June 11, 2022

Alliant Teen Checking Review

Read more about Alliant Credit Union
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Looking for a good checking account for teenagers? Find out if Alliant Teen Checking is safe and legit for your child.

Overall Score

3.8

Savings

2.0

Checking

4.0

Price

5.0

Customer Service

3.5

Minimum Deposit to Open

5.0

Mobile App

3.0

Ease of Use

5.0

Education

2.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • No monthly fee
  • Earns interest
  • 80,000+ in-network ATMs
  • Few parental controls
  • Limited features
  • Low spending limits

Bottom Line

Good for basic checking with interest

Alliant Teen Checking offers something you don't see in many checking accounts:

A competitive interest rate.

But, it's not right for everyone. Are the trade-offs worth the returns?

Check out the pros, cons, and fees of an Alliant Teen Checking account. Plus, see how it compares against other free checking accounts for teenagers.

What is Alliant Credit Union?

Alliant Credit Union was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It's one of the largest credit unions in the nation, with more than $14 billion in assets and 600,000 members.

Alliant offers a full range of banking products and services, including a checking account designed specifically for teenagers. Learn more about the Alliant Teen Checking account below.

Alliant Teen Checking Features

Age13 to 17 years
Monthly Fee$0
Minimum Deposit$0
APY0.25%
ATM Access80,000+ ATMs nationwide

Alliant Teen Checking is a great option for teens who need their first bank account. Take a closer look at how the account can help your teen manage money:

Alliant Teen Debit Card

Alliant Teen Checking is a joint account, so both you and your kid can access funds in the account. You each get a contactless Visa debit card to use online, in-store, and at 80,000+ no-fee ATMs.

Alliant will refund up to $20 in ATM fees per month if you need to use an out-of-network ATM. The large ATM network is a great perk if you need to withdraw cash often. But keep in mind that not all ATMs accept deposits.

If you'd rather leave your card at home, you can add it to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Does Alliant Credit Union work with Zelle?
Alliant Credit Union does not offer Zelle at this time. But if you have the Zelle app, you can still link your account to send money.

Alliant Teen Checking Account Rate

Alliant Teen Checking lets your kid earn interest on their balance. This is a great perk since many checking accounts for kids don't earn interest at all.

To earn the interest rate, all you need to do is opt in to eStatements and make at least one electronic deposit each month. If your teen has a job, a monthly direct deposit of a paycheck will do the trick.

Alliant Mobile App

A solid mobile app is a must for many banks—especially since Alliant only has physical branches in Illinois. The Alliant mobile app offers a lot of functionality, including:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Easy money transfers
  • Online Bill Pay
  • Report lost or stolen cards
  • Request new cards
  • Find ATMs
  • Track ATM fee refunds

The Alliant app doesn't have any fancy bells and whistles like some apps geared toward younger kids. You won't find any educational content or games in the app. This makes it ideal for mature teens who already understand the basics of money management.

Parental Controls and Account Limits

As an account designed for mature kids, Alliant Teen Checking is a bit lax on the parental controls.

The account puts you and your teen on equal footing. Both of you have full access to the account. And you can set up transaction alerts to get notified each time your kid spends money. Beyond that, there's not much you can do to control your kid's spending.

The account does have spending limits, however. You're limited to $100 in cash ATM withdrawals and $300 in spending per day. [1]

These limits prevent your teen from overspending. But it could be inconvenient if your kid wants to responsibly make a big purchase—for instance, a new phone they've been saving up for.

Is Alliant Credit Union safe?
Alliant Credit Union is a reputable credit union with more than 600,000 members. Money in your account is protected up to $250,000 by the NCUA.[2][3] Plus, the app has security measures like encryption and 2-factor authentication to keep your information safe.

Fees to Look Out For

The Alliant Teen Checking has done away with most common banking fees. There are no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or in-network ATM fees. In fact, they'll rebate up to $20 in out-of-network ATM fees per month. You'll also get your first box of checks for free.

However, there are a few fees you might run into with your Alliant Teen Checking account:[4]

  • Stop Payments (submitted in writing or verbally): $25
  • 1-year Inactivity Fee: $10
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1%
  • Foreign Check Deposit: $35
  • Card Replacement: Free ($10 fee for excessive losses)
  • Account Closure Within 90 Days of Opening: $10

You can view the full fee schedule here. In general, these fees are fairly easy to avoid for the average member.

Before committing to a debit card for your teen, be sure to review all your options. Check out our guide to the best free debit cards for kids and teens.

Alliant Customer Service and Reviews

Since credit unions have fewer members compared to traditional big banks, they often have better customer service.

You can contact Alliant Credit Union customer service by:

  • Calling 800-328-1935
  • Sending a message through the app or website

Customer service reps are available by phone 24/7. This can give you a lot of peace of mind if you ever have an account-related emergency.

The Alliant mobile app has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 with more than 6,600 reviews on the Google Play Store. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 with more than 5,900 reviews on the Apple App Store.

Most users have positive experiences with the app. The app works well on both Android and iOS devices. Some customers occasionally report bugs, but Alliant seems to address any issues pretty quickly.

How do you add money to Alliant Teen Checking?
You can fund your Alliant Teen Checking through:
  • Alliant account transfer
  • External bank transfer
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile or ATM check deposit
  • Cash deposit at select ATMs

Pros and Cons

Not sure if Alliant's Teen Checking account is right for your family? Review these pros and cons for the quick takeaway.

