Patelco Credit Union has started a new certificate special with a yield of 5.50% APY and a term of 9 months. The minimum deposit is $1,000. It requires direct deposit with a minimum of $150 per month starting within 45 days of the CD. Without direct deposit, the rate will fall to the standard rate for a 9 month term (which is currently 4.76% APY). The funds deposited must be new to Patelco. It's also available as an IRA certificate. Patelco is also offering 5.50% APY on terms of 12 to 23 months for an IRA certificate without the direct deposit requirement.
Although this is a decent deal, it's a letdown compared to their past CD deals. In May they had been offering a 5.75% APY 14-month certificate without a direct deposit requirement (see post). Patelco still has its new-member special with a 7% APY 12-month certificate. Unfortunately, the the maximum deposit is only $1,000 (see post). Also, refer to that previous post for info on Patelco's Treasury Income Account and HSA, both of which are pretty good deals.
Patelco is one of the few credit unions in which anyone can be eligible to join. See this Patelco page for the full eligibility list. Note at the bottom it states that anyone can join the California Association for Older Americans regardless of age or geographic location. You can apply for Patelco membership online here. In the Eligibility section of the membership application if you type "Older Americans", in the lookup field, this association should appear in the eligibility list of step 2.
Patelco membership requires a minimum initial deposit of $5 into the savings account. Note, you'll be charged a $3/month fee if your total deposits (the sum of savings, checking, certificate, IRA, and money market balances) is under $150. This fee will also be waived if you have direct deposit or if you have Patelco's Free Checking Account.
An important issue about Patelco is that it is NOT federally insured by the NCUA. It's privately insured by American Share Insurance (ASI) for up to $250K per account. For more discussion on this issue, please see this post.
Thanks to the reader who left the comment about the new Patelco rates.
[Edited 7/10/07: Updated info on $3/month fee.]