In January, New Jersey-based XCEL Federal Credit Union (XCEL) was offering a limited-time 18-month Promo Certificate with a rate-leading 5.12% APY. XCEL was serious about the limited availability: within five days of my blog post, the 18-month Promo Certificate was gone.
XCEL has added another limited-time offering: a 48-month CD Special earning 5.00% APY. The minimum opening deposit is $500 of new money, with no stated balance cap. “New money” is defined as “funds not already on deposit with XCEL nor have been on deposit in any XCEL account over the prior 30 days.” Given the scarcity of long-term CDs with rates of 5.00% APY and above, keep that previous narrow window of opportunity in mind.
The 48-month CD Special is also available as an IRA CD Special (Traditional and Roth), earning the same APY with the same funding requirements.
As stated in the Share Certificate Account Disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
If your certificate has an original maturity of 12 months or longer, the penalty amount will equal 180 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn.
If earned dividends are not sufficient to cover the penalty, the early withdrawal penalty may affect principal.
As noted in the Account Disclosure, an early withdrawal of principal is not guaranteed:
You may make withdrawals of principal on a certificate account at the discretion and approval of XCEL Federal Credit Union.
Headquartered in Bloomfield, New Jersey, XCEL Federal Credit Union offers membership to employees and members of more than 80 companies and organizations, with easy membership requirements (EMR) that allow almost any U.S. citizen/resident alien to qualify.
Easy Membership Requirement: Joining the Ocean Running Club ($15 individual membership fee) or the Antique Automobile Club of America ($45 yearly dues) qualify for XCEL membership. Both organizations are open to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens, regardless of where they live.
DA reader, me1004, addressed the EMR in a Forum post this week. While some DA readers joined XCEL in the past through an American Consumer Council membership, ACC hasn’t been associated with XCEL for more than three years. As me1004 stated in the Forum post, the Jersey City Free Public Library appears in the list of qualifying companies and businesses.
I see the Jersey City Free Public Library has a foundation, the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, and you can donate, any amount, to that. I don’t know if a donation is sufficient, ask the CU. For free, you can get a library card online for that library, I would think that certainly means you “belong to” the library. Maybe that is all you need to qualify for the CU, and it’s free, ask.
Employment: Employees of more than 60 companies (both large and small, including 16 Federal Government Departments) are eligible to join.
Organization Affiliation: Members of a variety of national and local associations also qualify for membership.
Family Relationship: Immediate family members (parents, siblings, children, grandparents, and grandchildren) of current XCEL members in good standing are also welcome to apply.
Joining XCEL can be done online, at the New Jersey branch located in Jersey City, or the New York City Federal Place branch. (Note: the Federal Place branch requires ID for admission and has a search protocol.) The Bloomfield (NJ) headquarters has an on-site ATM, but no other member services are available.
Open your savings account with a $5 deposit and you're an XCEL Member!
As of this writing, the 48-month CD Special is not listed on XCEL’s online application. CSR stated that existing members can open the 48-month CD Special using XCEL’s Online Banking platform, or by calling 973.275.9235. Those joining XCEL must establish their membership and then contact XCEL to open the CD Special. (The online application includes the regular 48-month CD, which earns a seriously noncompetitive 2.75% APY. Do not be confused – choose wisely.)
XCEL participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks, providing members with access to more than 5,600 branches and more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
Funding and Other Details
The following information is from a conversation with CSR.
- Funding – ACH, wire ($10 fee), check (in-branch), or Shared Branch transfer.
- CO-OP Shared Branch Participant – Yes.
- Ownership – Individual, joint, and trust.
- Dividends – Compounded/credited monthly and can be withdrawn penalty-free.
- Maturing Funds – ACH (if less than $5k), wire ($25 fee), cashier’s check to address on file, or internal transfer to share savings account.
- Beneficiaries – Unlimited, equal shares, Social Security numbers are required.
- Grace Period – 7 calendar days before automatic renewal.
- Credit Check – Soft pull and ChexSystems when joining.
Credit Union Overview
XCEL Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "C+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 9.73% (excellent) based on March 31, 2023 data. In the past year, XCEL’s total non-brokered deposits have decreased by -$13.93 million, a below average annual growth rate of -7.55%. Please refer to our financial overview of XCEL Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 16128) for more details.
Established in 1964 by Port Authority New York/New Jersey employees, XCEL Federal Credit Union is currently the 17th largest credit union headquartered in New Jersey, with more than 13,000 members and assets in excess of $180 million. An August 2014 article in New Jersey Business Magazine paints a picture of strength and perseverance.
Until September 11, 2001, we were headquartered in the World Trade Center (Tower 1 – 39th Floor), but now we call North Jersey our home. But from that tragedy came a new way to do banking. On September 10th of that year, about 4-7% of our transactions were done remotely by our members – meaning through home banking, phone banking or ATMs.
Then the tragedy struck. Our members still needed to access their money even though the building was no longer there. So, they taught themselves how to use their computers to access their accounts.
Today, nearly 91% of transactions are done through touchtone phones, the Internet, smart phones, our shared branching and shared ATMs or through our own advanced ATMs. It’s pretty amazing to see. It shows the resilience of our nation and our members.
How the 48-Month CD Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, no banks or credit unions have higher rates than currently offered on the XCEL Federal Credit Union 48-month CD Special. The following table compares the 48-month CD Special to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 6/2/2023.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.