Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

5.00% 24-Month / 4.50% 13-Month CD at America's Credit Union - Easy Membership

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America's Credit Union
Update 10/25/08: The website was showing the 5% CD again, BUT according to the CSR, this is a mistake. The 5% 24-month CD did end on the 23rd. However, they still have a 4% APY 15-month CD with the same add-on feature.

America's Credit Union has two very attractive promotional certificate accounts. The first has a 5.00% APY for 24 months and the second has a 4.50% APY for 13 months. These have a feature called Super Bump Flex which allows unlimited bump-up in rates if the interest rate rises. The second feature is the allowance of deposit add-ons in increments of $100 with a maximum deposit add-on over the life of the certificate not to exceed $100,000 over the opening balance. The bottom of the table states that the renewal dividend rate is 2.63% APY. I assume you would be able to choose not to renew the certificate without penalty at the end of the 13-month or 24-month term. Please leave a comment if you receive more info from the credit union.

Update 10/20/08: A reader has reported being told by the credit union of the following add-on limitation that is not listed on the website: "your additional deposits cannot exceed double your initial investment." Update 10/21/08: I sent the credit union an email about the add-on limitations, and in the credit union's reply, it was stated that there are no additional limitations beyond the two that are listed on the website. Update: Another reader reported obtaining confirmation from the credit union that there are no additional add-on limits besides the two that are listed on the website. I'm striking the 10/20/08 update so it does not confuse readers.

Anyone seems to be eligible to join this credit union via membership into an association. Below is an excerpt from the credit union's About Us Page:
We do not have zip code or employment restrictions. Just join the Association of the United States Army. Membership is open to everyone!

Civilian membership into this association costs $33. You can be immediately eligible to join the credit union if you are in the military. Please refer to the About Us Page for the full details.

Even though this credit union makes it easy to qualify for membership, I'm not sure if they make it easy to join by mail. Please contact the credit union for details. Branches are located in the Washington State cities of Fort Lewis, DuPont, Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, Spanaway and University Place.

America's Credit Union has some decent financial ratings for soundness: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 6/30/08 data. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 9373). It has $284.6 million in assets and 31,748 members.

  Tags: Washington, CD rates, America's Credit Union

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Comments
33 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I sent the CU a chat message, and received the following response:

Sorry there is not a application online to join the Credit Union, you can submit your request in writing to the main office to

America’s Credit Union
PO Box 33338
Fort Lewis, WA 98433.

2
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They told me that they would fax me the application. Then they just need that back in mail with a notarized copy of drivers' license and SS card and they require a $50 deposit into a savings account before you can open the cd.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Sounds like a good deal. I have most of my money that I live on in a cd maturing in 3 months. I'm getting scared what will be out there in that time.

The ability to add money later would be great.

3
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This almost sounds too good to be true... being able to add on up to 100k over what you put in... does anyone know if the rate locks at any point as I can't see how this deal could last very long...

3
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The rate is locked in for the term. Any time deposits are made you are still getting the rate the CD was opened. The term does not change with the deposits.

3
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does anyone know when the rate locks in? In other words, if I send my application today in the mail and the rate drops to 3% on Monday before they receive my application, would I still get the 5%? This deal is amazing, but I don't think it will last another week.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Rate locks moment account is opened. It does NOT lock with a postmark. To be sure of rate you would have to wire funds AND get the application and notarized documents to them. I don't exactly know how to do that on a same day basis. I was successful opening my account. But I had to bear the risk of an overnight letter. All the risk was on me that the rate would hold for one more day beyond my day of mailing. I was fortunate, very fortunate. Now if you wired funds today they MIGHT hold the rate for you until your overnighted documents arrived next week. This is something about which you would have to inquire. I really do not know what they will say. Otherwise, there will be some risk of rate reduction if you try to open as I did, with everything sent together in an overnight letter. Nobody there knows how long the deal will hold, and when it's gone it's gone.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm agreeable with the above post about overnighting stuff. One thing though that the earlier poster failed to mention. When you overnight to a bank or to a credit union, be sure to address the item to their physical address. Do not send an overnight letter to a post office box, not even if you use USPS Express Mail as your service. And these days, with the large difference in cost, a lot of us out here are using Express Mail instead of FedEx or UPS overnight services. Recently with the rate changes, I have been able to overnight Express Mail items to (relatively) nearby locations for as little as twelve bucks and change.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just express mailed my application, check & copied documents off to them today. I was told they would hold the rate for me with today's postmark as it will show up by noon tomorrow(Saturday); however, YMMV. The CSR's are wonderful but they did strongly hint upon my questioning that this deal was going to be history shortly. I would suggest anyone interested to phone them tomorrow at the latest.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
BG, thanks so much for this posting. I took the chance of sending in my application via regular mail last week and it got there today. I was able to get the 2-year 5% APY super bump certificate today.

