Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union
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#342

Pursuant to the above discussion something new occurred to me:

Everyone is aware of merchant category code (MCC) use by card issuers granting rewards, or not, according to what you buy. Right now, for example, Chase is granting a 5% reward for any purchase with their Freedom card which is tagged with a grocery MCC. All CC purchases are tagged, at point of sale, with an MCC.

So I was wondering if possibly reward CC issuers, e.g. Alliant, might also be leaning on MCC data to assist them in detection of unwanted (by them) card use. I did some sleuthing on the net and discovered the following:

Was not able to confirm MCC use this way here in America. But in foreign countries various entities classify and categorize certain MCCs in ways which would confer upon those MCCs concern and suspicion. I even found, in Australia, an entity which applied the term “quasi cash” to certain MCCs. That cannot be good.

Anyway, my inability to find American examples of MCCs being used to assist issuers with detection of unwanted card use surely is no guarantee it’s not happening. At the least, for example, the MCC together with the size of the transaction could help Alliant detect and filter out certain transactions for closer examination.

All of that said, I quite naturally thereafter sought to learn the MCC which had been assigned to various past purchases on my Alliant Visa Signature card. This was unsuccessful. I could not find anywhere in the individual Alliant purchase records the MCCs of my various purchases. Was left to do my best, which was:

Using the Alliant yearly summary for my 2017 CC purchases, I noted names of the various categories listed there appeared to track MCC descriptions with great accuracy. Working backwards I was able to come up with putative MCC code numbers. I then sought to determine whether any of those MCC codes were suspicion raisers where AA is concerned.

CrushinAOR posted up thread that Alliant “definitely does not like business spend on the personal card”. I asked “How do they know”. I’m now thinking MCC analysis assists them in detection of such business spending, and likely in detection of other spending patterns which can lead to AA.


#343

Along these lines, shinobi, you might want to read about level 1, 2, and 3 credit card data. This is something talked about by credit card churners, and is the reason issuers can tell that you bought a gift card at the gas station … that sort of thing.


#344

Thanks, StatGren. That entire Dharma website is of high interest and well worth a read. From my own research I have found there is, for certain, enhanced data interchange associated with my Alliant CC transactions. I’m pretty sure, though, that interchange for my activity does not reach Level 2. Regardless, I agree it is important for CC users to be well aware of this sort of thing, and I thank you again.

Mostly off-topic personal story:

That website takes me back about forty years. In those days my employer sold processing equipment to companies which serviced the CC industry. I remember in particular one of companies was named “First Data”. I remember that because I personally visited and toured their facility, amazing even that long ago, somewhere in the midwest. I think it was in Nebraska or Kansas, but I visited so many facilities back then it is difficult now to recall precisely. It is intriguing for me to reflect on what existed back then, and compare it with the state of the CC industry today.


#345

Is this part of the Dharma Initiative?


#346

Good one, Argyll. It is reassuring to realize you have not “Lost” your sense of humor.:grinning:


#347

I noticed something interesting tonight…

I was down to a few remaining checks from the initial “new member batch” of checks. I went to order checks through Alliant’s web site. I saw a mention of free initial checks and assumed that referred to the “new member” checks. I went through the ordering process and discovered these were free as well! 100 free checks which will last me a few more years. Love Alliant CU!

Edit to add: checks arrived pretty quickly. 3-4 business days at most.


#348

Has anybody else been having problems with visa purchase alerts? I stopped receiving emails some time last weekend.


#349

Mine work (edit: below), however nothing less than $1.


#350

In hindsight, my emails from the weekend of 4/21-4/22 were delayed. The TXT messages were not.


#351

as an MSer for the past 3 years… I can tell you factually that Alliant is checking the purchases manually. They actually have an employee looking thru charges, perhaps that’s why it took them 4 months to catch my Giftcardmall purchases, (which they denied w/o warning) Amex OBCash and BCPreferred cards do the same thing…but are currently using this method for bonus spending…IE: if you get an AMEX card with a bonus of 50k points, and you did the min. spend buying VGCards, they will deny the bonus. Cat spend doesn’t matter, they will manually figure it out by amount spent


#352

Also Amex receives level 3 data from Staples and OM/OD, I have purchased tons of 300.00 VGC from Staples online using my Simply Biz and Blue Biz and the online receipts list the 300.00 as VGC and the 6.95 as VGCard fee. BUT… so far they have paid out 5% as usual. They are currently just concentrating on the bonus spend on their new customers.


#353

and shinobi, thanks for all your work!!!


#354

You’re surely welcome, but really thanks are inappropriate. While I’m respectful of MSers like yourself and StatGren, I’m simply not operating at your level of sophistication. What you guys and other MSers do is mostly beyond me; I’m a senior citizen, after all.

That said, there are limited regions of overlap between my game and the MS game. So reports of your experiences are of high interest to me, and I thank you for your posts. This true story might give you a smile:

I walked down to the road the other day, reached into my mailbox, and there was an unanticipated letter from Alliant. All the way back to the house I was certain it was “the” letter, notice of dreaded AA (adverse action). The moment I was inside I tore the letter open and . . .

