California-based Spectrum Credit Union (Spectrum) recently added two Special Certificates to its product line: 13-month Special Certificate (2.10% APY) and 24-month Special Step-Up Certificate (2.20% APY). Either Special Certificate can be opened with a $500 minimum deposit, with no stated balance cap.
The Special Certificates are also available as IRA Certificates (Traditional and Roth), earning the same APYs with the same funding requirements.
According to CSR, both Special Certificates are available through the end of the month. Given the current rate environment and the fine print on Spectrum’s Certificate Rates page, any rate guarantee mentioned in a conversation should be taken with a grain of salt.
Rates are subject to change without notice.
Rate changes are generally posted each Wednesday morning.
Dividends are credited monthly and can be reinvested into the Special Certificate, paid into another Spectrum account, or paid out by check.
As stated in the Master Account and Disclosure document (Section XI), the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
If your account has an original maturity of more than one year through two years: The penalty we may impose will equal six months of dividends on the amount withdrawn subject to penalty.
CSR stated that partial withdrawals are not allowed, only early closures.
Funding a Special Certificate can by done by ACH or wire transfer. CSR suggested the easiest way to fund a Special Certificate would be through a transfer from a Spectrum savings account. Spectrum participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, allowing members to easily transfer funds at more than 5,000 credit union branches and self-service locations across the country.
Headquartered in Oakland, California, Chevron Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is detailed on the Membership Eligibility page. The last option, “You can join one of our partner non-profit associations,” provides a way for almost anyone to join.
Easy Membership Requirement - Joining either of two Non-Profit Partner Associations (Contra Costa County Historical Society and Navy League of the United States) qualifies for membership. Links to each association’s application are included on the Non-Profit Partner Associations page. “Please submit your association application with your Spectrum application so that we may help you with your new membership.”
Residency - Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in 15 San Francisco neighborhoods are eligible for membership, as are those who live, work, worship, or attend school in the Maryland cities/towns of Emmitsburg, Frederick, Thurmont, Woodsboro, and the surrounding Frederick County areas.
Employment - Employees of more than 1,000 companies and members of nearly 50 associations also qualify for membership. (A list of these companies and associations is available on the first page of the online application.)
Relationship - Family members of current Spectrum members, including “parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, spouse or domestic partner, siblings — even roommates or unrelated persons who live with you and share your household expenses,” are also eligible to join.
Spectrum members can also access their accounts at any of six Chevron Federal Credit Union branches, which are located in California (3), Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Everyone at the Credit Union must have a Primary Share (Savings) account with a minimum deposit of $25. If two applicants are applying as a Primary Member and a Joint Member, the minimum deposit is $50.
Credit Union Overview
Spectrum Credit Union merged with Chevron Federal Credit Union (CFCU) in 2012. CFCU does business as Spectrum Credit Union in areas not directly serving a Chevron Corporation facility. Spectrum’s deposits are held and insured by CFCU and Spectrum operates under CFCU’s NCUA Charter.
Spectrum Credit Union/CFCU has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.61% (excellent) based on December 31, 2019 data. In the past year, Spectrum/CFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $198.98 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 6.82%. Please refer to our financial overview of Spectrum Credit Union/Chevron Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 24326) for more details.
Spectrum Credit Union was originally established in 1973 as the Bechtel Employees Federal Credit Union. Between 2011 and 2013, Spectrum was one of four credit unions (Stewart FCU, Star Energy CU, Spectrum FCU, and Chevron West CU) that merged with Chevron Federal Credit Union (CFCU). Currently California’s twelfth largest credit union. CFCU is also the 66th largest credit union in the country, with more than 114,000 members and assets in excess of $3.5 billion.
How the Special Certificates Compare
For the immediate future, I’ll be prefacing every comparison table with this caveat from my “Rates in Rapid Decline” post:
We are trying our best to keep our rates updated, but there are just too many rate cuts for us to quickly process. Thus, in the next couple of weeks, please be aware that the rates we list at DepositAccounts may not reflect the latest rates published by the banks and credit unions.
When compared to 167 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationwide, Spectrum Credit Union’s 13-month Special Certificate APY currently ranks first.
When compared to 160 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationwide, Spectrum Credit Union’s 24-month Special Step-Up Certificate APY currently ranks first.
These rates are accurate as of 3/17/2020.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.