This is a terrific deal because you can add on up to $100K during the term of the CD. I think that's unbeatable.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the poster at 1:47 PM, October 15, 2008, I offer my congratulations. Buy a lottery ticket. It's your lucky day!!

It is amazing, to me at least, this deal remains available even today. Simply amazing! I never dreamed it would last this long.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
i also opened one of these cd's and it was all done quickly and painlessly. one thing to note: the interest rate hike applies NOT if the interest rates go up in general, but ONLY and ONLY if the credit union opts to raise the rate on THIS specifi product. IF that happens (don't hold your breath) then YOU must find out about it and call them to have them hike it. they will not raise it unless you call them. i do not anticipate the rate to go up on this product. most likely if the rates go up they will come up with another cd and call it something else and chose not to raise the rate on this. having said that, it IS an awesome deal as it is and i want to thank the banking guy for bringing it to everyone's attention.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Awesome deal and I'm in.
The only thing in the least negative is that they DO make a hard inquiry on your credit report. That being said it made no difference to me, still an awesome deal since I ladder CD's and have at least 11 coming due in the next year and now don't have to worry about getting a decent rate for at least $100,000 of them for the next two years.
Thanks, Banking Guy!

1
Comment #14 by geld lenen (anonymous) posted on
geld lenen
So what is the effect of the financial crisis on today's interest rates? Are we seeing a sharp rise or?

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just spoke by telephone with Credit Union rep Marcus. He informed me that the 24 month Super Bump Flex CD can be added on to in $100 increments up to $100,000 over the life of the certificate with the following previously undesclosed limitation and that is your additional deposits cannot exceed double the initial deposit. So if you open the account for $1000 you can only add a total deposit of another $1000 over the life of the certificate.

I told him that their website said something different:

"Super Bump Flex Certificates
Same great benefits as a Flex Certificate, but offers unlimited "bumps". This means that you can contact the credit union and have your rate increased to the current published rate as market rates rise. Deposit add-ons can be made in increments of $100. Maximum deposit add-on over the life of the certificate is not to exceed $100,000 over the opening balance."

I said could you double check what you are telling me. After some time holding, he said that he checked with his manager and that he is correct, your additional deposits cannot exceed double your initial investment.

This may make this certificate less valuable for some that were waiting for a CD to come due and planning to add to this certificate down the line.

1
Comment #16 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for reporting on this new limitation. This does make the add-on feature much less valuable. If the limitation is "your additional deposits cannot exceed double your initial investment," wouldn't the maximum add-on deposit be $2,000 for an initial deposit of $1,000?

1
Comment #17 by Mark (anonymous) posted on
Mark
What is the process of opening account and how long does it take? Their site says that you can join the Army Association for $33. How long does it take to join this org? I called the CSR and they had no idea. Do you just pay the $33 online and then get a membership number? What does the credit union need in terms of proof of membership? I've looked everywhere for the info but had no luck, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

1
Comment #18 by snipeman (anonymous) posted on
snipeman
I live in Portland Oregon, but drove into the most Southern branch of America's Credit Union.

If you go into the branch, they waive the fee to join the association.

This is something to consider if you are relatively close to a branch. I saved notarizing my documents, FedEx/mailing fees, and I saved the $33 joining fee.

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks for the new info about the limitation to the add on feature. I spoke at length to both Marcus last week and Sherry this afternoon about all of my concerns and the add on limits were never brought to my attention when I asked about the add on totals.I was going to open 3 accounts for $2000 each and next week when a large CD matured, I was going to add a lot more. Now I have to wait until next week and hope the rate is still available.I was actually online to apply for membership in the AUSA and was going to mail my application info tomorrow. Good thing I checked in here one last time. You guys are life savers.
One thing the CSR said is they usually change the rates once a month at the end of the month but there is no guarantee. I'll have to hold my breath and wait until next week. Thanks for the help.

1
Comment #20 by Andy (anonymous) posted on
Andy
The rates online say good as on Sept 30th, so they probably won't change them until the end of this month.

Of course you can never tell. Some of these specials run until a certain amount of money is received. When the credit union fills the need, the special can end abruptly.

Perhaps you should send in the $50 for the savings account and get that setup. Then when your CD's mature you can just have the old bank wire the money to the savings account at America's. Their routing # is the same for ABA and wire transfers. The account # for your savings account it simply your member #.

The ABA# is 325180634.

