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3.00% 25-Month CD & 2.50% 13-Month CD with Add-On Feature at America's Credit Union - Easy Membership

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Update 9/25/09: The specials have changed, and the rates have fallen. There's now only one Super Bump Flex Certificate: 2.50% APY for 25 months. The other ones are now standard share certificates: 2.00% APY for 7 months and 2.15% APY for 13 months.

The rest of the post was originally published on 9/09/2009.

America's Credit Union is again offering a hot deal on its Super Bump Flex Certificates. There are 4 very competitive rates listed in the credit union's deposit rates page as of 9/09/09:
  • 3.00% APY 25 month
  • 2.75% APY 19 month
  • 2.50% APY 13 month
  • 2.00% APY 7 month
Update 9/24/09: Reader has reported that these CD specials are NOT available in an IRA.

Minimum deposit is $500. Last year this credit union had been offering a 5% 24-month CD. Many readers opened this CD and are probably happy that they did especially since they can add onto these CDs. However, the add-on feature is no longer as attractive as it was last year. The Super Bump Flex Certificate features are described in the credit union's Truth-in-Savings Certificate disclosure. Here's an excerpt from the disclosure with the add-on feature highlighted:
b. 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 for a like term as market rates rise during initial and subsequent renewal terms. You may make deposits of at least $100 at any time during the term of your Flex Certificate provided the principal balance does not exceed twice your Original Principal Balance or $100,000 whichever amount is less.

So if your intial deposit is $10,000, the maximum additional deposit would only be $10,000.

$100 Checking Account/Direct Deposit Bonus

America's Credit Union also has a deal for opening one of its checking accounts. You can receive $100 for opening a new qualifying checking account and establishing direct deposit of at least $250 within 30 days of account opening. The account and direct deposit must remain open for 12 months to keep the bonus. Refer to the credit union's promotions page for the full details.

Membership

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.

Online Application

America's Credit Union now has an online application that allows you to become a member and open accounts online. I don't think they had this online application last year. On the second page of the application, it lists some important details. I've included the most important ones below:
  • A minimum deposit of $50.00 to your Regular Savings account will be required
  • You have the option to fund your account online by electronic transfer from another institution (please have the account number and Routing/Transit number from the other institution), by credit card (have your card handy), or by mailing a check. We welcome initial deposits of $10,000.00 or less.
  • Upon completing this online application, you can simply print the Account Card sign where indicated and send to us along with a notarized copy of your drivers license. Upon receipt of the above items, your account will be activated, and your VISA Debit Card and checks (if applicable) will be ordered.
Update 9/15/09: Refer to this comment about additional requirements when you apply by mail.

I'm not sure of the fastest way to open the CD. Once you're a member with the savings account, you should be able to quickly open a CD using funds from the credit union's savings account. If you have a better way, please leave a comment. Refer to my post from last year to read about the experiences of readers who opened these CDs.

Locations

If you happen to live near one of their branches, it's definitely cheaper and quicker to apply at a branch. America's Credit Union is located in the Washington State cities of Fort Lewis, DuPont, Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, Spanaway and University Place.

Financial/NCUA Overview

America's Credit Union's rating for safety and soundness went down a bit since last year at BauerFinancial. It's now 3 stars (adequate) compared to 4 stars (excellent) last year. It continues to have the same rating at Bankrate.com of 3 stars (performing). These new ratings are based on 3/31/09 financial data. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 9373).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this special.

Other Competitive Certificate of Deposit Rates

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

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Comments
17 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Another easy way to transfer money and open a CD ... America's Credit Union is a shared credit union. I can tell by the symbol at the bottom of the site. The swirl symbol next to the text CU Service Centers. Not all, but many credit unions belong to this service center and it allows transfering funds to another remote shared credit union by visiting a local shared credit union in your area.

Anywhere you see the swirl symbol you can conduct a range of transactions, such as: Deposits
Withdrawals Loan Payments
Make transfers between accounts
Purchase money orders, travelers checks and official checks*
And more!

To take advantage of this service, when you enter a shared branch you only need to bring:

Your home credit union's name
Your account number
Valid government-issued photo identification, i.e., State Driver’s license, US Passport

3
Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for noting the shared credit union service. That is a good point. Many readers have mentioned funding CDs by first depositing money into their credit union savings account from a remote shared credit union. Once it's in the savings account, you can usually open a CD and fund it with the savings account money online or by phone.

2
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Shared Branching is a wonderful thing. However, the first 90 days an account is opened there is a Shared Branching restriction. Once that time passes, you can make deposits to these CD's at any convenient location around the US.

In order to expedite the process for opening these accounts, here are some ground rules provided for your viewing pleasure:

The following information is required to begin the process of opening the account account:

1) Complete and print the application providing your name, address, unit and home of record. Joint Applicant information, if applicable.(Drivers License and Social Security Card must be notarized, if account opened by mail)
2) Provide the name, address and relationship of the designated beneficiary.
3) Please provide a front and back copy of your Military ID, OR copy of your Drivers License along with a copy of your Social Security card.
4) Please provide a copy of the AUSA application you created if you are outside the Credit Union typical field of membership.
5) ID and Social Security card/passport, etc MUST BE NOTARIZED. There will be no exceptions.