It was my Alliant credit card statement. :grin:


#355

I sent Visa support an email and although they never replied, all my missing emails from ~Sat-Wed showed up throughout the day yesterday in randomized order. Seem to be working fine (real-time) today.


#356

Pro tip: Every email message transported via SMTP carries with it a complete log of the transit. Depending on your email client, this might be called “Internet Headers” or something similar. If you take a look at them and read from bottom up, you can usually tell between which two mail transport agents the delay occurred. Or you might see the messages weren’t even sent until yesterday.


#357

Yes, that was the first thing I looked at. The “sent” timestamp wasn’t far from when I received them.


#358

good news there. Im a senior cit. also. Hitting 70 in Aug. Still work F/T as a SGT for the NYPD…(26 years) on a temporary waiver, since you have to retire at 66. So Im inside mostly and have to have my 6 months physical and reaction times checked by their docs. So far ok but plan on leaving in Oct. Not for physical reason… but mainly for political climate reasons… But im in a great neighborhood in Manhattan. BYW… with all the banks I use (9) clustered within 3 blocks of where i work, no problem depositing MO on way to work.!!!


#359

Acknowledgement: I hesitate to post this because most participants here likely already are aware. Still, this was a pleasant outcome and there might be a small number of readers who will benefit. So here goes:

This post is only for Alliant members who also are PurePoint customers. If you are not with PurePoint, this will not help you. I was successful over the weekend with seizing upon the PurePoint “instant interest” feature to provide three days of double interest on a modest amount of money. I earned PurePoint interest of 1.75% plus Alliant interest of 1.50%, for a total of 3.25% interest on the money for those three days.

Note: I am on eastern time and did this anyway. This will work more easily the farther west you live. Persons in AK and HI are especially empowered.

The drill:

With money sitting in Alliant savings (at 1.5%) went on Friday to the PurePoint website and there initiated an ACH transfer of funds from Alliant checking to PurePoint savings. The money appeared in PurePoint savings instantly and began earning interest there on Friday.

Today (Monday), between 1:05am eastern and (roughly) 7:00am eastern, went onto Alliant website and transferred money out of savings and into checking. Earned double interest for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Q: Why not just do a direct ACH transfer from Alliant savings to PurePoint? That avoids need to transfer funds at Alliant in the “wee small hours” of the morning.

A: Not a problem if you do not mind giving PurePoint the account number of your Alliant savings account. I do mind, but I totally respect this is an individual choice and is a personal decision.

Q: Is this something you will do every week?

A: It’s not likely. Was only experimenting, wanting to see if this would work. It worked.

Q: What if Alliant processes their ACH debits before you move the money?

A: Alliant generally does its ACH work after 6:00am CT. An early ACH day at Alliant would result in you losing $3 as the funds were moved over from savings by Alliant to cover the shortfall. But this will not happen if you move the funds yourself first.

Q: Will you do this again?

A: I likely will, since I enjoy double interest and always have. But probably will remain inactive until the end of May.

Q: End of May? Why?

A: This year Memorial Day will be celebrated on Monday, May 28th. That provides opportunity for four days of double interest, because Memorial Day is a bank holiday. You can view the 2018 bank holiday listing here:

Monday bank holidays provide best opportunity for extra interest

Q: There is always downside to schemes like this. Right?

A: Absolutely. PurePoint will lock up your transferred funds for four days!! Worse, the extra interest you are paid by PurePoint and Alliant is 100% taxable, both Federal and state.


#360

Technically what you did was Kiting, which is a crime. You pulled money from an account you knew had insufficient funds, hoping a subsequent deposit will post in time to cover it. Pulling directly from your savings, or transferring the money to checking on friday, eliminates that.

Regardless, cant you do the same pulling money from Purepoint (or anywhere) into Alliant?


#361

At Alliant, if funds in checking are insufficient to cover a withdrawal but simultaneously sufficient funds exist in savings, there is an automatic transfer of those funds from savings to checking to cover the shortfall. However, Alliant will charge you a $3 service fee when this happens. It is not necessary to sign up for this service.

I do not believe the scheme I outlined will work in reverse. This is because Alliant’s ACH policy is on a next day basis. It is not “instant credit” as is the case at PurePoint. Without “instant credit” there is no “instant interest” and the attempt for double interest would fail.

ETA

In greater detail:

If I log into my Alliant account and initiate an ACH pull from any other financial institution, those funds will appear in my Alliant account the next business day. Hence, funds from a pull done at Alliant on a Friday will appear for the first time in my Alliant account the following Monday, if that Monday is a business day and not a holiday.

If I log into my PurePoint account and initiate an ACH pull from any other financial institution, those funds will appear in my PurePoint account straightaway, instantly, and will begin earning interest the very day I initiate the transfer.

The rub:

Of course at Alliant, when the funds appear the next day, they are available for withdrawal that very same day. At PurePoint, even though the funds are earning interest right away, those funds are not available for withdrawal for FOUR days!