Update 1/24/13: Firstmark Credit Union no longer permits, as a basis for membership, the joining of Friends of the San Antonio Parks.
Firstmark Credit Union is offering very competitive rates on its 5-year CD. The credit union provides three rate tiers: Jumbo CDs with $100K minimum deposit, Super CDs with a $50K minimum and Regular CDs with a $500 minimum. The Jumbo 5-year CD has a 2.85% APY, the Super has a 2.80% APY and the Regular has a 2.75% APY. The credit union also offers a special Step-Up 5-year CD with rates that are 25 basis points lower than above. These rates are listed in the credit union's deposit rates page as of 9/22/2011.
According to the credit union's step-up CD page, "60 month allows a total of three step-ups". Minimum deposit is $10,000.
The early withdrawal penalty for all 5-year CDs is harsh. As described in the credit union's CD page, the early withdrawal penalty for the 5-year CD "equals 365 days interest, whether earned or not."
Online Application and Easy Eligibility
At first glance, Firstmark appears to be primarily limited to residents in the San Antonio area. However, the last line of the credit union's membership qualifications page states "Other eligible persons". If you click "open an account" button, it'll take you to a page where you can select "become a member". That takes you to the application eligibility page. If you select "Other Eligible Groups" and "none of the above", and then select "next", it will display the following:
You are eligible to join Firstmark Credit Union by becoming a member of The Friends of the Park Foundation. Firstmark Credit Union will pay your first-year membership fee directly to the Foundation; you are not required to renew your Friends of the Park membership.
Bingo! That sounds like everyone is eligible to me.
On the next page of the application, it states that IRAs, minor accounts, and business account must be opened at one of their branches. Once you review the disclosures and select "next", it'll take you to the account selection page. All of the CDs can be selected including the Jumbo CDs and the special CDs.
That is as far as I went in the application. If you go all the way through, please leave a comment if all went well or if you experienced any complications or limitations. Sometimes these online applications have limitations on the electronic funding.
Checking Account Perks
Firstmark's Free Cash Back Checking has some small perks which may interest some readers if they happen to join for the CDs. One perk is 10 cents cash back when you make signature-based debit card purchases. It also offers the first box of checks for free and offers a $25 bonus for choosing online statements, using your debit card, paying one bill with online bill pay and signing up with direct deposit. The checking account has no monthly service fees, and the credit union is part of a nationwide ATM network.
Firstmark Locations and Overview
Firstmark Credit Union branches are all located in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be part of the shared branch network.
The credit union has an overall health score of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 13.85% (above average) based on June 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Firstmark Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 62509).
How the 5-year CD Rates Compare
Firstmark's Jumbo, Super and Regular CD rates top the 2.68% APY that Melrose Credit Union offers. Melrose has long been known as an all-access credit union which allows anyone in the nation to join. The best nationally available 5-year CD rate from a bank is 2.24% APY at First Internet Bank. These rates are accurate as of 9/22/2011.
Searching for the Best CD Rates
To search for the best nationwide CD rates and the best CD rates in your state, please refer to the CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.