Melrose Credit Union consistently offers some of the top nationally available CD rates.
Click here to see its latest rate sheet.
Melrose can do that because it’s developed a lucrative business putting those deposits to work financing New York cabs.
Not the actual cars, but the municipal licenses that those taxis must have to pick passengers up on city streets.
Those licenses are the 6-inch aluminum medallions that are permanently attached to the hood of all 13,200 legal taxis.
They can be bought and sold through city-approved brokers and currently cost about $575,000 for an individually owned cab and $750,000 for a fleet cab.
Melrose finances more of those purchases than anyone else.
It operates out of a single three-story, red-brick office in the Briarwood neighborhood of Queens, in New York City.
Briarwood is a diverse, middle-class residential neighborhood that’s about a third white, a third black and a third Hispanic and Asian.
One of the things that makes Melrose unusual is the open state charter the credit union has operated under since 1922.
It allows anyone to join, regardless of where they live or work, by paying a $1 membership fee and depositing $25 in a savings account.
As a result, Melrose has grown to 22,000 members, with about 75% to 80% living in the New York area and 10% in Florida and California.
Deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, which is similar to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that backs bank deposits.
Melrose earns a solid four out of five stars from Bankrate’s “Safe and Sound” rating system.