Workers Credit Union (MA) Offers Unique & Competitive Savings Account

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Deal Summary: SaveUp Savings, 4.32% APY up to $1k; 17 other tiered rates with blended APYs ranging from 0.62% for a $13k balance to 1.18% for a $100k balance.

Availability: Massachusetts

When I first saw the SaveUp Savings account offered by Workers Credit Union (Workers CU), I admit I dismissed it out of hand. My initial reaction was that it was probably more of a gimmick, rather than a competitive savings account, since the rate drops from 4.23% to 0.08% when the balance exceeds $1k. A closer look revealed that the SaveUp Savings account offers competitive blended* rates for low (up to $4k) and high ($100k+) balances.

*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.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
4.32*%-$500Workers Credit UnionSaveUp Savings
OTHER TIERS: 0.08% $1k - $2k | 0.13% $2k - $3k | 0.17% $3k - $5k | 0.25% $5k - $7k | 0.34% $7k - $10k | 0.55% $10k - $13k | 0.80% $13k - $17k | 1.02% $17k - $21k | 1.10% $21k - $25k | 1.19% $25k - $30k | 1.27% $30k - $40k | 1.29% $40k - $50k | 1.31% $50k - $75k | 1.33% $75k - $100k | 1.35% $100k - $250k | 1.36% $250k - $1m | 1.38% $1m+ | 4.30% $500 - $1k
Rates as of October 25, 2020.

There are currently 18 tiered rates that result in more APYs than anyone could remember (or want to figure out).

SaveUp Savings Rates

The SaveUp Savings landing page has a calculator to estimate what the earnings for any dollar amount would be. The following is a sample of the blended APYs for various balances based on the calculator. The blended APY drops below 1.00% as the balance grows past $4,850. The blended APY reaches a minimum of 0.62% at $13,000, and then it slowly grows. It again reaches 1.00% at a balance of $45,000. The blended APY continues to grow slowly, reaching 1.18% at $100,000, 1.29% at $250,000, and 1.33% at $500,000.

  • $1,000: 4.32% APY
  • $3,000: 1.51% APY
  • $4,850: 1.00% APY
  • $10,000: 0.64% APY
  • $13,000: 0.62% APY
  • $20,000: 0.72% APY
  • $45,000: 1.00% APY
  • $100,000: 1.18% APY
  • $250,000: 1.29% APY
  • $500,000: 1.33% APY

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 Fee Schedule,

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.

High Interest Checking

Workers Credit Union added the High Interest Checking account to its product line almost three years ago, initially earning 1.75% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. About four months ago, the rate fell to 1.26% APY.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.29*%-$15kWorkers Credit UnionHigh Interest Checking
OTHER TIERS: 0.40% $15k+
Rates as of October 25, 2020.

Availability

Headquartered in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Workers Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency based, with individuals who live, work, or worship anywhere in Massachusetts eligible to join.

Joining Workers CU and/or opening a SaveUp Savings account can be done online or by calling 800.221.4020. While the lobbies of 15 Massachusetts branches are temporarily closed to walk-in traffic, appointments can be made. Two branch locations (1050 Westminster, Fitchburg and 319 North Main Street, Leominster) have temporarily closed, with no business being transacted.

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 9.41% (excellent) based on March 31, 2020 data. In the past year, Workers CU increased its total non-brokered deposits by $74.79 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 7.45%. 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, Workers CU acquired or merged with 13 other Massachusetts credit union. Currently the fourth largest credit union in Massachusetts, Workers Credit Union has more than 105,000 members and assets in excess of $1.8 billion.

How the SaveUp Savings Compares

With 18 tiered rates, constructing a cogent comparison table for the SaveUp Savings account is challenging. The SaveUp Savings rate begans to exceed 1.18% when the account balance exceeds $100k. When compared to the Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available to all Massachusetts residents, Workers Credit Union’s SaveUp Savings APY currently ranks fourth, based on a $100k balance.

The above rates are accurate as of 7/31/2020.

To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.

Related Pages: Boston savings accounts, Springfield savings accounts, savings accounts

Comments
kcfield
  |     |   Comment #1
Hi Ken. Thank you for your helpful analysis. While the rates do seem competitive at low and high tiers (and this organization does have a decent "B-" rating with Weiss), I would hesitate to do business with a financial institution that has a rate structure so complicated, that the average person cannot easily discern their personalized rate of return. Complicated rate structures like this translate to a lack of transparency, and also makes it difficult to track this credit union's effective yield over time; and to compare their savings rates to other financial institutions.
P_D
  |     |   Comment #2
I think that's a valid criticism kc. Sometimes the terms are so convoluted that it creates an effective lack of transparency which is always a cause for concern.

However, not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, there may be some exceptions that make this account worth considering. For example, the blended APY on a $500k deposit is 1.33%, that looks like not only a rate leader form MA residents, but also a very attractive return in this environment. So if you are looking for a place for large deposits in a liquid account, this may be worth consideration.

This only addresses the current rates of course, not the insurance coverage, prospect of continued competitive rates or other factors. So further due diligence is necessary before making the decision, but based on rates alone, there may be some good reasons to consider this deal for certain situations.

Quick note on insurance. MA is one of the states that FIs may use to offer unlimited insurance on their accounts. I don't know if this FI is covered by that facility or not, but if so it may further justify using this account for large deposits, especially in cases where insurance on such levels of deposit is not possible for technical reasons.
Infinityy
  |     |   Comment #3
Workers Credit Union is fully insured by the Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation (MSIC). NCUA insures deposits up to $250k, and MSIC insures the rest.
kcfield
  |     |   Comment #6
PD: Your point is well taken. I think such an account is okay for advanced savers like you who have the skill level to properly assess rate of return; however, the lack of transparency/convolution on this account makes me wonder if there are transparency issues beyond that for this institution. If Kurt Vonnegut designed a savings account, this would be it.
deplorable_1
  |     |   Comment #4
A very strange and interesting account although I would only use it for the 4.32% on the first $1,000. I wouldn't trust the other tiers to remain competitive but that's just me.
The idea of a blended APY is exactly the reason I have several capped high yield accounts. If you look at each individual account separately it's only 6% on $1,000 or 5% on $5,000 or 4% on $2,000 etc. and may seem to be insignificant due to the cap. But when you figure out what a blended APY is on $100,000 of liquid cash it can work out to 3-3.5% overall. This involves maintaining several accounts obviously but when rates are this low it's definitely worth it to me and most importantly no monthly debit card hurdles to jump over to obtain the rate.
whs
  |     |   Comment #11
Forgive me, but I don't understand how your $100,000 can yield 3-3.5% Please explain. Btw, I'm putting a sizable sum in WCU SaveUp Savings; the calculator tells you exactly what your blended yield will be. No one gets 3-3.5%. $500K yields 1.33%. What am I missing?
Infinityy
  |     |   Comment #5
Another factor to consider is Workers’ “GiveBack” program. For savings accounts, you’ll typically earn an extra 0.10% above the advertised rate.
Buffettologist
  |     |   Comment #7
Any idea what a $10 ACH Origination Fee is? I intend to initiate any ACH transfers from Ally. Are they charging for externally generated ACH transactions?
Infinityy
  |     |   Comment #8
They don't charge for externally initiated ACH.
Buffettologist
  |     |   Comment #9
Thanks. Then what is the ACH origination fee and when is it applied?
Infinityy
  |     |   Comment #10
If you initiate an ACH transfer from Workers online banking, they'll charge to originate the ACH.
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