In the fall of 2018 when CD rates were quickly rising, Arizona-based Pima Federal Credit Union (PFCU) offered the first nationally available 1-year CD (actually 14 months) earning 3%. PFCU has brought back the 14-month CD Special, but with a lower but still competitive 2.00% APY. The other CD Special is a 9-month earning 1.50% APY.
These limited-time offers require a $10k minimum opening deposit of new money, defined as funds “not transferred from an existing Pima Federal Credit Union account.”
The Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) is bit unusual: 50% of the dividends 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 dividends on the $50k.
According to an email* from a PFCU representative,
If you are not an existing member your membership can be opened online. Once you have an existing account, you can transfer your funds with an incoming ach, wire, or check deposit from your current financial institution. When the funds are available in your Pima account, a representative over the phone at 520-887-5010 or at one of our branch locations can open a CD by emailing you the required document to sign.
Maturing funds will be distributed by wire ($20 fee) or a cashier’s check to the address on file.
Unlimited beneficiaries can be named, with percentages assigned if desired. Social Security numbers are required for all beneficiaries.
*Note: the reason I needed an email response for information about EWP (and other details), was because I wasn’t able to have my questions answered over the phone. Even though I contacted the call center three separate times and was on hold for a total of more than hour, no one I spoke with could tell me what the EWP was. Every time I was transferred to the person who supposedly knew the answers to my questions, I was put on hold. I tried calling each individual branch, but was either put on hold immediately or shunted to voice mail. I finally filled out the Contact Us form, detailing the information I needed. It took four days to get a response.
Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, Pima Federal Credit Union has offered membership to any U.S. citizens or resident alien, regardless of residency status, who joined Literacy Connects, Children’s Museum of Tucson, or Friends of the Pima County Public Library ($20 membership fee for each) for several years, but without an online application, joining could only be done in-branch or by mail.
PFCU now has an online application which not only lets you join online, but also allows any type of account (including CDs) to be opened online.
The field of membership (FOM) also includes individuals who live, work, or worship in Apache County and most of Pima County. Registered volunteers, members and/or employees of a non-profit organization in Pima County also qualify for membership.
Individuals who work for or are affiliated with more than 150 SEGs are also eligible to join.
Anyone related to a current PFCU member is welcome to apply.
Opening a Regular Shares account with a minimum $5 deposit establishes a PFCU membership.
PFCU no longer participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, but continues to be a member of the CO-OP ATM network.
Credit Union Overview
Pima Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 0.65% (excellent), based on March 31, 2022 data. In the past year, PFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $134.58 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 17.84%. 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 more than 64,000 members and assets in excess of $982 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 was. 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 14-Month CD Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, one bank and one credit union have higher rates than currently offered on the Pima Federal Credit Union 14-Month CD Special. The following tables compares the 14-Month CD Special to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
How the 9-Month CD Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, one bank and one credit union have higher rates than currently offered on the Pima Federal Credit Union 9-Month CD Special. The following tables compares the 9-Month CD Special to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 6/13/2022.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.