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have to wonder when that new limitation, if it exists, went into effect. It certainly was not in effect when I opened my accounts more than ten days ago. Even today, such a limitation is not documented on the ACU website in the account disclosures.

ACU can set up any new account rules they wish to put into place. But procedures must be followed and notice must be offered both existing and prospective members. Absent that, they are on VERY shaky ground. Certainly, changes cannot be made retroactively.

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
WOW! Just seeing this for first time this morning; big kick in the head.

Banking Guy this is huge and needs to be moved to the top. There could be lawsuits over this. Undisclosed and undocumented rules do not fly, although they could change the rules from today forward without trouble. Still, they would have to document those changes and that has not been done AFAIK.

1
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Let's clear this up a bit.

If you open a 13 or 24 month Super Bump Flex CD with the minimum deposit of $500.00 in order to secure your rate, you then have the ability to add up to $100,000.00 over the opening balance through out the life of the CD.

For example:

Joe opens a CD at ACU for $500.00. His CD at XYZ bank matures the next week for $50,000.00. Joe can add that $50K to the CD and when his next CD matures at ABC bank, he can add an additional $50K. Making his balance $100,500.00. However, once he hits the $100K mark, he cannot add any more funds to the CD until after it matures.

Does that help?

1
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Verbiage from ACU site:

Super Bump Flex Certificates
Same great benefits as a Flex Certificate, but offers unlimited "bumps". This means that you can contact the credit union and have your rate increased to the current published rate as market rates rise. Deposit add-ons can be made in increments of $100. Maximum deposit add-on over the life of the certificate is not to exceed $100,000 over the opening balance.

1
Comment #25 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
glxpass
The information in the 9:07am comment is absolutely correct. I just confirmed it a few moments ago with the person I talked with at the CU yesterday, a manager. She indicated the same example: if you open with $500, you can bump by multiples (I'd say "multiples" rather than "increments") of $100, and have a principal balance not exceeding $100,500.

A suggestion: When information appears on the Internet that doesn't correspond with actual disclosure information on the Financial Institution's website, get confirmation from a reliable source before believing it.

There's a link to the Truth-in-Savings Account Disclosures that clearly distinguished between Flex Certificates and Super Bump Flex Certificates.

1
Comment #26 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
glxpass
Sorry, I meant to say "the 8:51am comment is absolutely correct", although that's also true for the 9:07am comment.

1
Comment #27 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This could not be more confusing. Posters yesterday confirming the new conditions and rules. Then other posters today stating the original account rules, which remain posted on the ACU website. Of course everyone already knows the old rules. What we want is for the new conditions and limitations, as stated by this representative, Marcus, to be denied. I sure hope somebody can get to the bottom of this. If they have changed the rules it is serious stuff and we deserve to know.

Only Banking Guy himself has the stature here to comment on this definitively. Until he does, or if he does not, it's a crap shoot. Right now he has a warning up and I respect that warning!

1
Comment #28 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
glxpass
I think Banking Guy has the best of intentions, and I greatly respect him for the invaluable service he provides.

I don't want to believe that someone would intentionally post a false comment (and perhaps even follow that comment up with another false comment to substantiate it), but clearly it happens.

Be skeptical, use common sense, and get confirmation. Even the most honest poster will inadvertently get things wrong; we all make mistakes.

Unfortunately the posts mentioning the false limitation don't fall into that category.

1
Comment #29 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just called the credit union and spoke w CSR Reesie (phonetic spelling here) about the new undisclosed limitation. He said they received clarification this morning and there is -->> NO <<-- 2x limit. He confirmed that if for example you opened a $10K CD, you can deposit an additional $100K (in the stated increments).

1
Comment #30 by mrknicks (anonymous) posted on
mrknicks
I previously posted as anonymous on 10/20 at 9:23. I also spoke to a manager this afternoon and she confirmed that the add on feature is valid for up to 100k above the initial deposit. She also "felt " that it was not going to be continued by the begining of next week. I rushed to get my account open. I sent all the required info to her directly at a physical location by overnight mail. I'm hoping it will be honored. I opened 3 CDs in adittion to the required savings account. An individual account and 2 POD so I will be able to add on 300k if I desire. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the rate will still be in efect. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

1
Comment #31 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
At close of business today PT, this deal is dead. RIP What a great deal!

1
Comment #32 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just spoke to America's Credit Union - eBranch Manager, Rebecca.
This offer is over...O-V-E-R! They are not able to make exceptions or honor postmarks.

Time to move on to another product/institution. Keep looking, they are other great rates out there.

1
Comment #33 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Although that rate is over, I just found out there is another CD at 4% for 15 months, which is a super bump flex one too. not to shabby.

1