I am considering opening an online account that I can operate over the internet with a CU.

Would it be possible given that I am a international student on a F1 Visa in the US and not a US Citizen or Resident?

The type of account I am looking for should have the ability to:

  1. electronically deposit cheques without mailing it in
  2. Fee free Funds transfer to and from a "usual bank" account like Chase
  3. Great if they can issue me VISA/Mastercard Debit Cards
  4. Incoming international wire funds transfer

Have heard very good things about Alliant and they seem to offer some of these features.

Read that their network of over 80,000 free ATMs includes ATMs at other credit unions, US Bank, Target, Walgreens, CVS, 7-Eleven, Bank of the West, Allpoint, and those are usually fee free?

This post is to ask people about any feedback they might have directly with Alliant.

Would also like to know how easy it is for the online services of CUs like this regarding:

Ease of taking money out

    Fee free ATM access
    VISA/Mastercard Debit Cards
    How many free Cheques
    Fee free Funds transfer to and from a "usual bank" account like Chase (My Chase account charges a fee for both incoming and outgoing wire transfers)

Ease of putting money in

    Fee free Deposit at any ATM
    electronic deposit of Cheques without mailing it in
    Fee free Funds transfer from a bank account
    Incoming international wire funds transfer

How good has your experience been?

  • Just an update. I spoke with a CS rep and they do issue a VISA checkcard - so that's good for use at any retailer/shop. Another nice thing is that they don't charge any fees on incoming international transfers! A con might be they do a hard pull on the credit history and since I don't have any, I am not sure how that's gonna work out :-( – f1StudentInUS Jul 18 '11 at 19:01
  • 1
    I would suggest get a secured credit card if you don't have a credit history. – MoneyCone Jul 19 '11 at 15:11
  • @MoneyCone: BofA tols me that my lack of steady income would lead them to turn me down. Have heard better things about Wells Fargo - any feedback from you about them? – f1StudentInUS Jul 19 '11 at 16:19
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    I would suggest you try a local bank (meet them in person) or a CU. Give DCU a try. – MoneyCone Jul 19 '11 at 16:43
up vote 4 down vote accepted

As long as you are a legal resident, you can open an account with Alliant.

-Electronically deposit cheques without mailing it in?

Yes. You can scan your check and deposit it remotely

-Fee free Funds transfer to and from a "usual bank" account like Chase

ACH pull and push is free

-Great if they can issue me VISA/Mastercard Debit Cards

They do issue credit cards

-Incoming international wire funds transfer

Incoming funds are free, you have to pay for outgoing

-ATMs

If the ATM is owned by another credit union or Alliant, it usually is free.

-How many free Cheques?

The first box is free, $15 after that

-Deposit of checks

I've never tried depositing a check via ATM. I always scan the check in. So can't give you feedback on that

I use Alliant and I'm pretty satisfied with them.

Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

  • I don't want a credit card now. Does it mean I will not be able to use the usual (ATM?) card Alliant gives for my retail and online purchases? Also, how many Cheques are there in the first box? – f1StudentInUS Jul 18 '11 at 17:42
  • The ATM card is not a credit card but a debit card. You can use it like a credit card by signing your purchases, but you can't spend more than what's in your account. – MoneyCone Jul 18 '11 at 20:31
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    If I remember right, I got about 5 checkbooks in the box, I don't think you'll ever run out of them if that's your concern! It's not a starter pack with a few pages. – MoneyCone Jul 18 '11 at 20:32
  • Each checkbook would have around 10 leaves? – f1StudentInUS Jul 26 '11 at 0:24

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