Greater Iowa Credit Union (GICU) is currently offering three CD Specials, which follow my “Special Rates Rule of Three” – one very competitive rate, one good rate, and one not-so-special rate. The competitive rate is the 3.00% APY offered on the 24-month CD Special, with the 13-month CD Special offering a good rate of 2.75% APY. The CD Specials can be opened with a $1k minimum deposit.
As stated on the Deposit Rates page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
Early withdrawal penalty of 90 days of interest will be imposed on certificates with a term of
one year or less and 180 days of interest on certificates with a term greater than one year.
GICU’s Greater Checking account has been earning 3.04% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k since it was introduced almost four years ago.
While the qualifying requirements haven’t changed since I last wrote about the Greater Checking account, there is a new $1k minimum daily balance requirement to earn the 3.04% APY.
The Greater Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees, and requires a minimum of $50 to open. There is a limit of one account per tax ID number per household. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $10 per month, if qualifying requirements are met.
Headquartered in Ames, Greater Iowa Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is primarily residency based, with individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the following 33 Iowa counties eligible to join.
Iowa Counties - Adair, Audubon, Boone, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Clarke, Crawford, Dallas, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hardin, Harrison, Ida, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monona, Polk, Poweshiek, Sac, Shelby, Story, Tama, Warren, Webster, Woodbury, and Wright.
Greater Iowa’s FOM is spelled out in greater detail on its website, listing 25 different ways to qualify for membership that can be categorized as follows:
- Members of twelve merged Credit Unions
- Military relationship
- Family or household members
Joining GICU must be done in person at any of eight Iowa branches located in Ames (3), Denison, Des Moines, Indianola, Waukee, and West Des Moines. While current GICU members can open a CD Special over the phone, that option is not available for those applying for membership.
$5.00 minimum share balance required to open and maintain Primary Share.
Easy But Limited Membership Requirement
The lack of an online application is a real disappointment, as a possible “backdoor” into GICU exists. Article III, Section 3.1 of GICU’s Bylaws reads in part,
Membership of this credit union shall consist of and be limited to:
#2 - Members of the Iowa State University Alumni Association
Iowa State University Alumni Association (ISUAA) is made of up “alumni, students, and friends of Iowa State University” who live throughout the world. “Friends” are non-alumni and account for more than 13% of ISUAA’s membership. A one-year membership, either single or joint, costs $57. You can join ISUAA either online or by filling out the printable Membership form and returning it by mail.
Without a GICU online application or the ability to join either by phone or mail, I’m afraid this backdoor is more of a tiny window that's been painted shut. In hopes of finding a way around this limitation, I did a Live Chat and spoke with two different CSRs, but the answer was the same: you have to come into a branch to join GICU. If anyone can figure out a way to join without traveling to Central Iowa, let me know!
Credit Union Overview
Greater Iowa Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.97% (excellent) based on March 31, 2019 data. In the past year, Greater Iowa has increased its total deposits by $23.92 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 6.18%. Please refer to our financial overview of Greater Iowa Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 64203) for more details.
Established in 1932 as the Iowa State College Building and Grounds Credit Union with nine members, Greater Iowa Credit Union is currently Iowa’s tenth largest credit union, with more than 32,600 members and assets in excess of $470 million.
How the CD Specials Compare
When compared to 271 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available within the FOM, Greater Iowa Credit Union’s 24-Month CD Special APY currently ranks first.
When compared to 285 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available within the FOM, Greater Iowa Credit Union’s 13-Month CD Special APY currently ranks third.
The above rates are accurate as of 7/5/2019.
To search for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates table page.