California-based UNIFY Financial Credit Union (UNIFY) is offering a 19-month Liquid Share Certificate, which is a no-penalty and add-on CD with tiered APYs – 2.25% APY ($5k minimum, two penalty free withdrawals) and 2.00% APY ($500 minimum, one penalty free withdrawal). The penalty free withdrawals can be either partial or an early closure. In addition, unlimited deposits are allowed throughout the term, with new money required for the initial deposit. As stated in this promotions page, the offer is "subject to change without notice and may end at any time."
The APY established at account opening will remain in effect throughout the term, regardless of account balance. In other words, if you initially deposit $4,999 and then later deposit $1, you will still earn 2.00% APY, not 2.25% APY.
As stated in the Truth-in-Savings disclosure, if a withdrawal is made beyond the allowed number, the following Early Withdrawal Penalty applies.
For Share Certificate accounts, the amount of the early
withdrawal penalty for your account is up to 90 days’ dividends.
As stated in the offer’s small print, “unlimited subsequent deposits are permitted during certificate term.” Even though this seems clear, it’s important to remember that there have been past cases when other credit unions have changed add-on terms of existing add-on certificates. This issue recently came up in September. The fact that this UNIFY Financial Certificate has a fairly short term of 19 months reduces this risk.
Headquartered in Torrance, California, UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is varied, with residency, employment and organization membership serving as qualifying criteria.
Easy Membership: Individuals who join either the Surfrider Foundation or Friends of Hobbs qualify for credit union membership. According to UNIFY’s website, you can qualify "through a complimentary membership with a partnering nonprofit organization."
Employment: Hundreds of companies throughout the US offer membership in UNIFY as part of their employee benefits package, including Toyota and Northrop Grumman.
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship or attend school in select areas of 13 states are also eligible for membership. UNIFY’s website used to have a "Search for your Zip Code" page to help determine eligibility, but that page no longer exists. UNIFY does, however, offer "Live Chat" on their website to assist in clarifying eligibility status.
Relationship: Immediate family members of current UNIFY members are automatically eligible for membership.
Joining UNIFY can be done online, or at any of 59 full-service branches located in Alabama, Arkansas (6), Arizona, California (26), Colorado, Florida, Georgia (2), Indiana, Kentucky (3), Michigan (2), Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas (5), Utah, Virginia (5), and West Virginia.
Note: Several of the branches have restricted access, as they are located on property owned by an SEG. For example, the Huntsville, Alabama branch is in a Toyota manufacturing facility, with access limited to Toyota employees.
The promo page states,
OPEN YOUR SHARE CERTIFICATE TODAY! Visit your nearest branch to get started.
I did a Live Chat in hopes of discovering some way to open the 19-month Liquid Share Certificate online or over the phone. Unfortunately, CSR confirmed it can only be opened in-branch.
As a condition of membership, a Regular Savings Account ($5 minimum) must be opened and maintained. A $200 minimum average daily balance is required to earn dividends. Should the monthly balance fall below $200, a $1 fee will assessed and all dividends will be forfeited.
In addition to participating in the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks, members.
can find an ATM just about anywhere. Just look for the Alliance One,
Allpoint, CO-OP or CUHere logos, and you’re good to go … surcharge-free.
Credit Union Overview
UNIFY Financial Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 10.98% (excellent) based on September 30, 2019 data. In the past year, UNIFY has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $34.59 million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.46%. Please refer to our financial overview of UNIFY Financial Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 15732) for more details.
Established in the last 1940s as the Western Air Credit Union, UNIFY Financial Credit Union is currently the 17th largest credit union headquartered in California and the 84th largest credit union in the country. When Western Airlines merged into Delta Airline in the 1980s, the credit union became known as simply Western Credit Union and rebranded as UNIFY in 2016. As a result of several mergers (including TRW Systems FCU in 2003 and Toyota FCU in 2007) over the past 16 years, UNIFY has grown to more than 260,000 members and assets in excess of $3 billion.
How the Liquid Share Certificate Compares
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, no-penalty CDs are not that common, and the longer the term, the more competitive the CD. When compared to other nationally available no-penalty CDs, UNIFY Financial Credit Union's 19-month Liquid Share Certificate currently offers the highest APYs and the longest term length, with modest minimum deposit requirements.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.
The above rates are accurate as of 12/23/2019.