Altra Federal Credit Union is offering a special 18-month CD with both a step-up and add-on feature. The top rate is 2.10% APY. This requires a checking account with direct deposit. Without this the rate is 1.70% APY. There's also an 8-month special CD. The rates are 1.50% APY with the checking and 1.10% without the checking. These rates are listed in the credit union's rates page as of the morning of 5/10/2010.
Here's how the small print describes the step-up and add-on features of these special CDs:
Step Up Certificate allows a one-time rate change based on the then advertised rate for same term. Along with one-time rate change, you may also make an additional deposit to the certificate up to the original certificate deposit, not to exceed $50,000.
In my opinion, the add-on feature can be more useful than the step-up feature since the step-up feature depends on the institution keeping its rates competitive. The add-on feature can come in handy if rates stay low or keep falling.
The credit union offers a high-yield reward checking account that currently pays 3.25% APY on balances up to $25K. I first reviewed this reward checking account in December 2007.
Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, studies or worships in parts of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Winona, Minnesota; Smith County, Texas; and Montgomery County, Tennessee. You can also be eligible if you have an immediate family member who meets the above qualifications. Please see the credit union's Membership page for the full details. Membership requires a minimum deposit of $5 in the basic saving account.
Branches are located in Clarksville, Tennessee; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Trenton, New Jersey; Tiffin, Ohio; Tyler, Texas; Pueblo, Colorado; Lexington and Paintsville, Kentucky; La Crescent and Winona, Minnesota; and La Crosse and Onalaska, Wisconsin.
The credit union's ratings for safety and soundness are a little weak: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial, 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com and 3 out of 5 overall health score at DepositAccounts.com (see our rates and reviews page for Altra FCU). The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 24077).
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