4.65% 18-Month / 4.55% 30-Month CD at a California CU (First Financial).


Update 3/22/08: The CD rates have gone down. Please check the financial institution's website for the latest rates.

First Financial Credit Union is offering many high certificate rates. The highest rate is 4.65% APY on the 18-month term with a minimum deposit of $100,000. Other high rates include a 4.30% APY for a 12-month term, a 4.55% APY for a 30-month term and a 4.60% APY for a 60-month term. The yields for a minimum of $10,000 are 10 basis points lower. Under the rate table it states that rates effective 3/1/08 through 3/31/08. So these should last for a while.

One downside to these CDs is a costly early withdrawal penalty. The details are available in the Trth in Savings Agreement that's available at their Certificates page. For terms of over one year, the penalty equals all interest that would have been earned during the remainder of the certificate period, if all of the funds would remain on deposit for the remainder of the certificate period.

Also noteworthy is the credit union's Super Savers Account in which you can earn up to 5.50% APY. To earn the 5.50% requires having 5 eligible relationship products. You must also have a FFCU Checking Account and Direct Deposit.

Membership is primarily open to those involved with California education. Members of several education-related associations are eligible to join the credit union. These associations don't seem to be easy to join. There's also a long list of Select Employer Groups. Please refer to the credit union's Eligibility page for the full details.

Branches are located in several California cities including Los Angeles, Fountain Valley, San Bernardino and San Diego. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68404). It has $568.1 million in assets and 69,502 members.