DA readers may remember the 5-month CD Special (5.00% APY) offered by Credit Union of South California in October. While that offer has expired, California Credit Union (California CU) has taken up the mantle by offering a 5-month Share Certificate Special (5.00% APY). The minimum opening deposit is $1k, with a $25k balance cap. New money is required and is defined as funds from another institution. There’s also a limit of one 5-month Share Certificate Special per member.
While the 5.00% APY is great, the $25k balance cap isn’t, as it limits the total maximum earnings to about $521. The same $25k in a 2% savings account would earn about $208 in five months, assuming the 2% rate holds. Bottom line, $25k in a 5-month Share Certificate Special earns $313 more than $25k in a 2% savings account for five months. (FYI – if you don’t feel like doing the math, DA’s Compound Interest Calculator works quite well.)
As stated in the Truth-in-Savings disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
Maturity date one year or less 90 days dividends.
Funding a Share Certificate Special can be done by ACH, wire transfer, or check. Unfortunately, California CU does not participate in the CO-OP Shared Branch Network.
Maturing funds can be distributed by cashier’s check or wire, or transferred to the member’s Share Savings account. There is a ten calendar day grace period before the 5-month Share Certificate Special renews as a 6-month Share Certificate.
Thanks to DA reader, calwatch, for another helpful Forum post about a California deal.
Headquartered in Glendale, California Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is primarily residency-based, with individuals those who live or work in the California counties of Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino eligible to join.
Family members of current California CU members are also welcome to apply, provided they live in California.
Any resident of California who meets any of the following requirements qualifies for membership.
- Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Employee
- Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) Employee
- Charter School Employee
- College/University Employee
- Private School Employee
- Alumni Association Member*
- Parent Teacher Association Member*
*Possible easy membership requirements for California residents. There are more than 250 colleges and universities in California, some of which have alumni associations that can be joined by non-alumni. Bakersfield College and California State University at Fullerton are two such schools. Joining a local PTA might be an even easier path to membership in California CU.
Joining California CU and/or opening a Share Certificate Special can be done online, or at any of 24 Southern California branches located in Carson, Chula Vista (2), Covina, Downey, El Cajon, Encinitas, Glendale, Imperial Beach, Inglewood, La Mesa, Los Angeles (3), North Hills, North Hollywood, Pasadena, San Diego (5), Santa Clarita, and Torrance.
Opening a Share Savings account establishes a new California CU membership. While the minimum opening deposit is only 1¢, there is a $2.50 monthly fee if a minimum $100 daily balance isn’t maintained.
California Credit Union is a member of the CO-OP network, the largest credit union-only ATM network in the country. CO-OP network membership provides surcharge-free access at over 30,000 ATMs nationwide, which includes 9,000 deposit-taking locations, 5,500 participating 7-Eleven stores, and over 1,500 local machines throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties.
Credit Union Overview
California Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.25% (excellent) based on June 30, 2019 data. In the past year, California CU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $68.04 million, an above average annual growth rate of 2.63%. Please refer to our financial overview of California Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 60784) for more details.
Founded in 1933 as the Los Angeles Teachers Credit Union, California Credit Union is currently the 14th largest credit union in the state, with nearly 164,000 members and assets in excess of $3.2 billion. In March 2017, California CU joined forces with North Island Credit Union, a San Diego-based credit union serving military and civil service personnel. A CreditUnionTimes 2017 article described it as “a rare merger of two billion dollar credit unions.” As a merger of equals, the San Diego County branches have kept the North Island name, and operate as a division of California Credit Union.
How the Share Certificate Special Compares
When compared to 285 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM, California Credit Union's 5-month Share Certificate Special APY clearly ranks first, regardless of minimum or maximum deposit requirements.
The above rates are accurate as of 11/13/2019.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table.