Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Agriculture FCU's No-Penalty 3.50% 36-Month CD - Easy Membership

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Agriculture Federal Credit Union
Agriculture FCU has a new share certificate promotion. It's a special 3.50% APY 36-month share certificate with a one-time penalty free withdrawal. The minimum deposit is $1,000.

The special certificate is advertised in the rotating image on the credit union's front page. I couldn't find any additional details on the website, so I called the credit union. The CSR said that the one penalty free withdrawal can be made any time during the term. If you only do a partial withdrawal, you have to leave at least the minimum balance of $1,000 in the CD. You can also do a complete withdrawal which would close the certificate.

To open this special certificate, the CSR said that you can apply online for the 36-month certificate, and the penalty free feature will be included.

To request the withdrawal, the CSR said that they would require a written request. It can be faxed. You could request that it be sent by check or transfered into your share savings account.

Comparing it to other CD rates

A yield of 3.50% APY isn't that great if you compare it to other 36-month CDs. However, if you compare it to 3 or 6-month CDs, it's competitive. As you can see in my last weekly rate summary, there are not many short term CDs with yields above 3.50%. With the one-time no-penalty withdrawal feature, you have the option to close the CD in the short term if rates rise or if you need the money. However, if it turns out that rates fall, you can always let the CD continue.

Easy Membership

Field of membership includes members of CityDance Ensemble. CityDance has open membership to anyone that pays membership dues of $20.00. This membership can be done at the same time that you apply for credit union membership. They have an online membership application in which you can join CityDance for $20, join the credit union for a $5 initial deposit to the Primary Share account, and open the CD. You do not have to renew your CityDance membership to maintain membership at the credit union.

The FOM also includes those who live, work or worship in Washington DC plus other group affiliations. See site for the full details.

I joined AFCU and opened a CD in November 2006. For more information on AFCU and the CDs, please refer to my November 2006 AFCU post. If you already are a member of AFCU and want to open another account online, please see my July 2007 post in which I described my experience opening my second AFCU CD.

Back in 2006 and 2007, AFCU had many great CD specials with rates of 6% or higher. There haven't been too many great CD specials since then, but their CD rates have remained fairly competitive.

Branches are located in Washington DC, Riverdale, Maryland, and Alexandria, Virginia. AFCU is also part of National Shared Branching network in which you can use local credit unions to access your account and conduct many transactions.

AFCU is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 16400). It has $205.2 million in assets and 23,774 members.

Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this new special.
  Tags: Agriculture Federal Credit Union, CD rates

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Comments
4 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am an existing member, and this sounds like a moderately good deal. Before I jump, however, I'm going to need greater assurance about the penalty waiver, something beyond a rotating banner ad and verbal statement by CSR. Has anyone requested or received written confirmation, e.g., TIS disclosure?

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Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
That's a good idea. I don't know why they didn't provide more documentation on this on their website. I've sent an email requesting if they can send me the documentation.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
FWIW, I received a postcard in the mail from them yesterday offering this exact deal as reported above.

It says "Enjoy a one time penalty free 36 month share certificate at 3.5% APY (APY is Anual Percentage Yield. Rate of 3.46% is effective 05/15/08 and may change at any time without advance notice. Minimum deposit required is $1,000. Certain restrictions apply."

On the back it essentially repeats the message: "Open an Agriculture FCU Share Certificate and enjoy a one time, no penalty withdrawal1

Enjoy peace of mind, knowing that you can move your money whenever you wish, for hatever you need!

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Comment #4 by mark (anonymous) posted on
mark
One catch: compounding is quarterly, so a mistimed withdrawal could cost you up to 90 days' interest (vs AFCU's standard 180-day penalty for CDs over 1 year). That, at least, is what a rep told me today on the phone.

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