With rates continuing to rise, a nationally available 1-year CD earning 3% was inevitable, probably sooner than later. The question in my mind was when and where. When is now and where is the Arizona-based Pima Federal Credit Union (PFCU). The credit union is offering a special 14-month CD Special that earns 3.00% APY. The term is a little longer than one year, but it’s close enough to qualify for our 1-year grouping.
I have to admit that when I saw the new 14-month CD Special listed on PFCU’s website, I assumed it was probably a local hot deal. A phone call to PFCU confirmed the easy membership requirement (more detail in the Availability section below).
This limited-time offer requires a $10k minimum opening deposit of new money, defined as funds “not transferred from an existing Pima Federal Credit Union account.”
A very helpful CSR explained the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP), which is one of the more unusual ones I’ve run into. The EWP is 50% of the interest that would be earned during the remaining term of the CD, based on the full amount of the deposit. For example, a 14-month CD with a balance of $50k, with a withdrawal of $10k with 60 days left until the maturity date, would incur a penalty of 30 days interest on the $50k.
Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, Pima Federal Credit Union offers membership to anyone, regardless of residency status, who joins Literacy Connects, Children’s Museum of Tucson, or Friends of the Pima County Public Library ($20 membership fee for each).
That’s the good news.
The not-so-good news is that PFCU does not have an online application and joining the Credit Union has to be done in-branch or by mail. CSR stated that a conversation with a Membership Specialist would be the first step for out-of-area applicants.
The field of membership (FOM) also includes individuals who live, work, or worship in most of Pima County and employees, volunteers, or registered members of any non-profit organization located in Pima County.
Anyone related to a current PFCU member is welcome to apply.
Joining PFCU and/or opening a CD Special can be done at any of nine Arizona branches located in Oro Valley, Springerville, and Tucson (7).
Credit Union Overview
Pima Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.71% (excellent), based on June 30, 2018 data. In the past year, PFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $28.39 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 6.5%. Please refer to our financial overview of Pima Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 7316) for more details.
Pima Federal Credit Union is currently Arizona’s eighth largest credit union, with nearly 60,000 members and assets in excess of $539 million. Founded in 1951 by sixteen teachers, the Credit Union was originally known as Pima County Teachers Federal Credit Union. The name was changed in 1980 to reflect an expanded FOM.
The following except from PFCU’s About Us page made me smile, because I don’t think my mother would have been as forgiving as Jane Evans. You’ll see what I mean.
In 1951 a young teacher and his wife, Dick and Jane Evans (yes, those are their real names), set out to purchase a family vehicle. While visiting a local credit union to apply for a car loan, it was suggested Mr. Evans start a credit union at the school he taught, Amphitheater High School. He joined a group of teachers and pooled $84 in total assets to form what is known today as Pima Federal Credit Union.
In the credit union’s early years, the branch had relocated from the wood shop at Amphi High School to the home of Dick and Jane Evans due to a fire at the school – a move Jane was uneasy about. One day a member went to their home to apply for a loan. He sat in Jane’s favorite chair to fill out the loan application and kept leaning back in the chair. After being told several times to stop leaning back, he leaned back one last time and broke the back legs of the chair. Needless to say, Jane wasn’t too happy and the decision was made to finally move the credit union to a new location. This move proved to be an important one in our history as we experienced exponential growth shortly after.
Side note: The gentleman that broke Jane’s chair was ultimately approved for his loan proving that the positive relationship with the member was more important than the not-so-positive transaction that caused the broken chair.
How the CD Special Compares
When compared to 246 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit of $10k or less and are available nationwide, Pima Federal Credit Union’s 14-month CD Special APY currently ranks first.
The above rates are accurate as of 10/17/2018.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates page.