GTE Financial Offers Promo CDs With Unlimited Add-Ons


Deal Summary: Promotional Share Certificate – 60-month (3.04% APY), 48-month (2.94% APY), 36-month (2.84% APY), 30-month (2.68% APY), and 24-month (2.53% APY), $500 minimum, new money required. APYs 25 bps higher with $100k minimum.

Availability: Easy membership requirement by joining CU Savers ($10 one-time membership fee); residents of certain Tampa Zip Codes; SEGs.

For a limited-time, Florida-based GTE Financial has raised the rates on its Share Certificates and included an add-on feature, “which means you can add money at any time during your term, in as little as $20 increments.” In the past GTE Financial has capped the add-on to $6k, but during this special promotion there is no limit of how much can be deposited. Any of the Share Certificates can be opened with a $500 minimum deposit of new money. Jumbo Share Certificates require a $100k new money minimum deposit and offer APYs that are 25 bps higher.

The FAQs page explains the Early Withdrawal Penalty.

If you decide to make a withdrawal on the Promotional Share Certificate, you would forfeit up to 90 days earned dividends for 6 and 12 month terms. For longer terms, you would forfeit up to 180 days earned dividends.

How to Open and Fund

The “How to Open and Fund" page explains the process to ensure you receive the promotional rate.

When funding the Share Certificate – Make sure to fund using a non-GTE Debit or Credit Card, or choose the option to supply a different bank and provide the account number, routing number and financial institution name. Remember to not select ‘Transfer from a GTE Federal Credit Union Account’ option, as that will disqualify you from receiving the APY special. The limit to fund a Share Certificate online is $5,000. You can visit our awesome Community Financial Center team at a GTE location to handle funding for deposits greater than $5,000.

What if it’s a large sum that I am looking to move over? If you apply and open a Promotional Share Certificate online, it will walk you through the funding process. However, there are limits to how much you can deposit using the online experience. If you are looking to make a deposit into the Promotional Share Certificate over $5,000, we recommend making a deposit at a GTE Financial location or a Shared Branching location.

Optimum Utilization

A long-term add-on CD is a great hedge against falling rates, as can been seen with the 60-month (3.04% APY). Say the 60-month CD is opened with the minimum $500 deposit. If there is a recession next year and rates fall back to near zero, you can just add money and be guaranteed a 3.04% APY for another four years. Should rates continue to rise, the $500 investment won’t lose too much ground: the difference between a $500 5-year CD earning 5% and one earning 3% is only about $50 over five years.


Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, GTE Financial’s field of membership (FOM) has a way for almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien to join.

Easy membership: Joining GTE Financial’s non-profit educational financial club, CU Savers (one-time $10 membership fee), qualifies for credit union membership.

Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the following Tampa Zip Codes are eligible to join - 33602, 33603, 33604, 33605, 33606, 33607, 33609, 33610, 33619.

Employment: Employees (and their immediate family members) of a Community Partner (SEG) qualify for membership.

Relationship: Immediate family members (spouse, child, parent, sibling, stepparent, stepchild, grandparent, or grandchild) of a current Credit Union member is eligible for membership.

Joining GTE Financial and/or opening a Share Certificate can be done online, or in person at any of 23 Florida branches located in Brandon, Clearwater, Crystal River, Hudson, Lakeland (2), Lutz, New Port Richey, Ocala, Plant City, Sarasota, Seffner, Seminole, St. Petersburg (2), Tampa (7), and Temple Terrace.

Credit Union Overview

GTE Financial, has an overall health grade of "B" at, with a Texas Ratio of 14.16% (above average), based on June 30, 2018 data. In the past year, GTE Financial has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $137.19 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 8.02%. Please refer to our financial overview of GTE Financial (NCUA Charter # 196) for more details.

GTE Financial’s predecessor, Peninsula Telephone Employees Federal Credit Union (PTEFCU) was established in 1901. While GT&E purchased Peninsula Telephone Company in 1935, the PTEFCU name remained in place until 1958, when it was changed to GTE Federal Credit Union. In the 1990s, GTE Financial was the first Florida credit union (and the second in the country) to implement a successful debit card program. The Credit Union rebranded in 2012, and is currently Florida’s seventh largest credit union, with nearly 250,000 members and assets in excess of $2 billion.

