It's been nearly seven years since I wrote about Empower Federal Credit Union (Empower). While not known as a prolific producer of competitive CDs, Empower’s good Share Certificate rates established in February, have now become very good rates in July. The most competitive Share Certificate currently in the product line is the 18-month. Like all of Empower’s Share Certificates, the 18-month has seven APY tiers (between 2.60% and 2.90% in increments of 5 bps), with deposit levels ranging from $500 to $100k.
Empower Share Certificates are also available as IRAs (Traditional, Roth, CESA), earning the same tiered APYs with the same deposit levels.
The 30-month and 5-year Share Certificates are also competitive and merit a mention.
As stated in the Truth-in-Savings Disclosure for Share Certificates, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
Terms of 12 months or less: 90 days’ dividends on amounts withdrawn.
Terms of longer than 12 months: 180 days’ dividends on amounts withdrawn.
Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, Empower Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency based, with individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in a variety of Central and Western New York State locales in eight difference counties eligible for membership.
Counties – Montgomery and Oswego
Cities – Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira (with some exceptions), Syracuse, and Utica
Towns – Cheektowaga, Geddes, and Union
Villages – Elmira Heights, Horseheads, Liverpool (portions), and New York Mills
Hamlet – Nedrow
Employees of more than 8,000 Member Companies in Syracuse, Central New York, and throughout the state are eligible to join.
Immediate family members (spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings and adoptive relationships) or household members of current Empower members also qualify for membership.
Joining Empower can be done online or at any of 25 full-service New York branches located in Auburn, Baldwinsville, Canandaigua, Cheektowaga, Chittenango, Cicero, East Syracuse, Elmira, Fayetteville, Fulton (2), Johnson City, Liverpool (2), Oswego, Palatine Bridge, Syracuse (8), and Utica.
With a required minimum balance of only $1, this
account is Step 1 in establishing your membership.
While several types of accounts can be opened online, Share Certificates must be opened at any of the above-mentioned branch locations or by calling 800.462.5000.
In addition to participating in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, Empower provides its members with access to,
a surcharge-free ATM network with 55,000+ locations, including Empower ATMs, Sharenet network ATMs, select southern [NY] tier ATM locations, and Allpoint's nationwide network.
Credit Union Overview
Empower Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 4.64% (excellent) based on March 31, 2019 data. In the past year, Empower has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $60.08 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 3.9%. Please refer to our financial overview of Empower Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 3025) for more details.
When I see a non-traditional credit union name, I usually wonder about its etymology. While the “Empower” brand could be construed to convey strength or leadership, it’s simply derived from the 2007 merger of Empire Federal Credit Union and Power Federal Credit Union. Empire FCU and Power FCU brought a combined 148 years of operation to the newly christened Empower FCU. Five other mergers occurred between 2008 and 2016, establishing Empower’s dominance in Central New York State. Currently the 11the largest credit union in New York, Empower has nearly 200,000 members and assets in excess of $1.8 billion.
How the Share Certificate Compares
When compared to 188 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM, Empower Federal Credit Union’s 18-month Share Certificate top APY currently ranks third, regardless of minimum deposit.
|Interest Rate||CD Length of Term||Bank/Credit Union|
|3.00% APY||19-Month CD Special ($1k)||Hanscom Federal Credit Union|
|2.95% APY||17-Month Certificate Special ($1k)||Andrews Federal Credit Union|
|2.90% APY||18-Month Share Certificate||Empower Federal Credit Union|
The above rates are accurate as of 7/17/2019.
Searching for the best CD, either nationwide or in your state? Please refer to our CD Rates Table page.