLED ACH withdrawals really does exist, based on today's posts we now know that it's a moot point if you also have Alliant checking.

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Can you write a check from your Alliant checking account for more than $10,000?

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dejanu, i will e-mail my favorite csr at Alliant tonight (he should answer me in the morning) and i will ask him about the pulls from an outside source....my guy is good, he always gets the right answers for me....and i will post when i find out...

Though it should be clear that you can pull more then $10,000 from Alliant Checking, since NDogg has pointed out that he's done so from fidelity's ach system.....

One should have Alliant Checking with the Share Savings, because it makes the accounts more versatile...even if you don't do your main banking with them, as i do.....

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Thanks, craig10x. I'll be interested to hear what your guy has to say. I'll bet it turns out that the CSR I spoke to was misinformed. Based on the comments here, the $10,000/day limit she cited for pulls just doesn't sound like it passes the smell test. If Ndogg can pull larger amounts from checking, then why not from savings? In the past I've known of one account that completely disallowed ACH pulls (Amboy), but not of any that have pull caps (beyond the standard account limitations, e.g. funds availability).

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you're welcome, dejanu

Just got my reply (told you he would answer in the morning...actually, i have often e-mailed Alliant during the business day, and got a reply within an HOUR or so!)...

Turns out your CSR was misinformed....your CSR was correct as far as Alliant's ACH system is concerned, but Alliant is not
concerned about other institution's ach systems because THEY are responsible for the Pushes and Pulls THEY make, as my CSR
explained in his reply (here is the paste-in):

The ACH policy that applies is that of the financial institution that originates the ACH transaction (whether push or pull). Afterall, it is the financial institution that originates the transaction that would incur the loss if something goes wrong or fraud is committed.

So, dejanu, there you go...using another bank's ach system you can pull or push into Alliant as much as you like into either your Checking or Savings Account (subject to the limits of that other ach system, of course)......

I think Alliant puts those limits on their own system because they appear to be VERY security concious....which is probably the reason for the hard pull, $10,000 ach limit, and "security challenge question" you often will get when signing into the Online Banking....

PS: of course, keep in mind that the "6 ach rule" still applies even when you're pulling from another institution (counts toward your monthly "6") when you do it from savings....

Another good reason to have the checking as well as the savings!

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Not sure if this matters, but to those who use some type of online bank for an envelope system, I was told you can have a max of 18 supplemental savings account. Even with that limit, this is still what I would think is more than enough to meet the needs of account holders.

Also just a FYI, so far I have had a great customer service experience every time I have had to contact the credit union. The 24hr customer service feature is very nice as well. My experience with Alliant has truly been a million times better than dealing with Provident Bank's incompetent customer service reps.

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Thanks for the report back, craig10x. Glad to have confirmation that there is no dollar limit on ACH transations -- pushes OR pulls -- initiated by other banks. The explanation given makes perfect sense.

Despite my being given the wrong information about this by CSR (as was the guy on that other forum, BTW), I agree with you and skadoo323 that Alliant has the gold standard for everyday customer service. Even the best are going to slip up once in awhile. I've posed tons of questions to them, both phone and email, and I'm sure this is the only one that was answered incorrectly. I can't think of another financial institution where CSR does ALL of these consistently:

1. 24/7/363 Telephone, with no hold times (or occasionally very brief ones)

2. Very courteous, often quite friendly. They act like they really want your business. There may be occasional incorrect or incomplete answers, but these seem to be rare and far fewer than at other institutions

3. QUICK email responses that are courteous, friendly -- even enthusiastic (which doesn't just mean "salesy")...and often explain points well beyond the specific question asked. I.e., they really seemed concerned that you get the info you need.

4. I've only had one in-person experience, at the headquarters location, but it was equally positive.

There are some nitpicks, mostly related to account opening. Fortunately none of which were a problem for me, but some of them might be for others:

1. Hard credit pull, at least for some.

2. craig10x, I'm not sure I agree with you about every aspect of security. I would feel more comfortable if, like most banks, SkyBranch required verification of TWO small deposits instead of just one to establish ownership. Of course, I assume that account-owner names must also match, which is always an added measure of security. (If anyone knows that I'm making a bad assumption on that last point, please elaborate.)

3. I funded by check and had a long funding-deposit hold on the full amount -- 9 business days, which is almost 2 calendar weeks. But for me it was worth it because I could take the check to the nearby branch, and also ended up being paid interest by both institutions for three days. Besides, I certainly didn't expect to be withdrawing any funds soon.

4.Slew of account-opening letters could be cosolidated some. And one referred to the "enclosed account brochure," but there was no brochure.

