As DA reader, SYC, noted in a Forum post yesterday, the USALLIANCE Financial (USALLIANCE) 18-month Certificate Special currently earns 3.50% APY. Following a 100 bps increase, the 18-month Certificate Special offers the highest rate in the USALLIANCE CD product line. The minimum opening deposit is $500, with no stated balance cap.
USALLIANCE Certificate Specials are limited-time offerings, usually available for at least a month, with different term lengths cycling in and out of the product line during the year. A year ago, USALLIANCE offered six different Certificate Specials, but the USALLIANCE website currently lists four Certificate Specials. The other three Certificate Specials, which had rate increases almost three weeks ago, are the 36-month (3.40% APY, up 15 bps), 24-month (3.40% APY, up 15 bps) and the 11-month No Penalty CD (2.15% APY, up 40 bps).
|3.40%||$500||-||USALLIANCE Financial||36 Month Certificate Special|
|3.40%||$500||-||USALLIANCE Financial||24 Month Certificate Special|
|2.60%||$500||-||USALLIANCE Financial||11 Month No Penalty CD|
As stated in the USALLIANCE Certificate Accounts Disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) 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early withdrawal penalty will equal 180 days dividends on the amount withdrawn.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the penalty amount will equal 360 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn.
If earned dividends are not sufficient to cover the penalty,
the early withdrawal penalty may affect principal.
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.
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. Starting in January 2021, there have been seven rate increases (217 bps), with 50 bps added last week. The HDS currently earns 2.50% APY on balances of $500 and above; balances below $500 do not earn any dividends.
Things You Should Know
The following information has become standard in USALLIANCE blog posts. It is worth the read, whether you regularly read USALLIANCE blog posts or are a casual browser.
USALLIANCE allows unlimited POD beneficiaries to be named, but Social Security numbers (SS#) are required for each named beneficiary, which can be problematic for some investors. While not requiring Social Security numbers was more common in the past, asking for a beneficiary's SS# seems to have become standard practice. In some states, like Ohio, state law requires an SS# for beneficiaries.
Earned dividends which have credited can be withdrawn without incurring a penalty or can be transferred to a Share Management Checking, Share Management Savings Account or MyLife Account (Checking or Savings) each month.
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 calendar 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
With future rates always being uncertain, it’s important to mention USALLIANCE’s “right to call” any of its Certificates before maturity. While that may sound a bit troubling, USALLIANCE states that option 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) provides a way for almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien (18 years of older with a valid Social Security number) to join.
While USALLIANCE does not provide membership eligibility anywhere on its website (other than part of the online application), the Membership Acknowledgement and Certification document provides detailed information.
Easy Membership Requirement: Joining any of five partner associations/charitable organizations qualifies for USALLIANCE membership.
I want to become a member of one of the following USALLIANCE partner
associations and authorize USALLIANCE to submit my membership request to:
- Tread Lightly!
- Council of Community Service
- New-York Historical Society
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or regularly conduct business in the Massachusetts counties of Barnstable, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, or Worcester are eligible for membership. In addition, individuals who live, work, worship, or regularly conduct business 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, worship, or regularly conduct in the New Jersey counties of Bergan and Passaic qualify for membership.
Individuals who live, work, worship, or regularly conduct business in select under-served areas of New York City (map included on the Membership Acknowledgement and Certification document) are eligible to join.
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, Green, 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.
Joining USALLIANCE and/or opening a Certificate Special can be done online. While opening a Certificate Special can also be done in-branch, the COVID-19 Updates page states that the Cambridge, Massachusetts branch location continues to be temporarily closed, but the other eight branch lobbies in Connecticut (2), Massachusetts (1), New Jersey (1), and New York (4) are open to walk-in traffic.
Unlike the vast majority of 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 a minimum $1 deposit in the account you wish to open, but having either a checking or savings account is required for membership.
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 "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.68% (excellent) based on June 30, 2022 data. In the past year, USALLIANCE has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $292.38 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 21.14%. Please refer to our financial overview of USALLIANCE Financial (NCUA Charter # 17587) for more details.
Chartered in 1966 as USAlliance Federal Credit Union, the original FOM was exclusive to IBM employees. The USALLIANCE Financial rebrand occurred in September 2015 to "help drive home all that we have to offer to potential members." From humble beginnings in the IBM basement cafeteria, USALLIANCE has grown to be the 14th largest credit union headquartered in New York State, with more than 141,000 members and assets in excess of $2.5 billion.
How the 18-Month Certificate Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, only one credit union has a higher rate than currently offered on the USALLIANCE 18-month Certificate Special APY. The following table compares the 18-Month Certificate Special to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
|APY||CD Term (Early Withdrawal Penalty)||Credit Union/Bank|
|3.75%||15-Month Share Certificate Special (EWP=182 days)||NASA Federal Credit Union|
|3.50%||18-Month Certificate Special (EWP=360 days)||USALLIANCE Financial|
|3.49%||16-Month Bump Share Certificate Special (EWP=180 days)||La Capitol Federal Credit Union|
|3.20%||18-Month CD (EWP=180 days)||Bank5 Connect|
|3.20%||18-Month Rising CD (EWP=180 days)||Rising Bank|
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.
How the High Dividend Savings Compares
When compared to the Money Market Accounts and Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and do not require large balances, direct deposit, or have small balance caps, six savings and money market accounts have higher rates than currently offered on the USALLIANCE Financial High Dividend Savings Account.
|APY||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|2.61%||Money Market ($1k min/$500k max)||Brilliant Bank|
|2.61%||UFB Rewards Savings (no min/no max)||UFB Direct|
|2.61%||UFB Rewards Money Market (no min/no max)||UFB Direct|
|2.60%||Digital Money Market ($2.5k min/$500k max)||TotalDirectBank|
|2.55%||High Yield Money Market ($1k min/no max)||CFG Bank|
|2.53%||Bask Interest Savings Account (no min/no max)||Bask Bank|
|2.50%||High Dividend Savings ($500 min/no max)||USALLIANCE Financial|
The above information and rates are accurate as of 9/13/2022.