Self Reliance New York FCU and Progressive Credit Union are two New York City credit unions that have a long history of top CD rates, but unfortunately, they also have a history of tough membership qualifications. Self Reliance New York FCU is one of the very few financial institutions in the country that still has a 3.00% rate for a 5-year CD. Some of its best yields include a 3.05% APY 5-year CD, a 2.05% APY 2-year CD and a 1.90% APY 1-year CD. These rates are listed in the credit union's rates page as of 11/16/2011.
According to the Self Reliance About US page, "to become a member at Self Reliance (NY) Federal Credit Union one must first qualify for membership at the Selfreliance Association of American Ukrainians." As you can read in the comments of my last Self Reliance post, this isn't easy.
Progressive Credit Union rates are not quite as high, but they are still very competitive. The best ones include a 2.93% APY 5-year CD, a 2.17% APY 3-year CD and a 1.31% APY 1-year CD. These rates are listed in the credit union's rates page as of 11/16/2011.
Membership qualifications to Progressive are very unique. According to the credit union's About Us page, "in order to become a member, an individual or credit union needs to be recommended by another member."
I have more details on Progressive in my last blog post.
The only good thing about tough qualifications is that they prevent the credit unions from being overwhelmed by deposits. If any institution acquires too many deposits without enough new loans, they will have to reduce the deposit demand which usually means lower rates. Any extra deposits that don't go towards loans will have to be invested, and conservative investment returns for institutions are very low in today's awful interest rate environment.