Patelco Credit Union Unveils 3-Year Flexible Rising Rate CD


Deal Summary: 3-Year Flexible Rising Rate Certificate, 3.50% blended APY, $250 minimum deposit

Availability: Residents of 16 Northern California counties and four Northern California cities; employees/retirees of 1,100+ SEGs.

Patelco Credit Union (Patelco) recently informed its membership about its newest product: a 3-year Flexible Rising Rate Certificate, earning a blended 3.50% APY that can be opened with a $250 minimum deposit.

The Flexible Rising Rate Certificate is also offered as an IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA) earning the same APY with the same funding requirements.

According to the fine print on the promotion page, the Flexible Rising Rate Certificate “will receive an automatic interest rate increase once per year on the anniversary date for the term of the certificate.” The fixed APYs are:

  • 3.00% APY – Year 1
  • 3.50% APY – Year 2
  • 4.00% APY – Year 3

The flexibility component is the ability to make penalty-free withdrawals (partial or complete) “for a period of ten (10) calendar days following the anniversary date."

Any withdrawals made outside the approved 10-day period are subjected to the Early Withdrawal Penalty, as stated in Patelco CU’s Member Handbook.

Early withdrawal penalties on certificates with terms up to 47 months will
equal the lesser of dividends earned on the Certificate or 90 days’ dividends.

Thanks to the DA readers who emailed me news of this promotion and those who joined the conversation about the Flexible Rising Rate Certificate in the Forum.


Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Patelco Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is primarily residency- and employment-based.

Membership in Patelco CU used to open to virtually anyone, but that changed more than three years ago. Every time I check out Patelco CU’s website, I hope to see an easy membership requirement. While that hasn’t happened, Patelco did add six additional California counties last year.

Counties: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the northern California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Marin, Merced, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, or Yolo are eligible to join.

Cities: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the California cities of Bakersfield, Eureka, McKinleyville, or Santa Cruz also qualify.

Employment: Employees/pensioners of any of more than 1,100 associations, trade groups, chambers of commerce, or federal government agencies also qualifying for membership.

Education: Students/alumni of the University of California Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and California State University East Bay are eligible to join.

Relationship: Family members or roommates of current Patelco members are eligible to join, as are minor children or surviving spouses of a deceased employee/pensioner eligible for membership.

Joining Patelco and/or opening a Flexible Rising Rate Certificate can be done online, or by visiting any of 37 California branches located in Berkeley, Brentwood, Campbell, Castro Valley, Citrus Heights, Concord, Daly City, Danville, Dublin, Elk Grove, Fairfield, Folsom, Fremont, Hayward, Lafayette, Livermore, Milpitas, Novato, Oakland (2), Pleasanton (2), Redwood City, Rohnert Park, Roseville, Sacramento, San Bruno, San Francisco, (2) San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, San Ramon (2), Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, and Walnut Creek.

Credit Union Overview

Patelco Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas Ratio of 2.59% (excellent) based on September 30, 2018 data. In the past year, Patelco has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $466.22 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 9.01%. Please refer to our financial overview of Patelco Credit Union (NCUA Certificate # 68579) for more details.

Patelco Credit Union was established in 1936 with only $500 in assets. The Credit Union’s name is derived from its original members: employees of Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company (now part of AT&T). Patelco Credit Union has grown to become California’s sixth largest credit union, with more than 342,000 member and assets in excess of $6.4 billion.

How the Flexible Rising Rate Certificate Compares

When compared to 262 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that require a similar minimum deposit and are available within the FOM, Patelco Credit Union’s Flexible Rising Rate Certificate blended APY currently ranks first.

These rates are accurate as of 12/24/2018.

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

Related Pages: San Francisco Bay CD rates, Sacramento CD rates, 5-year CD rates

  |     |   Comment #1
Patelco's website says they have 1100 groups or associations by which you could join and allows you to enter a name to see if your company, group or association is one. Is there a link to the names of all 1100 associations and/or trade groups to look for a way one might not be thinking of until the name is brought to one's attention?
no show
  |     |   Comment #2
that has not been revealed openly since as far back as i can remember
  |     |   Comment #3
I won’t be moving anymore money to them. Their banking system is so antiquated and very hard to get beneficiaries established with their manual process.
Frugal Guy
  |     |   Comment #4
Opened this account yesterday online.
All went smoothly and quickly.
Called today to clarify that all in order with my account and availability of funds at each anniversary. Customer Service Rep was not trained in this product and said only could get the interest at the anniversary.
Had to get supervisor involved to clarify that one can get at principle as well.
Just a heads up to be prepared for untrained CSR's in this product.
Merry Christmas ! :)
  |     |   Comment #5
Its interesting in that two weeks before this announcement I received an email from them asking me about my impression of three CD products I may be interested in most and to vote:
1) 2% for 11 mos
2) This CD promo or
3) 4% for 4 years
  |     |   Comment #6
Did you vote for #3? Haven't seen yet any 4% CDs for under 5 years and with reasonable availability. Maybe it's too much to ask... :o)
  |     |   Comment #7
I got the 4 percent for 4 years. It’s offered to members
  |     |   Comment #9
Where n when
  |     |   Comment #10
Do you have to call them to get the 4%?

