[Update August 2021: Alaska Federal Credit Union has not raised or lowered the rates on any of their CDs so far in 2021. They have, however, lowered the yields on their variable rate savings accounts and money market accounts by 0.05% APY across the board. See current rates below.]
If you’re looking for a federally insured credit union to open a certificate of deposit with, then you may want to check out Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s CDs. They feature above average yields on all terms and come with a manageable minimum opening deposit requirement of just $500.
If you haven’t heard of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, they are the 19th largest credit union in the nation and the largest credit union in all of Alaska. Headquartered in Alaska since their founding in 1948, this member-owned nonprofit serves more than 674,000 members across the country with branch locations in four states—Alaska, Arizona, California, and Washington—as well as over 55,000 ATMs worldwide.
This financial services cooperative was originally established to better meet the needs of federal civil service personnel transplants at the Alaska Air Depot, an Air Force base. Today, anyone that lives, works, or attends school in Alaska, Washington, or the counties of San Bernardino in California or Maricopa in Arizona can become a member.
Alaska Federal Credit Union CD Rates + Details
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union deposit account funds are federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000. The NCUA is the FDIC equivalent for credit unions.
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union CD Rates:
|1 – 2 months||0.15%|
|3 – 5 months||0.15%|
|6 – 8 months||0.25%|
|9 – 11 months||0.25%|
|12 – 17 months||0.40%|
|18 – 23 months||0.40%|
|24 – 35 months||0.40%|
|36 – 47 months||0.50%|
|48 – 59 months||0.60%|
As you can see Alaska USA Federal Credit Union structures the terms or durations of their deposits slightly differently than most banks or credit unions. They use a range of months rather than a specific amount. Other than this unique variance, their CDs come with fairly routine terms and conditions.
The minimum deposit for any Alaska USA CD term is $500. Interest is compounded and paid monthly for terms of one year or more and paid in full at maturity for terms of one year or less. If your balance drops below the minimum of $500, you will not earn interest on your account.
You’ll want to note that there is a grace period of 10 calendar days after renewal of a certificate for withdrawing funds without incurring fees. You will be charged 7 days worth of interest if you remove your deposit within six days of issuance (in accordance with federal regulations). Take a look at the rest of the early withdrawal penalties by term below.
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Early Withdrawal Penalties:
|CD Maturity Period||Fee|
|< 90 days||30 days interest|
|91 – 365 days||90 days interest|
|366 – 729 days||180 days interest|
|730 + days||365 days interest|
Alaska USA will deduct an amount equal to the total interest earned on your withdrawal since issuance if this is less than what you’d pay in the fees listed above (if the day’s interest fee is lower, you’ll pay that). So the faster you withdraw after opening an account, the less you’ll regret it (though early withdrawals should, of course, always be avoided if possible).
Partial withdrawals are not permitted if they cause your balance to dip below the account minimum. Read Alaska USA’s share account disclosure statement for more details. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union allows users to ladder multiple certificates as well as borrow funds against a CD.
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Money Market Rates + Details
Though Alaska USA CD account rates are decent, their money market account rates are mostly substandard and average at best. As you will see, their highest-earning money market rates are right around the national average.
Alaska USA offers standard, super, and jumbo personal and business money market accounts. The more money you put into an account, the higher your APY. Account rates are as follows:
Alaska USA Money Market Rates:
|(Standard) $2,500 – $9,999.99||0.05%|
|(Super) $10,000 – $49,999.99||0.10%|
|(Jumbo) $50,000 +||0.15%|
Even though the current national average for money market rates sits at 0.18% APY nationally, Alaska USA FCU’s rates are far from attractive. There are many other credit unions and online institutions offering well over 1.00% APY still on money market and online savings accounts.
If you still decide to open a money market account with Alaska USA FCU, then you’ll want to know the following account details below.
If your account balance is less than $2,500, don’t expect to earn interest. But as long as it stays above $50, you’ll be good to go and won’t be charged the $5 maintenance fee. You can make up to six transactions out of an Alaska USA money market account per month (as stipulated by Federal Reserve Board Regulation D). However, this does not include transactions made in order to pay a loan. A $25 overdraft fee is charged for each excessive transaction over the six allowed by federal law.
Other Savings Accounts Offered by Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union offers a share savings account and a premium savings account.
A share savings account is granted to everyone that becomes a member of Alaska USA and deposits $5. This account type earns an exceptionally poor 0.05% interest and requires a minimum balance of $50 ($5 for those under 26 years old) to waive the quarterly maintenance fee of $5. This fee is also waived if you have another account such as a checking account or loan associated with your savings account.
For a much higher minimum daily balance of $10,000, you can bump your share savings account up to a premium savings account. This will earn you a 0.15% yield, but you’ll have to keep your balance up to stay in this bracket. But even a premium savings account is not especially high-yield.
You can access your savings account funds at any Alaska branch, ATM, or through online banking. Up to six transfers per month can be made from a savings account. Interest accrues and is paid quarterly.
There is also a health savings account option with rates that won’t be written home about. Balance brackets for this are:
|$50 – $999||0.05%|
|$1000 – $9,999||0.05%|
|$10,000 – $49,999||0.10%|
You’ll need a minimum of $50 to open a health savings account. For an account of this type, these rates are not as bad as they could be given the current market, but you could do better elsewhere.
About Alaska USA Federal Credit Union + Eligibility Rules
Alaska USA holds more than $8.39 billion in assets and serves over 674,000 members. In 2018, the credit union saw 387 million transactions and 101,971 loans that totaled almost $4 billion. They approximated a return of about $198 per member in this same year.
Alaska USA has 74 physical branch locations in Alaska, California, Arizona, and Washington and 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the world. They have a Member Service Center that is accessible 24/7 and a mobile app, and they also participate in co-op shared branching with thousands of other credit unions. In short, you’ll never be without access to help or your accounts. For all branch and shared branch locations, visit this page. To search ATM locations, go here.
To qualify for membership you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Any Alaska resident.
- Any Washington state resident.
- Anyone who lives, works or worships, or attends school in California’s San Bernardino County.
- Anyone who lives, works or worships, or attends school in Arizona’s Maricopa County
- A relative of someone that qualifies or
- Affiliated with an organization served by Alaska USA
You get a share savings account just for signing up to become a member of Alaska USA Federal Union, and this is your share in the credit union. Membership is not restricted to those living in Alaska. But if you are an Alaska resident and need to travel outside of Alaska, your banking needs can be taken care of just about anywhere. Call the Member Service Center at (907) 563-4567 or (800) 525-9094 or visit a branch to apply.
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union hardly blows its competition out of the water with its CD rates, but these rates—though sure to change soon—aren’t bad. However, money market and savings account APYs leave a whole lot to be desired.
There’s no reason to sugarcoat it: this credit union doesn’t have the best rates and isn’t accessible to the majority the population because of its strict, geo-targeted, membership requirements. However, many members report being satisfied with the customer service they receive through this institution and like that fees are minimal.