New York-based USALLIANCE Financial (USALLIANCE) has added a trio of limited-time Certificate Specials to its product line. All three Certificate Specials offer very competitive rates: 12-month (0.85% APY), 18-month (0.95% APY), and 24-month (1.00% APY). There are also two less competitive, shorter-term Certificate Specials: 9-month (0.50% APY) and 11-month no-penalty (0.55% APY). Like all USALLIANCE Certificates, the Certificate Specials require a $500 minimum opening deposit, with no stated balance cap. Thanks to DA reader, cumulus, for his Forum post about the new Certificate Specials.
As stated in USALLIANCE’s Certificate Accounts Disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
If your Certificate Account has an original maturity date of less than 18 months the
early withdrawal penalty will equal 180 days dividends on the amount withdrawn.
If your Certificate Account has an original maturity date of 18 months or longer,
the penalty amount will equal 360 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn.
According to the Certificate Accounts Disclosure, the ability to withdraw any of the principal before maturity is not necessarily guaranteed.
You may make withdrawals of principal on a Certificate
Account at the discretion and approval of USALLIANCE Financial.
The default for the Certificate Special online application for new members has the MyLife Savings (MLS) account automatically selected. If the MLS is unchecked, the following notification pops up:
In addition to your Certificate account, please select either a checking or savings account.
USALLIANCE has two savings accounts (MyLife Savings and High Dividend Savings) and a checking account (MyLife Checking) to choose from.
|2.00*%||-||$500||USALLIANCE Financial||MyLife Savings|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.02% → $500+|
|0.55%||$500||-||USALLIANCE Financial||High Dividend Savings|
The MyLife Savings account currently earns 2.00% APY on the first $500 and 0.02% APY on any amounts over $500. The MLS can be opened with as little as $1.
USALLIANCE unveiled its High Dividend Savings (HDS) account in January 2019, with an initial 2.30% APY. Its rate remained competitive until four rate decreases occurred in January and March 2020, lowering the HDS rate to a less-than-mediocre 0.33% APY. At the beginning of 2021, 22 bps were added, with the HDS now earning 0.55% APY.
Update 3/23/21: USALLIANCE has ended the $5 withdrawal fee on the HDS account. The latest Fee Schedule (dated March 11, 2021) no longer lists any Withdrawal fee for the HDS account.
While USALLIANCE has embraced the Federal Reserve’s decision to “suspend enforcement of the six transfer limit and to allow their customers to make an unlimited number of convenient transfers and withdrawals from their savings deposits,” DA reader, NYCDoug, made a noteworthy comment in response to my October 2, 2020 blog post about the HDS.
Once again, be wary of choosing the High Dividend Savings (HDS) account, which charged me a $5 fee per withdrawal -- automatically, and irreversibly -- during the height of the pandemic, without any sympathy from the CSRs.
As stated on the Fee Schedule (dated May 15, 2020),
High Dividend/Business High Dividend Savings Withdrawal – $5.00 per withdrawal
The checking account listed on the Certificate Specials online application is the MyLife Checking, which is a free checking account with no minimum balance requirement or maintenance fees. It’s also a non-interest bearing account.
I have included the following paragraphs in several other USALLIANCE blog posts, but it’s still important information, whether you’re a seasoned DA reader or a first-time browser.
USALLIANCE allows unlimited POD beneficiaries to be named, but Social Security numbers are required for each named beneficiary, which can be a deal breaker for some investors. While not requiring Social Security numbers was more common in the past, asking for a beneficiary's Social Security number seems to becoming the norm.
Accessing Maturing Funds
USALLIANCE Certificates have a grace period of seven calendar days, beginning on the maturity date, although “all term accounts are available for a range of maturity days to permit you to schedule redemption for a business day.” While seven days is on the short side, USALLIANCE has provided an easy method for accessing maturing funds.
Transfer Upon Maturity: If prior to maturity you elect to redeem your Certificate Account
or the Credit Union does not automatically renew your account, the entire balance will be automatically transferred to your Share Management Checking, Share Management Savings, STAR Account or MyLife Account (Checking or Savings) for easy access.
Please note: Jumbo Certificates do not renew automatically.
Once the funds are in a checking or savings account, an ACH transfer can be initiated from another bank.
