Melrose Credit Union continues to offer some of the best CD and IRA CD rates in the nation. It currently offers the highest rate for a nationally available 5-year CD with a 3.03% APY. As a comparison, the top 5-year CD rate at an internet bank is currently 2.75% APY (at Sallie Mae Bank). Other top CD rates at Melrose include a 2.27% APY 3-year CD and a 1.51% APY 1-year CD. Minimum deposit is $5,000 for regular CDs and $4,000 for IRA CDs. These rates are listed in the credit union's savings rates page as of 11/03/2010.
Melrose also offers Jumbo CD rates that are 25 basis points higher. However, it's a very large Jumbo CD that requires a minimum deposit of $1 million. Details are listed in the credit union's Jumbo certificates page.
One downside of Melrose Credit Union is a harsh and confusing early withdrawal penalty. There's a disclosure that is available at the start of the online membership application. However, in the past I've been told this is different than the disclosure that's available at the end of the application. One thing certain is that the penalty is at the very minimum 180 days of interest. However, the rate of the share savings account also factors into the penalty. As an example, it appears that if you closed the 5-year CD at year 2 and the savings account rate at that time happens to be 0.75% (the current rate), the 2-years of 3.03% APY would be reduced to 2-years of 0.75%.
Another downside is that Melrose can refuse an early withdrawal request. According to the disclosure at the start of the application it states that "You may make withdrawals of principal before the maturity date only if the credit union agrees at the time the withdrawal is to take place."
A reader recently emailed me his experience in joining Melrose and opening a CD. He was quite pleased with the process.
- He first applied online just for membership. This requires a $1 fee and a minimum deposit of $25 in the share savings account. According to the reader, it was "very easy to open a shares account."
- Once he became a member and received access to his share savings account, he deposited money into the account using the CU service center network. Melrose is part of this network, so you can go to a local credit union that's also a member and deposit money into your Melrose share savings account.
- The last step the reader took to open the CD is to fill out the one page application for the CD, and then scanned and emailed it to Melrose. In the past readers have said they have faxed the applications which can be more secure. According to the reader, within one hour the CD showed up in his online account.
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.
Even though Melrose makes it easy to qualify, they don't make it easy to apply. Several readers have commented about problems they had in the application. Here's what one reader experienced:
Membership is open - but the application process is very onerous. I rent an apartment that includes utilities so I don't have a utility bill with a street address. I provided copies of my voter registration, my DL, my passport, and a letter from my landlord. And they still rejected me.
Another reader reported problems due to having a different last name than her husband:
I also ran into an interesting roadblock when I tried to join with my husband over a year ago. They wanted me to send a copy of our MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE (we have different names)!!
Melrose is located in Briarwood, New York which is in Queens.
Melrose Credit Union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio 1.24% (excellent) based on June 2010 data. It's a sizable credit union with $1.28 billion in assets. Please refer to our financial overview of Melrose Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 62005).
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