Although the product line offered by New Jersey-based Merck Employees Federal Credit Union (MEFCU) is small, it currently offers two savings accounts with very competitive rates.
I usually don’t review credit unions that have a narrow field of membership (FOM), but searching for these types of credit unions can be advantageous. The default setting for any of the “Compare Rates” page excludes credit unions with limited FOM like MEFCU. If you click on the “Advanced Options,” a drop-down appears that reads,
Include credit unions with membership based on any industries that you or immediate family members currently or have previously worked in
A list of 12 industries follows and you can click on “Select All” or choose one or more of the categories. After any or all of the 12 industries are selected, the page include credit unions that match what you’ve selected, with credit unions that have branches in the state you’ve selected.
For example, if I look at the “Compare Savings Accounts Rates” page using the default setting for New Jersey, 327 personal savings account are listed. After clicking on “Select All” in the “Advanced Options,” an additional 55 savings accounts offered by credit unions are added.
MEFCU’s FOM is not as narrow as it seems, as family members of both current or former employees qualify for membership. So, if your brother, or your mother, or your grandfather worked for Merck or its subsidiaries at any time, you may qualify for membership even if you don’t live near an MEFCU branch. To do a large search including all 50 states, select “Any” at the bottom of the “Select Your State” drop-down.
IRA (Savings) Account
The IRA (Savings) Account currently earns 1.77% APY on balances of $200 and above. Note – I’ve included “Savings” in parentheses to avoid any confusion as to what type of account this is. While MEFCU simply calls it the “IRA Account,” it is indeed a savings account.
|1.77%||$200||-||Merck Employees Federal Credit Union||IRA Account (Traditional, Roth, CESA)|
MEFCU’s IRA Accounts page provides the following account information,
- $200 minimum
- The IRA account pays a dividend from the day of deposit to the day of withdrawal
- The credit union offers multiple types of IRAs including:
- Traditional IRAs
- Roth IRAs
- Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
- Federally insured up to $250,000
- Access to your account information online
- Open a new IRA or manage an existing IRA with Retirement Central
The $200 minimum is both the minimum opening deposit and the minimum balance to earn the stated APY. There are no monthly maintenance fees associated with the IRA (Savings) Account. Outgoing domestic and all incoming wire transfers will incur a $15 fee.
Regular Share Account
Currently earning 1.01% APY on balances of $50 and above, the Regular Share Account offers a rate that outstrips the rates offered on nationally available savings accounts.
|1.01%||$50||-||Merck Employees Federal Credit Union||Regular Share Accounts|
MEFCU’s Savings Accounts page states,
- $50 minimum balance required
- Earns dividends from the day of deposit to the day of withdrawal
- Dividends paid quarterly
- Individual accounts federally insured up to $250,000
- Joint accounts federally insured up to $500,000
- Access to your account information any time through online or mobile banking
There are no monthly maintenance fees associated with the Regular Share Account. The minimum opening deposit is $50 minimum and is also the minimum balance to earn the stated APY.
I've been told by a credit union official that these rates should be in place at least through the month of September as they only change rates quarterly.
Headquartered in Rahway, New Jersey, Merck Employees Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) includes employees or former employees of Merck & Co., Inc., Schering Plough, Inc., or Organon.
In addition, family members of current or former Merck & Co., Inc., Schering Plough, Inc. or Organaon employees and family members of any existing MEFCU members also qualify for membership.
Joining MEFCU can be done online. Requesting a membership application to be sent by snail-mail or email can be done by calling 732-594-3317.
To complete the application, you will need to upload a copy of your photo ID and account funding instructions will be provided by telephone or email.
Joining MEFCU and/or opening a Regular Share Account or IRA (Savings) Account can also be done at any of three branch locations in Kenilworth (NJ), Rahway (Upton Place, NJ), and Elkton (VA). While the East Lincoln Avenue (Rahway) is temporarily closed due to construction, the Whitehouse Station (NJ) branch is closing because of Merck’s facility consolidation plan. Its final day of operation is August 4, 2021.
MEFCU participates in both the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks.
We work with other credit unions across the country to bring you more branch locations where you can make deposits, withdrawals, loan payments, and make transfers between accounts.
Credit Union Overview
Merck Employees Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 0.35% (excellent) based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, MEFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $316.72 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 18.32%. Please refer to our financial overview of Merck Employees Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 1454) for more details.
Established only two years after the Federal Credit Union Act was signed into law in 1936, Merck Employees Federal Credit Union is currently the second largest credit union headquartered in New Jersey. With nearly 25,000 members and assets in excess of $2.3 billion, MEFCU may be the only large credit union that has not expanded its original FOM to include groups other than the initial group they were chartered to serve.
How the IRA (Savings) Account Compares
Since MEFCU’s FOM is based on employment in multiple states, a comparison to savings accounts available nationwide is appropriate. When compared to nationally available IRA Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, Merck Employees Federal Credit Union’s IRA (Savings) Account APY currently ranks first.
To search for the best IRA Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s IRA Savings Account Rates page.
How the Regular Share Account Compares
Since MEFCU’s FOM is based on employment in multiple states, a comparison to savings accounts available nationwide is appropriate. When compared to nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are not limited by a low balance cap, Merck Employees Federal Credit Union’s Regular Share Account APY currently ranks first.
To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 8/2/2021.