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Melrose Credit Union Continues To Offer the Best One & Two-Year CD Rates - Nationally Available

POSTED ON BY

Melrose Credit Union
Update 6/23/09: A reader has reported being told that the CD rates are scheduled to fall tomorrow (6/24/09).

I was pleasantly surprised to see Melrose Credit Union maintain their CD rates into June. Many other credit unions and banks have cut their rates in the last few weeks, and now Melrose's 1- and 2-year CDs are especially competitive (3.03% APY 1-year and 3.19% APY 2-year as of 6/12/09). For longer term CDs, Pentagon Federal Credit Union still has the best deals.

Melrose CDs have a minimum deposit of $5,000 ($4,000 for IRA certificates). Below is a full list of the CD rates as listed in the credit union's rate table as of 6/12/2009:

CD Rates as of 6/12/2009:

Term Rate APY
1 year 3.00% 3.03%
2 year 3.15% 3.19%
3 year 3.30% 3.34%
4 year 3.45% 3.49%
5 year 3.85% 3.91%

The last time Melrose cut its CD rates was at the start of April. They don't always limit their rate cuts at the start of a month. In February, they cut their CD rates near the middle of the month. So it's possible these current rates may be cut before July, and that is a valid concern for those considering these CDs.

At the top of the rate table, it states that "your certificate will be the rate that is in effect the day your completed paperwork and funds are received." Several readers have reported that Melrose is slow in opening accounts by mail. They now have an online application with ACH funding, however, the process can still be slow. A reader commented in my last Melrose CU post that it's "A slow process by online & mail (5 days) despite funding from ACH." If you do apply online, they also need copies of a photo ID and proof of address. For the proof of address, the reader mentioned that a cell phone bill didn't work. A utility bill is recommended. The reader also mentioned that Melrose ran a hard credit check for opening CDs.

Readers who have been able to visit their branch in Queens, New York have reported an easier time. Here's a reader's comment from my last Melrose post:
Fortunately I live on Long Island and the drive into Queens is worth it. I have had absolutely no problems when dealing in person. The staff could not be more helpful. Never had a problem opening or closing or maturity.

At the bottom of the first page of the online application, there's a link to the disclosure which provides details of the CDs. Certificate dividends are compounded and credited to your account every quarter. You can also have the dividends paid to your Share Account every quarter.

The early withdrawal penalty as described in the disclosure is confusing. The penalty appears to be 90 days of interest for the 1-year term and 180 days for the longer terms. In addition, if you don't withdraw all of the money, the CD interest rate is reduced for the entire life to the share savings rate.

Membership

Anyone can join the credit union. According to Melrose's membership page:
Since Melrose Credit Union has an open New York State charter there are no geographic or group affiliation field of membership restrictions. So, regardless of where you live or how you earn a living, you may qualify for membership.

Financial Health and NCUA Status

For those who are looking for sound financial institutions, Melrose CU may be one according to the rating services: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 12/31/08 data.

Melrose is located in Briarwood, New York which is in Queens. It's federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 62005).

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  Tags: New York, Melrose Credit Union, CD rates, IRA rates

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Comments
13 Comments.
Comment #1 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
A reader posted the following comment in another post about his/her experience with Melrose CU:

I note, you are indicating that accounts can now be opened online. Well, not exactly. I just opened an account with them last week and queried into things. Turns out, if you "open" an account online, it will not be opened or even processed until they receive that filing in the mail from you with your original signature on it. Only then will they process and open the account. So, it is no faster than doing it strictly by mail anyway -- and it will take as long as the post office takes to deliver it.

The CSR even warned me that some people opening accounts online do not realize that they have to print that filing out and sign it and mail it in -- creating delays in opening their accounts.

You can get same-day service to open a CD, though -- IF you already have a membership, which requires $25 in a share savings account. To do so, if you have a CD coming up and think you might want to move the money to Melrose, get the process to open the membership and share saving account going at least a week in advance. You will only be risking losing the mere $1 membership fee, as the $25 in the share savings is refundable at closing of membership. AND have them send you (mail, e-mail, fax) a form to open a CD.

Then on the day your CD money becomes available, you can open the CD at Melrose same day by going to a credit union near you that is in the shared branch system and depositing your money into your Melrose share account. Then, you can fax (or even e-mail) in the completed and signed CD application (they do not need it mailed in as an original signature at this point), and they will open the CD same day by transferring the money from the share savings account.

That is about the only way you can know what rate you actually will get on the CD when you start the CD process. Otherwise, it might change overnight or by whenever your money and application gets to them.

I also note, I have had a LOT of difficulty getting ANYONE in membership services to answer the phone!

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I tried to join last year, went through the entire process for my husband and myself, sent in all our IDs, filled out all the forms, sent in the check to open the share savings account.....and then they told me they needed me to send a copy of our marriage certificate! (We have different names, not at all uncommon these days.) I thought that was a bit much, and told them to forget the whole thing and refund the share money, which they did. I suppose I "cut off my nose to spite my face", but I was just so fed up with them at that point, never having being asked by any other banking institution - and my husband and have have money and CDs all over the place - to prove that we're married!

