It has been a long time since I've seen a good CD deal at Patelco Credit Union. Good CD deals were common before the financial crisis, but since that time, Patelco CD rates have been a little low. That finally has changed with a 7-year CD special. It has a competitive 2.50% APY. Minimum deposit is $1,000 for a regular CD and $500 for an IRA CD. The early withdrawal penalty is 365 days of interest. The CD rates and its details are listed in Patelco's certificates page as of 4/16/2012. Thanks to the reader who mentioned this deal in the comments.
New Member CD
If you decide to join Patelco for this CD special, you may want to consider taking advantage of Patelco's New Member CD. It's a 1-year CD with a 5.00% APY. It's not a hot deal since it has a small maximum deposit of $1,000. Thus, it's probably not worth it to become a member just for this CD. However, if you're joining for another reason, this New Member CD provides an easy way to earn $50. This 5.00% APY is accurate as of 4/16/2012. Its yield used to be 7.00% so the rate may fall again.
Membership in Patelco is open to anyone who joins the Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y). This is described at Patelco's Membership Eligibility Page:
CAFE-Y is an association of youth and adults working together to promote youth-driven community involvement as a vital force for social change. It is a support network for youth-adult teams that perform community service together all across California. Membership is open to anyone with a desire to make a difference and give back. Because YLI has a Select Employer Group (SEG) relationship with Patelco, any member of their group can join Patelco.
When I last checked with Patelco, I was told that you can join this association for free via Patelco's online application. In the first page of the application select "I heard about Patelco through my employer or I live, work or worship in a city sponsored by Patelco". After you select this, a text field appears with the instructions to enter the name of your employer or the city in which you live, work or worship. When you type CAFE, the following should appear as an option "Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y)".
Patelco Credit Union Overview
Patelco is a large California credit union with branches located in several Northern California cities including San Francisco, Fremont, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose. There's also a branch in Deerfield, Illinois. Patelco is a member of the CU Service Centers. This allows Patelco members to perform many banking transactions at other credit unions that are also part of CU Service Centers.
Patelco used to be privately insured by ASI. However, that changed in January 2008 when it became federally insured by the NCUA. It has an overall health score of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 18.85% (average) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Patelco Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68579).
How This CD Rate Compares
Patelco's special 7-year CD matches what PenFed currently offers. It has the same yield of 2.50%. Also, both have the same early withdrawal penalty of up to 1-year of interest. As I mentioned on Thursday, the best 7-year CD rate is at Navy Federal Credit Union. Its yield is 2.70% APY. However, unlike Patelco and PenFed, membership at Navy Federal is limited. These rates are accurate as of 4/16/2012.
Searching for Top CD Rates
To search for nationwide CD rates and CD rates in your state, please refer to the best CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.
Edit 6/5/2012: Updated links to Patelco due to changes at Patelco's website.