Penfed Online Membership Application
If you are not eligible to join through various military affiliations, you can become eligible by joining the NMFA association with a one-time fee of $20. Joining NMFA and Penfed can be done at the same time all online.
You might want to first see if you are eligible without NMFA membership by starting here.
If you're not already eligible, you'll end up at this page where you can join both the NMFA and Penfed online at the same time.
After agreeing to the terms, it takes you to the funding page. Unfortunately, you can only fund the NMFA membership and a Penfed savings account with a credit card. They make it clear that the funding of the savings account will be considered a cash advance. However, you only have to fund it with $5, so it shouldn't be much of a cash advance fee.
You then select your PIN number. They give you the membership number.
Once the application is complete, it informs you that they'll be mailing the account opening materials to your home address. It took 3 days for it to reach my home. It contains a signature card for you to sign and a postage-paid envelope.
Even though the application states that your share account will not be valid until they receive your signed form, you can immediately access your account with the PIN you just selected and the membership number they provided.
Purchasing a CD Online
Once you log in, you can select the option from the main menu to open an account. From here you can purchase a CD (what Penfed calls a Money Market Certificate).
Some of the options provided by the online CD application include:
- Beneficiaries for a POD account.
- One of three interest payment options. These options include adding it back to the principal, depositing into your Penfed account or sending you a check.
- One of three payment options at maturity. You can have it automatically renew, have it transfered to your Penfed account or request a check be sent to you.
- One of two ways to fund the CD online: ACH transfer from another financial institution or by credit card
The ACH transfer option allows you to choose your checking or savings account of another financial institution. You have to enter the bank's routing number and your account number of that bank. The other option is to use a credit card. Both funding options have a limit of $10K. I was told that this can be extended if you call. I'm not sure about these details.
I definitely didn't want to be hit with a cash advance fee on a large amount, so I chose the ACH transfer option and used a high yield savings account as the source. This way the money will continue to earn a high rate of interest until it's debited.
At the end of the application, it states that the certificate agreement will be mailed within 5-7 business days.
In addition to purchasing the CD online, you can fill out the application and mail it in along with your check. You can also purchase it over the phone. Refer to Penfed's Money Market Certificates page for more details and refer to my previous post for more general information on Penfed and these CDs.