Right To Call
In previous blog posts, I have mentioned USALLIANCE’s “right to call” any of its Certificates early that, according to USALLIANCE, has never been exercised. Nonetheless, the “right to call” is spelled out in the Certificate Accounts Disclosure, and reads as follows:
The Credit Union has the right to call or redeem Certificate Accounts early. To call or redeem your Certificate Account early, the Credit Union will provide 60 days written notice to you. Should the Credit Union exercise this option, your Certificate Account will be redeemed without penalty on the day specified in the notice, and the entire balance, including earned dividends, will be automatically transferred to your Share Management Checking, Share Management Savings, STAR Account or MyLife Account (Checking or Savings) for easy access.
Headquartered in Rye (Westchester County), New York, USALLIANCE Financial's field of membership (FOM) is wide and varied, providing almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien, with a valid Social Security number, a way to join.
USALLIANCE revamped their online application more than a year ago and the latest version does not detail the various ways to join on the first page. According to CSR, the different ways to join have not changed and still include,
Easy Membership Requirement: Members of the following associations/charitable organizations qualify.
- American Consumer Council (ACC)
- Arc of Westchester
- Council of Community Service
- New York Historical Society Museum and Library
- The Rye Arts Center
- St. Thomas Orchestra of Mamaroneck
- Sullivan ARC (Sullivan County residents only)
- The Bill Fish Foundation
- Tread Lightly!
- Unite Here
Residency: Individuals who live, work, or worship in the Massachusetts counties of Barnstable, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, or Worcester are eligible for membership. In addition, individuals who live, work, or worship in the city of West Haven, Connecticut, and qualifying districts in Manhattan, Mount Vernon, and The Bronx, are welcome to join. Following the 2018 assumption of First Jersey Credit Union, individuals who live, work, or worship in the New Jersey counties of Bergan and Passaic qualify for membership.
Employment: Employees of more than 175 companies are eligible to join, including employees or retirees of the state or local government in the New York counties of Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, or Westchester.
Education: Registered students, staff, and faculty members of Columbia University and Manhattanville College (both in NYC) qualify for membership, as do members of Columbia University’s Alumni Association.
Religious Affiliation: Members of ten named houses of worship in the New York counties of Bronx, Sullivan, and Westchester are eligible to join.
To best accommodate our members, we will be offering limited in-branch appointments (at the locations listed below) for transactions that cannot be completed electronically through one of our alternative delivery channels (Online and Mobile Banking, ATMs, or Call Center).
- 350 W 31st Street, New York, NY
- Walmart, 7500 Route 209, Napanoch, NY
Seven of USALLIANCE’s branch locations are closed, but the following branch lobbies are open to walk-in traffic (without an appointment):
- Atwood Place, West Haven, Connecticut
- Station Landing, Medford, Massachusetts
- East 179th Street, Bronx, New York
- Route 52, Hopewell Junction, New York
- Boston Post Road, Port Chester, New York
Unlike most credit unions, USALLIANCE does not have a Share Account that must be opened with a small deposit to establish membership. The only deposit requirement is at least $1 in the account you wish to open. Based on the new online application, it now appears that either a checking or savings account must be opened.
USALLIANCE participates in the CO-OP Shared Branching network, providing members access to more than 5,600 branches throughout the country.
Credit Union Overview
USALLIANCE Financial has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 7.60% (excellent) based on September 30, 2020 data. In the past year, USALLIANCE has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $65.89 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 5.42%. Please refer to our financial overview of USALLIANCE Financial (NCUA Charter # 17587) for more details.
USALLIANCE Financial was chartered in 1966 as a credit union for IBM employees. Formerly known as USAlliance Federal Credit Union, the Credit Union did a rebrand in September 2015 to "help drive home all that we have to offer to potential members." From humble beginnings in the company's basement cafeteria, USALLIANCE is currently the 14th largest credit union headquartered in New York State, with more than 123,000 members and assets in excess of $1.9 billion.
How the Certificate Specials Compare
When compared to 198 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationwide, USALLIANCE Financial’s 24-month Certificate Special APY currently ranks first.
When compared to 151 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationwide, USALLIANCE Financial’s 18-month Certificate Special APY currently ranks first.
When compared to 211similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationwide, USALLIANCE Financial’s 12-month Certificate Special APY currently ranks first.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 2/17/2021.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.