Alaska USA Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Alaska USA Credit Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Investor Checking

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s only interest-bearing checking account offers a pretty poor rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if your account balance falls below $1,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If you want to bank with Alaska USA Federal Credit Union and also want to earn interest on your checking account balance, this is the account for you. However, you’ll need to keep your balance above $1,000 at all times, otherwise you won’t earn any interest and you’ll be slapped with a $5 fee for that month. That’s why we only recommend people who keep fairly high balances in their checking account bother with this one.

This account also comes with a free first box of checks and unlimited check-writing capabilities. Aside from that, this checking account also doesn’t come with any bells and whistles.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Investor Checking account

If you’re already a member of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, you can easily sign up online through your online banking portal, by calling up the credit union, or by visiting a local branch. If you’re not yet a member, you’ll first need to apply for membership, which you can do either in-person at a branch or by calling up the credit union.

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on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Convenience Checking

This checking account is designed for people who keep low balances and have a recurring direct deposit in their checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None; $5 if you aren’t signed up for direct deposit
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

All of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts require you to keep a specific threshold balance in them to avoid a monthly maintenance fee — except this one. Instead, if you use this checking account, you’ll need to make sure you’re signed up for monthly direct deposit to avoid the $5 fee.

If it’s discontinued for some reason (job switch, for example), you do have a bit of a grace period to get a new direct deposit set up; Alaska USA Federal Credit Union won’t charge you a monthly fee until it’s been at least three months since your last direct deposit.

This account doesn’t come with anything fancy, including interest payments. You get to write an unlimited number of checks each month for free, and your first box of checks is free after you open the account. Other than that, it’s your standard basic checking account.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Convenience Checking account

If you’re not yet a member of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, you’ll first need to apply either in-person at a branch or over the phone — you can’t do it online. If you are a member, you can log into your account online and open this account with the click of a few buttons.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Relationship Checking

This account works much the same way as the Convenience Checking account, but offers several alternatives to avoid the monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 per month. Waived if you have an Alaska USA Loan, maintain a balance of at least $500 in any Alaska USA account, or if you’re age 16-25.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If a simple, non-interest-earning checking account is what you’re after but you don’t get direct deposits, this account might be a better option for you. It’s just like the Convenience Checking account, but it waives the monthly fee if you keep at least $500 in any of your accounts (or an Alaska USA loan), or for young people between the ages of 16 and 25. No direct deposits are needed with this account, which is handy if you’re self-employed or have erratic income.

This account also comes with a free first order of checks and an unlimited amount of monthly transactions.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Relationship Checking account

If you’re interested in signing up for this account, it’ll depend on whether you’re already a member or not. Members can easily apply for this account through their online banking portal, by calling up the Member Service Center, or by visiting a local branch. Non-members can apply by calling up the Member Service Center or by visiting a local branch — there is no option to do it online.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Unfortunately, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union offers pretty poor interest rates, especially when compared to the best online checking accounts out there. You’ll also have to work each month to make sure you meet the monthly requirements for whichever checking account you choose in order to avoid a monthly fee, which is inconvenient.

These accounts also don’t offer anything special beyond just the ability to write checks, which any checking account can fulfill. For example, some checking accounts come with a cash-back rewards program for using your debit card, or offer unique online tools for managing your money. Alaska USA Federal Credit Union offers nothing of the sort.

All of these factors together are why we recommend skipping Alaska USA Federal Credit Union for its checking accounts unless you want a convenient bank to work with in-person. Otherwise, if earning high rates or other perks is your priority, a checking account at another bank will serve you better.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings

As savings accounts go, this one offers an exceptionally poor rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: Alaska USA will charge you $5, but only once per quarter. You can avoid this fee in one of two ways:
    • Keep at least $50 in the account (or, keep at least $5 in the account if you’re under age 26)
    • Have another open Alaska USA deposit or loan account (any one will do)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

This is the basic savings account that all Alaska USA Federal Credit Union memberships come with. Dividends on this account are tallied up and paid out every quarter, and if you owe a maintenance fee, you’ll pay it at this time as well.

