Patelco has an easy field of membership. If you don't live, work or worship in any of the dozens of California cities that make up part of its FOM, you can be eligible by joining the California Association for Older Americans which is open to anyone.
Another nice feature of Patelco is that you can apply for membership and open accounts online. However, there's a $20 non-refundable new member fee.
One negative regarding Patelco, in my opinion, is the lack of NCUA insurance. Patelco is privately insured by American Share Insurance (ASI) up to $250K per account. There is an advantage of ASI over NCUA in that it covers larger balances. Although there are ways that NCUA can go above $100K for different ownership categories (see post). And now NCUA covers IRA accounts up to $250K. Refer to my previous post on Patelco for more discussion on Patelco and NCUA insurance.