7.45% 9-Month CD at a Southern California CU - $7.5K Max (Patriots).


Patriots Federal Credit Union is offering Pot-o-Gold Certificate of Deposit Specials for New Members. Top rates require direct deposit. These include a 8.53% APY 15-month CD with a $2,500 maximum deposit, a 7.45% APY 9-month CD with a $7,500 maximum deposit and a 6.39% APY 7-month CD with a $10,000 maximum deposit. The rates without direct deposit are 50 basis lower: 7.99%, 6.92% and 5.85% APY. Only one promo CD is allowed per new member.

This special doesn't seem to be listed at the credit union's website. A reader sent me email with these details.

The Direct Deposit rates don't apply until after a recurring direct deposit has occurred, the member notifies the CU and they verify it. Minimum direct deposit of $50 is required for the DD rate.

Update 12/20/07: Readers have mentioned additional details (Thanks!):
One must also open a checking account with a minimum $75 deposit. The checking account doesn't require direct deposit and there's no $6 monthly fee without it (although there's nowhere it says this in writing). The $75 checking account balance doesn't need to be maintained once the account is opened.

The best promo is the 9-month CD which will give you $137 over what you would earn if you had the $7.5K in a 5% account for those 9 months. The 15-month CD gives you an extra $109 and the 7-month CD gives you an extra $81.

My last report on this credit union was in December 4th when they were offering a 5.75% 12-month CD.

Membership is open to those who live or work in Southern California. You can also be eligible to join if you're a member or employee of eligible organizations or businesses. More info is provided at their history page. Membership requires a $10 fee. A minimum balance of $25 in your savings account is required for membership.

Update 1/11/08: The $10 membership fee is waived for this promotion.

The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 14785). It has $93.9 million in assets and 6,638 members. Bankrate.com gives them 3 out of 5 stars (performing) based on 6/30/07 data.

Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this CD.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Last time they had a goodie like this, you had to scedule a branch visit to come in and listen to a sales pitch. Are there similar strings attached to this promotion? Or can these be opened online?
ann (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #2
was there last week, they wouldn't tell you any info over the phone, got there with 3 cds and they suddenly say, oh...max 100k per HOUSEHOLD....we had 100 calls about it...I said thanks for letting us know when we called last week and again 2 days ago to verify appt. and thanks for wasting 150 miles of gas and 1/2 day off work....went to universal studios and opened 5.50% longer term there, which will be ending this week.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
No, you don't have to listen to an annuity pitch for this one. You can mail in the application form you download from their website (that's their "online application"--it's not electronic), together with the required $10 membership fee, $25 share amount & $75 minimum opening checking account balance, but be aware that mail is slow this time of year, and they won't say whether the rate will change after the end of the month.

I'm also told by an exec in their corporate office that the non-direct deposit checking account must show some activity every quarter in order not to be assessed a monthly service fee which they could (but won't necesssarily) charge. That activity could include using a linked ATM card at 7-11 stores or at select other credit unions around town (go to https://patriotsfcu.coop/atmlocate.htm#sc and click on the "CU service center locator").

Ann, I'm sorry you had a bad experience: the "financial partner" doing the pitch called to confirm in advance of our appointment how much money we were planning to deposit for the 5.75% CDs (because the CU set a $6 mil limit on funds taken in for that promotion. They don't seem the most organized place, but the money's safe and insured once you get an account open.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
This deal expires on Fri 12/28. If they tell you that it has expired before then, they are mistaken and are probably referring to an expired 5.75% APY CD deal that was previously reported. Not all CSRs are aware that the $10 membership fee is WAIVED for this promotiom!
Banking Guy
Banking Guy (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #5
This promotion still seems to be active as of 1/11/08.

A reader, Laurie, just provided the following comments in another post about her experience with this promotion:

Patriots Federal Credit Union in Southern California that you reported on December 19 is still offering the "Pot of Gold" new member special certificates. My husband and I opened one each yesterday in the Aliso Viejo office. Fast and easy sign-up. There are three offers...you can choose only one

7 month/$10,000/5.75%

9 month/$7500/6.81%

15 month/$2500/7.88%

Must deposit $25 into savings and $75 into checking. $10 membership fee is waived. You can still bump your rate up .50% with direct deposit.

Thanks again for all your great leads! Laurie:)
5.75% 12-Month CD at a Southern California CU (Patriots).
Update 1/5/08: This CD special has ended. Please check the credit union's website for the latest rates.

Patriots Federal Credit Union is offering a special 5.75% APY 12-month certificate. The minimum deposit is $10,000, and new money is required. The special doesn't seem to be listed at the credit union's website. A reader mentioned seeing it advertised in today's Orange County Register.

I called and confirmed that this special is available. According to the service rep, it's scheduled to last until 1/15/08, but it could end early (which is likely based on...

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