Top CD Rates Didn’t Last Long at North Bay Credit Union (CA)


UPDATE 2/5/2019: Rates lowered – 60-month CD (3.28% APY) and 12-month CD (2.51% APY).

Deal Summary: 12-month CD (3.02% APY) and 60-month CD (4.03% APY), $100k minimum deposit.

Availability: Residents of Sonoma County, California.

When I saw the new rates for North Bay Credit Union’s (North Bay CU) CDs, I assumed it was an error, since across-the-board 100 bps increases seemed unlikely. Happily, I was wrong. The CDs have tiered APYs, based on deposit levels of $1k, $50k, and $100k. Of the five, the 12- and 60-month CDs have the most competitive rates.

These dramatic bps increases are the first rate changes for any of the CDs in eight months, and are the highest APYs since DA began tracking them nearly eight years ago.

As stated in the Certificate Account Disclosure document, the Premature Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

We may impose a penalty if you withdraw any of the principal before the maturity date or the renewal date.

12 and 18 month term – 180 days dividend
24 and 36 month term – 270 days dividend
48 and 60 month term – 360 days dividend


Headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, North Bay Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency-based, with individuals who live, work, or worship in Sonoma County eligible to join.

Joining North Bay CU can be done online or at any of three California branches located in Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, and Sonoma.

North Bay CU’s CD page has an “Apply Now” button, but it actually leads to a “Contact Me” form.

Please fill out the fields in the form to the right. One of our representatives
will contact you within one business day to complete the process.

CDs can also be opened at any of the above mentioned branch locations.

UPDATE: I contacted North Bay CU after reading the comments about the possibility an easy membership requirement. This is the email I received in response to my inquiry.

Thank you for contacting North Bay Credit Union regarding out of state CDs. Our field of membership is open to anyone living, working or worshipping in Sonoma County, CA or anyone who belongs to the FFA, 4-H, Farm Trails, Farm Bureau of Sonoma County or makes a donation to Sonoma Land Trust. We would require proof of one of these with your being out of state. We would also require copies of identification for anyone who is on the account. If you are interested in opening an account, you may open an account online.

Credit Union Overview

North Bay Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at, with a Texas Ratio of 0.82% (excellent) based on September 30, 2018 data. In the past year, North Bay CU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $2.97 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 7.6%. Please refer to our financial overview of North Bay Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 63373) for more details.

In 1948, members of the Sonoma County Grange pooled their savings to establish the Sonoma County Grange Credit Union. Over the years, the FOM expanded to include Sonoma County residents, with the North Bay rebrand occurring two years ago. According to a January 2017 press release,

The credit union wanted its new name and logo to be true to its agricultural origins, and to quickly convey who it serves. The new logo features grapes and accent colors as a nod to Sonoma County and North Bay viticulture.

“We certainly honor our founders’ commitment to the North Bay by caring for our members’ overall financial wellbeing,” said Chris Call, CEO. “We offer a full line of services, catering to the specific needs of our community. You won’t find many places that make loans for agricultural land purchases, farm equipment, and students’ 4H and FFA projects.”

How the CDs Compare

When compared to 220 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that are available within the FOM, North Bay Credit Union’s 60-month Bump Certificate two top APYs currently rank first and second, regardless of deposit requirements.

When compared to 271 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that are available within the FOM, North Bay Credit Union’s 12-month Bump Certificate top APYs currently ranks first, regardless of deposit requirements.

The above rates are accurate as of 2/5/2019.

To look for the best CD rates, either nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.

Related Pages: Salt Lake City CD rates, San Francisco Bay CD rates, 1-year CD rates, 5-year CD rates

Daniel   |     |   Comment #1
This is nice but too small? CU with $50M in assets? 13 employees...
David K
David K   |     |   Comment #2
What is wrong with a real, local credit union?
Brokered   |     |   Comment #4
If I lived in the county I would have walked in with $200K in a heartbeat. This is what CU's are supposed to look like!
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #3
This is a great deal if you have $100,000 available and live in the area. You have to get at least 4% to lock up cash for 5 years or more IMO.
Daniel2000   |     |   Comment #7
It says: Membership at North Bay Credit Union is open to people who reside, work or worship in Sonoma County, CA.
Ton Pn
Ton Pn   |     |   Comment #8
Who told you that?
Carpline   |     |   Comment #10
It's on North Bay Credit Union's online application.

