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3.75% 36-Month No-Penalty CD at Agriculture FCU - Easy Membership

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Agriculture Federal Credit Union
Agriculture FCU is again offering special Risk-Free Share Certificates. They have a choice of a 3.75% APY 36-month and 3.40% APY 24-month certificate. The minimum deposit is $1,000. Over the term of the certificate, you'll be allowed to make one penalty-free withdrawal.

The 3.75% yield isn't that great even for short-term CDs. However, this penalty-free feature is nice. The 3.75% APY is fixed for 3 years, and at any time during the CD, you can withdraw the amount. To make it even more flexible, you can open several of these CDs (each has a minimum of $1,000). When you compare it to a savings account, you have much of a savings account liquidity but you also have a decent rate that's locked for 3 years. If the economy continues to weaken, this rate lock could come in handy.

I emailed the credit union for additional info on this Risk-Free Share Certificate. Here is an excerpt of their reply:
you can withdraw the entire amount and all the dividends will be included with the withdrawal up to the date the withdrawal was made. Yes you can request to have this done by phone , email, secure email or by mail. No, there is no limit to the number of certificates that you wish to have opened.

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 has some strong financial ratings for soundness: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 6/30/08 data. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 16400). It has $203.0 million in assets and 23,599 members.

Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this new special.

Related Pages: Agriculture Federal Credit Union, CD rates

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Comments
7 Comments.
Comment #1 by preferred stocks (anonymous) posted on
preferred stocks
I remember back 2006 , thier rates were so good and the CSR's so clueless we were afraid it was a Nigerian scam

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, those were the days. I opened a number of CD's, funded by cash rebate credit card, which counted as purchases for a 1% kicker!

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Since both the 24 and 36 month CDs allow you to withdraw at any time without penalty, it appears there would be no reason to open the 24 month CD, right? The 36 month CD pays a higher interest rate and allows you to withdraw after 24 months if you like.

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Comment #4 by mark (anonymous) posted on
mark
The rep's reply about interest paid at withdrawal is misleading at best. Interest is paid quarterly, and at withdrawal you lose any interest accrued since the last quarterly payment. A badly timed withdrawal -- say, on Dec. 30 -- could cost you 90 days' interest.

On the other hand, provided you're willing to wait until the end of a quarter, the penalty-free feature is a big win.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've closed several CDs at AFCU and none of them were closed on exactly the last day of the quarter.

They've always added the interest for the period from the end of the last quarter to the account before closing it.

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Comment #6 by mark (anonymous) posted on
mark
Anon, thanks for that input. I too bank at AFCU, and was basing my comment on what the phone rep told me during the previous (3.5%) no-penalty CD offer. I grilled him pretty carefully on this issue.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm a member at AFCU though I don't have any CDs with them at present. Just wanted to put in a positive word for them. I have always found AFCU very accommodating. They are easy and good folks with whom to work. I would not hesitate to invest more money with AFCU if they had a deal that worked for me. It's a good outfit IMO.

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