California-based SafeAmerica Credit Union (SafeAmerica CU) started the New Year by increasing the rate on its 60-month CD (2.50% APY) by 48 basis points. The minimum opening deposit is $1k, with no stated balance cap.
The 60-month CD has been part of the product line for more than five years, with less than impressive rates for most of that time. This week’s rate change is the eleventh in the CD’s history and has resulted in its highest APY ever.
The 60-month CD is also offered as an IRA (Traditional and Roth), earning the same APY and with the same funding requirements.
As stated in the Certificate Account Disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
Funds withdrawn 7 days or more after account opening or reinvestment, but prior to maturity:
The lesser of dividends earned or 30 days’ dividends for reach 6 months of the account term.
Example: If a certificate’s term is 18 months, the early withdrawal penalty will be at least 7
days’ dividends but not more than 90 days’ dividends, depending on when withdrawal occurs.
American Share Insurance
SafeAmerica Credit Union is not federally insured nor insured by any state government, but is instead insured by American Share Insurance (ASI), a provider of private share insurance for credit unions. SafeAmerica CU switched from NCUA to ASI in December 2009. According to a Credit Union Times 2010 article, SafeAmerica CU had “been a longtime user of ASI services having purchased excess deposit insurance over the years.”
For those unfamiliar with ASI, here are a few facts to help you decide if you’re comfortable with an ASI insured credit union:
- ASI is the nation’s largest provider of private share insurance for credit unions.
- ASI has been insuring credit unions since 1974.
- Only ten states permit credit unions to be privately insured (Alabama, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Wyoming).
- Privately insured credit unions are legitimate credit unions that are regulated by their home state.
- ASI-only insured credit union liquidations have been rare, with only three occurring in the past six years: Cumorah Credit Union, NV, 2009; USA One National Credit Union, IL, 2012; and Bensenville Community Credit Union, IL, 2014.
The above facts are intended as neither endorsement or disapproval of ASI or ASI insured credit unions.
Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, SafeAmerica Credit Union offers membership in a variety of ways:
Easy Membership Requirement: Those who join Financial Fitness Association ($8 annual dues) are eligible for SafeAmerica CU membership.
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, or Santa Clara are eligible to join.
Employment: Employees of several SEGs also qualify.
Relationship: Immediate family members of current members are also invited to join.
Becoming a SafeAmerica Credit Union member can be done online, or with an in-person visit to any of seven full-service branches located in Antioch, Hayward, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton (2),South San Francisco, and Tracy, or by downloading the application and returning it by mail.
Opening a CD can be done online or by visiting any of the above mentioned branches.
Credit Union Overview
SafeAmerica Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 4.73% (excellent) based on September 30, 2016 data. In the past year, SafeAmerica Credit Union has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $52.2 million, an excellent growth rate of 16.71%. Please refer to our financial overview of SafeAmerica Credit Union for more details.
SafeAmerica Credit Union was originally chartered in 1953 as the Safeway Federal Credit Union, serving the employees of grocery store chain, Safeway, Inc. In 2003, the Credit Union converted from a federal charter to a state charter and adopted its present name. SafeAmerica Credit Union currently has more than 34,400 members, with assets in excess of $439 million.
How the CD Compares
When compared to the 175 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationally, SafeAmerica Credit Union’s 60-month CD APY currently shares the top spot with XCEL Federal Credit Union’s 60-month CD APY.
The above rates are accurate as of 1/4/2017.