Jo Jane
  |     |   Comment #11
I would do ANYTHING for 4%!!

  |     |   Comment #12
I've been a Patelco member since 2012, and I did not receive an email asking my opinion on CD product rates. I did get an email advertising the promo cited by this post, which I forwarded on to Ken. And, I do not see any 4% CD offered at Patelco anywhere. Whoever is saying they got 4% for 4 years should clarify their post, please. Thank you.
  |     |   Comment #8
Mojo Did you say you got a 4%?
Frugal Guy
  |     |   Comment #13
One odd note on the Flexible Rising Rate Certificate that I opened is that if you look online at your account and click your ''Certificate Details'' one will see it is classified as a loan as it states : ''Loan Open Date".
CSR says it is called that due to the fact it is a Flexible Certificate.
Very odd !
  |     |   Comment #31
Hmm. Wonder if that classification could affect your credit rating...
  |     |   Comment #14
I think the 4% rate is fake news. I called them today and they laughed at me.
Frugal Guy
  |     |   Comment #15
I did the same and called.....The 4 % is that poster wishing not researching properly.... Why waste our time ?
  |     |   Comment #16
I'm not as sure. When I opened the flexible CD in a branch they only tell you the APR and APY for the first year. I asked for the APR for the other 2 years. He didn't know the rate for the 3.5% year but could tell me the APR for the last 4% year (i.e., 3.9x) off the top of his head. It might be more than a coincidence that the year he knew about matched this other purported offer.
  |     |   Comment #30
They actually have flyers that spell out the rates, so this should never have happened.
  |     |   Comment #17
Same here, no 4% available. Don't get your hopes up folks.
piggy bank
  |     |   Comment #19
any present Patelco members taking this CD?
i'll go in neck deep for easy out option and Get that 4%er eventually
  |     |   Comment #20
I think the most attractive feature of this promo is the ability to withdraw funds each anniversary without penalty. It's actually a 4-year CD with a quasi-no penalty feature.
  |     |   Comment #27
Actually, it's a 3 yr. cd.. You get 3% the first yr., 3.5% the 2nd year, and 4% for the 3rd yr., with the option of pulling out all or some of your money for up to 10 days at each anniversary, w/o penalty. If you leave it for the entire 3 yrs., you will have earned 3.5% for the 3 yr. period, which is the average of the amt. earned for all 3 yrs.
  |     |   Comment #21
Not until I get proof of beneficiares, which I submitted 3 times and still have no record of after 3 years of asking them.
  |     |   Comment #28
Proof of beneficiaries for CDs seems to be a problem for this credit union. I filled out the form when I opened my last CD and found no record of it on my statement, which does show beneficiaries for other accounts. I brought this to their attention and they also couldn't find record of it at first, so had to call headquarters which recommended I fill out the form again. I was then printed a form, which specifically said it was NOT for CD beneficiaries, so I brought this to the manager's attention and was eventually given the correct form and filled it out again. When the information was entered, I was told that it still would not show up on my statement, but that it did show on their computer. I had them do a print screen for me as proof of my designated beneficiary. All this took quite a bit of time and was frustrating to deal with when all along I knew I had designated a beneficiary and no one could explain WHY, for this specific type of account, it didn't and wouldn't show on my statement. Anyway, I did walk away with proof of beneficiary, so get them to show you on their computer where the beneficiary for your account is and ask for a print screen. This stuff is important.
  |     |   Comment #22
I am a Patelco member. Compared with the first time I opened some certificates with them, the process of opening a rising rate certificate wasn't to bad. Be prepared to provide scans of either voided checks or account statements of any external accounts you wish to use as a source of funds for your certificate (via ACH). Compare to Ally, Patelco still uses old fashioned methods to authenticate ACH pull transfers from external accounts. They also have very limited options for certificate interest disbursement as far as I can tell. Another issue is that at Patelco the rising rate certificate auto renews as a regular certificate at maturity - there is no way of disabling this "feature".
Finally Patelco only allows folks to open 1 rising rate certificate so one cannot open a bunch of them to break up you investment into smaller sums (so as to allow early withdrawal of smaller sums).
was revised
  |     |   Comment #23
The limit of 1 certificate and $500k was added to the member handbook in a revision dated Jan 2, 2019, but even prior to that staff said that partial withdrawals are allowed so there isn't a need for multiple smaller accounts.
fine print
  |     |   Comment #24
Is the rule you can only *create* 1 certificate or that you can only *have* 1 certificate? I don't see a Jan 2, 2019 revision of the member handbook on Patelco's website to read the fine print.

