I first wrote about Workers Credit Union’s (WCU) SaveUp Savings account last summer. What seemed at first glance to be a gimmicky account turned out to be a competitive savings account with blended rates based on 18 rate tiers.
The blended interest rate is the combination of the different interest rates applied per savings tier amount, resulting in an overall effective interest rate for the total amount of the deposit.
The highest rate tier currently is 4.23% on balances up to $999.99, with the rate dropping to 0.30% for balances between $1,000 and $1,999.99. The SaveUp Savings account has become more competitive in the past ten months with a restructuring of its 18 rate tiers, as shown in the chart below.
A bonus of 5 bps per rate tier with automatic monthly deposits has also increased the SaveUp Savings intrinsic value. As stated in the fine print on the SaveUp Savings landing page,
As of February 1, 2021, if there is a direct deposit or an external ACH deposit to this account, of at least $50 per month, the account balance for that month will be eligible to earn a higher annual percentage yield on each applicable tier. If you do not make the $50 direct deposit or external ACH deposit, you will earn the base annual percentage yield for that month. The $50 deposit must post prior to the end of the statement cycle to earn the higher annual percentage yield for that month.
The 18 tiered rates result in more APYs than anyone could remember (or want to figure out). The following chart is a sampling of the various blended rates from each of the balance levels. In summary, without automatic monthly deposits, the blended APY is at least 0.90% for balances under $8k and above $150k. With automatic monthly deposits, the blended APY is at least 1.00% for balances under $7k and above $270k.
The SaveUp Savings landing page has a calculator to estimate what the earnings for any dollar amount would be. As the fine print points out,
The calculator ESTIMATES the total interest to be earned after a one-year period. The interest amounts and APY calculations assume that the dollar amount balance remains in the account the entire year. Any deposits/withdrawals to the balance amount will change the total interest earned.
The SaveUp Savings is a “true” savings account, with no ATM/debit card or check writing available. The minimum opening deposit is $5 and there are no monthly service fees. There is a limit of one SaveUp account per member as primary owner.
While there is normally a restriction on the number of transactions allowed, according to the Truth-in-Savings disclosure,
Addendum Effective April 29, 2020 – Until further notice, during any statement period, you may make more than six withdrawals or transfers to another credit union account of yours or to a third party by means of a pre-authorized, automatic, or computer transfer or telephonic order or instruction. If you exceed six withdrawals or transfers set forth above in any statement period, your account will not be subject to closure by the credit union and you will not be subject to any fees.
There was some discussion in the Comments in the July 2020 blog post about “ACH Origination Fee.” According to CSR, the $10 Origination Fee applies to ACHs initiated by WCU; there is no fee if the ACH is initiated by an external institution. CSR also mentioned that outgoing wires have fees of $25 (domestic) and $50 (international).
Massachusetts Share Insurance
WCU also maintains excess share and deposit insurance through Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation (MSIC) fully insuring deposits in excess of the NCUA limits.
As a member of Workers, take comfort in knowing that every dollar you deposit is safe, secure, and 100% insured. All deposits are fully insured by a combined insurance coverage of the NCUA, up to $250,000, and the MSIC covers the rest. Now that’s safe keeping.
Headquartered in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Workers Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) has changed since my last blog post about WCU in July 2020. What was previously a statewide FOM has become an easy membership requirement (EMR) FOM.
The Join Us page lists five different ways to qualify for membership, including two EMR options.
Financial Fitness Association Membership: “The FFA is a non-profit organization that provides educational resources to help its members improve their financial well-being.
”When opening an account online, select FFA Membership for your eligibility requirement and Workers will automatically sign you up and pay for a one-year FFA membership.
”Payment and renewal of the annual FFA membership will be your responsibility if you wish to continue to access their online library and resources. Continued membership is not required to maintain your Workers Credit Union membership.”
Charitable Organization: WCU will make a one-time $5 donation on your behalf to United Way of North Central MA. Ongoing donations are not required to maintain a WCU membership.
Community: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in Lowell or Worcester, Massachusetts are eligible to join.
Employment: Employee/retirees of 12 participating employers qualify for membership, as do their immediate family members.
Family Relationship: Immediate family and household members of current WCU membership are also eligible for membership. WCU defines “immediate family” as spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and siblings, including adopted, in-law, and step relationships.
Joining WCU and/or opening a SaveUp Savings account can be done online or by calling 800.221.4020. The lobbies of 14 Massachusetts branches in Athol, Chelmsford, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Hudson, Lancaster, Leominster (2), Lunenburg, Orange, Townsend, Westford, and Worcester have re-opened. Appointments are available and can be scheduled online. The Monty Tech branch located on Westminster Street in Fitchburg is currently closed to the public and only open to students and staff members on Mondays and Fridays.
Four of Workers CU’s savings accounts (including the SaveUp Savings account) qualifies as a “membership account.”
Workers CU participates in both the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks.
Road trip! You’ve ventured out of Massachusetts for the day – or week, or semester – only to find you need to transact some banking business. No worries. Workers belongs to the CO-OP Shared Branching Network, which allows you to use 5,600-plus other credit union locations nationwide. Will you be welcome in California? Like, totally. Greeted warmly in Maine? Ayuh. Stop by a Workers branch and we’ll give you a Shared Branching Service Card. And wish you bon voyage.
Credit Union Overview
Workers Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 9.61% (excellent) based on December 31, 2020 data. In the past year, WCU increased its total non-brokered deposits by $255.68 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 24.56%. Please refer to our financial overview of Workers Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 66479) for more details.
Workers Credit Union was founded in 1914 by John Suominen, the owner of a successful printing company in Fitchburg. Suominen’s incentive to form a credit union was the economic welfare of his fellow Finnish immigrants. The original charter stated that the board of directors could only recommend members who were “honest, industrious and of good habits.” Between 1980 and 2007, WCU acquired or merged with 13 other Massachusetts credit union. Currently the fourth largest credit union in Massachusetts, Workers Credit Union has more than 108,000 members and assets in excess of $2 billion.
How the SaveUp Savings Compares
With 18 tiered rates, constructing a clear and consise comparison table for the SaveUp Savings account is challenging. According to DA’s most recent Best Bank Account Interest Rates Summary, the highest rate for a standard savings account with no balance limitations is 0.65% APY; all of the SaveUp Savings tiered APYs are higher than 0.65% APY. When compared to nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, Workers Credit Union’s SaveUp Savings APY currently ranks first, based on a $100k balance.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 5/27/2021.
To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.