Security Service Federal Credit Union continues to offer competitive CD and IRA CD rates. It currently has a good deal on a 15-month CD. The best rate is 1.25% APY. There are several other standard CDs which also have very competitive rates. The highest is a 7-year CD with a 2.85% APY. These top rates require a $100,000 minimum deposit. The rates fall 5 basis points for each lower tier of $50,000, $25,000 and $500. Also, rates vary by location. You can see the rates in your area by inputting your zip code in the credit union's rates page. For zip codes in the area of the credit union's headquarters (San Antonio), the following rates are listed for a $100K minimum deposit as of 9/28/2012:
- 1.25% APY 15-month CD
- 2.85% APY 7-year CD
- 2.30% APY 5-year CD
- 1.60% APY 3-year CD
- 1.30% APY 2-year CD
Unfortunately, lower rates are listed in the other two states where Security Service FCU has branches (Colorado and Utah). In Denver, the rates are the lowest with the top 7-year CD APY of 2.05%. Rates are higher in Colorado Springs with a 2.40% APY 7-year CD. In Utah, the 7-year CD APY is 2.60%.
Lower rates were also in some cities of Texas where Security Service FCU has branches. These include Corpus Christi with a 2.60% APY 7-year CD and Brownsville with a 2.65% APY 7-year CD. The one exception is El Paso. The credit union still has 3% CD rates here including a 3.15% APY 7-year CD and a 3.00% APY 5-year CD.
The early withdrawal penalty and other details about the CDs and IRA CDs are listed in the Truth-in-Savings Disclosure. According to this disclosure:
* If your account has an original maturity of more than one year, but less than five years:
We may impose a penalty of all dividends earned not to exceed 180 days with a minimum of 60 days dividends, whether earned or not.
* If your account has an original maturity of five years or more:
We may impose a penalty of all dividends earned not to exceed 360 days with a minimum of 90 days dividends, whether earned or not.
Unfortunately, the credit union appears to give itself the right to refuse an early withdrawal with the statement "You may not make withdrawals of principal from your account before maturity."
The fact that the credit union rates table shows rates for any zip code doesn't mean you can qualify for membership. Unlike other large credit unions, Security Service FCU doesn't appear to provide for an easy way in which everyone can qualify for membership.
According to the credit union's Ways to Join page, membership is primarily limited to areas of Texas, Colorado and Utah. Please refer to the Ways to Join page for the specific counties.
Becoming Eligible via Associations
The Texas page does list an association that can be joined to qualify for membership. It's the UTSA Alumni Association. However, it states that:
Only members of the UTSA Alumni Association in San Antonio. Associate members do not qualify.
Based on this UTSA Alumni page defines an associate member as follows:
Friends of the university who have not received course credit at UTSA may join the association as Associate Members.
If you haven't taken classes at UTSA, you can only be an associate member which doesn't make you eligible to join Security Service FCU.
A reader noted in the comments that he was able to join without living in San Antonio by being a member of the Methodist Churches in Southwest Texas.
The Colorado page also lists an association that can be joined to qualify for membership. It's the Consumer United Association, and the page states:
To join Consumer United Association individuals must have a permanent Colorado address.
That's good news for anyone who lives in Colorado, but it doesn't help anyone outside of Colorado.
For the Utah page, I can't see any easy-to-join association listed.
Credit Union Overview
Security Service Federal Credit Union branches are located in several Texas, Colorado and Utah cities. Some of the major cities include San Antonio, McAllen, El Paso, Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo, Salt Lake City, Provo and St. George.
The credit union is a member of the CU Service Centers, a shared branch network. This lets members use branches of other credit unions in the network for many banking transactions. It's also part of the CO-OP Network ATMs which offers members many ATMs around the nation for surcharge-free withdrawals.
It's a large credit union with $6.7 billion in assets and over 1,400 employees. The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) and a Texas ratio of 9.70% (above average) based on March 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Security Service Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 11065).
How These CD Rates Compare
For terms close to 15 months, the best CD rates that are nationally available are lower than SSFCU's 15-month CD rate. The best ones include a 1.11% APY 1-year CD at AloStar Bank of Commerce and 1.15% APY 18-month CD at NexBank.
For long-term CDs, SSFCU's 7-year CD rates are much higher than the best rates available nationwide. The highest 7-year CD rate is 2.02% APY at Pentagon Federal Credit Union.
These rates are accurate as of 9/28/2012.
To search for nationwide CD rates and CD rates in your state, please refer to the best CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.