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Very difficult to reach by phone. Very slow processing of cd application.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened my first CD at Melrose in early Feb 2009. via mail. No problems..in fact the application was done online, printed & mailed with a check. It was a slightly complex task as I was opening a CD, plus small chking plus usual requied share-savings.

2 weeks later, I opened my second Cd (already being a member using their online application & funding via ACH process.

There was some confusion when I called to confirm all was well...and I later learned that their IT dept had just installed the online appl. process and ACH funding. The CSR connected me directly to their IT dept head at which time I found out that I was THE FIRST customer to apply/fund a CD online. Therefore, they asked my quite a few questions & wanted comments on my experience. I was very satified and all issues were handled promptly.

Since that time, we have opened 2 more CDs but have driven to their headquarters in Queens NY...about 40 minutes away.

As is typical in many CU's, you may have a 15-30 minute wait to sit down with a rep....after which the process takes only 10 minutes.

I thank the (above) comments from a reader about using (if you are already a member) the CU's "shared branch access" to make a deposit at a participating CU to a share account at a bank you want to open a CD at...thus making the needed funds "appear" at the CU (where you want to open the new CD) very quickly.

I'll have to speak to a few of the CU's I use to find out just how fast this process is?? Anyone know?

They do not issue a physical CD (again like many CU's)...all accounts are so-called sub-accounts of the main share-account.

A monthly statement IS mailed...like many CU's....& not so many banks.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"I'll have to speak to a few of the CU's I use to find out just how fast this process is?? Anyone know?"

I've tried this with a few CUs where I had already established relationships. Policies and procedures vary. My recommendation is to confirm what they are at each place, prior to making the deposit. Key question to ask: Will deposits made within the network be immediately available for transfer into a CD?

At one place, they lifted the hold normally placed on such deposits once I called to have funds transferred from the share account into a CD. At another, when I went online to open the CD (which I had been told to do in advance), I learned the funds were on hold. I could not get the hold lifted until the resumption of business hours.

Another thing to keep in mind: It's always a good idea to call a shared branch before heading over with your deposit. Make sure their systems are up. I recently waited for over an hour at one, before giving up and driving to another. It was end of the month, and I needed to get my CD opened before the rates changed. I understand the shared system is not the most robust.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I filled out the online application with account funding from my personal checking account. I made a copy for my record and mailed all the documents out that they required. This was all mailed out on 6/9/09.
Today I called a Rep and was told they had not received my package but perhaps it was in todays mail.
I have another CD that matures 6/22, I plan to use this money to fund their 1yr 3.03% CD. I figured I would have the process completed way ahead of the maturing CD.
After reading about the application delay that many folks have written about, I suppose I shouldn't worry.
This is truly a long process, just hope the rate does not decrease before I get my application approved.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Won't open a CD with a beneficiary unless you supply the beneficiaries Social Security Number. The Date of Birth is not sufficient.

1
Comment #8 by RookieBank (anonymous) posted on
RookieBank
Thanks Banking Guy, followed your instructions about opening a CD using the "shared branch system" never knew about this credit union feature, but will make use of it in the future. Rates are still unchanged. Noticed the date on the application form for a Share CD was 4/1/09, so a quarterly change, July 1 may be in the works???

1
Comment #9 by lew e (anonymous) posted on
lew e
Opened a CD account at Melrose, mailed my check last Monday from CA, account was opened this Monday, no problems at all. One year rate still at 3%........

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Horrible customer service. After over a week, they call and tell me that (a) Rates are changing tomorrow 6/24, (b) ACH transfer would take 2 days and will be late for the CD, (c) Their ACH transfer system is not working.

I asked them to cancel my application. Held up my money for a week and a half with no use!! They suck.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I originally applied for the application 6/9.
Called 6/22 and received my account# and e-mail Share Certificate form.
6/23, I mailed form and check for 1yr 3.03% Share Certificate.
Today I read that they were changing their rates on 6/24.
It is a long process, but Melrose CU is a 4* rating and I guess they have to cover all bases. BUT, if I don't receive their old rate I am going to be very angry.

1
Comment #12 by steve (anonymous) posted on
steve
It's the worst CU experience I ever had. They put in so much road blocks there, I just wonder if they need deposits at all? The major CU's like Pentagon or Navy Fed are the best in CSR.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
June 25th
I had to finally give up on Melrose. I sent them all the paperwork, but because where I am renting includes utilities I could not give them a copy of a bill. I gave them D.L., passport, voter's reg (with street address), copy of my rental agreement. They called me back and told me
1) They do not accept online applications anymore and
2) I had to provide a utility bill.

I have had CD's with 10 different banks/CU's in the past few years and nothing has been this bad. It's not worth a slightly higher rate.

1