As I was checking out the recent CD rate increases at First Technology Federal Credit Union (First Tech), I was surprised to see it’s been almost five years since I last wrote about the California-based credit union. First Tech’s last claim to fame was in mid-2018, as it joined the “3 For 5 Club” (5-year CDs earning 3%). While First Tech’s 60-month CD and Jumbo CD had significant increases of 65 bps this week, the new APYs (1.15% and 1.20%, respectively), aren’t “wow-worthy.” What I find more noteworthy is that First Tech also added 50 bps to its 36-month Jumbo Bump Up CD (0.90% APY, $50k minimum) and 36-month Bump Up CD (0.85% APY, $500 minimum).
|0.90%||$50k||-||First Technology Federal Credit Union||36 Month Jumbo Bump Up CD|
|0.85%||$500||-||First Technology Federal Credit Union||36 Month Bump Up CD|
These new rates are good, but what’s even better is the Bump Rate option and the additional deposit(s) feature. According to the First Tech Rates page,
You may make one additional deposit within each 12 months of the current term or once per term for Bump Up products with a term less than 24 months. The maximum amount you can deposit is up to the original amount of the certificate at the start of the current term.
You have the option within each 12 months of the current term or once per term for Bump Up products with a term less than 24 months to exchange this dividend rate for a new dividend rate. The new dividend rate will be the dividend rate we are then offering on term share certificates.
Note that the maximum add-on deposits are limited to the "original amount of the certificate at the start of the current term." This reduces the usefulness of this CD as a hedge against a long low-rate environment.
According to CSR, the rate increase option and the additional deposit option operate independently of each other: an additional deposit can be made whether a rate increase has occurred or not, and exercising the rate increase option does not require an additional deposit.
As stated on the Rates page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
If your account has an original maturity of more than 24 months, your penalty will equal 270 days simple dividends and will apply whether or not the interest has accrued. This may reduce the principal.
According to CSR, funding a CD can be done by an ACH, a wire transfer, or by mailing a check. First Tech participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, making the transfer of funds relatively simple. Maturing funds will be distributed by check to the address on file, ACH, wire transfer, or transferred to a First Tech savings account.
CSR directed my attention to this article about Plaid on First Tech’s website.
Until recently, in order to fund a new account, members were required to manually input financial information such as the name of their bank, account number and routing number. This process was not the best user experience, and it took too much time. Once new members had completed their part of the transaction, the money would still take several days to appear in the new account.
To fix these issues we integrated with a company named Plaid. Now, members can simply select their financial institution from a list and enter the username and password associated with their accounts. Plaid enables them to connect to more than 11,000 financial institutions around the world—often in only a matter of seconds. Additionally, during the account-funding step, we can now verify that the outside account being connected belongs to the member attempting to connect it. This reduces the risk of fraud, thus saving First Tech and members’ money
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, First Technology Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is widely diverse, providing virtually all U.S. residents the opportunity to join.
Easy Membership – Members of either the Financial Fitness Association or the Computer History Museum are eligible for membership, regardless of residency or employment status. Joining either organization and applying for First Tech membership can be done simultaneously using the online application or during an in-branch visit.
Residency – Individuals who live or work in Lane County, Oregon, qualify for membership.
Employment – Employees of the State of Oregon and nearly 900 high tech and telecom Sponsor Companies are eligible to join, as are their family members.
Relationship – Immediate family members and household members of current First Tech members also qualify for membership.
Joining First Tech and/or opening a Bump Up CD can be done online, by calling Member Services, (855.855.8805) or by visiting any of 32 branches located in California (7), Colorado (4), Idaho, Oregon (11), Texas, and Washington (8). Appointments are available at a branch locations and can be scheduled online.
Opening a Membership Savings account with a minimum $5 deposit “is your gateway to First Tech membership.”
First Tech participates in both the CO-OP Shared Branch network and ATM network,
allowing you to access your account with us at over 5,000 other credit unions and self-service kiosks. Make sure you bring a valid ID and your account number for transactions.
Credit Union Overview
First Technology Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.27% (excellent), based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, First Tech has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $1.45 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 15.25%. Please refer to our financial overview of First Technology Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 19976) for more details.
First Technology Federal Credit Union was founded in 1970 by a small group of Hewlett-Packard and Tektronix employees who wanted to strengthen their individual and collective financial futures. More than 50 years later, First Tech is currently the third largest credit union headquartered in California and the eighth largest credit union in the country, with has more than 630,000 members and assets in excess of $14.1 billion. First Tech describes itself as,
the nation’s premier credit union serving the world’s leading technology-oriented companies and their employees, including HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, Agilent, Intel, Cisco, Amazon, Nike, Intuit, Google and more.
How the Jumbo Bump Up CD Compares
When compared to the nationally available similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, First Tech’s 36-month Jumbo Bump-Up CD APY currently ranks fifth, regardless of minimum deposit requirement.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 9/4/2021.
To search for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.