DA déjà vu – the feeling you’ve read this blog post before, but the rate is slightly different. It’s only been a week since I wrote about the Alabama Credit Union (ACU) 18-month CD, which is still available. Earlier this week, ACU added a 15-month CD Special earning a near rate-leading 5.71% APY. While the ACU regular CDs can be opened with a minimum $500 deposit, the 15-month CD Special requires a minimum $10k deposit of new money. According to the fine print on the CD Rates page, new money is defined as coming “from an outside source.”
|5.71%||$10k||-||Alabama Credit Union||15 Month CD Special - New Money|
|5.66%||$500||-||Alabama Credit Union||18 Month CD|
While ACU has had competitive CD rates in the past, availability was limited because CDs had to be opened in-branch. ACU now opens CDs online, making the easy membership requirement intrinsically more valuable.
Early Withdrawal Penalty
As stated on the CD Rates page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
The following early withdrawal penalties apply to new or renewed Certificates of Deposit:
15 months CD – 180 days penalty
18 months CD – 180 days penalty
CSR confirmed that partial withdrawals are allowed, but any withdrawal made within 180 days of account opening will reduce the principal.
Excess Share Insurance
ACU offers Excess Share Insurance, "the nation’s only multi-state provider of excess share insurance for credit unions."
Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Your savings are additionally insured to $100,000 by Excess Share Insurance (effective Jan 1, 2022).
Headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) includes an easy membership requirement (EMR), allowing virtually all U.S. citizens/resident aliens (18 years or older) to join.
Easy Membership: Individuals who join the The Secret Meals Association with a $10 donation qualify for ACU membership. Created in 2008 by ACU, the Secret Meals For Hungry Children program objective is “decreasing the number of children in Alabama and Florida facing hunger over the weekend.”
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in the Alabama counties of Baldwin, Bibb, Blount, Cullman, Escambia, Fayette, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mobile, Morgan, Pickens, Shelby, Tuscaloosa, Walker, or Winston, or Escambia County, Florida are eligible to join.
Value Partners (SEGs): Employees, retirees, or members of nearly 70 Value Partners (including the University of Alabama System and Austal USA) are membership eligible.
Education: Students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville or the University of Alabama are eligible for ACU membership.
Personal Relationship: Anyone related by blood or marriage to a current ACU member are welcome to apply.
Associations: In addition to The Secret Meals Association, members of the Tuscaloosa County Chapter of The UA National Alumni Association, The University of Alabama National Alumni Association, or UAH Alumni Association are eligible to join Alabama CU.
The ACU Membership Eligibility page provides more details about joining, including a link to The Secret Meals Association application.
Joining Alabama Credit Union and/or opening a 15-month CD Special can be done online (there’s a “Join” button at the top of every ACU website page) or at any of 35 Alabama branches located in Birmingham, Cullman (2), Daphne, Decatur, Fairhope, Fayette, Foley, Gulf Shores, Hoover (2), Huntsville (3), Jasper, Kennedy, Loxley, Madison, Mobile (3), Northport (2), Orange Beach, Tuscaloosa (9), Vance, or Vernon, or the sole Florida branch located in Pensacola. Branch appointments are available and can be scheduled online.
A $5 minimum deposit in a Share Savings account is required to establish an ACU membership, along with a $1 one-time membership fee.
Funding and Other Details
The following information is from a conversation with CSR.
- Funding – ACH or internal transfer. Funds must be on deposit in an ACU savings account when opening a CD.
- CO-OP Shared Branch Participant – Yes.
- Ownership – Individual or joint.
- Dividends – Compounded/credited quarterly and can be distributed penalty-free by check or ACU internal transfer.
- Maturing Funds – Cashier’s check to address on file or internal transfer.
- Beneficiaries – Unlimited and percentages can be assigned, Social Security numbers required.
- Grace Period – 10 calendar days before automatic renewal.
- Credit Check – Hard pull through Transunion when joining.
Credit Union Overview
Alabama Credit Union has an overall health grade of "C+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 16.26% (above average) based on June 30, 2023 data. In the past year, ACU’s total non-brokered deposits have decreased by -$5.68 million, an average annual growth rate of -0.42%. Please refer to our financial overview of Alabama Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 60823) for more details.
Alabama Credit Union is currently the sixth largest credit union headquartered in Alabama, with more than 145,000 members and assets in excess of $1.8 billion. Founded in 1956, the credit union’s original FOM was exclusive to the University of Alabama faculty and staff. In the last 35 years, the FOM expanded through a series of mergers, establishing a brick-and-mortar presence in Alabama’s major metropolitan areas. The most recent acquisition was finalized in late 2022, with ACU becoming the fourth Alabama-based to acquire an Alabama bank. According to an August 2021 Business Alabama article,
Tuscaloosa-based Alabama Credit Union said today it has agreed to acquire Security Federal Savings Bank of Jasper. Though the terms of the sale to the credit union were not disclosed, the transaction will bring ACU’s total assets to $1.3 billion.
“We are very excited that Security Federal Savings Bank has agreed to join with Alabama Credit Union, bringing together two organizations that have a shared philosophy of putting our members and customers first,” said Steve Swofford, president and CEO of ACU. “This is another step in our plan to enhance the member value and experience for our many existing members that live or work in Walker County.”
How the 15-Month CD Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, only one credit union has a higher rate than currently offered on the Alabama Credit Union 15-month CD Special. The following table compares the 15-month CD Special to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
|APY||CD Term (Early Withdrawal Penalty)||Credit Union/Bank|
|5.80%||12-17 Month CD (EWP=greater of $50 or 270 days)||Credit Human|
|5.71%||15-Month CD Special (EWP=180 days)||Alabama Credit Union|
|5.66%||18-Month CD (EWP=180 days)||Alabama Credit Union|
|5.60%||18-Month CD (EWP=90 days)||Limelight Bank|
|5.54%||18-Month CD (EWP=90 days)||All In Credit Union|
|5.53%||17-Month CD Special (EWP=unknown)||Luana Savings Bank|
The above information and rates are accurate as of 9/22/2023.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.