Like all savings accounts, this one comes with a six-transaction monthly limit. The only types of transactions that don’t count towards this limit include in-person transfers done at a branch, ATM transactions, transactions done by mail, or transfers made to pay an Alaska USA loan.

One of the nice things about this account is that you can use it as collateral towards an Alaska USA loan. This may make you eligible for lower interest rates on a loan than you could otherwise achieve. Just be careful to make your payments — using a bank account as loan collateral means that the lender can take it if you fail to pay.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Share Savings account

If you’re already a member of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, you already have this account since it’s required to join the credit union. If you’re not yet a member, this account will come with your membership. You can join by visiting a branch in person, or by calling up the Member Service Center.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Premium Savings

This account earns twice as much interest as the basic Share Savings account, but you’ll need to bring a lot of money to the table.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: If your account balance drops below $50, you’ll pay an account maintenance fee of $5 — but only once per quarter. If you have another Alaska USA bank account or loan, this fee will be waived.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If the Share Savings account doesn’t offer a high enough interest rate to tempt you, try this account instead. It offers twice that account’s interest rate; unfortunately twice of not much is still not much. You’ll also need at least $10,000 in the account if you want to earn any interest at all. That’s a lot of money to lock away at such a low interest rate.

This account also limits you to making just six transactions per month, as per federal Regulation D guidelines. You can get around these limits with the following transaction types:

  • ATM transactions
  • Telephone transactions
  • Mail transactions
  • Pay an Alaska USA loan

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Premium Savings account

You can sign up for this account by visiting a local branch or calling the Member Service Center. Existing credit union members can open this account via the online banking portal.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union offers very low interest rates. We also don’t like that you may be charged a fee if you drop your account balance below a $50 threshold level (or, a $5 threshold for Share Savings account holders under age 26). That seems pretty unfair for a savings account, especially since there’s so many out there that don’t charge a fee.

If you’re looking to earn the best rates possible and not be threatened with a fee, consider one of these top online savings accounts instead. The interest rates offered on these accounts are miles better than at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Certificates

The credit union’s CDs are very confusing and need active management.
For CDs with a minimum balance of $500
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $2,500
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $10,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $25,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $50,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $100,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $250,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies by CD; see the charts above.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: You won’t earn any interest if you drop the balance of your CD below the minimum opening deposit of whichever CD you select. For example, if you open a CD with a minimum opening deposit of $500, you won’t earn any interest if the balance of this CD drops below $500.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: At a minimum, you’ll pay 7 days’ worth of interest if you withdraw anything within 6 days after opening it. After that, it’ll depend on the term length of your CD:
    • For CDs up to 90 days in length, you’ll pay either 30 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends, whichever is less
    • For CDs between 91 to 365 days, you’ll pay either 90 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends, whichever is less
    • For CDs between 366 days and 729 days, you’ll pay either 180 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends, whichever is less
    • For CDs over 730 days, you’ll pay either 365 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends, whichever is less.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union offers many different options for opening a CD, and an equally staggering number of different interest rates to go along with each CD, depending on how much money you deposit. They seem to require more-active management by the account holder than most other CDs.

Consider what happens if you need to make an early withdrawal. As you can see from the summary above, there’s a lot of factors that come into play. In addition, if you do happen to drop the balance of your CD below the minimum balance threshold levels, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union will automatically close the account and assess the early withdrawal fee on the entire balance. The moral of the story? Don’t make an early withdrawal.

You have a few options for how dividend payments are handled. For CDs under 12 months, dividends will be paid out when the CD matures. But for CDs over 12 months, dividends will be paid out monthly. You can elect to have dividends rolled back into the CD to earn even more dividends next month (always the best option), have them automatically transferred to another Alaska USA account, or have a check mailed to you with the money.

