Most of the CD rates at INOVA Federal Credit Union are low, but there's one rate that's very competitive. It's the 6-year share certificate which has a 2.50% APY. Minimum deposit is $200. There's also a step-up option, but the rate is 0.10% lower. This allows the member to step-up the rate one time during the term. The IRA share certificates have rates 0.10% higher. These rates are listed in the CD rates page as of 1/11/2012.
According to the member service rep, the 6-year CD has an early withdrawal penalty of 180 days of interest.
The credit union also offers a reward checking account called Ovation Checking that has a 3.00% APY on balances up to $20K as of 1/11/2012. My first report on this account was in April 2010.
Membership and Online Application
Credit union membership is primarily based on employment or membership in one of many organizations. Refer to the credit union's become-a-member page for more details. On the front page there's a "Join INOVA" link at the top left of the page. This link takes you to an online application provided by loanspq.com. One of the options for eligibility listed in this application includes:
You may elect to join one of the approved not for profit organizations such as Cass County Conservation Club or the Elkhart River Restoration Association.
The online application allows you to select any of the CDs and/or the Ovation Checking. You are also required to open a savings account with a minimum balance of $5.
Credit Union Overview
Branches are located in the Indiana cities of Elkhart, Michigan City, Mishawaka and Granger. Other branches are located in Berkeley, California; and Clayton, North Carolina. It's also part of the Credit Union Service Center which allows you to perform basic transactions at branches of other credit unions around the nation.
The reason the credit union has branches scattered across the country is due to it being originally chartered to serve the employees of Miles Laboratories which had facilities in these cities. The credit union used to have branches in other states, but it appears those have been closed.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 23.14% (average) based on September 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of INOVA Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 4968).
How These Rates Compare
There aren't many institutions that offer 6-year CDs. Most limit maturities to 5 years. Longer term CDs typically have maturities of 7 or 10 years. The best nationally available 5-year CD rate is 2.68% APY at Melrose Credit Union. For a 7-year term, the highest rate is 2.75% APY at Pentagon Federal Credit Union. For a bank, the best 5-year rate is 2.25% APY (59 month) at US Bank. These rates are accurate as of 1/11/2012.
It should be noted that all three of these institutions have harsh early withdrawal penalties. PenFed's 5- and 7-year CDs have EWPs up to 1-year of dividends (see review). I have more details on the EWP at Melrose in this post and at US Bank in this post.
For reward checking account rates that are nationally available, the best rate is 4.00% APY for balances up to $10K at Consumers Credit Union. Other reward checking accounts are available with larger balance caps, but the rates are lower.
Searching for the Best CD, IRA CD & Reward Checking Rates
To search for the best nationwide rates and the best rates in your state, please refer to the following sections of DepositAccounts.com: