Founders Federal Credit Union (SC) 84-Month CD Earns Up To 4.58% APY


Deal Summary: 84-month Share Certificate (3.29% APY), 84-month Loyalty Share Certificate (4.58% APY), $500 minimum deposit.

Availability: Residents of the South Carolina counties of Chester, Chesterfield, Laurens, and Union; South Carolina towns of Duncan and Wellford; 69 South Carolina Census tracts; hundreds of SEGs.

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 Union84 Month Loyalty Share Certificate
1.51%$500-Founders Federal Credit Union84 Month Share Certificate
Rates as of November 29, 2020.

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 Union84 Month Loyalty IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
1.51%$500-Founders Federal Credit Union84 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
Rates as of November 29, 2020.

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, 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 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.

Related Pages: Charlotte CD rates, Columbia CD rates, Greenville CD rates, 1-year CD rates, 5-year CD rates


  |     |   Comment #2
Ken failed to mention that the 4.58%  APY is not a guaranteed yield unless you qualify for the 84 month Loyalty Cert. today and open it today. Going forward the 3.29% APY is guaranteed until they change that rate however the loyalty additional rate offered is subject to change at any time. Say you open a 84 month Loyalty Advantage at 3.29% APY and take 6 months to keep the checking acct open to qualify, then after six months use the one time "dividend rate advantage"...the rate on the "dividend rate advantage" can change at any time and is not guaranteed. In six months its anybody guess what the rate advantage rate will be...all that is set is the 3.29% APY that was locked in for the 84 months. In fact if one was to open the 84 month Crt today and grab the 4.58% APY it may be short lived....the additional dividend rate advantage will always fluctuate during the term as its never set and can even be removed completely because its tied to a different program. The 3.29% APY is the only rate set for the entire term of the CD.
  |     |   Comment #5
To be clear, the 4.58% rate is a locked rate if your lucky enough to get it before it's reduced, right? In other words, it does not fluctuate if that's the rate (4.58%) that you lock in.
Jane Does
  |     |   Comment #6
84 months is a lot of months. Remember, in 1 month the FI can send a letter lowering the rate of ANY CD, or making any other changes.
  |     |   Comment #19
Is what Jane Does says really true? If so, then what’s the point of being a long term CD investor? Where’s the protection for the consumer? Seems very one sided.
CD Student
  |     |   Comment #27
MR CDMAn, you may not be familiar with a company called GTE FINANCIAL.

It was proven by several here that the terms of ANY CD can change if the FI (TM) sends a letter, therewith thus by providing notice with advance term of 30 calendar days.
CD Student
  |     |   Comment #28
** of (at least) 30 calendar days.
  |     |   Comment #32
I still don’t get it, sorry. I don’t believe that a bank or credit union can simply send a letter and change the terms of a CD. I know a lot of you talk about this but it’s insane and implausible. If this is really true, I’ve lost all hope in the financial system and civilization.
Roll Call
  |     |   Comment #33
CDmanFL They can and will. You being a CDman should know this. When tough times start to hit the bottom line is FI's will do what's best for them. It's right there is the fine print. Most don't resort to this because there are a lot more good times than bad. What that means you should have a certain percentage of your nest egg in the market to beat inflation.
CD Student
  |     |   Comment #34
CDMAN the RULES are all in NCUA Regulations DD and EE and some others facts are there don't be vlind!
  |     |   Comment #8
3.25 is the set rate... it’s a bonus rate to 4.58APY because the cd then uses a loyalty account to increase the rate. That loyalty account rate is never set like the cd rate so can easily change over the 84 months/ always fluid.Apoears they are using it to lock people into the 84 month at 3.29 APY. Call and they will state the 4.58APY is not guaranteed as its tied to a loyalty bonus account rate that can change anytime.
  |     |   Comment #24
Excellent information. Thank$
  |     |   Comment #30
I had a long conversation with someone at a branch, and what jimdog stated is correct.
  |     |   Comment #3
Some one said you must go into a branch office to open up an IRA. Is this true? Can you not do it online? Anyone know? Thx
Jane Does
  |     |   Comment #4
My mom said that, but I don't know if she knows.
Paladin, Carlton Hotel
  |     |   Comment #7
This is a highly attractive offering. As Ken points out, there is an extremely long list of associate organizations, at least a few of which I'm confident could be joined by anyone after payment of a membership fee. And Ken mentions online membership application is supported.

Question is, is there an unwritten/unpublished requirement that new applicants for membership must live in the geographic region served by Founders FCU? I do not have the answer to that. But if it is a requirement, this is strictly a local/regional deal.
  |     |   Comment #9
This offer is not highly attractive... they are using a bonus rate to lure people into locking up their money for 84 months at 3.29APY. The loyalty bonus can be discontinued anytime. When interest rates go higher the customer loses and the CU scores big. This is why they are bringing out this special 84 term, they know they will make out on the back end. Notice the loyalty offer isn’t  available on the shorter term CD’s.
Paladin, Carlton Hotel
  |     |   Comment #11
I disagree. I find this deal most attractive. Am ignoring, and have no interest whatsoever in, the loyalty certificate. View that as merely a come-on.

But ability to snag 3.29% APY, and lock that rate in for 84 months, is where a portion of my money needs to be. You see, I do not think interest rates will be rising significantly any time soon. I already have a pile of money in the NFCU 3.5% five year CDs. Only problem there: term is too short.

It's a US$23T debt and rising daily. Any significant increase in interest rates and the USA will collapse. Would not bet farm on this CD. But for one tranche of my nestegg it's a smart choice.
  |     |   Comment #12
3.29APY is laughable for a lock up iof 84 months and a 365dayEWP ... remember that’s 7 years. WOW. And to make matters worse the CSR’s are clueless at this FI.
  |     |   Comment #20
Only "time will tell" whether it's laughable or not...
CD Student
  |     |   Comment #36
How does inflation happen when the richest 400 Americans have more money than the "bottom" 320 million? If costs go up, Americans have to spend less, because they don't have anything to spend.
  |     |   Comment #10
Remember when Keesler FCU suspended its ordinarily limited membership area for the 8 month 5% CD offer?

Whoever talked them into that should please call Founders.
  |     |   Comment #13
It was 7 months, and don't forget that Keesler later changed this membership BACK to only their local area.
Predatory Depositor
  |     |   Comment #14
The Fed typically doesn't reverse course for two or three years once they embark on a change of rate direction. So I think you can make a reasonable guess about what's going to happen to rates over a two or three-year period and have a reasonable probability of being right based on the historical record.

But beyond about three years I think any prediction of rates is much more speculative. And I think 7 years is a complete crap shoot. Whether its 3.29 or 4.58%, there is no possible way of knowing if this is a good deal. It's a matter of how willing you are to take the gamble that you could end up being stuck with what turns out to be a low return CD for several years.
  |     |   Comment #16
If I was able to get a 4.58% 7 year I would grab it and stick it in my ladder in a second but no guarantee and I wouldn't be interested.
Predatory Depositor
  |     |   Comment #17
It apparently has an upgrade method to meet the qualifications for the higher rate after 6 months. If you pursue those qualifications and meet them it has as much chance of paying the promised rate as any other CD. I'm not sure what kind of guarantee you are talking about. It appears they guarantee that rate if you meet the qualifications they require to upgrade.
  |     |   Comment #22
The loyalty bonus additional rate is on top of the 3.25 reg 84 month rate offered, and that loyalty rate can change daily, weekly, monthly etc. If you open up a bonus cd today and fully qualify for the 3.25% bonus CD...then the offered loyalty bonus today will bring it to 4.58%...however that add on bonus is not guaranteed the life of the cd. The bonus rate can fluctuate up or down during the life of the cd and that will reflect on the APY one will receive for any given time period.
If you take the bonus cd now at 3.25% then get a checking, wait 6 months to qualify then take advantage of the one time loyalty bonus feature, your total APY may be more or less then 4.58% at that time. However, you are guaranteed the 3.25% rate for the cd for the entire 84 months. 
Call up CS and purchase an 84 month bonus cd today and ask the CSR in 6 months after the checking acct has been opened and you qualify for the one time bonus feature ....will I be receiving the 4.58% rate? 
Their answer will be "we cant guarantee what the bonus rate will be at that time."In fact the loyalty program can be discontinued at any time, its active now because the economy is strong at the moment.
If the 4.58% APY was guaranteed for the entire duration ... and had an add on feature to it I would be interested since I am already a member of Founders CU. I also echo the same sediments that foxyyy posted.
Predatory Depositor
  |     |   Comment #23
I see. That being the case, unless you qualify right now, it would be quite a gamble to sign up at the 3.29% rate.

In any event, my minimum requirement for 7 years would probably be at least 5%, so even if I qualified for membership, and even if I could get the 4.58% rate, it wouldn't be enough for me.
  |     |   Comment #26
4.58% wouldn't be good enough but 5% would....OK
Predatory Depositor
  |     |   Comment #31
#26, Yes

5% APY would be a rate that I would consider for an 84 month CD if everything else about the deal was acceptable. 4.58% APY is a rate that wouldn't consider under any circumstances.
  |     |   Comment #29
Wow, thx for the info. It sure is misleading and shady in my opinion for a credit union to promote a 4.58% CD that is variable and not a guaranteed rate.
  |     |   Comment #37
jimdog, its all tied to a loyalty program the cu offers to those in the field of membership so they justify it this way. In their minds they are offering more to their members, and if those members need more info they can go into their local branch for it.Notice on the Founders website there is brief, vague info about all their loyalty products.No in depth discussion about the loyalty programs which is a red flag for me.Even most CSR are confused about the loyalty because some overlap and some dont, and the term are different on many etc etc etc.
  |     |   Comment #25
Pretty simple to understand... If it were a set(guarantee) 4.58% Cd I would buy it in a second, not that difficult to understand if you try.
  |     |   Comment #21
Mak, I'm hear you and would do the same if the 4.58% 7 year was guaranteed.

I have better things to do than jump through hoops to meet whatever the qualifications there may be to get an upgrade "upgrade".
  |     |   Comment #15
As an existing member of Founders CU my recommendation would be don't consider becoming a member unless you live in the membership area.They are not a credit union set up to service online membership accounts only.If you need more in depth questions answered from CSR they will transfer you to a branch rep where you will leave your phone number.Maybe they will get back to you in 2 days, maybe. Beneficiaries are also hard to add to an existing account, you even need a signature guarantee to do it. Once you send in the doc, then they will email you a Doc u Sign doc to sign, and they will never send you a confirmation letter in the future stating what beneficiaries you have on your accounts.All you have is a copy of the original Doc U Sign.No where on your account online or paper statements does it state/or list beneficiaries you have.It becomes all a matter of trust Founders has your beneficiaries on file.
Predatory Depositor
  |     |   Comment #18
Sounds like good advice. No matter how good a deal it sounds like, if you can't count on them to give you good information, respond to you timely, or be well organized enough to protect your assets, it never is.
  |     |   Comment #42
I did a 6 month CD account just to get a feel of it. Now I don't know how to withdraw my money once the maturity date hits. I was able to transfer my dividends from it but not all of my money I started out with.
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