As DA reader, rockies, noted in a recent Forum post, New Jersey-based Garden Savings Federal Credit Union (Garden Savings) has revived its 13-month Share Certificate Special. Originally offering 5.00% APY in December 2022, the 2023 version earns 5.50% APY.
The 13-month Share Certificate Special is also available as an IRA Certificate Special (Traditional, Roth, CESA), earning the same 5.50% APY with the same deposit requirements.
The minimum opening deposit is $1k of new money, which is defined on the Rates page as being “from outside institutions only.” Comments made by DA readers Kaight and alan1 in response to rockies’ Forum post, mention that Garden Savings previously “imposed strange limitations” in regards to the origin of new money. A December 2022 Forum post by DA reader, NYCDoug, colorfully described his experience trying to open a 13-month Certificate that required “funds not on deposit at Garden Savings.”
if you closed a matured CD within the past 90 days (as I did, in November) then No Go — Fuggetaboutit! [Don't sey dat on duh website] My offer to deposit $100k was flatly turned down. So much for customer loyalty — Sheesh!
Early Withdrawal Penalty
As stated in the fine print on the Rates page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) reads as follows:
On terms of 1 year or greater, early withdrawal penalty is 180 days of dividends earned.
CSR confirmed the EWP, but clarified that partial withdrawals are not allowed: the 13-month Share Certificate Special can only be closed early.
Thanks to DA readers, rockies and NYCDoug, for their Forum posts and to all other DA readers who commented on this limited-time deal.
If you’re thinking of joining Garden Savings to take advantage of the 13-month Share Certificate Special, you might want to consider Garden Savings’ rewards checking account, Platinum Checking. Last week, Garden Savings increased the Platinum Checking rate from 4.07% APY to 5.12% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. Qualifying balances in excess of $15k earn 0.15% APY, with non-qualifying balances only earning 0.01% APY.
- At least 12 POS transactions ($5 minimum) per month.
- Have either a “direct deposit of regular pay” (payroll/Social Security) or a minimum of one ACH debit per month.
- Be enrolled in eStatements.
The Platinum Checking account has no monthly balance or minimum balance requirement and is fee-free. Unlimited debit card transactions and check writing are available, with new accounts eligible for a free box of checks. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $20 per month, if qualifications are met. There is a limit of one account per Social Security number.
Excess Share Insurance
Deposits at Garden Savings FCU are fully insured up to $500,000: to at least $250,000 by the NCUA and $250,000 by Excess Share Insurance, the nation’s largest provider of excess share insurance since 1993.
Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Garden Savings Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) narrowed significantly more than three years ago. The previous nationwide easy membership requirement is now limited to U.S. citizens and resident aliens (18 years or older) who live in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania.
Easy Membership Requirement – Members of the American Consumer Council (ACC) who live in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania are eligible to join Garden Savings. ACC can be joined online and any membership fees can be avoided by entering “garden” as your Member Code (located at the bottom of the ACC online application).
Residency – Individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer, or regularly conduct business in the New Jersey cities of Elizabeth, Newark, or Jersey City qualify for membership.
Employment – Employees, retirees, and volunteers of more than 175 businesses and organizations qualify for membership.
Family Relationship – Immediate family members and household members of current Garden Savings members are eligible to join.
A Membership Savings account can be opened with a minimum $5 deposit, but a $250 minimum balance must be maintained to earn dividends.
In addition to participating in the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks, Garden Savings has partnered with Allpoint ATM network.
We're local — with thousands of branches across the US.
Funding and Other Details
The following information is from a conversation with CSR.
- Funding – ACH, wire, or Shared Branch transaction.
- CO-OP Shared Branch Participant – Yes.
- Ownership – Individual, joint, or trust.
- Dividends – Compounded/credited monthly with automatic transfer to Garden Savings savings/checking account available.
- Maturing Funds – ACH, wire, cashier’s check, or internal transfer.
- Beneficiaries – Unlimited; percentages can be assigned; Social Security number required.
- Grace Period – 10 calendar days before automatic renewal as a 12-month Share Certificate.
- Credit Check – ChexSystems.
Credit Union Overview
Garden Savings Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 7.75% (excellent), based on March 31, 2023 data. In the past year, Garden Savings’ has total non-brokered deposits decreased by -$22.45 million, an below average annual growth rate of -6.04%. Please refer to our financial overview of Garden Savings Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter #18710) for more details.
Garden Savings Federal Credit Union is currently New Jersey’s eighth largest credit union, with nearly 27,000 members and assets in excess of $417 million. Originally founded in 1968 for the benefit of the employees of AT&T Bell Laboratories (known today as Alcatel-Lucent) employees, Garden Savings expanded their FOM in 1985 to include other SEGs, as well residents of the county seats of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties, New Jersey. In 2013 and 2014, Garden Savings merged with Morristown FCU, NWNJ FCU, and Essex Division Telephone FCU, further expanding its FOM.
How the 13-Month Share Certificate Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, no banks or credit unions have higher rates than currently offered on the Garden Savings Federal Credit Union 13-month Share Certificate Special. The following table compares the 13-month Share Certificate Special to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.
How the Platinum Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $15k, Garden Savings Federal Credit Union’s Platinum Checking APY currently ranks third
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DA's High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.
The above rates and information are accurate as of 7/10/2023.