5. Online application can often fail to provide immediate acceptance or denial. After the identity quiz mine said something along the lines of "Sorry, technical difficulties. We'll respond in 3-5 business days." Note that this response will by MAIL -- you'll either get welcome materials or a "Dear John" letter, as one CSR called it. I received my acceptance in 4 business days. I don't understand why some folks seem to get huffy and end up indignantly passing up a chance at a great account when the online system provides an unexpected response. It's a minor annoyance, but not a big deal. I think some have been spoiled by the great online appliaction systems for some banks. Well, Etrade accepted me instantly, but then I went through hell after that, e.g. with (unjustified) account locks by security (fortunately when their rate was top-tier), and had to send a notarized identification letter, etc. etc. So instant online acceptance does not always equal "no initial headaches." BTW, from what others have posted here, in some cases a rejection can be turned into an acceptance by calling.

6. Nominal one-time fee to join a qualifying institutional member if you don't already belong/work for one -- or don't live in an automatically-qualifying near-headquarters community (as I happen to). The free $5 put into your account makes any required institution-joining charge even more nominal.

Despite the long nitpick list (and it's not 100% complete), these are all really minor (and mostly short-lived), except for someone who might be really concerned about a hard pull. I'm just listing them out in the spirit of full disclosure. But it's hard to see how it wouldn't be worth joining Alliant if possible. This is an absolutely wonderful institution to deal, even aside from the currently market-leading APY. All the reasons have been enumerated in other posts (in addition to my comments about CS above).

Perhaps the #1 reason to join (and I may be showing my age here..): How can you pass up the chance to join a financial institution that's actually led by "Mr. Mooney"!

BTW, re skadoo323's comment about Provident-Direct, just stay away from telephone CS once you have online access, uneless you need an answer or solution really fast. But the phone guys probably won't come up with one, anyway...demand to talk to a bank official. Or try (non-secure) email until you get an answer. Be persistent (but civil). Not everyone ecounters these problems, but they are more common than they should be. BUT ...once you get through the account-opening follies it's smooth sailing. And the the CS reached through online banking has been VERY competent and helpful in my experience -- and if they say they are going to do something, they really follow through. Response time to online CS inquiries is typically 24 hours. And Provident-Direct's new enhanced external ACH system is one of the most versatile and unrestricted out there (which is NOT to imply it lacks good security, of course). And it's FAST. I hear Countrywide's is fast, too. But unlike Provident-Direct they restrict the number of linked accounts and have more restrictions on transfer amounts (on the low side). So for a bank with a top-tier rate and no-minimum to avoid fees and/or earn interest (even Alliant has a $100 minimum for interest), P-D has the best ACH out there, and the secure bankmail CS is just fine. And how many banks actually send you an email to warn you of a rate change (in either direction), as P-D does? Again, once you can get past the account-opening follies and avoid telephone CS as much as possible, it's an excellent account. Certainlly no Alliant, mind you, but possibly one of the best second-choices out there.

Sorry for the lengthy post

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thanks dejanu...it was long but very interesting to read! Yep..i agree ALLIANT overall is quite outstanding...which is why they have become my every day banking place now.....

just wanted to mention..regarding check deposits...that was just the first 30 days new customer holds...normally, they are pretty fast about clearing checks.....first $2500 same day....$2500 to $5,000 (portion) next day....above $5,000, not more then 7 days, tops (perhaps less...never deposited that big a check)....

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I also opened an account with Alliant. I moved my savings over to them, along with transferring my HSA. (I'm still keeping my checking with Schwab.)

I chose Alliant because I like the idea of a credit union, especially one with such great rates! Plus, I live near the Chicago area, so I like having my money somewhat local.

I've both phoned and emailed their customer service with a question about an HSA form I needed to fill out. The CSR on the phone gave me a really quick response without much though, so I decided to email also. The email response was very quick and courteous, but they gave me the opposite answer from the person I talked to.

I trusted the email CSR, and so far so good. They may not be perfect, but I would still definitely recommend Alliant.

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i really like the idea of a credit union also...and especially one like this with such outstanding rates!

Alliant isn't even local to me (i am in New York) yet i like them so much, i do all my day-to-day banking with them now....
I have both the Checking and Savings...

Funny you should mention about Schwab Checking, cause i have them also, and in fact was using them for my main banking...i think Schwab is excellent also...I just tried Alliant because they sounded very appealing to me....

I still plan to keep my Schwab checking, as it is nicely tied into my schwab brokerage and investments, but surprisingly, i ended up using Alliant for my main banking set-up, instead.....It's nice to be able to instantly transfer money from my high yield savings over to checking to pay bills, write checks, make debit card purchases, and make free atm withdrawals, as well.....