When your CD matures, it’ll automatically be rolled over into another similar CD. You’ll get a 10-day grace period to make any changes, however. In addition, there’s a 7-day window after your CD is first opened where you can make additional deposits or change the term length of the CD.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s CDs

You can open these accounts by visiting a local branch or by calling up the Member Service Center, whether or not you’re a member. If you are a member, you can do it yourself via the online banking portal.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union doesn’t offer very good rates on most of its CDs. The exceptions are if you open a CD with a minimum balance of $250,000 and a term length of 60 months — the biggest and longest-term that Alaska USA offers. In that case, it actually does compare quite well with the frontrunners in its class.

However, we caution you to think twice before you do this, since NCUA insurance is limited to just a $250,000 deposit. If Alaska USA Federal Credit Union were ever to go under and you had more than this in your account, you could lose that money.

Instead, if you want better rates for whatever term length and deposit amount you have (and easier-to-understand rules as well), consider one of these top-earning CDs.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

This is Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s lowest-earning money market account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$2,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if your account balance drops below $50
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If you don’t yet have the $10,000 cash needed to open a Premium Savings account with its higher-rate tier, consider this one instead. At least you’ll earn a fraction more than with the basic Share Savings account that everyone gets when they sign up.

Dividends on this account are also paid out more frequently than with the savings accounts, as well — monthly, as opposed to once per quarter. However, you’re not allowed to use this account as collateral for an Alaska USA loan like you can with the savings accounts.

You’re also limited to just six transactions per month out of this account due to the guidelines from Federal Reserve Regulation D. There are a few types of transfers that don’t count towards this limit, including ATM, in-person, telephone, mail, and transfers to pay for an Alaska USA loan.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Money Market account

If you’re already a member, you can open this account online, in person, or over the phone. If you’re not yet a member, you won’t be able to apply online. Instead, you’ll need to do it over the phone or in a local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Super Money Market

This tiered account offers slightly higher interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%$10,000-$24,999.99
0.15%Over $25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if your account balance drops below $50
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If you’ve got at least $10,000, you have a couple of options on where to put that money and still maintain easy access to it. You can stash it in a Premium Savings account, or you can tuck it away in this Super Money Market account. While both carry the same interest rate, the Super alternative allows you to get bumped up into a higher interest-earning bracket once you top a $25,000 balance. That’s something the Premium Savings account doesn’t offer, and so that’s why we recommend this account instead.

This account also falls under the six-transaction monthly limit, not including telephone, in-person, mail, or ATM transfers, or transfers made to pay an Alaska USA loan.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Super Money Market account

Anyone who’s eligible for membership can sign up by calling the Member Service Center or visiting a local branch. Only people who are already members of the credit union can log into the online banking portal and sign up online, unfortunately.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Jumbo Money Market

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s highest-earning savings-type account still doesn’t offer a very good interest rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%$50,000-$99,999.99
0.20%Over $100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if your account balance drops below $50
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

This is Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s highest-yielding liquid savings account. The only way to earn a higher interest rate on your money is by opening a relatively illiquid CD. But, there’s a catch with this account: you’ll need a sky-high deposit of at least $50,000 to start earning anything at all. Once you reach past the $100,000 mark, you’ll earn even higher interest rates.

Like the other Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts, dividends are tallied up and paid out monthly. You cannot use these accounts as collateral for an Alaska USA loan like you can with the savings accounts. Finally, you’re still limited to just six transactions out of this account per month, not including transfers to pay Alaska USA loan or ATM, telephone, in-person, or by-mail transfers.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Money Market account

Anyone can sign up for this account in person or over the phone (assuming you’re eligible for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union membership, of course). Only existing credit union members can apply for this account through the online banking portal.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Again, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union misses the mark in terms of offering attractive interest rates. Compared with the highest-yielding money market accounts out there, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union doesn’t even come close. That’s why we recommend passing on these accounts. You won’t earn hardly anything here compared to money market accounts offered at some other banks.

