Last November, Founders Federal Credit Union (FFCU) offered a “wow-worthy” 4.06% APY on its 60-month Share Certificate. There hasn’t been a lot to say “wow” about in the past few months, but I think FFCU’s 84-month Share Certificate (3.29% APY) and 84-month Loyalty Share Certificate (4.58% APY) may qualify. The minimum opening deposit for either is $500, with no stated balance cap.
|1.76%||$500||-||Founders Federal Credit Union||84 Month Loyalty Share Certificate|
|1.51%||$500||-||Founders Federal Credit Union||84 Month Share Certificate|
Both the Share Certificate and Loyalty Share Certificate are offered as IRAs (Traditional, CESA, Roth) with the same funding requirements, but with APYs 10 bps higher.
|1.76%||$500||-||Founders Federal Credit Union||84 Month Loyalty IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)|
|1.51%||$500||-||Founders Federal Credit Union||84 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)|
Let’s talk about the Loyalty Share Certificate – there are requirements that must be met.
To qualify, you must have a checking account opened at least six (6) months with a minimum of ten (10) member-initiated transactions within the past sixty (60) days and must already have one of the following FFCU products: a credit card, loan, certificate or IRA.
If you don’t qualify, the 84-month Share Certificate is a good alternative, because it comes with a “one-time dividend rate upgrade” that includes converting the Share Certificate into a Loyalty Share Certificate.
When qualifications are met, you may use the one-time upgrade request to convert your 84-month certificate product into an 84-month Loyalty certificate product, which will follow the same upgrade terms listed above.
12-month Loyalty Advantage Certificate
Opening a 12-month Loyalty Advantage Certificate (3.03% APY) might be a good way to meet the “credit card, loan, certificate or IRA” requirement. While capped at $3k it only requires a $50 opening deposit, with the ability to make additional deposits (up to $3k) at any time through the term. Think of it like a savings account with a great rate, but with extremely limited access for a year.
Quick Routes To An 84-Month Loyalty Share Certificate
Current members who have an existing checking account could easily qualify for an 84-month Loyalty Share Certificate in as little as a few days by opening a 12-month Loyalty Advantage Certificate. Current members without a checking account and new members could convert an 84-month Share Certificate into a Loyalty Share Certificate within approximately six months by opening a new checking account and a 12-month Loyalty Advantage Certificate.
As stated in the Disclosure Page (attached to the online application) the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
Unless stated otherwise, the amount of the early withdrawal penalty is based on
the term of your account. For terms of 24 months or greater, 360 days’ dividends.
Headquartered in Lancaster, South Carolina, Founders Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) offers a variety of ways to join.
Residency: Individuals, who live, work, worship, attend school, or volunteer in the South Carolina counties of Chester, Chesterfield, Laurens, and Union, and the South Carolina towns of Duncan and Wellford are eligible for membership.
The first screen of Founders FCU’s online application also lists 69 Census Tracts (Cherokee, 8; Lancaster, 3; Richland County, 26; Spartanburg, 20; Yorktown, 12) that qualify for membership. A link to the FFIEC Geocoding/Mapping System website is provided to help determine Census Tract eligibility.
Employment: Employees, retirees, and volunteers of more than 1,000 businesses in South Carolina and North Carolina are eligible to join.
Associations/Organizations: Individuals who are members, or attend, worship, or volunteer at over 180 listed associations/organizations are eligible to join. The groups listed include many churches, schools, and home owners associations, among others.
Other: Immediate family members (spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, including step- and adoptive relationships) and household members of current FFCU members are welcome to apply.
Joining FFCU and/or opening a Share Certificate can be done online, or at any of 32 South Carolina branches located in Cheraw, Chester (3), Chesterfield, Clemson, Clinton (2), Columbia (3), Duncan, Fort Mill (3), Gaffney, Indian Land, Kershaw, Lancaster (4), Laurens, Pageland, Rock Hill (4), Spartanburg (3), and Union. FFCU also has a single North Carolina branch, located on S. Tyron Street in Charlotte.
A Founders Savings Account with as little as $5 is your primary account.
According to the CO-OP website, FFCU participate in the Shared Branching network. There’s no mention of that on the Credit Union’s website but,
As part of the CO-OP ATM Network, all Founders members have
access to use CO-OP Network ATMs without any additional fees.
Credit Union Overview
Founders Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.72% (excellent) based on June 30, 2019 data. In the past year, Founders FCU has increased its non-brokered total deposits by $209.84 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 11.27%. Please refer to our financial overview of Founders Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 24063) for more details.
In 1950, Colonel Elliott White Springs established the Springs Employee Credit Union for the benefit of the employees of Springs Textile Mill. (Founded in 1888, Springs Cotton Mill was once South Carolina’s largest industrial employer.) After years of organic growth and several mergers, the Founders Federal Credit Union rebrand occurred in 1993. The Credit Union begin distributing capital dividends in 2000, and to date, has returned more than $41 million in dividends to members. Founders FCU is currently the largest credit union in South Carolina, with more than 221,000 members and assets in excess of $2.4 billion.
How the Share Certificates Compare
When compared to the similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available within the FOM, Founders Federal Credit Union's 84-month Loyalty Share Certificate and Share Certificate APYs currently rank first and second, respectively.
The above rates are accurate as of 11/20/2019.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.