bank rates

These Credit Unions Show Signs of Life

pink piggy bankAround this time last year, I complained that the credit unions to which I belonged were letting me down on CD rates.

I had little choice, though, but to persevere.

This month, four of these credit unions have delivered pleasant surprises, offering some deals I’m seriously looking at.

USAlliance Federal Credit Union ( has extended an ongoing promotion for a 1.71% APY, 35-month CD. The Rye, New York-based institution also has added a 1.26% APY, 25-month CD to the mix.

The 35-month CD rate tops the best bank offer on our CD Rates Leaderboard (1.45% APY). The 25-month CD rate matches the Leaderboard’s best 2-year offer.

USAlliance offers its CDs nationwide and is relatively easy to join.

Illinois-based Alliant Credit Union ( has raised its CD rates – long mired in relative mediocrity.

Its best deal is 2.10% APY for CDs in the 48- to 60-month maturity range (a whopping 0.55 percentage points higher than the prior posted rate).

Although our Leaderboard doesn’t track the 48-month maturity, Alliant’s rate compares favorably with the 2.02% 4-year APY posted by Melrose Credit Union. It lags, however, the 2.25% APY, 49-month CD rate available at NASA Federal Credit Union.

Like USAlliance, Alliant affords relatively easy membership access, and its CDs are available nationwide.

Velocity Credit Union ( has launched a limited-time (through Aug. 16) promotion for a 2.02% APY 5-year CD and a 2.07% APY 5-year IRA CD.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Velocity hasn’t posted a rate this lofty in almost three years, so this promotion, while hardly earth-shattering (our Leaderboard’s top 60-month rate is 2.30% APY), represents a step forward.

Velocity is also easy to join, and its CDs are nationally available.

Finally, Firstmark Credit Union (, based in San Antonio has extended – and considerably sweetened – a 40-month CD promotion it’s been conducting for several months.

The APYs are: 1.85% for balances up to $50,000; 1.90% for balances between $50,000 and $100,000; and 1.95% for balances of $100,000 or more.

It was previously offering 1.80% APY for all balances.

In addition, Firstmark has begun an 11-month CD promotion, also with tiered rates, which reach 1.15% APY at the $100,000-plus level.

Unfortunately, Firstmark has a restrictive membership field nowadays. However, those who, like me, joined back in the days when it was an “easy access” institution, can still open its CDs.

Hopefully, these deals – and the competitive pressures they’ll exert – will nudge rates higher at other credit unions and banks as well.

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