How the Add-On Promotional Share Certificates Compare

If a comparison is made using similar length-of-term CD APYs, GTE Financial’s Add-On Promotional Certificate Special APYs don’t fare that well.

With unlimited additional deposits allowed, a comparison to standard CDs isn’t fair, and unfortunately, add-on CDs are rare. A few nationally available add-on CDs are available at the easy-membership Mountain America Credit Union (MACU). These are called Term Deposit Plus accounts. Unlike GTE Financial’s Add Certificates, MACU’s Term Deposit Plus has a maximum balance of $100k.

The above rates are accurate as of 11/27/2018.

Related Pages: Orlando CD rates, Tampa CD rates, 5-year CD rates, nationwide deals

alan1   |     |   Comment #1
Other terms are:
18 mo. (2.27% APY); 12 mo. (2.02% APY); 6-mo. (1.26%) APY.

Since GTE permits funding the CD with a credit card purchase, I think the most attractive offer is the 6-month CD. If it's funded with a 2% reward credit card, that's a semi-annual return of over 2.6%, most of which is not subject to income taxes. (And I'm not taking into account the float on credit card purchases.) I've been accumulating short-term CDs for the past year (with occasional time off -- there's only so much time I wish to put in to managing my accounts). As far as I'm concerned, they could pay 0.00% interest -- they're by far the best deal out there.
Free money
Free money   |     |   Comment #2
I'm a little behind the times on credit card funding. Does the bank offering the credit card not consider that a cash advance and charge an appropriate fee? If not, it's beautifully free
alan1   |     |   Comment #4
replying to #2 -- my understanding (which might not be correct) is that it depends on both the credit card issuer and the financial institution where you're opening the account. GTE codes it as a credit card purchase. But, as I understand it, different card issuers may treat it differently -- some may treat it as a purchase; others as a cash advance.
AnnO   |     |   Comment #6
Most bank/CC combos don't code as cash advances. But to be safe, you want to call your card issuer and ask/verify that your cash advance limit be set to $0 or $1 before proceeding.
yawn   |     |   Comment #7
Yes good advice-but I have experienced credit cards saying that I could not change my cash advance limit to people need to be careful with this. If that goes through as a cash advance on $5000......Yikes! Huge fee on top of probably 25% interest! You could pay it off quickly so the interest would not accrue for long......but the fee alone would really hurt.
111   |     |   Comment #12
Good information. I've read anecdotal stories of people who called to lower their cash advance limit to $1, did the transaction, then found that their credit card reps. had (apparently), RE-SET their limits back, then processed or re-processed the transaction, thus incurring the fee! I don't know whether to believe this or not, or whether it describes only very isolated occurrences or not.

One way to avoid this might be to use the PenFed cards, which have no cash advance fees at all. However the downside there is that they offer only 1% cashback.

I may try this with the Citi Double card or my Alliant 2.5% card if I can find some additional datapoints on re-setting cash advance limits on them.
yawn   |     |   Comment #24
111-I have done several fundings through credit cards and never been hit with the cash advance-but I'm still a little scared every time. One card didn't charge a cash advance but rather just rejected the charge-saw both a credit and debit on the same day. Annoying but much better than the worst option.
userjohn   |     |   Comment #45
alan1, the ability to fund by credit seems like an incredible benefit. Do you know of any other opportunities like this where funding by credit card is allowed?
wibly   |     |   Comment #3
So we cannot fund the CD with ACH transfer?
alan1   |     |   Comment #5
replying to #3 -- please read the section of Ken Tumin's article above, "How to Open and Fund".
wibly   |     |   Comment #8
talking to them via live chat, they are saying the 60 month is not available for add on..
Carpline   |     |   Comment #13
According to their website, "We’ve included the Add-on feature to all Promotional Share Certificates."
wibly   |     |   Comment #17
Look at the two asterisks next to all terms other than 36 month and 48 month.

