On Friday, September 16th, Alliance Credit Union, bought lunch for 35 patrons of Madhuban Indian Cuisine restaurant of Sunnyvale. It was completely unannounced, just small signs on the tables that read: “What if someone did something nice for you today, just because?” When it was time to pay the check, one of Alliance’s “Make a Difference” team members told restaurant-goers that lunch was on the credit union. Customers were surprised, excited—others didn’t believe they were getting a free lunch. And now Alliance is giving away money.
Alliance has a full portfolio of services to offer their customers just like the big banks. Alliance also has an expressed objective to help the community and the people that live there build a sustainable financial future.
Emily Condon, senior vice president of marketing and retail delivery for Alliance Credit Union, says, “We offer everything a bank offers, and what our members like is that we know people by name and we truly value their business.”
They have checking, savings, a variety of loan products, and all manner of banking services. The difference between Alliance and big banks is not only the attitude but real tangible benefits. Benefits include free checking with no monthly maintenance fee (and no catch), Visa cards with a 4.99% introductory APR for 9 months (and free $100,000 in travel accident insurance per ticket), credit lines up to $20,000, and free debit cards with shopping rewards versus fees. Oh, and banker’s hours at Alliance are 24/7 with online, mobile, and text banking.
They also have an auto buying center to simplify purchasing a car—where and how to find them, finance them, and protect them—at 1% below invoice on new vehicles at selected dealerships. Alliance customers will also receive guaranteed pricing of below mid-Kelly Blue Book on 90% of used vehicles in inventory.
To accommodate your largest and most important single purchase, Alliance has a home buying center too with a full array of first mortgages—take your pick from competitive fixed or adjustable rates depending on your individual goals—as well as home equity lines of credit and second mortgage loans.
Bank Transfer Day—the initiative launched on Facebook by Kristen Christian—is urging people to take action on November 5 by switching their money from big banks to credit unions or community banks whose practices they respect. Thus far, more than 51,000 people have pledged to make that switch.
This kind of response is no surprise to anyone who has seen the news recently. The public is unhappy— “fed up” would be more accurate—with the new banking fees. Emily Condon says, “We’re absolutely seeing an increase in interest, on our web site especially. We’re seeing increased visits to our ‘About Us,’ ‘How to Become a Member,’ and ‘Accounts’
Alliance has offices in three counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. And, of course, one of those offices is in Fremont where commuters got a free buck this morning at the BART station. Alliance is determined to continue its “Make a Difference” campaign with these random acts of kindness to make sure that customers understand that Alliance has their best interests at heart.
Who knows where the Alliance “Make a Difference” team will show up next?