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Patelco Is Now Federally Insured - My Experience Joining and Opening the 7% and 5.50% CDs


Patelco Credit Union is now federally insured by the NCUA. The NCUA coverage took effect today. The NCUA sign now appears at the bottom of each Patelco web page. However, I can't find Patelco listed yet at the NCUA Find-a-Credit-Union tool. I suspect it'll soon be added after the holiday.

Update 1/3/08: Patelco is now in the NCUA database as a federally insured credit union. Charter # 68579.

For the previous 5 years Patelco had been privately insured by American Share Insurance (ASI) with no federal insurance. I first reported on this change in November. Patelco describes the details of this change on its website.

My Experience with Joining Patelco and Opening their 7% and 5.50% CDs

With Patelco now federally insured, I decided to join so I could take advantage of their 5.50% APY 9-month certificate special. I also decided to take advantage of their 7.00% APY 12-month new member certificate special. The maximum deposit for this 7% CD is only $1,000, but if you're going to join, I didn't see any reason not to open this.

8% Savings Account for Those 21 and Under

Update 6/22/09: Patelco is no longer offering this 8% special savings account.

You can also open an account for your child. The instructions state that you should enter the minor as the primary applicant and the guardian/trustee as the co-applicant. Those 21 or younger can take advantage of the gr8 r8 Savings Account which has a 8% APY for balances up to $1,000. According to the rates table the 8% is effective through 12/31/08. Amounts over $1,000 earn the low tier rate of the Tiered Savings account.


Update 4/03/09: Membership in Patelco is open to anyone who joins the Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y). This is described at their Membership Eligibility Page:
CAFE-Y is an association of youth and adults working together to promote youth-driven community involvement as a vital force for social change. It is a support network for youth-adult teams that perform community service together all across California. Membership is open to anyone with a desire to make a difference and give back. Because YLI has a Select Employer Group (SEG) relationship with Patelco, any member of their group can join Patelco.

According to the CSR, you can join this association for free via Patelco's online application. In the first page of the application select "I heard about Patelco through my employer or I live, work or worship in a city sponsored by Patelco". After you select this, a text field appears with the instructions to enter the name of your employer or the city in which you live, work or worship. When you type CAFE, the following should appear as an option "Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y)". Previously, one could join Patelco via the California Association for Older Americans. However, this association is no longer listed in Patelco's new Membership Eligibility Page.

As I described in previous posts, anyone can be eligible to be a member by joining the California Association for Older Americans. This is described at the bottom of their Eligibility page:
Anyone can join this association, regardless of age or geographic location. Just indicate California Association for Older Americans on your application.

There's no cost to join this association.

Patelco's online application was quick and easy. Here's what I learned:

Membership Application

To indicate the association for eligibility, select "I heard about Patelco ..." in the Eligibility section near the bottom of the application. Then type in "Older Americans" in the lookup field and select Lookup. This association should appear in the eligibility list of step 2. Select this association and the California Assn. For Older Americans should appear in the box.

When you select the Savings and Certificate product on top of the application, additional sections will open up near the bottom. The new sections will allow you to select the specific products and how you intend to fund them. You can fund by ACH transfer or by check. I chose ACH transfer. When I selected ACH, additional fields appeared where I could enter my bank's routing and account number. I didn't see how to open both the 7% and the 5.50% CD at the same time. So I decided to just do the 7% CD. A reader commented in a previous post that you don't have to select the savings account. They will automatically open this and fund it with $1. I forgot about this and funded it with $5 via ACH.

Note, you'll be charged a $3/month fee if your total deposits (the sum of savings, checking, certificate, IRA, and money market balances) is under $150. This fee will also be waived if you have direct deposit or if you have Patelco's Free Checking Account.

After completing the application page, I selected Next at the bottom, and a Verify page appeared that also had the terms that I had to agree to.

After the submission, an Application Status page appeared afer about 20 seconds. The page included confirmation of the accounts that I opened and provided my new account number. It also gave a link where I could create a password to access their online banking, PC-24.

Online Access

I clicked on the Create Password linked of the Application Status page and filled in the application. It was accepted and then I was able to log in.

Once I was logged in, the new Tiered Savings Account and New Member Certificate Special were listed in the account summary page. The savings showed a balance of $1 which Patelco provided. The certificate showed a $0 balance. I expect the balance will be updated once the application is approved and the funding goes through.

Opening the 5.50% CD

Next, I opened the 5.50% APY 9-month certificate special. While still logged into PC-24, I selected the "Open a New Account" link below the top tabs. You then select the specific account in the next page. The 9-month certificate is a separate link. In that 9-month CD page application, it specifically states that money to fund the CD must be new to Patelco. It defines new as money that hasn't been withdrawn from Patelco in the last 120 days.

The first page of the 9-month CD application just had the amount to deposit (minimum of $1,000) and an optional co-applicant field. The next page is a verify page, and then you'll get to the page where it lets you select to fund the CD by either check or ACH. I chose ACH again.

Once you complete the ACH page, the CD application is finished. At first the new CD didn't show up in the account summary list. But when I logged out and then back in, the new CD was included.

Other Patelco Deals

Patelco also has other good deals like a HSA account with a yield of 5.12% APY, 5.00% APY certificates with terms from 48 to 60 months, and 5.25% APY IRA certificates with terms of 24 to 35 months. These rates will likely go down soon, but Patelco has had a history of top rates, so I expect them to continue to be competitive.

Patelco's Safety

As I mentioned, Patelco doesn't yet seem to be listed at the NCUA database. I'm confident they'll soon be added. It's still listed in the American Share Insurance (ASI) database. Patelco is a major credit union with $4.1 billion in assets. gives Patelco 3 out of 5 stars (performing) based on 9/30/07 data.

Update 1/3/08: Patelco is now in the NCUA database as a federally insured credit union. Charter # 68579.

Current Patelco Members

For those who currently have deposit accounts in excess of $100,000 at Patelco, those accounts will NOT be 'grandfathered'. They will NO longer be protected by private insurance up to $250,000 per account as they were when you opened such accounts. I recommend contacting Patelco to see you can add qualified beneficiaries to qualify for higher NCUA coverage. Please refer to this post for details about extending federal insurance past $100,000. Thanks to the commenter in a previous Patelco post who noted this issue.
Related Pages: Patelco Credit Union, San Francisco Bay, Sacramento, CD rates, IRA rates

Related Posts

  |     |   Comment #1
I couldn't create the online banking password. It told me to call. I wonder if it's because that I didn't open the saving account, just opened the 9m CD.
  |     |   Comment #2
I, too, had trouble creating the online password at the time I opened the CD. But then when I tried the next day, I was successful. And unlike other institutions, there was no option to pick my login identity (just the password). So I tried putting in the account number they had assigned me, and voila - I was in!
  |     |   Comment #3
Do they do a hard credit pull?
  |     |   Comment #4
I am an existing member who has been using their online banking with no problem - until yesterday. When I signed in, I was asked to enter an "access number" and verify my provider. Unfortunately, the "provider" shown was a biotech company I've never heard of, and although I requested an access number by email it never arrived. I sent an email asking for help -- we'll see what happens.

Yes, you have to open a savings account, known as a share or membership account.

And yes, they do a hard pull when joining.
  |     |   Comment #5
The multi-factor authentication is new and a little daunting until you navigate it a few times. Their validator is not really seeing YOUR provider, at least not necessarily, but rather the service provider with which your provider contracts. This might be changeable depending on time of day and load, so you might have to go through the authentication process more than once. For me so far: two times. I signed up with Patelco just in advance of their changeover to NCUA. Glad I did. It seems like a good outfit, and they have about the best CD deal out there today. Note their nine month special CD pays all interest at maturity. So it's not appropriate for those needing monthly income.
  |     |   Comment #6
I checked here in Tempe, AZ with the NCAU regional office to confirm that Patelco is now insured by them. YES they are, however, they are not regulated by this organization (only by state regulators). You cannot launch a complaint to NCAU if Patelco is not doing business they way they should.

What impact, if any does this have on depositors?
  |     |   Comment #7
After reading your comments on opening your Patelco account, I opened mine last night. I had no trouble at all opening it and the cd rate is great. Thank you. How long do you think it will stay at 5.50%
  |     |   Comment #8
I checked their fee schedule at and did not find a $3 monthly fee that Banking Guy referred to. However, I found a "membership fee" for new members for $20. Can anyone confirm if this fee is charged? Also, if I open a "free checking account", do they automatically charge fees for checks (which I do not want or even need)? From the fee schedule I even saw a $2 fee for 10 "temporary checks"!
  |     |   Comment #9
Patelco customer service phone number is 1-800-358-8228
Quirky fees and conditions may come and go, so to get the straight dope I would call a CSR.

In general I find that "things always work out", and they are genuinely helpful people.

There appears to be a limit on inbound ACH transfers: $2000/day and $5000/month...meaning that for funds transfers of size, members need to mail checks. This is unfortunate. Also, I found that 1-day delivery option for ACH funds transfers was not enabled fro my account ( only option was 3 business days).
  |     |   Comment #10
I wonder if the inbound ACH limit only applies when you use their MoneyLink-24?

I haven't used credit union services much. Can you link them to other banks and schedule ACH from there?
  |     |   Comment #11
I am glad they are government insured now, because they are scarey. LONG LONG story short, I had a lot of difficulty and run-around when I opened my 2nd cd online. The maturity date for my 9- month was listed as March 3, 2009 instead of October 3, 2008. Glitch in the system? Upon calling a rep, she said her computer was showing the correct date of Oct. 3. She said they will not send out a paper certificate to show what I have. She said I had to print out my statement next month when it shows up. I am cutting out a lot, but, I was very unhappy with their procedures. I hope things work out. This may be a scarey 9 months waiting for my cds to mature and getting my money back.
  |     |   Comment #12
Hi guys, did patelco charge anybody the $20 membership fee, they mention in the application?
Rate chaser
  |     |   Comment #13
I signed up with Patelco about the middle of Dec 2007. I found the process easy and I took out the 7% $1,000 for a year certificate and the 5.5% certificate for 9 months. The first day Patelco showed my two certificate accounts at zero. The second day the money was posted at Patelco on both accounts. I had the money pulled from Wachovia (formally World Savings. It was interesting as the money was still showing up at Wachovia on the second day, (dual interest same money). The third day the money was gone from Wachovia.
*Patelco put $1.00 into a saving account for me and that showed right away.
**I was not charged the $20.00 membership fee. I wonder about that fee too when I signed up.
***The 7% account already shows interest posted.
***The 5.5 account will not show the interest until it matures as previously posted.
****I had no problem funding both these accounts at almost the max amounts in two ACH transfers, one for each certificate. I called the Patelco customer service center and made sure that I could pull the full amounts out of the credit union as they mature if I decide to move the money. The customer service agent stated that I could move the money to my saving account and then I could ACH the money from this account. As for the funny maturity dates on the certificates, I had them too, but waited until the money fully funded and the dates were then corrected.
  |     |   Comment #14
If you want to link the savings account to another account via ACH at another institution how do you find out the routing number for Patelco ?

Also I saw a strange fee in their account handbook regarding a fee of $1 for account telephone enquiries ? Any ideas about this ?
Frugal Frugalson
  |     |   Comment #15
Just a heads up for everyone out there:

I tried to open the 5.5% CD via check so I could double up on the interest until the check cleared. The application that was to be printed out and sent in along with the check contained the following clause:

Annual Percentage Yield effective as of 6/15/2007; subject to change. At maturity certificate will renew at the regular 6-11 month share certificate rate. Dividends paid at maturity. Funds deposited must be new to Patelco. To receive the advertised rate, you must also establish, within 45 days, a minimum of $150 per month direct deposit (ACH) into any Patelco checking account. If terms are not met, rate will be adjusted to the rate for Patelco’s regular 6-11 month share certificate.

This application also stated that Patelco was not federally insured, so it may just be an old form with outdated information.

Since I didn't want to agree to the direct deposit requirement by signing the application, I called Patelco and the CSR closed this account for me. I then opened another CD online and funded it via ACH, which never mentioned the direct deposit requirement.
Rate chaser
  |     |   Comment #16
Patelco’s routing number is 321076470, so to ACH from the Patelco account you would put the routing number, then space, your 6 digit account number, then with no space from the account number put a dash zero zero -00. Patelco charges $1.00 for certain items such as check account info, etc. I would not worry about it as I called them twice with no fees. Patelco customer service also told me that when the certificate matures, you have 10 days grace to move your money, no fees, (even over the phone). Patelco phone number is 800-358-8228. Hopefully we all get the same answers.
By the way Frugal Frugalson, good catch. I would have not gone for the $150.00 a month minimum direct deposit requirement either since I don’t have a checking account with them. This is the type of information we need!
Banking Guy
  |     |   Comment #17
I'm afraid I was just told that this 9mo CD special is scheduled to end on Saturday 1/5/08. I have more info (plus some answers to questions) in this post.
  |     |   Comment #18
The gr8r8 youth 8% savings account has been discontinued.

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