State Department Federal Credit Union bucked the trend of falling rates by raising several of its CD and IRA CD rates for November. Many are now very competitive. The best ones include a 2.42% APY 5-year CD, 2.07% APY 4-year CD, 1.61% APY 3-year CD and a 1.41% APY 2-year CD. Minimum deposit is $500. There's also a good deal on the 1-year Jumbo CD which has a 1.21% APY. The Jumbo minimum deposit is $100K. SDFCU also offers 3 bump-up CDs: 1.81% APY for 45 months, 1.36% APY for 30 months and 1.15% APY for 17 months. These bump-up CDs allow for a 1-time rate bump-up during the term. Also, members can add new money at time of bump-up. These rates are listed at the credit union's rates page as of 11/02/2011.
At the bottom of SDFCU's rate page, the early withdrawal penalties are described. For terms of 1-year and longer, the EWP is up to 180 days of interest on the amount withdrawn. The penalty won't eat into the principal.
Checking Account Perks
SDFCU offers free checking accounts with no monthly service fees, and they are currently offering a small sign-up bonus of $25. Details are listed in SDFCU checking page. One nice feature of SDFCU is that they provide free access to ATMs in a nationwide ATM network. Also, they're part of the shared branch network.
SDFCU is another credit union that has made it easy for anyone to join. If you click the "who can join" link in the Join SDFCU page, it states the following:
If you are not eligible to join through any of the listed groups or affiliations, anyone can join SDFCU through the American Consumer Council (ACC), a nonprofit advocacy group. When opening your SDFCU account you will need to choose ACC on your application, this will automatically enroll you as a member of ACC. There are no hidden fees to join ACC through your membership at SDFCU.
There's also a long list of select employer groups which includes the Department of State.
You can apply using an online application provided by Andera. This can be used to join the credit union and to open and fund the deposit accounts.
State Department Federal Credit Union Overview
State Department Federal Credit Union branches are located in Washington DC and in Alexandria, Virginia.
It's a sizable credit union with $1.38 billion in assets. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 2.74% (excellent) based on June 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of State Department Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 435).
How These CD Rates Compare
You can get nationally available CD rates that are a little higher at Alliant Credit Union and Melrose Credit Union. Fortunately, these rates continue into November. Alliant has the best short-term CD rates: 1.30% APY 1-year and 1.70% APY 2-year (minimum deposit $25K). It also has the best 4-year CD rate with a 2.20% APY. Melrose has the best 3-year CD and 5-year CD rates: 1.91% APY and 2.68% APY.
One of the few institutions that offer nationally available bump-up CDs is Ally Bank. Ally calls these Raise Your Rate CDs, and it offers two terms: 2-year term with a 1.19% APY and a 4-year term with a 1.65% APY. The 2-year CD offers a 1-time bump-up option, but the 4-year CD offers a 2-time bump-up option.
The above rates are accurate as of 11/02/2011.