Patelco Credit Union is the 22nd largest credit union in the country by asset size and it serves individuals throughout North America. This community credit union has been around for 80 years. It is headquartered in Northern California, but its services can be accessed almost anywhere.
This not-for-profit financial institution was originally created by a handful of Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) employees in 1936 with just $50. Today, it has 360,000 members across the nation and over $7 billion in assets.
Just about anyone can join as membership is not limited to California residents and/or students as some blogs mention. If you don’t reside in California, Patelco will still grant you membership by first joining the Financial Fitness Association ($8 yearly membership). We discuss this in more detail further down the article.
In this post you'll learn:
Patelco Credit Union CD Rates + Details
Patelco Credit Union account balances of up to $250,00 are NCUA/NCUSIF insured (FDIC equivalent for credit unions). This credit union offers a standard range of share certificate products with pretty average rates.
Patelco CD Rates:
|3 – 5 months||0.25%|
|6 – 11 months||0.55%|
|12 – 17 months||0.80%|
|18 – 23 months||0.80%|
|24 – 35 months||1.05%|
|36 – 47 months||1.20%|
|48 – 59 months||1.30%|
To put the above offers in perspective, the current national average for 12 month and 60 month CDs hovers around 0.42% and 0.61%, respectively.
Dividends are compounded and paid monthly for terms of 12 months or more and at maturity for terms of less than 12 months. A minimum deposit and average daily balance of $250 is required for Patelco certificate accounts to continue earning interest.
As is the case for most CDs, early withdrawal fees apply. If you remove money from a share certificate within six days of issuance, you will be charged 7 days interest. There is a 10-day grace period in which you can make changes or add to a newly opened or renewed CD account.
Early withdrawals on terms of 47 months or less will incur a fee equal to whichever is less: the total dividends earned on the CD since issuance or 90 days interest. Early withdrawals on terms of 48 months or longer will incur a fee equal to the total dividends earned since issuance or 180 days dividends.
Patelco Credit Union Money Market Rates + Account Details
Patelco offers an array of money market account options. These tiered accounts earn surprisingly high blended APYs on lower balances, but rates drastically fall off a cliff for higher amounts. See rate chart below:
|$0 – $2,000||2.0%|
|$2,000.01 – $5,000||1.0%|
|$5,000.01 – $10,000||0.50%|
|$10,000.01 – $50,000||0.35%|
|$50,000.01 – $100,000||0.25%|
|$100,000.01 – $9,999,999.99||0.20%|
You may use three money market checks per month, and these are provided free to all members. Up to six transactions are permitted per month. Unlike accounts of this type offered by most credit unions, there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. Dividends are both compounded and paid monthly.
Remember, these are blended APY rates. That means that though larger balances have lower interest rates than smaller balances, these APYs are minimum rates, not fixed rates. There is a range of APY rates that can be obtained within every tier. For example, at $2,000, you’d earn 3%; at $4,000, 2.5%; and at $8,000, 1.88%. Use this calculator to find out the exact APY you can expect on any given balance.
These money market account rates are some of the best in the country at this time. With an average APY of 0.18% for similar accounts, it’s easy to see why Patelco is particularly proud of its spread of money market options. This is one of the strongest savings tools the credit union has to offer and an excellent way to grow your money.
Other Savings Accounts Offered by Patelco Credit Union
A deposit of $1 is all it takes to open a regular savings account, the tiered savings account that you get when you become a Patelco member. Dividends on such accounts are compounded and paid monthly. The APY rate for a savings account of any balance—whether $0 or $100,000—is 0.05%. This low rate is not abnormal for savings accounts, but it is below average. The average APY today is 0.10%.
Patelco Health Savings Account Rates:
You’ll be able to maximize your money more effectively with a health savings account rather than a standard Patelco savings account, but these funds can, of course, only be used for healthcare expenses.
Avoid a $5 monthly account maintenance fee by keeping a $150 balance across all of your accounts. Withdrawals from a regular savings account are limited to six per month. If you violate this limit, Patelco reserves the right to close your account and transfer your funds to another account or charge you $28 per excessive transaction.
Patelco offers a youth savings account option to teens between the ages of 13 and 17. This account is essentially the same as the regular tiered savings account and has a 0.05% APY across all balance tiers, except that the required $1 deposit is covered by Patelco and all transactions must be done in person at a Patelco branch.
You’ll also want to hear about the Patelco Holiday Club, a savings account that helps you save for the holidays. This account requires an opening deposit and balance of $20 and an automatic deposit of $20 every month from another account. A Holiday Club savings account matures on November 15th and dividends are credited at maturity to your checking or savings account of choice. Because the APY for this is still only 0.05%, it won’t save you any more money.
About Patelco Credit Union + Eligibility
There are only 38 designated Patelco branches spread out across Northern California, but there are 6,000 shared branches and 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the country on top of that. You can search for Patelco branches, Patelco Saturday branches, shared branches, ATMs, and Deposit ATMs with this location tool. Co-op branches and ATMs let members do essential banking anywhere in the country. You can also download the Patelco Mobile Banking app or manage your money online.
To join Patelco, fill out an application or give the membership team a call at (888) 386-1031. You can become a member if:
- You live in certain counties (see below)
- You live, work, attend school, or worship in certain cities (see below)
- You work for or are retired from one of over 1,100 Patelco Select Employer Groups (search these here)
- You are a student at University of California Berkeley, San Francisco State University, or California State University East Bay or
- An immediate family member qualifies
Eligible California counties include:
- Contra Costa
- El Dorado
- San Francisco
- San Joaquin
- San Mateo
- Santa Clara
- Stanislaus and
Eligible California cities include:
- McKinleyville and
- Santa Cruz
If you don’t meet any of the above qualifications, all you have to do to join is become a member of the Financial Fitness Association, a mutual-benefit nonprofit that grows its members’ financial literacy by teaching various strategies and skills related to personal finance. If you do this, you will receive one year of membership for free (otherwise $8) and do not have to renew it to maintain your Patelco membership.
Patelco has over 360,000 members and close to $7.5 billion in assets. As of February 29 2020, they had more than $5.5 billion member loans and more than $1 billion in investments.
Right now, Patelco is offering special support to members that demonstrate financial need. Give them a call if you have experienced an income reduction or need a loan or credit line increase, or if you just have questions about how the economy is changing.
Patelco is an easy credit union for anyone to join, but it doesn’t have the best rates out there on most of its suite of savings products. With that said, rates on their money market accounts are hard to beat especially for lower balances. So if you were looking for a liquid savings account (such as a money market account) and you plan on keeping a balance of $10k or less, then this may be a valuable option for you.
You probably want to look elsewhere for short term CDs or standard savings accounts, because the current offerings at Patelco fall short of the top rates held by online institutions.