Pros

  • Earns competitive interest rate
  • No monthly fees
  • Large ATM network
  • $20 monthly ATM fee reimbursement
  • Easy to join credit union
  • Simple, functional mobile app

Cons

  • Low spending limits
  • No customizable parental controls
  • Few physical branches (in IL only)
  • No educational tools or content
  • Not completely fee-free

How to Open an Account with Alliant

The first step to opening an Alliant Teen Checking account is to become a member of the credit union. You can do this in several ways:[5]

  • Be a current or retired employee at an Alliant partner
  • Be a domestic partner or immediate family member of a current Alliant member
  • Live or work near Alliant headquarters in Chicago
  • Become a member of Foster Care to Success (Alliant will pay $5 membership fee)

Parents can open an Alliant Teen Checking account for kids age 13-17. Here's how to get started:

  1. Visit the Alliant Teen Checking website and click "Open Now."
  2. Download and fill out the PDF application.
  3. Enter your name and email on the online form.
  4. Submit your application by email.
  5. Get approved within 14 days of submitting application.
  6. Receive your debit cards within 14-21 days of approval.

To complete the application, you'll need to provide your child's and your personal info. This includes your full names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and address.

What happens to an Alliant Teen Checking account when you turn 18?
When a child turns 18, the account automatically converts to an Alliant Checking Account. You'll receive a new debit card in the mail. Keep in mind that the parent will remain a joint owner unless you remove them.

Your daily limits will be bumped up to $1,000 for ATM withdrawals and $2,000 for spending. Other than that, the account is very similar to the Teen Checking account.

How It Compares

Alliant Teen Checking is a simple checking account designed for teens. But does this basic account offer the right features for your family?

Take a look at how Alliant stacks up against other accounts for kids and teens.

Banking AppFeesMinimum AgeLearn More
Alliant Teen Checking$013 yearsVisit Site
Chase First Banking$06 yearsVisit Site
Copper$013 yearsVisit Site
Famzoo$5.99/mo for whole familyNoneVisit Site

Alliant Teen Checking vs. Chase First Banking

Chase First Banking is a free account that offers more than just basic checking. The account has robust parental controls, savings goals, chores, and allowance features. The catch? You can only open an account if you're a current Chase checking customer.

Chase First Banking is more versatile than Alliant Teen Checking. The account is open to kids ages 6 and up. Features like savings goals and chores can help your kid better understand how to save and earn money.

Unfortunately, the Chase account doesn't earn interest. But opting for a large bank does have its perks. You can get in-person support at more than 4,700 Chase branches nationwide.

If your child isn't an expert on money management just yet, Chase First Banking is a good alternative.

Alliant Teen Checking vs. Copper Banking

Copper Banking is a slick app and debit card that really feels like it's designed for teens. The app encourages teens to learn about personal finance through short quizzes and videos. These breezy money lessons cover everything from budgeting and debt management to investing.

The account supports early direct deposit, chores and allowances, and access to 55,000+ ATMs. But, you won't earn interest. Like Alliant Teen Checking, the parental controls are pretty minimal. You can fully monitor your kid's account, but you can't set customizable spending limits.

Overall, Copper is a great alternative to Alliant if you want a fun platform your kid will actually look forward to using.

Alliant Teen Checking vs. FamZoo

FamZoo is a paid banking app and debit card designed for kids of all ages. There's no minimum age requirement, and it's packed with tons of unique features you don't often see in other apps.

With FamZoo, you can lend your kids money and charge interest. You can also pay interest on their balance, similar to interest earned on a savings account. These interest rates are totally customizable. It's a great opportunity to teach your kid how compound interest and loans work.

There's a lot more that comes with a FamZoo account. In exchange, there is a monthly fee to use the platform. It costs $5.99 per month, or as little as $2.50 per month if you prepay up to 24 months.[6]

The fee covers up to 4 kids per family, which isn't too bad if you need a debit card for several kids.

Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?

Alliant Teen Checking is a solid option if you just need a simple, no-frills account for your teen. It comes with a competitive interest rate and a reliable app for on-the-go banking.

But if you need an account that will really teach your kid about personal finance, you'll need to look somewhere else. There are plenty of other apps that have built-in educational features, like Copper or Greenlight.

Not ready to commit to Alliant Teen Checking just yet? Take a look at our other reviews of the most popular banking apps for kids and teens:

References

  1. ^ "Teen Checking Account": Alliant Credit Union, 2022.
  2. ^ NCUA. How Your Accounts are Federally Insured, Retrieved 5/6/2022
  3. ^ Alliant Credit Union. NCUA Insurance, Retrieved 5/6/2022
  4. ^ "Teen Checking Account Fees": Alliant Credit Union, 2022.
  5. ^ Alliant Credit Union. How to become an Alliant Credit Union member, Retrieved 5/6/2022
  6. ^ FamZoo. Pricing, Retrieved 5/6/2022
Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $200 Bonus

Expires 10/19/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fee if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*

*With Chase Overdraft Assist℠, we won't charge an Insufficient Funds Fee if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day OR if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and you bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end the next business day (you have until 11 PM ET (8 PM PT) to make a deposit or transfer). Chase Overdraft Assist does not require enrollment and comes with eligible Chase checking accounts.

Citibank

Citi Priority Account - Earn up to $2,000 Cash Bonus

Expires 1/9/2023
  • Earn up to $2,000 cash bonus when you open a new eligible Citi Priority Checking Account with required activities
  • Within 20 days of opening, deposit the minimum amount of new-to-Citibank funds.
  • Maintain a minimum balance for 60 consecutive calendar days from the 21st day.
  • If your balance falls to a lower tier at any point during the maintenance period, the bonus changes.
  • Bonus will be paid within 30 days after you successfully complete all required activities.
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Savings Connect - 2.40% APY

  • Earn 14x the national average
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, online, in the Discover App or by phone. Enter Offer Code CY922 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 12/15/2022, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 12/15/2022
Bluevine

Business Checking - Up to 1.5% APY

  • 1.5% APY on your balance up to $100,000 for customers that meet monthly eligibility requirements
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC

Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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