As spring draws near, “savings are in bloom” at Golden Plains Credit Union (GPCU) with a newly added 15-month CD Special earning 0.81% APY. The minimum opening deposit is $5k, with no stated balance cap.
According to CSR, the Early Withdrawal Penalty is 180 days of interest, with partial withdrawals allowed.
Opening and Funding a 15-month CD Special
Current members can open the CD Special at any branch location, by phone, or by using GPCU’s Online Banking platform to send a secured email. Those applying for membership need to establish membership first and then transfer funds for the CD Special to their savings account. Once the funds are in the savings account, the CD Special can be opened. GPCU participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, making the transfer of funds relatively easy.
Rewards Checking Accounts
GPCU offers two rewards checking accounts – Golden Rewards Checking and Freedom 12 e-Checking.
The Golden Rewards Checking (GRC) account currently earns 1.56% APY on qualifying balances up $25k. Qualifying balances greater than $25k earn 0.16% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY. The monthly qualifying requirements include,
- At least ten debit card transactions
- Receive e-Statements
- Log into Golden Plains Online at least once
The GRC is limited to one per member and two per household. When I wrote about the GRC in 2008, it was available outside Kansas, but that has changed. As stated in the GRC FAQs, a GRC account can be opened by "Golden Plains Credit Union Members and Kansas Residents ONLY."
The Freedom 12 e-Checking account is a cash back account paying 2% cash back on monthly debit card purchases up to $600 per month (maximum of $144 annual earnings) and up to $12 in ATM refunds, when month requirements are met.
Headquartered in Garden City, Kansas, Golden Plains Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is primarily residency based, with those who live, work, or worship in any of the following 77 Central, Western, and Southeast Kansas counties eligible to join:
Allen, Anderson, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Decatur, Dickinson, Edwards, Ellis, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Geary, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearney, Kingman, Kiowa, Labette, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Logan, McPherson, Marion, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Morton, Neosho, Ness, Norton, Osborne. Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rawlins, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Saline, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Wichita, or Wilson.
With an FOM that includes nearly 75% of all Kansas counties, I assumed one could apply for membership online. My assumption was wrong: there is no online membership application. According to CSR, joining GPCU must be done in person at any of 13 Kansas branches, which are located in Ellsworth, Garden City (2), Hays, Haysville, Hesston, Lakin, Liberal, Parsons, Phillipsburg, Quinter, Ulysses, and Wichita. There is no mention of any COVID-related restrictions (limited hours, temporary closures, etc.) on branch locations on GPCU’s website.
All you have to do is open a savings account and maintain
a $10 balance and you can become a member, too!
GPCU participates in both the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks.
Credit Union Overview
Golden Plains Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.95% (excellent), based on December 31, 2020 data. In the past year, GPCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $78.91 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 13.67%. Please refer to our financial overview of Golden Plains Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 62542) for more details.
Established in 1951, Golden Plains Credit Union is currently the fifth largest credit union headquartered in Kansas, with nearly 81,000 members and assets in excess of $743 million. As I mentioned earlier, GPCU limited the availability of its rewards checking account back in 2008. This change was forced by the passage of a “tough field of membership and branching bill pushed successfully by the banking lobby” in Kansas. According to a CUTimes.com article,
The state’s eased laws on statewide branching for credit unions seem about to end and could cause a reduction in CU membership growth.
The good news, according to the leadership of the Kansas Credit Union Association, is that the bill drafted by the Kansas Bankers Association months ago and passed by the Senate March 19 by a lopsided 35-2 margin, has an extensive grandfather clause covering existing branches, occupation and association groups, counties and geographic FOM for most Kansas CUs.
However, nine CUs [including GPCU], principally in Wichita and Topeka, would face what is being called an expansion rollback. In addition, if the bill is enacted, new and complicated formulas–including a so-called escalator clause–would be applied to restrict new branches, mergers or the addition of new members based on a combination of metropolitan statistical area population growth and county boundaries.
How the CD Special Compares
When compared to the similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and require a similar minimum deposit, Golden Plains Credit Union’s 15-month CD Special APY currently ranks second.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 3/19/2021.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates page.