Fort Knox Federal Credit Union made some slight changes to its certificate specials this week. The terms increased by one month for both specials. And on the plus side, the rate increased by 15 basis points on the longer term CD. The rates for these new special CDs are 2.65% APY for 23 months an 2.00% APY for 14 months. These rates are listed in the credit union's CD rates page as of 4/09/2010.
Competitive Long-Term CDs
The credit union's long-term regular CDs continue to be quite competitive: 3.00% APY 36-month CD, 3.25% APY 48-month CD and 3.50% APY 60-month CD. An extra 0.25% is added for a Jumbo CD with a $100,000 minimum (excludes specials). These rates are listed in the credit union's CD rates page as of 4/09/2010.
Competitive Money Market Account
Another good deposit deal is the credit union's Money Market Share Account. It's a tiered account with the top rate of 1.85% APY for a minimum balance of $50K. The rate for balances of $10K to $50K is 1.35% APY. These rates are listed in the credit union's savings rates page as of 4/09/2010.
Cash Back Credit Card
In addition to deposit deals, the credit union also has a good credit card deal that offers cash back that's very similar to PenFed's card. It's called the VISA Platinum Card and it offers 5% cash back on gas and 1.25% cash back on all other purchases. Unlike PenFed's card, it doesn't offer 2% cash back at supermarkets. However, PenFed's cash back for non-gas and non-supermarket purchases is now only 1.00%.
Fort Knox FCU used to have a typical field of membership which included residents of several counties in Kentucky. However, last month I noticed the following highlighted sentence in the credit union's membership eligibility page:
Or you can become a member of American Consumer Council for free.
You can contact one of the affiliated credit unions and complete their membership application. The process is simple. By joining through an affiliated credit union, you can join us for free!
I called Fort Knox FCU at 800-285-5669 and asked about how to join via ACC. According to the CSR, you can apply for membership online starting at this page. In the next application page you can select ACC as your organization. The CSR said that after you submit the application, you'll be contacted by them and notified if you were accepted. They'll send you the signature card to be mailed back with your initial deposit.
One thing I noticed on the eligibility section of the application is that the Kentucky chapter of ACC is listed as a qualifying organization. The CSR did not say credit union membership was limited to Kentucky residents. However, there have been many times in the past when either the CSR was wrong or the credit union decided to add requirements. So this may be a "your miles may vary" situation until we get confirmation from several readers that they've been able to join from outside of Kentucky via the ACC. Then we can put it in the same group as PenFed and Alliant.
One downside with Fort Knox FCU is that it there's a membership fee of $10. Another $5 is required to be maintained in the share savings account. This is described at the bottom of the membership eligibility page.
When I called this morning, I asked if they do a hard credit inquiry in the application process. According to the CSR, they do not pull your credit as part of the application (Note, CSRs are often wrong on this issue.)
Credit Union Overview
Branches are located in several cities in Kentucky including Fort Knox, Radcliff, Elizabethtown and Campbellsville.
The credit union continues to have strong ratings for safety and soundness: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/09 data) and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/09 data). Fort Knox FCU is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 7000).
Compared to the Best CD Rates?
To get an idea about how competitive a 2.65% APY is for a 23 month term, Bankrate's best 2-year CD rate is currently only 2.05% APY. You can find higher rates in the CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com (with New & improved format!).