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4.25% 10-Month No-Penalty CD at Agriculture FCU - Easy Membership


Agriculture Federal Credit Union
Update 12/09/08 6:00pm EST: The CD special has ended. They must have attracted a ton of deposits.

Agriculture FCU has just started a new risk free certificate with an APY of 4.25% and a 10-month term. Minimum deposit is $5,000, and the money must be new to the credit union. The risk free option gives you the opportunity to make one penalty free withdrawal during the term of the certificate. The credit union's promotion page lists the 4.25% APY as of 12/08/08.

The reader who informed me of this special mentioned that it will likely end this Friday (12/12/08). Last year when AFCU was offering a 6% 10-month CD, it launched the promo on Monday, and it ended on Friday. The small print of the promo states that it could any at any time.

To make it even more flexible, you should be able to open several of these CDs (each has a minimum of $5,000). When you compare it to a savings account, you have much of a savings account liquidity but you also have a higher rate that's locked for 10 months. If interest rates continue to decline, this rate lock could come in handy.

I emailed the credit union in October about their previous Risk-Free CD. 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.

Save $5: The membership page has a special promo for new members
We’ll deposit the required minimum balance of $5.00 to their accounts when they use promotion code 1234 to join.

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 Both are based on 6/30/08 data. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 16400). It has $201.6 million in assets and 23,599 members.

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

  Tags: Agriculture Federal Credit Union, CD rates

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Last year I applied for a $6500 CD at Agriculture FCU using my Citibank Mastercard credit card. They accepted my $$$ but rejected my application. Citibank had to wait 3 months before they returned the funds back to them. I think this is an example of banking activity that has helped to create the present financial crisis where banks do want to lend $$$ to other banks. Agriculture FCU is on my list with other financial institutions like Amtrust that I do NOT trust.

Comment #2 by mk (anonymous) posted on
Spoke with a rep today, and he said the promo ends on Fri. However, if you're a new member, you'll need to mail/fax ID and signature card before they can establish your membership and open the account, which takes time. If you apply/join on Fri., that will most likely be too late for this CD promo.

Also, I asked about some fees:

"$2.00 standard/$5.00 premium Funds Transfer (online)":
They charge $2.00 for each bill payment, and $5.00 for automatic recurring payments. There's no fee for ACH pulls from an external bank.

"$5.00 Inactive Bill Pay":
He confirmed that you can't uncheck "Home Banking" during the online application, but once you log into your acount, you'll see an option to enable Bill Pay, which is optional. So if you don't want to use Bill Pay, you don't have to set it up.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
It's closed -- already.

Comment #4 by Krissy (anonymous) posted on
I emailed Agriculture FCU on Tuesday 12/09:
What happened to your 4.25% 10-Month No-Penalty CD? It was online yesterday, Mon 12/08 and today Tue 12/09 I cannot find it on your website.

Agriculture FCU's reply: Yesterday was the last day the promotion was being offered. This promotion is no longer being offered.

This is a relatively small FCU and the promotion was very short lived - 1 day!

Comment #5 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yes, I was surprised by how quick it ended. 4.25% was nice, but it wasn't something super like 5%. Last year when they offered a 6% 10mo CD, it lasted for a whole week.

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
I was dissapointed I couldn't get in on this deal. I was already a AFCU member (joined on the 10 Month 6.00% APY CD deal last year) and moved it upon maturity leaving the minimum $5.00 in my share account to remain a member waiting for the next opportunity.

I thought this was it and I would be able to jump right in on this. I received the email on Monday (also saw it in the blog)but it was gone by Wed.

I suspect that there must be something more to this story that we don't know with that offer disappearing in little more than 24 hours.

Their last CD promotion (as best as I recall) was a No-Penalty CD but the rate was something like 3.25% or 3.50%. That was just so-so at the time as there were totaly liquid MMA's paying 3.75% to 4.00% APY's available.

I just wonder if the new CD was supposed to be a 10-Month @ 4.25% APY (like the previous 10 month 6.00% APY from last year) and somehow they got their wires crossed and put it out as the 10-Month No-Penalty @ 4.25% APY and once they discovered their mistake, they pulled it.

I might be totally offbase but if we see another CD Promotion from AFCU shortly with more restrictive terms, I'll think I was probably right in my assessment.

At least I got in on the Apple FCU 8 Month No Penalty CD 4.10% APY on the last day of the November before it went away.