"Membership at North Bay Credit Union is open to people who reside, work or worship in Sonoma County, CA."
timnok   |     |   Comment #9
Just got off the phone with CSR. There are several organizations you can belong to that allows membership without living in local area. The one I selected was FFA, but there are 4 others available. I volunteered I was in Oklahoma up front and it wasn't a problem. Encourage anyone interested to give them a call for any questions. 707-584-0384.
Daniel2000   |     |   Comment #12
I gave them a call ended up with a non-friendly CSR that said you have to live in the area.
Mak   |     |   Comment #14
Membership at North Bay Credit Union is open to people who reside, work or worship in Sonoma County, CA. Before proceeding, please confirm your membership eligibility below:
By checking this box, I confirm I reside, work, or worship in Sonoma County, CA
Daniel2000   |     |   Comment #15
Yea but I would not want to put in $250K and then mislead info on the application which would probably render the whole contract void?
GregNYC   |     |   Comment #17
Maybe someone could "worship" there by astral projection. (Hey, it's California, right?) ;-)
Dunmovin   |     |   Comment #21 I recall u mentioned in a post about having 3 accounts for a NavyFed offering that was limited to one per did you do it?
Mak   |     |   Comment #24
#21...One for myself, one for my wife and one for our trust.
Mak   |     |   Comment #26
#21....That is 3 different member numbers....I didn't expect the trust but I guess it has its own member number also.
Dunmovin   |     |   Comment #36
Good to know! Thanks
Cash Flow
Cash Flow   |     |   Comment #16
Their "About Us" tab on the website says: "Membership in the credit union is open to all Sonoma County residents or to non-Sonoma County residents with affiliations with one of our member groups". I did not find the list of member groups. Waiting for a call back from a CSR.
Cash Flow
Cash Flow   |     |   Comment #18
Update directly via email from CSR: "Our field of membership is open to anyone living, working or worshipping in Sonoma County, CA or anyone who belongs to the FFA, 4-H, Farm Trails, Farm Bureau of Sonoma County or who makes a donation to the Sonoma Land Trust."
RJM   |     |   Comment #19
One of these days, I am going to fight a some credit union over telepathic worshiping.

If you can worship in person, you can do it from many states away.

And any CU that says you cannot is guilty of religious discrimination.

All that said, it won't be any of these deals.

And I wonder how many CUs would do like Keesler and find a way for more to join if directly asked?

Speaking of Keesler, any wagers on what they may offer when their large number of CDs mature? Hard to think they would just let is all transfer out without something somewhat competitive.
Cash Flow
Cash Flow   |     |   Comment #20
Why not donate $10 to Sonoma Land Trust make yourself eligible for this ? Rates are exactly what we have all be clamoring for. 3, 4, and 5 year rates are all good options IMO.
RJM   |     |   Comment #35
Because these rates are not what I have been clamoring for. I may never go over 2 years again unless rates increase a good bit.
loungeabuser   |     |   Comment #41
They may have had a short term need for funds. I can't imagine them doing that again.
I did ask if I could deposit $100 million at 5% and they said yes back when this was offered.
However, if I had $100 million I'd have to throw away my other money
???   |     |   Comment #32
probably TWO fat money rollers
RonPaul   |     |   Comment #22
LOL they just lowered the rates. We always get ****ed with this.
gone already?
gone already?   |     |   Comment #23
Looks like they just dropped their rates:
David K
David K   |     |   Comment #25
Another overwhelmed credit union.

They should have stayed small and local, and kept the good rates for the long term members, and told everyone else no thanks.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #27
That has to be a new world record for a rate reversal. They used to call this a fatwallet effect, I guess now it's a DA effect. Seems strange they would pull it so quickly with such a limited availability.
RonPaul   |     |   Comment #28
I think they tied with INOVA on rate reversal. I wonder how many people actually contacted them trying to open an account?
Cash Flow
Cash Flow   |     |   Comment #29
It’s not limited at all per my comment above. It is wide open by just donating to the Sonoma Land Trust.
larry   |     |   Comment #30
Cash Flow Comment #29)
Yeah, but they already pulled the 4% rate offer so it's a moot point.
Cash Flow
Cash Flow   |     |   Comment #34
Yeah thanks Larry. I applied today so will be interesting to see if they honor it.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #38
@Cash Flow: I read that in the terms as well but my guess is that they could still deny you due to residency restrictions even after you donate. I bet anyone who lived out of their area will eventually get denied. They were definitely not ready for out of area applications.
Amos   |     |   Comment #39
I was to late to get a CD yesterday also. Come to find out though, they would not have paid the interest on a monthly basis, rather the interest would have been compounded quarterly and added to the CD for the entire 5-year term. For me, this would have been a deal breaker anyway since I normally live off a portion of my monthly interest income. I think this relatively small credit union became quickly frightened when they realized all of the money that would have came in at the 4.03 APY and what in the world they were going to do with all of it. lol
Tu Pay
Tu Pay   |     |   Comment #40
Very Interesting!

As an alternative, you could invest only 80% and keep the 20% in a cupboard, but that does get so complicated.
Daniel2000   |     |   Comment #42
I wonder if such a setup can ever be more likely to push a bank/credit union towards ponzi scheme territory. In other words if they force you to reinvest your $ and you never really get anything other than paper gains/interest out of your accounts could it ever risk to fold the business if the rates go in the wrong direction/their loans default/etc./etc.?
AnnO   |     |   Comment #44
Re #42: That's what FDIC/NCUA insurance is for.
interested   |     |   Comment #31
the quick & elusive 4
Get Real
Get Real   |     |   Comment #43
#31 Connexus had 4% in November 2018. Many people were looking for a higher rate than even 4% and did not invest at 4%. I think 4% may have been the top. Things seem unstable so the banks are being careful with rates and also the sweet spot is short term CDs
Mak   |     |   Comment #33
I had noticed a little earlier when I checked their site it seemed kind of slow.....I guess too many people "pounced" on that
Daniel2000   |     |   Comment #37
What a bunch of amateurs...see my first post #1

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