4.20% 60-Month CD & 4.10% 48-Month CD at Meriwest Credit Union in CA & AZ

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Meriwest Credit Union is offering two competitive long-term share certificates: 4.20% APY 60-month and 4.10% APY 48-month. Minimum deposit is $1,000. These rates are this credit union's promotional page as of 1/07/09.

Membership is open to those who live, work, or attend school in select counties within the Greater Bay Area, or Tucson, Arizona. The Greater Bay Area counties include Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, or San Francisco County. You can also be eligible via Select Employer Groups which include IBM employees and retirees (those who live in CA or AZ). Please refer to the credit union's Membership Eligibility Page for the full details. Membership requires a one-time fee of $5.

Branches are located in California cities of San Jose, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, San Mateo, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Dublin and San Ramon. There are also two branches in Tucson, Arizona.

The credit union's ratings for soundness are mixed: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 9/30/08 data.

The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68394).

Other Top Certificate of Deposit Rates

With the falling rates, CD rates over 4% are now competitive even for the longer terms. Other good deals in California include a 4.25% APY 36-month CD at Alliant CU (see post), a 3.75% APY 15-month CD at Provident CU (see post) and a 4.05% APY 13-month CD at Western FCU (see post). Western FCU also has some competitive long-term CDs with yields as high as 4.61% APY. All of these rates are listed on the credit unions' rate tables as of 1/07/09. Refer to my California Deals Page for the all of my latest bank deals available in California. For the latest nationwide CD deals, refer to my weekly rate summary.

Edit 12:54pm: Updated FOM. Only CA/AZ IBM employees are eligible.
Comments
jwbodnar
jwbodnar (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #1
Note that "IBM employees and retirees" really means "IBM employees who live in CA or AZ."

My wife is an IBM employee, and we live in Texas. We opened a Meriwest CD, but 4 or 5 months later, they closed the account saying that my wife wasn't in the field of membership. She called and ask why not since she's an IBM employee, and that's when they provided the above clarification.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Locking 4 full years for 4.10% compared to Providents 3.75% for 15 months is not good.. what is your opinion?
I am planning to lock $200K this month...
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
jwbodnar, thanks for the note on the FOM. I've updated the post. That is scary that a credit union can close an account based on their own FOM mistake. When you join a credit union through an employer or association, it may be a good idea to always request a copy of the credit union's charter that includes the official FOM. There are often errors in what's on the websites and in what the CSRs say.

Anonymous, it's hard to say which is better since it depends on future interest rates. I remember last summer when everyone thought we would be seeing higher rates now. The one downside with going for shorter terms is if rates do continue to decline and stay low, you may not have any decent CD options when the short-term CD matures. The downside with a long-term CD is if rates do increase. But in that case, the institution usually lets you do an early withdrawal (with a penalty). In my opinion, long-term CDs provide a little more protection.
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