California-based Premier America Credit Union (Premier America CU) 60-month CD’s 3.00% APY has been in effect since late February. It’s yet another CD that became competitive by simply maintaining a good rate until it became a very good rate in the current falling rate climate. Unlike Premier America’s other CDs that have four tiered APYs (increments of 5 bps), the 60-month CD earns 3.00% APY on all deposit levels of $1k and above.
The 60-month CD is also offered as an IRA (Traditional, Roth), earning the same APY with the same funding requirements.
As stated in the Truth-in-Savings disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) reads as follows:
A withdrawal of all or a portion of the principal before the maturity date shall be subject to an early withdrawal penalty of 180 days loss of dividends and may cause the cancellation of the Certificate.
This mild EWP could prove to be advantageous if rates start trending upward in the next four years. Using DA’s Early Withdrawal Penalty Calculator, you can see what the effective yields would be on a month-by-month basis. For example,
- 2.02% APY – closed at 18 months
- 2.27% APY – closed at 2 years
- 2.53% APY – closed at 3 years
- 2.65% APY – closed at 4 years
A 6-month EWP for a long-term CD is really great, but it made me wonder if there was any language in the disclosures that might restrict the ability to make an early withdrawal. For example, “If we allow you to withdraw any of the principal,” puts the decision-making power in the credit union’s hands. Good news – I didn’t find anything that explicitly states (or even suggests) that Premier America CU’s permission is needed to make an early withdrawal. The phrase, "may cause the cancellation of the Certificate" refers to this statement in the Truth-in-Savings disclosure.
If a withdrawal brings the principal below the minimum required balance, the
penalty will be applied to the entire principal and the Certificate will be cancelled.
The Truth-in-Savings disclosure also states that there is a 7 calendar day grace period (including the maturity date) before the 60-month CD automatically renews.
Funding and Maturing Funds
Funding a CD can be done by ACH, wire transfer, or a transfer from another Premier America CU account. CSR mentioned that Premier America CU participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, which can be an easy way to transfer funds.
Live or work away from our branch locations? You can use over 5,000+ shared
branches (CU Service Centers) for account transfers, loan payments, deposits, and more.
Maturing funds will be distributed by cashier’s check or wire, or transferred to an existing Premier America CU checking or savings account.
Beneficiaries can be named (equal shares), with Social Security numbers required.
Headquartered in Chatsworth, California, Premier America Credit Union’s field of membership includes a variety of options that provide a way to join for almost any US citizen or permanent resident with a valid Social Security number.
Easy Membership Requirement: Joining the Alliance for the Arts automatically qualifies you for Premier American CU membership. The last option on the online application reads, "None of the above apply. I want to join Thousand Oaks Alliance for the Arts."
California Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in Los Angeles County or Ventura County are eligible to join.
Texas Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school within 10 miles of the Westchase branch in Houston also qualify for membership.
Family Relationship: Family members of current Premier America CU members are eligible to join.
Information about membership eligibility is available on the first page of the Credit Union's time-sensitive online application.
Joining Premier America CU and/or opening a CD can be done online or at any of 19 California branches located in Burbank (2), Camarillo, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Oxnard (2), Reseda, Santa Monica, Simi Valley (2), Thousand Oaks, Universal City (restricted access), Valencia, Venture, Westlake Village (2), and Woodland Hills (2). Premier America CU also has two branches in Houston, Texas.
Current Premier America CU members are able to open a CD using the Online Banking platform.
Once logged in, select the "Services & Forms" tab, choose "Open
Additional Account" and follow the steps to open the Certificate.
A Regular Savings account is required to establish membership at Premier America CU.
The minimum opening deposit is $5, and the minimum required to earn the APY is $.01.
Credit Union Overview
Premier America Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 7.89% (excellent) based on March 31, 2019 data. In the past year, Premier America CU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $342.38 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 15.47%. Please refer to our financial overview of Premier America Credit Union (NCUA Certificate # 68428) for more details.
Premier America Credit Union was originally established in 1957 as the Litton Employees Federal Credit Union, serving Litton Industries employees throughout Southern California. (Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.) In 1963, Litton Industries acquired Western Atlas (a Texas oil and gas company), giving the Credit Union a foothold in Texas. Premier America CU was the last out-of-state credit union to expand into Texas, only days before the state’s credit union commission adopted a rule in 1999 prohibiting such expansion. Currently California’s 18th largest credit union, Premier America Credit Union has nearly 114,000 members and assets in excess of $2.8 billion.
How the CD Compares
When compared to 164 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit ($5k or less) and are available nationwide, Premier America Credit Union's 60-month CD APY currently shares the top spot with 5-year CDs from three other easy membership credit unions. Note, Navy Federal is still offering a 60-month Certificate that earns 3.25% APY, but a military connection is required for membership.
The above rates are accurate as of 8/26/2019.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.