In October, I wrote about Dort Financial Credit Union’s (Dort Financial) AMP Certificates, which are Add-On Certificates with a $100 minimum/$50k maximum deposit. While the rates on the AMP Certificates dropped this week, there are two factors that have increased the AMP Certificates’ competitiveness: 1) the new state-wide field of membership and 2) multiple AMP Certificates of the same term length can be opened by an individual Dort Financial member.
Unlimited deposits in any amount can be made throughout the term, but may not exceed the $50k balance cap. (The $50k balance cap applies to individual AMP Certificates, not to individual members.) A unique feature of the AMP Certificates is the number of available term lengths: you can choose any term between 3 months and 60 months.
According to CSR, the Early Withdrawal Penalty for terms of 12 months or less is 30 days, and 90 days dividends for terms greater than 12 months.
Probably the most popular Add-On CDs available in the recent past were offered by GTE Financial Credit Union. In September, GTE Financial made a misstep when it unilaterally changed the terms of existing Add-On CDs, limiting additional deposits to $6k per year. We’ll never know what convinced GTE Financial management to reverse its decision. I’m just glad GTE Financial decided to “honor the terms of the share certificates that were opened by members during the applicable promotional period and allow for additional unlimited deposits.” (Quote from the email sent by GTE Financial to its members.)
An add-on feature can be useful hedge against falling interest rates, turning a substantial drop in interest rates into a big win for savers. However, that big win for savers becomes a big loss for banks/credit unions. If the institution doesn’t take into account the worst-case scenario, the institution may find itself in a difficult position when large add-on deposits are made after major declines in interest rates.
A forward-thinking institution (like Dort Financial) will typically limit add-on deposits to a specific maximum level to limit potential losses. Any limit on add-on deposits should be clearly specified in the disclosures and readily available before the CD is opened. Institutions that don’t thoroughly plan for all contingencies are more than likely to be the ones that think it’s all right to change terms on existing CDs. The moral of the story is be cautious of institutions which offer CDs with unlimited add-on deposits.
Headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, Dort Financial Credit Union’s FOM now includes anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school anywhere in Michigan.
Immediate family members (spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, including step- and adoptive) of current Dort Financial members or membership-eligible individuals also qualify for membership.
FYI – the online application has been updated to match the new FOM.
I am a new Dort Financial member and I live, work,
attend school, worship or volunteer in the state of Michigan.
The AMP Certificates are currently not listed on the online application. CSR suggested that out-of-area applicants (those not living in Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, or Shiawassee Counties) call 810.767.8390 or 800.521.3796 for assistance in joining or opening an AMP Certificate.
It’s easy to join – by making a $5 minimum deposit to your Primary Savings Account.
Credit Union Overview
Dort Financial Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 6.65% (excellent) based on September 30, 2019 data. In the past year, Dort Financial has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $108.2 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 16.31%. Please refer to our financial overview of Dort Financial Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 7569) for more details.
Established in 1951 as the Dort Industrial Employees Credit Union, the original FOM included the employees of AC Spark Plug, located on Dort Highway in Flint, Michigan. The Credit Union’s name was changed to Dort Federal Credit Union in 1984 when the FOM was expanded to include other area businesses. Prior to last week’s change to a statewide charter, eligibility had been limited to four mid-Michigan counties for 18 years. Dort Financial is currently 16th largest credit union in Michigan, with more than 95,000 members and assets in excess of $977 million.
How the AMP Certificate Compares
The ability to select a term anywhere between 3 and 60 months complicates the comparison process because of the way the AMP Certificate APYs are structured. For example, a 49-month CD APY would normally be comparable to a 4-year CD APY, but in this case, the 49-month AMP Certificate APY is the same as the 60-month AMP Certificate APY. It’s just something to keep in mind when looking at the following tables.
When compared to the similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available to all Michigan residents, Dort Financial Credit Union's 49-month – 5-year AMP Certificate APY currently shares the top spot with Credit Union of the Rockies’ 48-month Promotional CD APY.
When Dort Financial Credit Union's 49-Month – 5-Year AMP Certificate APY is compared to 5-year CD APYs, it ranks fifth.
The above rates are accurate as of 1/11/2020.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.