Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Patelco Is Now Federally Insured - My Experience Joining and Opening the 7% and 5.50% CDs

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Patelco Credit Union
Patelco Credit Union is now federally insured by the NCUA. The NCUA coverage took effect today. The NCUA sign now appears at the bottom of each Patelco web page. However, I can't find Patelco listed yet at the NCUA Find-a-Credit-Union tool. I suspect it'll soon be added after the holiday.

Update 1/3/08: Patelco is now in the NCUA database as a federally insured credit union. Charter # 68579.

For the previous 5 years Patelco had been privately insured by American Share Insurance (ASI) with no federal insurance. I first reported on this change in November. Patelco describes the details of this change at this page.

My Experience with Joining Patelco and Opening their 7% and 5.50% CDs

With Patelco now federally insured, I decided to join so I could take advantage of their 5.50% APY 9-month certificate special. I also decided to take advantage of their 7.00% APY 12-month new member certificate special. The maximum deposit for this 7% CD is only $1,000, but if you're going to join, I didn't see any reason not to open this.

8% Savings Account for Those 21 and Under

Update 6/22/09: Patelco is no longer offering this 8% special savings account.

You can also open an account for your child. The instructions state that you should enter the minor as the primary applicant and the guardian/trustee as the co-applicant. Those 21 or younger can take advantage of the gr8 r8 Savings Account which has a 8% APY for balances up to $1,000. According to the rates table the 8% is effective through 12/31/08. Amounts over $1,000 earn the low tier rate of the Tiered Savings account.

Eligibility

Update 4/03/09: Membership in Patelco is open to anyone who joins the Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y). This is described at their Membership Eligibility Page:
CAFE-Y is an association of youth and adults working together to promote youth-driven community involvement as a vital force for social change. It is a support network for youth-adult teams that perform community service together all across California. Membership is open to anyone with a desire to make a difference and give back. Because YLI has a Select Employer Group (SEG) relationship with Patelco, any member of their group can join Patelco.

According to the CSR, you can join this association for free via Patelco's online application. In the first page of the application select "I heard about Patelco through my employer or I live, work or worship in a city sponsored by Patelco". After you select this, a text field appears with the instructions to enter the name of your employer or the city in which you live, work or worship. When you type CAFE, the following should appear as an option "Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y)". Previously, one could join Patelco via the California Association for Older Americans. However, this association is no longer listed in Patelco's new Membership Eligibility Page.

As I described in previous posts, anyone can be eligible to be a member by joining the California Association for Older Americans. This is described at the bottom of their Eligibility page:
Anyone can join this association, regardless of age or geographic location. Just indicate California Association for Older Americans on your application.

There's no cost to join this association.


Patelco's online application was quick and easy. Here's what I learned:

Membership Application

To indicate the association for eligibility, select "I heard about Patelco ..." in the Eligibility section near the bottom of the application. Then type in "Older Americans" in the lookup field and select Lookup. This association should appear in the eligibility list of step 2. Select this association and the California Assn. For Older Americans should appear in the box.

When you select the Savings and Certificate product on top of the application, additional sections will open up near the bottom. The new sections will allow you to select the specific products and how you intend to fund them. You can fund by ACH transfer or by check. I chose ACH transfer. When I selected ACH, additional fields appeared where I could enter my bank's routing and account number. I didn't see how to open both the 7% and the 5.50% CD at the same time. So I decided to just do the 7% CD. A reader commented in a previous post that you don't have to select the savings account. They will automatically open this and fund it with $1. I forgot about this and funded it with $5 via ACH.

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.

After completing the application page, I selected Next at the bottom, and a Verify page appeared that also had the terms that I had to agree to.

After the submission, an Application Status page appeared afer about 20 seconds. The page included confirmation of the accounts that I opened and provided my new account number. It also gave a link where I could create a password to access their online banking, PC-24.

Online Access

I clicked on the Create Password linked of the Application Status page and filled in the application. It was accepted and then I was able to log in.

Once I was logged in, the new Tiered Savings Account and New Member Certificate Special were listed in the account summary page. The savings showed a balance of $1 which Patelco provided. The certificate showed a $0 balance. I expect the balance will be updated once the application is approved and the funding goes through.

Opening the 5.50% CD

Next, I opened the 5.50% APY 9-month certificate special. While still logged into PC-24, I selected the "Open a New Account" link below the top tabs. You then select the specific account in the next page. The 9-month certificate is a separate link. In that 9-month CD page application, it specifically states that money to fund the CD must be new to Patelco. It defines new as money that hasn't been withdrawn from Patelco in the last 120 days.

The first page of the 9-month CD application just had the amount to deposit (minimum of $1,000) and an optional co-applicant field. The next page is a verify page, and then you'll get to the page where it lets you select to fund the CD by either check or ACH. I chose ACH again.

Once you complete the ACH page, the CD application is finished. At first the new CD didn't show up in the account summary list. But when I logged out and then back in, the new CD was included.

Other Patelco Deals

Patelco also has other good deals like a HSA account with a yield of 5.12% APY, 5.00% APY certificates with terms from 48 to 60 months, and 5.25% APY IRA certificates with terms of 24 to 35 months. These rates will likely go down soon, but Patelco has had a history of top rates, so I expect them to continue to be competitive.

Patelco's Safety

As I mentioned, Patelco doesn't yet seem to be listed at the NCUA database. I'm confident they'll soon be added. It's still listed in the American Share Insurance (ASI) database. Patelco is a major credit union with $4.1 billion in assets. Bankrate.com gives Patelco 3 out of 5 stars (performing) based on 9/30/07 data.

Update 1/3/08: Patelco is now in the NCUA database as a federally insured credit union. Charter # 68579.

Current Patelco Members

For those who currently have deposit accounts in excess of $100,000 at Patelco, those accounts will NOT be 'grandfathered'. They will NO longer be protected by private insurance up to $250,000 per account as they were when you opened such accounts. I recommend contacting Patelco to see you can add qualified beneficiaries to qualify for higher NCUA coverage. Please refer to this post for details about extending federal insurance past $100,000. Thanks to the commenter in a previous Patelco post who noted this issue.

  Tags: Patelco Credit Union, California, CD rates, IRA rates

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