High CD & IRA CD Rates with Relationship at First New England Federal Credit Union in CT - Easy Membership

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First New England Federal Credit Union is offering several top rates on its CD and IRA CD rates. However, the best rates require relationship accounts. The rates are so high that the requirements can be worthwhile.

First, FNEFCU is offering two special IRA CD rates: 2.53% APY 18-month and 2.02% APY 9-month. Minimum deposit is $1,000. These require relationship accounts.

Second, the long-term CD rates are very competitive. These include a 3.84% APY 5-year, 3.33% APY 4-year and 3.07% APY 3-year. Minimum deposit is $1,000. These also require relationship accounts. Without the relationship, the rates are 2.75% APY 5-year, 2.25% APY 4-year and 2.00% APY 3-year.

These rates are listed in FNEFCU's savings rates page as of 3/3/2011.

The early withdrawal penalty is 180 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn for terms of over one year. For shorter terms, the penalty is 90 days of dividends. This is described in the FNEFCU disclosure.

Relationship Accounts

FNEFCU's relationship accounts page has the details about how a member can qualify for these relationship rates. If you don't want a loan, the option that appears the easiest to qualify is an aggregate balance of $15,000 and TWO of the following:

  • Checking with direct deposit
  • $10,000 minimum IRA
  • $10,000 minimum money market account (Money Maximizer)

When you open the CD with the relationship rate, I was told the CD balance can be used to qualify for the $15K balance requirement.

In addition to better rates, there are also some additional perks with the relationship status. Relationship Account members receive virtually no fees and other benefits, including free checks, family member referral bonuses, mortgage rebates on closing fees and free access to their quarterly credit score via home banking.

Reward Checking

The credit union has long offered a reward checking account called High Rate Checking Rewards. Like the CD rates, there's a relationship rate that's much higher than the regular rate. The following are the rates if certain monthly requirements are met (as of 3/3/2011):

  • 3.05% APY (2.03% APY non-relationship) for balances up to $15K
  • 0.25% APY on portion of balance over $15K
  • 0.10% base rate if requirements are not met
  • ATM refunds worldwide up to $25 per cycle if requirements are met

Monthly requirements include:

  • 12 debit card purchases
  • 1 direct deposit or ACH debit
  • Enroll in eServices

There's no minimum balance or maintenance fee. However, there is a $10 monthly fee if you don't meet the direct deposit or ACH requirement. This is listed in the account disclosure. A reader commented about being hit by this fee.

Membership

As described in the credit union's Who Can Join page, membership is open to Friends of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library. You can join the Lucy Robins Wells Friends of the Library by visiting their website and becoming a "Friend" for a $12 donation. I was told that you can then choose the option for "Friends of the Library" under the employer/association drop box in the online membership application.

Credit Union Overview

Branches are located in the Connecticut cities of Newington, East Hartford and Vernon.

FNEFCU is a small credit union with $68 million in assets. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 2 stars (out of 5) and a Texas Ratio of 33.46% (below average) based on December 2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of First New England Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 2601).

Searching for the Best CD Rates

To search for the best nationwide rates and the best rates in your state, please refer to the following tables at DepositAccounts.com:

Comments
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
I called First New England Federal Credit Union and was told that the promotional CD at APY of 3.84% for 5 years with relationship account is no longer available as of 03/04/2011.
Inforay
Inforay   |     |   Comment #2
From their on-line page it looks like they don't have a five-year CD available any longer.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Their Platinum checking at 1.49% up to $50,000 on website under rates tab is a bait and switch.  I went through the hoops to become a member and was told that "program" was no longer available.  I later found out it was only open to prior members though this is not stated on their website.
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