If I break an existing one, can I create another one?
  |     |   Comment #25
I was told today by a CSR this morning from a mngt email she was reading that you can have multiple certificates but only up to $500K per account.
  |     |   Comment #26
As I feared the process of establishing this CD has proven to be as laborious and inscrutable as it was the last time. I opened a rising rate CD funded by an ACH pull from an external account on the morning of Jan 3rd 2019. I got an email in the afternoon of Jan 3rd requesting that I provide a copy of a voided check for the account that is to be the source of the funds. That evening I sent in a scan of the check using the secure messaging system of the Patelco website. It took until Jan 9th before someone at Patelco replied to my message and informed me that they would be forwarding the scan to the appropriate department. Hearing nothing more from them I called Patelco today Jan 11th and was told that the ACH pull is scheduled to occur Jan 17th. So basically it is going to take 2 weeks to open and fund a CD with these folks. Talk about a business process designed in the stone ages - very little feedback is provided to customers as to what is going on and what their expectations should be. 
  |     |   Comment #29
Also, when funding my last CD at 3%, I was informed, but not until I asked, that you are not guaranteed the rate until the CD is actually funded, which means that if the quoted rate expires before your account is funded, you will get whatever the prevailing rate is. I was on pins and needles for about 10 days, as my funds were coming as a direct transfer from an investment account. They sent the request by mail and had to wait for the funds to arrive by mail as well, even though the investment firm was partnered with Patelco. I did get the 3% as the promotion was extended. I would expect to be able to fund a CD immediately by going into the credit union and writing a check on a personal account (with the necessary funds, of course, to back it up ;) I do like Patelco. They're friendly, if not informed, their rates are among the highest around, and they are conveniently located for me, so what are you going to do?
  |     |   Comment #32
Different approach but mine was simple. I called and established the flexible rising rate CD with $0 in it, which then showed up on my account with the 2.96% rate (3.0% APY). I was told had 10 days to fund the account.
I then did an ACH "push" from Ally Bank into my Patelco savings account which took 1 business day, called Patelco once it was there and money was immediately moved into the CD.
  |     |   Comment #33
I've been a member of Patelco for many years. I was expecting to have to drive (to another city) to open the CD, but instead did it online on January 1st. It took until the 10th for them to say they'd received my request, and it still isn't open. I should have driven there. :(
  |     |   Comment #34
apparently, their online application is crashing and calling them is getting me running in circles without the account opening. I hope they delete social security numbers and driver licenses nos. because they seem like a hassle to deal with.
  |     |   Comment #35
I opened an account at East San Jose branch on 12/31 that is about 5 miles from my house. It took almost a 1/2 hour plus the drive and navigating a very busy area and parking lot where I parked next to vehicle with window broken out; 15 mins of waiting for one of the two customer service reps to finish with customer that was there when I arrived, then almost as long for rep to open my account. He also had me re-do check as he said my name was not legible in the To: field.

Since that was so time-consuming, I tried doing another one today (1/15) online. I logged in my account, selected More, Open Account, selected Certificate and it brought me to an unpopulated screen that looked like it was for a new account, but had a login option. So I logged in my account, select More, Open Account....after a couple of times around this loop I called.

CSR said something must be broken and if I filled out all the fields like I was a new customer, I would not have ACH option so she opened account for me. We had one delay while she figured out how to handle this and another when I had to call my wife and get her Drivers License No. and Exp. Date. Total call time was 29 min. It does now seem to auto-populate fields when I try to open a new account, but Patelco does seem to have some problematic systems, processes and customers.
  |     |   Comment #36
Looks like the 3 year rising rate certificate is history now. It no longer appears on the site as far as I can tell.
  |     |   Comment #37
I called today as I had not seen the ACH transfer out of another credit union, and new 3 year rising rate certificate did not show when I logged in two days after a 29 min phone call to create it. The rep said they are still available, but you have to call or go into a branch to do it - no longer available online.

Rep saw notes in my account to create 3 year rising rate certificate, but it was not there. After 15+ minute phone call with a 3 or so minute hold while she investigated, the rep told me they need a scan of my wife's drivers license to complete application since I did not do it in the branch. I asked when they were going to tell me this was preventing account from being opened and she did not know, but assured me they would. SMH
  |     |   Comment #39
Patelco did respond a day later 1/18 saying they had received the scan of my wife's drivers license. They also said " If you use online banking you will now be able to see this new account. It can take up to 10 business days for your ACH transfer to complete". I can see the new account, but it has not been funded 9 days after I called to set it up.

And if it takes up to almost two weeks and 45 minutes of phone calls to get money to them, I have to wonder what it takes to get money back from them.
  |     |   Comment #38
As per CSR, account is available in branch or via phone until 1/19.
  |     |   Comment #40
Is this offer still good? I went into the credit union to open and they had never heard of it.
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