Update 1/05/09 12:30pm PST: The CD specials appear to have ended. They are no longer listed on the website.
Digital Credit Union's latest certificate specials include a 3.75% APY 11-month CD and a 3.25% APY 4-month CD. Minimum deposit is $500, and these are also available in an IRA. These CDs are listed in the credit union's special offers page as of 1/05/2009. Unfortunately, these replace the 4% special CDs from last year.
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.
A reader who commented on his experience with the online application in my last DCU post provided the instructions he received from DCU after he applied:
In order to continue processing your application, please mail a $5 check or money order payable to DCU to fund your membership.
If you have joined through a sponsoring organization, then please make sure to also include funds to cover that organization's membership fee.
Also, please mail a copy of your driver's license or passport. If sending a passport, or if your license does not show your current address, please also send either a utility bill in your name (electric, gas, home telephone) or a copy of your apartment lease agreement. If you have listed a Joint Owner on your application, that person must also send the required ID and address proof.
Please note, we do not accept cell phone bills, bank statements, credit card statements or pay statements as address verification.
Note, credit union membership requires a minimum $5 balance in the savings account. For the sponsoring organization fee, 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 2008 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!
DCU is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 23521). It's a large credit union with $4.3 billion in assets and 362,517 members. Its financial ratings for soundness are fair: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 9/30/08 data.