**Add-On option available in deposits of $100 or greater throughout the term of the certificate up to a combined maximum of $6,000 per primary owner per calendar year.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #19
Good catch I saw this too but since they have these terms listed above that I think these ARE all add-on CD's.
"We’ve included the Add-on feature to all Promotional Share Certificates. That means, you can add money at any time during your term, in as little as $20 increments."
As always it's best to call and confirm before jumping in.
Another strategy could be to use the 60 month CD as 3.04% rate insurance for $500 just in case rates go back down in the next 5 years.
alan1   |     |   Comment #20
GTE has been offering these promotional rates for several months. The 60-month CD at 3.04% had not been an add-on CD.

I just checked the online application -- the promotional CDs with terms of 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30 months are listed as add-on CDs. The 60-month CD is not listed as an add-on CD.
wibly   |     |   Comment #21
this is what I was going to do but there are conflicting terms on the page and I have received conflicting information via live chat. They told me they would email me with a clear answer as to whether the 60 month CD has add on potential, but they have not. I do not trust this bank.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #23
The 60 month CD sure looks like a add-on to me as it has ** which states:
**Add-On option available in deposits of $100 or greater throughout the term of the certificate up to a combined maximum of $6,000 per primary owner per calendar year.
and above that #3 reads:
"There’s no cap to how much you can deposit during this special (typically there is a $6,000 cap)."
I think some of these reps don't know what they are talking about. I remember having to call a few times to get all the terms straightened out before with them.
wibly   |     |   Comment #9
also, they are saying that if you add on to get over the 100k, you will not increase to the jumbo rate
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #10
This is interesting only from the standpoint of credit card funding. Just for a data point I funded my last 2 GTE add-on CD's for $5,000 each which was the max allowed. I used the Citibank double cash card 2% cash back and both CD's were counted as purchases and not cash advances. Assuming these same rules are still in effect I will do 2 more of these. It looks like the 12 month CD would be the best deal with 2.02% + 2%(credit card rewards) = 4.02% APY approx. for a 12 month term. These rates are not high enough to make the add-on feature worth much IMO.
Free money
Free money   |     |   Comment #14
It looks like I should jettison(quite using) my Wells & Chase cards. They're only giving 1.5% in rewards and it appears both will process as cash advances. I used to have a PenFed card years ago but for some half-witted reason closed it. I'm stuck for the time being.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #15
I stopped using the Cap one 1.5% card a while back when this card came out. The Citi double cash card staggers the rewards. You get 1% instantly when you make purchases and a additional 1% when you pay the bill. You can cash out at $25 increments and you will only get the full 2% if you cash out to a bank account because your rewards used as a statement credit will not earn the 1%. This is the best rewards card for everyday spending hands down. Chase freedom and Discover more are also great for the 5% quarterly categories.
luvcd   |     |   Comment #16
Good plan/place to park a minimum amount for long term and then add to if the economy/interest rates go(es) south.
Anon1   |     |   Comment #26
Alliant beats it with 3% cashback for the first year, then 2.5% thereafter. There is a $59 annual fee that is waived for the first year, so depending on spend, it might or might not be better than a two percent card with no annual fee after year one. I have not tried using it to fund a CD however, and would be curious to hear if anyone has. Works fine for taxes.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #28
@Anon: Sure 2.5% beats 2% but that $59 annual fee negates much of the benefit. If this were your only spending card it would be the best. I have other rewards cards for different spending categories ranging from 3%-7%. I average about 3%-4% cash back for all my spending 24/7.
111   |     |   Comment #36
One reason for keeping the 2.5% Alliant card even after the fee-free first year, is that when paid via credit card all my Federal and State taxes and all my property taxes happen to have credit card processing fees ranging from 1.9% to about 2.3%. Since (sadly) I pay plenty of taxes, this does give me a small profit, plus convenience. With a card paying back only 2% it make little since to do that.

