I read where someone wondered why Melrose doesn't have more people opening accounts with them. Well, I think I may have learned why from my phone call from them this morning. Before 9 AM I got a call from a male from Melrose returning my call from yesterday about their EWP and the fact I did not really understand how it worked. He was very honest with me and made it clear one should not put money in a CD with Melrose that they may need to close early. He admitted they have very "harsh" penalties. It seems if we were taking our interest in monthly checks etc. and need to do an early withdrawal, we have to repay it back from the Principal of the CD. That can be hefty since if they lower the rate to the savings rate, we need to repay all that additional interest they paid us. If we had a 5 year CD and had to cash it in after 3 or 4 years, that is a "lot" of money to have to pay back and they take it off of our Principal.
I told him, basically it seems Melrose "chops off our head and cuts it into pieces" if we need to close the CD early. He agreed with me that Melrose is not the place to put money you will need to withdraw early. I thanked him for his professionalism and honesty and told him I could never do business with Melrose since one never knows when an emergency will happen and one will need their money. Soooo, I, personally can't afford to be tempted by Melrose's higher rates. They seem to be very honest about their harsh penalties and I applaud them for that.
Just be sure you like this CU for the full duration of your CD Term.
On 60 month CD's, the penalty is 180 day interest AND the interest rate from inception is reduced to the money market rate that was in effect when the CD was originally opened !!!
My family has been using Melrose for many years. In general, we had been very happy with the instution. Recently, however, we had a very bad experience with a request to retitle some certificates under a trust. In addition to taking longer than even the US government(for some savings bonds) to execute the transaction, Melrose forced the certificate changes to be treated as early withdrawls even though we had no intent to withdraw money. As a result, we incurred large penalties and less favorable rates.
Two other "real" banks did the same transaction w/o fees or penalties.
I have filed a complaint with the NY State Dept of Financial Services.
I will also point out that comparable rates can be found at Discover and Ally bank and both of those institutions support current version of Quicken. Melrose supports an old version that is no longer even supported by Quicken.
I have mailed in two applications and both were lost. Their customer service reps give conflicting information. I am not sure that chasing the highest yield is worthwhile here. I have a lack of confidence that my principal will be safe here. This is not because of lack of fianancial strength as they are outstanding there but the operational risk in whether they can get things done properly.
I've been with Melrose Credit Union for over a year now. I have been very satisfied, and in fact, just started another CD there.
Their savings-CD rates are normally at the high end. The CSRs have been helpful -- although sometimes it can be very difficult to get a call through to them, and also they close their phones at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. The also have Saturday hours, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
They are part of the credit union shared branch system, meaning that you can go to another credit union near you to make your transactions (although you might have to pay a fee there for some transactions or find there is a maximum you may withdraw in a day).
As I recall, the signup process required you either go into a Melrose branch (I'm in another state) or mail in the material -- they require original signature on the signature card, would not accept it by fax. So, if you are thinking of opening a CD, you might want to get started a bit early and open your membership and share saving account, so you can do the CD the day your money becomes available. That's what I did, and then I opened the CD by depositing my funds at a local shared branch to my savings, and then calling Melrose and having them transfer form there to open the CD.
I have been a Melrose CU customer for a long time. A year ago I tried to open an IRA account by transfering $15,000 from another institution to MCU. I received the wrong application. I called on three different occasions and spoke to two different representatives explaning the problem. They emailed several applications that were incomplete.I finally gave up and left my money where it was. Frankly I have the feeling that these people can't handle the flood of people seeking higher interests for their money. WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PROBLEM?!
They have the highest sustained CD rates in the nation, no gimic enrollment, no membership limitations, NCUA insurance... so why do they still have only 68 employees and 28,000+ members? With the paultry bank interest rates being offered in the USA, today, Melrose Credit Union's membership should be 10x what it is. I guess people just don't know how to find a good thing. MCU has to be one of the best kept secrets in the country.
WAKE UP, AMERICA! COME AND GET IT!
I had a terrible experience trying to open an account at this credit union. They misplaced some of the paperwork and it too over a 6 weeks to figure out what happened. It ended up being blamed on an customer service person's emergency. That tells me that the credit union's processes are inadequate and lame. Due to the gross delay interest rates changed and they would not honor the rates from the previous month. Needless to say, I would never put my money here.