Patelco Credit Union

Patelco Credit Union

Patelco Credit Union is the most useful of all the Oakland credit unions. They are the “shared branch” for all the other credit unions. Everyone who lives or works in Alameda County is eligible to join. If you aren’t lucky enough to live here or be otherwise eligible, you can join Community Association for Engaging Youth.

The first thing to notice is their “new member” Certificate with a rate of 5.0% APY (Annual Percentage Yield). That’s the highest rate you can get for insured savings today. Unfortunately, it’s only for one year and exactly $1000. They will even give you the $1 to open a “share account” aka “tiered savings account” when you become a member.  Their other certificate rates are good, but generally not the highest.

I like their youth accounts to help young people learn to manage their money. Starting at age 7, kids can have their own savings. And at 12, they can have an ATM card, and at 14, a checking account. I remember the savings and loan that advertised “free checking for everyone” insisting that my 16-year-old could only open a checking account with a linked $10,000 savings account. So I really appreciated the ease with which my younger child opened a Patelco account. We miss the Gr8 rate of 8% on the first $1K for a youth account.

“Patelco was started in 1936 to serve employees of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company. Since then, Patelco has grown to become the 13th largest credit union in the United States with over 40 branches, 250,000 members and over $4 billion in assets.” (ref.)  It’s the 4th largest in California.

Next in this series: Provident CU: Super Rewards Checking

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9 Responses to “Patelco Credit Union”

  1. RachelB Says:

    Hi– I’m over here from Shakesville, excited to read this series. I’ve been at Patelco since it ate Cal State 9, my previous credit union, last year. I also considered Provident, since their Financial District branch was so great to me when I lived in SF. (I was a SF Federal CU member, but the SFFCU offices were hard for me to get to; Provident, which was network partners with SFFCU, deposited my paychecks for me and let me use their ATM without charge.)

    • Quercki Says:

      Welcome, RachelB!
      What do you like and dislike about Patelco?
      What features are important to you in a financial institution?
      How smooth was the transition from Cal State 9 to Patelco?

  2. Move Your Money to Oakland « Coast Live Oak Says:

    […] Live Oak Rooted in Oakland, California « Rosie the Riveter PatelCo Credit Union […]

  3. Provident CU: Super Rewards Checking « Coast Live Oak Says:

    […] Coast Live Oak Rooted in Oakland, California « PatelCo Credit Union […]

  4. RachelB Says:

    Thanks, Quercki!

    The only effort on my part that the transition from Cal State 9 to Patelco involved my employer, who needed me to refile direct deposit forms. Everything else transferred smoothly and without incident. I think there was one month where all those of us coming from Cal State 9 got two statements, one from each CU, so we could compare and make sure there were no discrepancies.

    I’ve been pleased with customer service at Patelco, as I have been at locally owned financial institutions in general. I lost my check card recently (durned wallet falling apart), and they canceled it without fuss and without lecture, and they’re issuing another without charge. I’m also pleased that they’re offering credit counseling workshops to students– my brother is still trying to dig out from the CC debt he accrued in college, so I strongly appreciate institutions that help young people develop financial literacy.

    When I was shopping around for a credit union, I looked for a place with NCUA backing, reasonable access to human tellers as well as ATMs, and employees who seem satisfied with their jobs. Cal State 9 had those, and I’ve been glad to see that Patelco seems to, as well.

    The downside of a credit union (probably any credit union, or any locally owned financial institution) over a national bank is that it can be hard to find an ATM outside California that won’t charge a user fee. Someone who has an account at BoA or Chase is going to have an easier time locating a branch elsewhere. I am strategic about finding networked ATMs when I visit my parents.

  5. Quercki Says:

    I knew I must be forgetting something. I hadn’t thought about how important a large fee-free ATM network is to most people.

  6. Oakland Credit Unions: the complete list « Coast Live Oak Says:

    […] posts in the Credit Union series: Move Your Money to Oakland, PatelCo Credit Union, Provident CU: Super Rewards Checking, Alliant Credit Union: high savings rates Possibly related […]

  7. Is my money safe in a credit union? « Coast Live Oak Says:

    […] Coast Live Oak posts in the Credit Union series: Move Your Money to Oakland, PatelCo Credit Union, Provident CU: Super Rewards Checking, Alliant Credit Union: high savings rates Oakland Credit […]

  8. CO-OP network: ATMs for Credit Unions « Coast Live Oak Says:

    […] Coast Live Oak posts in the Credit Union series: Move Your Money to Oakland, Patelco Credit Union, Provident CU: Super Rewards Checking, Alliant Credit Union: high savings rates Oakland Credit […]

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