They have a really excellent online banking interface...you will enjoy using it

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For those looking to join a PTA/PTSA in order to become eligible for Alliant, my alma mater offers online membership for $15 via PayPal/credit card:

http://leadership.tjhsst.edu/ptsa/payments.htm

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I posted this before but I thought I'd just remind everyone. If you like Alliant and would like to see it added to yodlee, go to this new site request thread at the yodlee forums and reply asking them to add Alliant CU to yodlee. The more replies there are, the higher priority the request will get.

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Interesting little excerpt from the National PTA website (which Alliant is a sponsor of) it's from 2005 though, and their current membership has actually grown to more then 200,000 members:

Alliant Credit Union is a not-for-profit, independently operated financial cooperative with 170,000 members and more than $4.3 billion in assets, making it the largest credit union in Illinois and the seventh-largest credit union in the nation based on asset size. As a member-owned financial institution, Alliant exists to foster members' financial well-being and to serve their best interests. Four guiding principles drive the success of the credit union: safety and security of deposits; higher-than-average savings dividends and low loan rates; operating cost efficiency; and competitively priced products and professional, friendly member service.


** especially note the "higher then average dividends" part

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craig10x said: Funny you should mention about Schwab Checking, cause i have them also, and in fact was using them for my main banking...i think Schwab is excellent also...I just tried Alliant because they sounded very appealing to me....

Yeah, I remember talking with you in the Schwab thread. We must have the same taste in banking products.

I'm sticking with Schwab for now... I just can't give up the ATM rebates!

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LOL...i think you are right, rogee

Yes, the unlimited rebates with Schwab is pretty cool....though, i have to say....Alliant's surcharge free atm coverage around the country is pretty awesome too!

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WTF they didnt let me join. Is this because of an app-o-romma or did I answer a question?

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I think there have been posts stating that if one gets rejected through the online app they have gone forth with completing the app you can mail in. Usually people have then been approved. Not too sure what may have caused the rejection.

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If you recently did an AOR, the reason could be "too many inquiries on ChexSystem"

Try calling the CU and see if they can give you a reason -- if it's ChexSystem you can order a free copy of your report, then re-apply on paper with an explanation.

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Data Point: you can open a CD by telephone as their web site says, but only if you already have the $$ in your share account (or checking account). Unlike PenFed, the CSR can't pull from an external account to fund the CD.

Oh, and they added $5 to my share account when I opened by mail & funded by check earlier this month.

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Can I join the National PTA when I do the online membership application or must I join at the National PTA site to get the membership requirement?

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Does anyone have a signature page for Alliant?? it's so dumb that i opened the account online several weeks ago and haven't gotten the signture page yet!!..it's been sent out almost 2 weeks ago and i'm in the same area where they're located.

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fiveholetarget said: Can I join the National PTA when I do the online membership application or must I join at the National PTA site to get the membership requirement?

You join the PTA via the PTA's web site, not Alliant's. However, you can sign up for Alliant as if you're a member of the PTA even if you don't have your PTA membership card/number yet. In fact, the letter I received from Alliant after I opened my account stated: "Your Alliant membership is approved on the basis that you have or will join the PTA."

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fiveholetarget said: Can I join the National PTA when I do the online membership application or must I join at the National PTA site to get the membership requirement?

To join the National PTA, you go to their website...there is an online application, and you can pay the fee with your credit or debit card....you'll get an immediate confirmation e-mail of your membership (and their member package should arrive in about a week or so)...

You can then go right to the Alliant CU online application and apply for your membership and accounts.....you don't need your member number when you fill it out...just check the box that say's National PTA Member for your eligibility.....

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DFW06 said: Does anyone have a signature page for Alliant?? it's so dumb that i opened the account online several weeks ago and haven't gotten the signture page yet!!..it's been sent out almost 2 weeks ago and i'm in the same area where they're located.

actually, the signature page was available for you to print out and mail, when you got to the end of your online application (you must have missed it)....

at this point, i'd e-mail them and tell them that you didn't print it out....i would imagine they could probably e-mail you a pdf attachment with it, or else mail you one.....

be sure to mail it back when you get it, as they don't accept faxed applications or signature cards for security reasons....

i would e-mail them on Monday, in the daytime...you will get a very fast reply during business hours (usually within 2 hours or less!)....

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Does anyone know of a local PTA or PTO that I can join online that does not require PayPal?

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How long does it take to receive the "Welcome Package"? What's in this package? Thanks

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