Last month I wrote about the excellent rates offered on Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union (CMECU) longer-term Share Certificate, specifically the 24-month (1.25% APY, $25k) and 36-month (1.45% APY, $25k). Those rates are still in effect.
At the end of the summer, CMECU added 25 bps to its tiered-APY Money Market Account (MMA), with the top rate 0.90% APY ($50k minimum) outperforming all the nationally available MMAs.
|0.70*%||$50k||-||Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union||Money Market Account|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.40% → $2.5k - $10k | 0.50% → $10k - $50k|
The CMECU’s Money Market Account page contains a good synopsis of the MMA.
- NO minimum withdrawal amount
- NO monthly service charges
- Deposit automatically with payroll deposit
- $2,500 minimum balance requirement
- Competitive interest calculated on your average daily balance in your account and credited quarterly
- Up to three online transfers, phone withdrawals or in person
- Each withdrawal or transfer over three will have a $15.00 charge
- No direct ATM access and no checks
As its name suggests, Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) includes the employees/retirees of the City of Chicago and its sister agencies, which include Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), Chicago Park District, Public Building Commission, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Fire Department (CFD), Chicago Public Libraries, and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
Employees, retirees, and members of the Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago or the Laborers and Retirement Board also qualify for membership.
While all METRA (commuter rail system) employees have been included in the FOM for years, a recent change in the FOM has exponentially increased membership eligibility. As stated on CMECU’s home page (emphasis mine),
All METRA employees and Chicago Loop METRA riders are automatically eligible for membership in the Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union
Individuals who live or work in portions of Cook County are eligible to join. CMECU’s online application lists the boundaries as follows:
North Boundary: Central Street (Evanston, Skokie, Des Plaines, Morton Grove) going west following Central Road.
East Boundary: Lake Michigan, following the Indiana border to Cook County line.
South Boundary: Cook County border (Richton Park).
West Boundary: Cook County/Will County/Dupage County intersection, then following the Cook County border straight north intersecting with Central Road.
Family members and domestic partners of current CMECU members are welcome to apply for membership.
Joining CMECU and/or opening a Money Market Account can be done online or at any of the three Chicago branches. All branch lobbies are open to walk-in traffic, with the previous hours of operations (9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday) reinstated. The Membership Enrollment form is available as a download and a completed form can be returned to any branch location.
You will be asked to make your initial deposit of $35.00 with a secure debit or credit card transaction, or by mailing a check along with your signed application. This includes your $25.00 minimum deposit plus a one-time $10.00 processing fee (the $10 processing fee will be credited to CPS Premium Payroll Account applicants). The $25.00 balance must remain on deposit to maintain your member/owner status and cannot be used.
CMECU participates in the Allpoint ATM networks, giving members access to 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide.
Credit Union Overview
Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.61% (excellent), based on June 30, 2021 data. In the past year, CMECU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $15.23 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 41.27%. Please refer to our financial overview of Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 65932) for more details.
Founded in 1926, Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union is the oldest active credit union in Illinois and was the sixth Illinois credit union to be chartered. In the 1920s,
banks catered exclusively to the wealthy and weren’t interested in providing financial services to average individuals. If a working person needed a loan, the only options were often unscrupulous individuals charging unreasonable rates. Employees of the City of Chicago had steady work, but they were still vulnerable to these loan sharks. Then, members of the Municipal Employees Society got the idea to form a credit union.
CMECU’s first office was located in Room 207 of Chicago’s City Hall, where it remained for 20 years. Since 1946, CMECU headquarters had relocated four times in response to organic growth. CMECU assumed operation of the Austin/West Garfield Federal Credit Union in 2004, opening its first branch location as a result of the acquisition. The Chicago Police Commanding Officers and Sergeants Credit Union and The Health Care Associations Federal Credit Union both merged with CMECU in 2013. CMECU is currently the 71st largest credit union headquartered in Illinois, with nearly 12,400 members.
How the Money Market Compares
When compared to the Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM, Chicago Municipal Employees Credit Union’s Money Market APY currently ranks first regardless of minimum or maximum balance requirements.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 11/24/2021.
To search for the best Money Market Accounts, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Money Market Account Rates page.