Navy Federal Credit Union has recently cut some of its certificate rates. The 5-year CD rate for the $20K minimum fell from 4.40% to 4.10% APY. Also, the special 1-year EasyStart Certificate rate fell from 4.25% to 4.00% APY. However, the 6-month special CD rate remains at 3.75% which is very competitive these days. This requires a minimum deposit of $10,000. The very-long term 7-year CD rate remains at 5.10% APY for a $20K minimum (4.95% APY for a $1K minimum). The 5- and 7-year CDs are also available as IRA or ESA certificates. These rates are listed in Navy Federal's rate table as of 1/14/2009.
An important note regarding the special EasyStart Certificate is that it has a maximum deposit limit of only $10,000. It also has several requirements that include checking and direct deposit. Here's the small print:
Only one Special EasyStart Certificate per member is allowed. For members age 18 years or older, a Navy Federal checking account and minimum direct deposit of $500 must be established within 90 days from the date of certificate purchase or the APY will revert to 3.10% (dividend rate of 3.05%); in addition, a $15 minimum monthly deposit is required.
An important note regarding the 7-year CD is that it has an early withdrawal penalty of 365 days of interest. The penalty is only 180 days of interest for CD terms of over 1 year to 5 years. So besides the longer term, this is another downside to the 7-year term over the 5-year term.
Navy Federal has recently expanded their field of membership. You can now be eligible if you have some connection with not just the Navy but also with the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. Refer to their Eligibility Checklist for the full details. Unlike Pentagon Federal Credit Union, there isn't an easy way for people without a military connection to join.
For more details about joining Navy Federal and opening and closing Navy Federal certificates, please refer to this May post.
Branches are located around the US and the world. Navy Federal is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 5536). It's the largest US credit union. It has $35.8 billion in assets and 3,142,637 members.