Digital Credit Union (DCU) has just come out with new certificate specials. The yields are the same as before, but the terms are shorter. The new specials include a 4.50% APY 16-month certificate and a 4.00% APY 8-month certificate. The minimum deposit is $500, and these are also available in an IRA. These seem to have replaced the old 15-month and 20-month specials.
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 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.
You can be eligible to join DCU without joining an association if you live in certain areas of Massachusetts and Georgia or if you work for an eligible employer. Please see the credit union's Eligibility Page for the full details.
One downside to joining is a potential hard credit inquiry (which can temporarily ding your credit score). Here's what a commenter mentioned in my August DCU post:
I also have been a five-year DCU member, holding several jumbo CDs with them. Yet, when I added checking to my account this past January, they ran a check on me through Equifax!
Federal Insurance and Financial Helath
DCU is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 23521). It's a large credit union with $4.4 billion in assets and 351,291 members. Its financial ratings for soundness are fair: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 6/30/08 data.
Other DCU Accounts and Services to Consider
For those who open a DCU certificate, you might also want to consider their money market account. A reader in a previous post had recommended this. It has low interest rates, but it's a free account with no minimum balance requirements and the first order of checks is is free. This account can be used to efficiently extract your principal when your certificate matures.
You might want the checking account to take advantage of DCU's PC Deposit. A commenter from my June post mentioned this PC Deposit service which allows you to deposit checks at home by scanning your checks, and it does not require you to mail in the checks. For those who don't live near a branch or a shared service center, this can be a big time and gas saver. According to the commenter, after 30 days you can deposit $200/day, after signing up for bill pay on a checking account they'll raise that limit.