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

These IRA CDs offer options to add money along the way, but they are also way too complicated.
For CDs with a minimum balance of $500
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $2,500
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $10,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $25,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $50,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $100,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
For CDs with a minimum balance of $250,000
TermAPY
1-2 months0.20%
3-5 months0.20%
6-8 months0.35%
9-11 months0.35%
12-17 months0.50%
18-23 months0.50%
24-35 months0.60%
36-47 months0.70%
48-59 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies by IRA CD; see the charts above
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: If you drop the balance of your IRA CD below its minimum opening deposit, you won’t earn any more interest. For example, if you open an IRA CD with a $10,000 minimum opening deposit and drop the balance below this level, you won’t earn any more interest.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your IRA CD’s term length:
    • For IRA CDs of 90 days or less, you’ll pay either 30 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends earned, whichever is less
    • For IRA CDs between 91 and 365 days, you’ll pay either 90 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends earned, whichever is less
    • For IRA CDs between 366 and 729 days, you’ll pay either 180 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends earned, whichever is less
    • For IRA CDs of 730 days or more, you’ll pay either 365 days’ worth of dividends or all of your dividends earned, whichever is less.

One of the nice things about these IRA CDs is that you have a few options for depositing more money into the account. After you open the IRA CD, you’ll get a 7-day window to change the term length or add more money to the IRA CD. Then, once per year, you can also deposit more money, up to the allowable yearly IRA contribution limits.

Another nice thing about these IRA CDs is that if you’re already retired and need to make a Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA CD held within a Traditional IRA or SEP IRA, you can do so without paying any early withdrawal penalties.

When your IRA CD matures it’ll automatically be renewed for another IRA CD. You will get a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money or make any other changes to the IRA CD, such as rolling it over into a different investment.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

If you’re interested in opening an IRA CD, you’ll need to visit a local branch or call up the Member Service Center. There is no option to open up these accounts online, unfortunately, even for members.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union offers a lot of different options for opening a CD. Sadly, none of these options offer outstanding interest rates, even for the largest deposit sizes and for the longest term lengths, which typically offer higher rates.

If you’d rather earn the most money possible on an IRA CD, we recommend checking out the current IRA CD frontrunners. These IRA CDs offer much better rates, and will help you save the most for retirement if IRA CDs are your investment vehicle of choice.

IRA Savings Account

Like all of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts, this one comes with a dismally low interest rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: If your account balance drops below $50, you’ll pay a $5 fee — but only once per quarter
  • Overdraft fee: $25

IRA savings accounts are designed for folks who want the freedom to move their money around at any time (as opposed to a lock-and-key IRA CD), and who also want to earn interest on their deposit. This account fits that bill, but unfortunately, it doesn’t do it very well because it offers a pretty low interest rate.

Interest on this account is tallied up and deposited into your IRA Savings account once per quarter. This account doesn’t come with ATM access, since there is paperwork involved in making a withdrawal.

But if your goal is just to hold your IRA money somewhere until you can move it into a higher-earning investment, this account may work just fine for you.

How to get Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account

You can only open this account by visiting a local branch in-person, or by calling up the Member Service Center. You can’t apply for this account online, even if you’re a member of the credit union with access to the online banking portal.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Overall review of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Alaska may be geographically located at the top of the world, but the interest rates offered on its accounts sure aren’t. Almost all of its accounts offer very low interest rates. For the few products that do offer semi-decent rates (like its CDs), the terms and rules governing these accounts are overly complicated.

That’s a shame, especially since this credit union has built up a good reputation by offering great customer service at many locations in underserved communities. If you live in a rural town in Alaska and want a bank you can work with locally, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union might be your only option. But now, with the advent of internet banking, you can find much better options elsewhere that are available any time of the day, no matter where you are. After all, even the remote corners of bush Alaska often have internet now.

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