We move these new account requests as expediciously as possible but there are procedures involved. We also pull a credit report on all new/potential members. Turn around time for a response or approval is a minimum of 24 hours.

We do not lock or guarantee rates.
Documents can be sent FedEx, UPS or Priority Mail. For the record, if the CD you are requesting is not available when your documents arrive and you are not interested in any of our other products, your funds will be returned to you.

...cause that's how we roll...

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Completed the application process and printed out the signature card. Went to my bank and got a notarized copy of our driver's licenses. Signed the signature card and mailed it all in. Got home and discovered an email from the bank saying I need a notarized copy of driver's license AND the Social Security cards.
Too late, after all I put my bank CSR through to get the proper verbage on the notarized copy. In today's enviornment with identity theft, there is no was I will ever give a copy of my SS number to ANYONE. Never have and never will. I'm going back to my bank and invest with them for a few less dollars in interest. This CU is way out of line. If they don't want my pidly investment, there are thousands of others who do!

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Not willing to give them your SSN No way - No how? But you were willing to give them a signature card with all of your personal info and your SSN on it? Every institution has procedures and criteria in place in order to remain compliant and secure. Your comment, " after all I put my bank CSR through to get the proper verbage on the notarized copy..." You can put the CSR at YOUR bank through that but you won't comply with an identification requirement at a new bank. Having a customer/member like you sounds like they dodged a bullet to me.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Is the association costs of $33 to become a member a one time thing? Or due you need to maintain this every year to stay a member of Credit Union?

1
Comment #7 by ACUGirl (anonymous) posted on
ACUGirl
The AUSA membership fee is a one time thing.

1
Comment #8 by ACUGirl (anonymous) posted on
ACUGirl
http://www.bankrate.com/rates/safe-sound/bank-ratings.aspx?t=cu&i=america's+credit+union&r=&a=&c=&s=&z=

If anyone would like some additonal information, here is a link to our rating at BankRate.com.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Love this site - Thanks !

The CD special at America's Credit Union is NOT available in an IRA account. Does not state that restriction anywhere .... but i just found out after joining and attempting to move IRA money.

1
Comment #10 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info on the IRA. I've updated the post with this.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Change has come - the 7,13 and 19 month Super Bump Flex CD's are gone. One SBF remains at 25 months with a rate of 2.47% and APY of 2.50%.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ACU experiences:

After the account was opened which was slow not easy & involved overnight mail. I set up ACH transfers at ACU. At the same time I set up ACH with another bank & ACU. The other bank had the verification deposits in ACU in 2 business days. After 4 business days none of the accounts had verification deposits from ACU. I sent a message & received a response that the verification was canceled due to the account being new & no funds being available to transfer. I sent a message that I need to transfer funds INTO ACU to purchase CD's. Still awaiting a response. The external transfer function leaves ACU's website & is handled at another website.

After opening the account I wanted to purchase more CD's. I logged in & purchased the CD's with funds being ACHed directly into the CD's. At the end of the 2nd business day the transactions were canceled without explanation. When I called I received a response that while ACH is an option along with sending in a check & using funds in other ACU accounts. The ACH function does not work & should have been removed. When I asked why it took 2 days to cancel the transactions the response was that they have 24 to 48 hours to process transactions.

Currently the CD's are not available or the rate has changed.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
More ACU experiences:

When the rates changed the option to open a CD account disappeared from the list of accounts available for new & current members.

According to the fee schedule if the $50 share balance is below $50 a $20 fee will charged.

After an account is applied for there isn't a direct link on the home page to check status. To find the link click "Online Services" & then "Membership Application" & use the password which was setup during the application process. The same page & password is used to open a secondary account.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bad experiance in opening an account. Asked for a copy of the SSN card in email after I already mailed them the D/L copy and the applicaion form (as mentioned in their requirement). Wrote back to them through their messaging system and did not receive any reply for more than 5 days. When called they said they are waiting on SSN copy and the initial deposit check. They accepted ACH info while filling up online application, but they told me that ACH woulldn't happen and asked me to mail in the initial deposit check. My account is still not open and their CD rates are gone. So waste of effort and pretty diappointed with their customer service.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They asked if I was interested in opening a CD and after I said yes, then dragged their feet. Sure enough, rates dropped. That's okay...I'm still gonna send in account fee, with a hard credit pull and joining ausa, someday, I'll get a cd from them...still waiting for reply I sent 3 days ago, and that was on their ques. & answer log!! They get the money for AUSA. If I had my choice to do over, they would have to give
me 5% for all the hassle.
bad experience. Ann

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My experience with ACU has been very different. They were candid, prompt and willing to help me. I did have to jump through some hoops but with overnight mail it was really no big deal. I would do business with this credit union again in a heart beat. Looks like they definitely did "dodge some bullets" with the rest of you.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This seems to be a tough crowd: SS/DL notorized?!#@$%

How about geting my blood type and gene sample, too; while you're at it...

Too much, too much...

Hey, youracu, we are giving you money, NOT the other way around.

GET A LIFE, ACU!!

1