Those cards paying over 2.5% either pay that only for certain spend categories (often changing quarterly), or introductory offers.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #22
I found this on DoC about credit card funding for GTE:
So these cards are known to code as purchases. Short list and not many data points but it's something to go on.
yawn   |     |   Comment #25
GTE generally is a good credit union and service is usually above average.....but I have received conflicting answers as far as funding by credit rep said it's a cahs advance and the other said it would go as a purchase.........Mine have always gone as a purchase but just be careful. Also you can be sure I printed off the one rep's response that said it would be a purchase......Get it in writing!!
going going gone
going going gone   |     |   Comment #27
welcome to the credit card forum
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #29
Credit cards are the financial tools of the well informed and the enemy of those without self control who carry a balance.
mariafalter   |     |   Comment #31
Funding with fidelity cc was done as a cash advance. The transaction didn’t go through, because the cash advance limit is less then $5,000.
alan1   |     |   Comment #33
Do you know if it was treated as a cash advance due or Fidelity or whether GTE coded the transaction as a cash advance rather than as a purchase?

When I've opened accounts at GTE with a credit card, it's always been treated as a purchase, but my most recent transaction at GTE was approximately two months ago.
alan1   |     |   Comment #34
correcting typo in first sentence of comment #33, my question is:

Do you know if it was treated as a cash advance due to Fidelity or whether GTE coded the transaction as a cash advance rather than as a purchase?

(my apologies)
mariafalter   |     |   Comment #35
I’ve been told by fidelity rep that GTE coded the transaction as a cash advance. I’ve also opened accounts there with a cc. The transactions were coded as purchases at the time, but it was the Alliant cc.
yawn   |     |   Comment #38
Likely not true.....From my experience GTE codes it as a purchase so I don't think it's their fault. It's a great deal but just be careful with it. I have used Chase when I fund through GTE and always works perfectly and as a purchase.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #41
@Yawn: Yep and Chase is on the short list I posted as well. Some of these CSR's are really clueless and you have to call back and get one that is more knowledgeable.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #40
I bet it was coded as a cash advance on Fidelity's end. Credit cards CAN do this even when GTE codes it as a purchase. You have to call both GTE and the credit card you wish to use ahead of time just to make sure. Citibank told me that they don't change the coding and it all depends on the merchant and GTE told me that they code it as a purchase. I don't see Fidelity on the short list @ DoC I posted above either.
QED   |     |   Comment #37

It's all over the place, and there is widespread purposeful misrepresentation by certain of the credit card issuers (both banks AND credit unions). There is less misrepresentation by entities doing the selling, like GTE. But too often reps of the sellers will opine while simply not knowing, with certainty, how a transaction is coded. Bottom line, be very careful and take absolutely NOTHING for granted.
yawn   |     |   Comment #39
Yes QED! Why I got their (GTE) response in writing!
SvyT   |     |   Comment #42
Have you read the reviews of this CU here? Not sure the written response of a clueless rep will help you, but if you use a Chase card or Citi DC. You are most likely fine.
Yawn   |     |   Comment #43
True but getting it in writing is better than nothing
Luvcd   |     |   Comment #44
ScyT...Why shouldn’t the public be able to rely upon unobjected to confirmation?
userjohn   |     |   Comment #46
I'm wondering how funding by credit card could make financial sense for GTE. Anyone here know what its the minimum % cost GTE must be incurring on such charges?
userjohn   |     |   Comment #47
Has anyone here opened one or more GTE CDs funded by a credit card for more than $5K, either in a branch or online?
GTE Financial Has Top CD Rates, Nationally Available

Update: According to the GTE Financial promo page, "This offer expires Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 5pm EST."

Deal Summary: Share Certificate Specials – 6-month (1.56% APY), 12-month (1.76% APY), 18-month (2.32% APY), 24-month (2.48% APY), 30-month (2.78% APY), $100k minimum, new money required. APYs 25 bps lower with $500 minimum.

Availability: Easy membership requirement by joining CU Savers ($10 one-time membership fee); residents of certain Tampa Zip Codes; SEGs.

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