- 2.50% APY 7-year CD (was 2.76%)
- 2.00% APY 5-year CD (was 2.25%)
- 1.74% APY 4-year CD (was 2.00%)
- 1.25% APY 3-year CD (was 1.50%)
- 0.99% APY 2-year CD (was 1.25%)
- 0.90% APY 1-year CD (was 1.16%)
PenFed calls their CDs "Money Market Certificates", but they are essentially certificates of deposit (CD) with fixed rates for specific terms.
Minimum deposit is $1,000. The rates are also available in an IRA. Even though PenFed typically maintains CD rates through the month, they no longer guarantee it. For more details about PenFed CDs, please refer to my PenFed CD review.
There's one thing that happened last year that has made PenFed's 5-year CD less competitive. Its 5-year CD early withdrawal penalty now matches the 7-year EWP: up to 365 days of interest. Note, the penalty doesn't eat into the principal so if you redeem the CD before 365 days from the issue date, you'll just lose all of the accrued interest. Please refer to PenFed's disclosure.
It should be noted that PenFed did the honorable thing in how it changed the EWP. The change applied only to new CDs or CDs that were rolled over. It did not apply to existing CDs. As we know, not all credit unions have done this.
PenFed makes it easy for anyone to join and open accounts online. If you don't qualify based on military, employer or family, you can become eligible by joining the National Military Family Association (one-time $20 fee) or by joining the Voices for America's Troops (one-time $15 fee). Joining one of these organizations and joining PenFed can be done at the same time all online. Please refer to PenFed's How to Join Overview Page for details.
Accounts can be opened online, but for those who prefer opening accounts in an office, PenFed has branches in several parts of the country including Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, North Carolina, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Missouri and Texas.
PenFed is the third largest credit union in the nation. It has $12 billion in deposits. PenFed has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 5.04% (excellent) based on September 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Pentagon Federal Credit Union for more details. It's federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 227).
How These CD Rates Compare
Navy Federal Credit Union kept its CD rates unchanged for March (at least as of this morning). Its 7-year CD for a $20K minimum deposit continues to have a 2.80% APY. Its 5-year CD rate is 2.30% APY for a $100K minimum and 2.20% APY for a $20K minimum. Navy Federal also has some special 3.00% CDs, but these have small maximum deposits. Unlike PenFed, not everyone can qualify for Navy Federal membership. Please refer to my last Navy Federal CD review for more details.
PenFed's 7-year CD rate is now very close to Discover Bank's 10-year CD rate of 2.45% APY (2.50% APY for AAA members). One advantage of Discover Bank is a smaller early withdrawal penalty (see review).
The best 5-year CD rate that's nationally available continues to be 2.27% APY at Melrose Credit Union.
Searching for the Best CD Rates
To search for the best nationwide rates and the best rates in your state, please refer to the following tables at DepositAccounts.com: