After about 7 months, Patelco Credit Union will no longer be offering its special 7-year CD. It recently notified members that the 7-year CD offering will expire on October 31, 2012. This is also described in the Patelco's CD page. It used to be a better deal when the APY was 2.50%, but the rate fell in August, and it's now only 2.00% APY. Minimum deposit $1,000 for a regular CD and $500 for an IRA CD. The early withdrawal penalty is 365 days of interest.
New Member CD
If you decide to join Patelco for this CD special, you may want to consider taking advantage of Patelco's New Member CD. It's a 1-year CD with a 5.00% APY. It's not a hot deal since it has a small maximum deposit of $1,000. Thus, it's probably not worth it to become a member just for this CD. However, if you're joining for another reason, this New Member CD provides an easy way to earn $50. This 5.00% APY is accurate as of 10/18/2012. Its yield used to be 7.00% so the rate may fall again.
Mobile Check Deposit and Checking Account
Last summer Patelco launched Anywhere Deposit, a service that allows members to deposit checks into their accounts using their smartphones (iPhone or Android) or a PC and scanner.
For those looking for a basic checking account, Patelco Credit Union has several things going for it including a free checking account and membership in the CU Service Centers (a shared branch network) and in nationwide ATM networks.
Membership in Patelco is open to anyone who joins the Community Association for Engaging Youth (CAFE-Y). This is described at Patelco's 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.
When I last checked with Patelco, I was told that 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)".
Patelco Credit Union Overview
Patelco is a large California credit union with branches located in several Northern California cities including San Francisco, Fremont, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose. There's also a branch in Deerfield, Illinois. Patelco is a member of the CU Service Centers. This allows Patelco members to perform many banking transactions at other credit unions that are also part of CU Service Centers.
Patelco used to be privately insured by ASI. However, that changed in January 2008 when it became federally insured by the NCUA. It has an overall health score of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 9.23% (above average) based on June 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Patelco Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 68579).
How This CD Rate Compares
For 7-year CDs, it's hard to get a yield higher than 2.00% in today's awful interest rate environment. The highest rate from an all-access credit union is 2.25% APY at Air Force Federal Credit Union. The only other two options have about the same rate as Patelco: 2.02% APY at PenFed and 2.00% APY at Discover Bank.
Another option is a 5-year CD. There are still a few all-access credit unions offering a 2.00% APY 5-year CD. These include Mountain America Credit Union and Connexus Credit Union. You can see the full list in our 5-year CD rate table. I also recently found a small bank that offers a 2.00% APY 5-year CD that's available online for people in any state.
The above rates are accurate as of 10/18/2012.
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