Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

2.50% 6-Month CD, 3.00% 24-Month CD & Other High CD Rates at Police and Fire FCU in PA

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Police and Fire Federal Credit Union continues to offer very competitive rates. The CD rates range from 2.40% APY for a 3-month term to 4.00% APY for a 60-month term. The 2.80% APY 15-month CD and the 3.00 APY 24-month CDs are especially competitive. The same rates also apply to IRA certificates. Minimum deposit is $500. These rates are listed in the credit union's rate table as of 5/21/09.

The credit union also has a competitive savings account with a yield of 2.25% APY for a minimum balance of $2,500 as of 5/21/09. This same rate is also available as an IRA money market account and an education savings account.

I last posted on this credit union in April. The rates have gone down, but they remain competitive.

The credit union has an online application for its certificates. However, you must first be a member and have money already in one of the credit union's liquid accounts. Once you become a member, you can use an online bank to push money into the credit union savings account via an ACH transfer. Once the money is in there, you should be able to purchase the CD using this online application. This approach has worked well for me at Navy FCU.

In addition to Philadelphia police and firefighters, membership is also open to other employee groups and associations. Please refer to their Membership Page for the full details. The association and organization list is long, and one that's included is the Pennsylvania SPCA (see update below). I would recommend checking with the credit union to verify this before trying to join.

Update 5/21/09: Readers have reported being told by the credit union that the Pennsylvania SPCA was incorrectly listed as an Association/Organization. It should be listed under Employers. So only employees of the SPCA (not members) can qualify.

The credit union has an online membership application which seems to allow online funding. A minimum deposit of $5 is required.

Branches are located in Philadelphia and its suburbs.

The credit union has strong ratings for safety and soundness: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 12/31/08 financial data. It's a large credit union with $2.9 billion in assets and 160,579 members. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 2551).

Other High Certificate of Deposit Rates

For top CD rates nationally available, refer to my weekly rate summary. Many of the best CD deals are only locally available. To find the best deals in your state, refer to the index of state CD and bank deals.
  Tags: Pennsylvania, CD rates, IRA rates, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, savings account

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Comments
5 comments.
Comment #1 by RateFollower (anonymous) posted on
RateFollower
I joined the PA SPCA thinking this would allow me to join PFFCU, but it did not. Watch out, later I was contacted by one of their VPs who was upset with my attempt to join.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was going to post about my similar experience with this CU just yesterday. I joined the PSPCA at their $35 full membership level and then filled out their (PFFCU) very thorough and extensive application yesterday (5-20-09). All the relevant questions ("which of the following addresses have you never lived at", etc).

Later in the day, I too was contacted by a representative who was not too warm in their rejection of my application ("you have to be an employee of the PSPCA...we are bumping that requirement up to employee, etc").

She also said one other person had tried to join about a week ago (see post above this, I'm betting).

I thought this was rather ridiculous (they have 292 employee groups and 71 membership groups, yet they found a way to reject my app), and wrote a follow-up pointing out the listing and making one more 'professional' attempt to join:

"Hello PFFCU, Earlier today (5-20-09), I filled out the PFFCU online membership application. Prior to filling out the application, I read the Membership Eligibility introduction, which stated "Association/Congregation Membership - You are a member or congregant of the associations, organizations or congregations listed here:", etc. On your PFFCU Member Groups list, under the 'Associations and Organizations' portion (not the separate 'Employee Groups' category on the same page), the Pennsylvania SPCA is listed. I joined the Pennsylvania SPCA at the $35 full membership level - which was verified today (5-20-09), and then completed the PFFCU membership application with all verifiable requested information as per the given instructions. Several hours later, I received a call from a PFFCU representative (I unfortunately don't recall her name), and was informed that the requirement in regards to the Pennsylvania SPCA was as not as a member, but as an employee only, in contrast to it's listing on the PFFCU Member Groups list. I was very much looking forward to investing in some of PFFCU's Certificates, particularly in light of the fact that PFFCU has such solid safety ratings (4 star), not a small consideration these days. I must inquire if there is any possible way for me to join PFFCU, as I truly followed all the requisite application requirements and am otherwise an easily verifiable safe membership candidate (I have already provided the necessary ACH information for the withdrawal of the $5 membership fee from my checking account at another institution). I look forward to hearing back from you, and do sincerely hope to establish a mutually beneficial membership with PFFCU. Thank you, xxxxxxxxx"

Here is the reply...:

"Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your interest in PFFCU. We appreciate your willingness to point out a confusing message on our web site. I have confirmed with our Business Development manager that the PA SPCA was incorrectly listed as an Association/Organization. It should be listed under Employers. We will be making the correction as soon as possible.

We apologize that you are not eligible for membership through the PA SPCA. It is flattering that you would have researched our financial strength so thoroughly. We are indeed proud to offer our members a financial partner they can Trust for superior Service, Value, and Convenience.

Best Regards,

Cynthia Harrison
Vice President of Telephone Member Service
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union"
_________________

I will add that I definitely don't mind the PSPCA having $35 of mine, and the didn't pull the $$ from my checking account....but as of 12:20PM CST, the PSPCA is still listed under "Associations and Organizations", not "Employee Groups"....c'est la vie

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Comment #3 by Mary (anonymous) posted on
Mary
Dear Mr. XXX, I appreciate reading about your attempts to simply become customer. It is frustrating to meet qualifications, spend time and effort, and then not be allowed to open an account. I do appreciate the issue of membership with a credit union, but the same reaction is becoming increasing prevalent in banks. This appears to be a regression to the prior local only protection banks used for decades to prevent any real competition. Thank you for sharing you letter.

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Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. Sorry about the credit union rejecting your membership. I've updated the post noting this mistake by the credit union.

This isn't the first time that a credit union made a mistake (or claimed to have made a mistake) in their field-of-membership association listings. I've even seen cases when several CSRs at a credit union stated that members of an association qualified. Then some manager decided this was not the case. So I'm afraid we'll have to be extra careful when trying to qualify for credit union membership via an association.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ken

Man, you have been such an incredible help, never a need for you to apologize! In fact, I feel a need to apologize for putting off dropping a little something in your tip jar for over three years worth of helping me and the missus sweeten up our portfolio rather nicely. So, this gave me the opportunity to do just that via PayPal.....a sincere thanks!

Regarding this minor fiasco with PFFCU, you are right on with your "we'll have to be extra careful when trying to qualify for credit union membership via an association" comment.

I don't know if this was a true mistake or what, but the way the phone response was handled was what got my goat. Not to mention that I'm still smarting a bit from missing out on the 5% 5-year CD from Pacific Transportation Federal CU a couple of weeks ago (I'm the guy who they called back while I was away for 20 minutes, and then couldn't get back through via their instructions and missed the deal). Guess things are a little tense all around finance land lately (can't imagine why...).

But as far as your contribution and the help you have provided so many with go, big thanks again!

Richard (Mr. xxxxx)

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