Patelco Credit Union is still offering a $50 bonus for opening a checking account with direct deposit. I first posted on this special in this February post. The promotion is now listed on Patelco's home page. The details are described at the top of Patelco's checking account page. First you must open any checking account and then set up direct deposit of $100 or more per month for 3 months. After 3 months of direct deposit activity, Patelco will deposit $50 into your new account. According to the CSR, there's no hard credit inquiry for opening a checking account. They just do ChexSystem verification. A commenter mentioned in my previous post that an ACH transfer should count as a direct deposit.
7.00% 12-Month New Member Special Certificate
If you sign up to become a Patelco member, you should also take advantage of their 7.00% APY 12-month New Member Special Certificate. The maximum deposit is only $1,000 so you'll only make about $30 over a 4% CD. But it's an easy $30. I opened this 7% CD when I became a member in January (see post for details).
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this 7% CD in the comments.
The only other decent certificate deal is on their IRA certificate which currently has a yield of 4.00% APY for a term of 24 to 35 months. All of their other IRA certificate terms and all of their regular certificate terms have yields of under 4% (see CD rate table). They often have good short-term CD deals. The last one ended in January when they were offering a 5.50% APY 9-month CD. I doubt we'll see 5.50% anytime soon, but perhaps we'll see a 4-percent-plus CD special sometime this year.
Other good deals at Patelco include the gr8 r8 Savings which offers 8% APY on balances up to $1K for members 21 and under, the Health Savings Account with a current yield of 5.12% APY and the Treasury Income account with a current yield of 4.25% APY for a minimum balance of $25K (although this rate may go way down since it's tied to the average of the previous 12 weeks' auction yields of the 6-Month U.S. Treasury Bill).
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.
Branches are primarily in California with one branch in the Chicago Metro area. At the start of 2008, Patelco officially switched from private insurance to federal insurance, and it's now NCUA insured (Charter # 68579). It's one of the nation's largest credit unions with $4.1 billion in assets and 242,093 members.