Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

6.00% 16-Month CD at DCU Still Available To All


When I first reported on this 6.00% APY 16-month certificate at Digital Credit Union last July, it seemed the term was a little long when rates were continuing to rise. However, CD rates have fallen since then. This trend continued this week with CD rate drops at AmTrustDirect and GMAC Bank. So 16 months with a 6% APY looks better now.

My concern is how long will this 6% CD last? I noticed that the CD special is no longer being advertised on their front page. I still found it on the special rate page. But this could be an indication that it may not last too much longer. So I called DCU to find out about this and also about some of the application details.

First, anyone can join DCU. This can be done online. In the first page of this online application, you can choose eligibility via selecting to join one of the organizations. The least expensive membership is $15 for either the AAPD or the New England Chapter, PRRT&HS. Membership is only required when you join the credit union. Once you're a credit union member, you no longer have to maintain membership in the organization.

In addition to the one-time membership fee for the organization, you'll also need to fund a savings account with a minimum of $5. This can be done by ACH transfer during the application. The maximum initial deposit by ACH is $100. The online application isn't entirely online. You'll have to send a copy of your drivers license. If it has your current address, you don't need additional identifications. DCU will mail you a PIN number in which you can use for online access.

I was told by the CSR that you cannot open the special CD in the online membership application. The CD application needs to be printed and mailed. However, I was told that after you finish the online membership application, it should give you your member number. With this number, you should be able to complete the CD application. Then you can send in the CD application, a check to fund the CD and a copy of your drivers license. You can also do a wire transfer to fund the CD. The CSR said that they can't do an ACH transfer to fund the CD.

I was told that they honor a CD if the application or funding is still in progress when the CD is discontinued. Those who had bad experiences trying to open the 6% Kaiser CD understand the importance of this issue. Although the CSR couldn't say when this CD special would end, she did say they usually are notified if a special is within a week or so of ending, and so far there hasn't been such a notice.

According to the account disclosure, CDs with terms from 1 year to under 3 years have an early withdrawal penalty of 90 days of interest. If you close before the first 90 days, you'll only forfeit the interest for those days (if 7 days or more). These early withdrawal penalties are better than the average bank or credit union.

Interest is paid monthly. You can choose to have the interest credited to the certificate or transfered to your DCU checking or savings account.

At the CD maturity, there's a 5 calendar day grace period in which you can close the CD without penality. This is shorter than average, so you'll want to make careful note of the maturity date.

A reader had a good recommendation regarding DCU's free Money Market Account. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements with this account and they provide the first order of checks for free. The Money Market Account will alow you to easily withdraw the certificate interest each month. Also, it will allow you to efficiently extract the money when the CD matures.

The CD is also available in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

DCU has branches throughout Massachusetts. There are also a few in New Hampshire, Colorado and Georgia.

DCU is NCUA insured. It's a large credit union with $3.2 billion in assets and 283K members (up from 276K when I reported in July).

This FW thread is a good resource on DCU. For those who are already members, your comments about your experiences with DCU are appreciated.

Comment #1 by Frank's trust (anonymous) posted on
Frank's trust
I recently opened a 6.00 % apy CD at DCU. It was painless. DCU also has some fairly competetive rates on both add on CDs and consumer loan products.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Can someone post a link to print out CD application?

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Ken, you must've gotten a good contact. When I called to get some information they were pretty vague... Wouldn't confirm that they'd guarantee you could lock in the rate once the process was started and they told me "We have no notice of when the special will be ending". Even though they couldn't tell you exactly how long they'll have the special it's good to know that for now it's safe to say they'll have it for the next little while.

Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
The CD application/disclosure is near the bottom of this page. It's the same pdf document as the account disclosure that I have a link to in the post.

My contact seemed to be fairly opened and knowledgeable. But in a big organization, you never know.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Does anyone know how long it takes to join the membership and open a CD account?

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
This will end tomorrow 11/30/2006.

Comment #7 by Shanny (anonymous) posted on
They were showing the special yesterday, but I checked this morning and it's gone.

Comment #8 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Sorry to report that the 6.00% 16-month CD special ended today 12/01/06. I confirmed this with the CSR

The best special now is just 5.50% APY for 13-months. Still not too bad when compared with the competition.

They also have a 5.70% APY 5-year IRA and a special type of 5.70% APY 5-year CD for first-time home buyers. I'll describe these in a future post,

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
If my experience is any indication, DCU does honor in-process applications for expired deals.

I sent mine for the 16 month CD, along with check, by certified mail on Monday (11/27). According to the USPS tracking system, DCU received my package this morning, following deal expiration. I have since confirmed that the credit union set up my CD today using terms in effect at time of application (16 months, 6% APY).

So far, I'm very pleased with DCU processes. Short of allowing for completion of CD application online and its funding by ACH, I cannot imagine an easier experience for customers. The option of applying for membership online is a big plus, as is the web access to printable CD forms.

In three recent instances, I missed out on attractive rate offers while awaiting form arrival. Delivery of one package took two weeks; all arrived after deal expiration. By contrast, with DCU, in a week's time, I became a member, opened a CD and received my PIN for automated account access.

Comment #10 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the providing the details of your application experience. Glad you were able to get the 6% CD.