California-based Premier America Credit Union (Premier America CU) is celebrating its 60th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Premier America CU is offering a 16-month Diamond Certificate Special (1.70% APY). The minimum deposit is $25k, with no stated balance cap. As a “thank you” to its members, this Certificate Special does not require new money. There is one requirement that limits its availability to Southern California and Houston (TX) residents: it must be opened in-branch.
As stated in the Membership Agreement and Disclosures, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
A partial withdrawal of the principal is subject to a penalty equal 10 to:
(a) 90 days’ dividend if the term is less than one year;
(b) 180 days’ dividend if the term is one year or longer, applied to the amount withdrawn.
Thanks to DA reader, me1004, for his Forum post about Premier America CU’s “gem” of a Certificate Special.
Headquartered in Chatsworth, California, Premier America Credit Union’s field of membership offers a way for almost any US resident (with a valid Social Security number) to join.
Easy Membership Requirement: Joining the Alliance for the Arts, automatically qualifies you for membership. Premier America CU’s online application allows you to join Alliance for the Arts during the application process, using the "I am an employee of member of an eligible company or organization."
California Residency: Individuals who live, work, or attend school in Los Angeles County or Ventura County are eligible to join.
Texas Residency: Individuals who live, work, or attend school within 10 miles of the Westchase branch in Houston qualify for membership.
Employment or Affiliation: Employees and members of more than 1,100 companies and organizations are eligible for membership.
Family Relationship: Family members of current Premier America CU members are eligible to join.
Membership eligibility is detailed on the first page of Premier America CU’s online application, which is time-sensitive, so I have not included a link.
Applying for membership can be done online or at any of 18 California branches located in Burbank (2), Camarillo, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Oxnard (2), Santa Monica, Simi Valley (2), Thousand Oaks, Universal City, Valencia, Venture, Westlake (2), and Woodland Hills (2). Premier America CU also has two branches in Houston.
As stated earlier, the 16-month Diamond Certificate Special must be opened in-branch at any of the above mentioned branches.
Credit Union Overview
Premier America Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 9.05% (excellent) based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, Premier America CU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $122.25 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 6.12%. 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, benefitting Litton Industries employees throughout Southern California. (Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor, which was 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 just days before the state’s credit union commission adopted a rule in 1999 prohibiting such expansion. Today, Premier America Credit Union has more than 100,700 members and assets in excess of $2.3 billion.
How the Diamond Certificate Special Compares
Normally, I would use nationally available CDs for this comparison, but since it can only be opened in-branch, using CDs available in Southern California made sense. When compared to 205 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available in Southern California, Premier America Credit Union's 16-month Diamond CD Special APY currently ranks fourth, regardless of minimum deposit.
|Interest Rate||CD Length of Term||Credit Union/Bank|
|1.81% APY||15-Month Special CD ($1k min)||Veridian Credit Union|
|1.78% APY||20-Month CD ($1k min)||EBSB Direct|
|1.70% APY||16-Month Diamond Certificate Special||Premier America Credit Union|
The above rates are accurate as of 9/26/2017.