NASA Federal Credit Union has started a certificate promotion with a 5.00% APY 55-month CD ($25,000 minimum deposit) and a 3.50% APY 18-month CD ($5,000 minimum deposit). Money must be brought from an external source.
55 Months Too Long?
A 55-month term is long when there's a chance we may see interest rates shoot up in the next year or two. One thing that can reduce the risk is a small early withdrawal penalty. This will give you the option to close the CD early without too much loss so you can re-invest it into higher paying accounts. According to NASA FCU's Q&A page, the penalty is six months' loss of dividend on the amount withdrawn which is typical for long term CDs. It's less than the penalties of National City and US Bank. Be sure to check with the credit union to ensure this early withdrawal penalty would apply to these special certificates.
$175 Checking Bonus Still Available
The credit union is still offering a checking account bonus in which you can easily earn up to $175 (see post).
Commenters in past NASA FCU posts have mentioned that NASA FCU has done hard credit pulls via Equifax (which will slightly ding your credit score) during account opening.
In addition to many select employee groups, the credit union's field of membership includes several associations in which anyone can join. The National Space Society is one. The general membership cost is $20. The membership application for the credit union can be done online or it can be printed and mailed. A $5 minimum balance to your savings account is required for membership. Readers have mentioned in this July 2007 post that the online application requires a minimum $25 deposit to fund electronically.
Please note what is stated at the bottom of their Membership page:
Once you become a member of one of these associations and you join the Credit Union, you do not have to maintain your association membership in order to maintain your Credit Union membership.
This is typically true with all credit unions.
Credit Union Overview
Branches are located in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 6328). It has $900.5 million in assets and 70,062 members.
Credit for this find goes to FW member ThursdaysChild who mentioned this in the FW CD thread.