Agriculture Federal Credit Union is offering a competitive 5-year share and IRA certificate with a 2.05% APY. The 4-year and 3-year rates are also competitive: 1.70% APY for 4 years and 1.40% APY for 3 years. Minimum deposit is $1,000. These rates are listed in the credit union's savings rates page as of 3/19/2012.
Early Withdrawal Penalty and IRA Add-One Feature
According to AFCU's Truth in Savings document, the early withdrawal penalty is up to 180 days of interest. The following is stated in the document:
If the qualifying period is greater than one year, the member shall forfeit an amount equal to the lesser of: (A) All dividends for 180 days on the amount withdrawn, or (B) All dividends on the amount withdrawn since the date of issuance or renewal.
The Truth in Savings document describes one very nice feature for IRA certificates:
For IRA certificates only, you may make additional deposits into the certificate. No additional deposits are allowed into regular certificates.
Add-on deposits can be a very useful if rates continue to fall.
It has been a while since I last reported on AFCU and its CDs. Back in 2006 and 2007 the credit union had offered 6.00% short-term and long-term CDs. Since that time, its rates have generally been a little lower than PenFed CD rates. Consequently, all of my posts have been on PenFed. Not only is AFCU currently offering higher CD rates than PenFed, but its 5-year CD has a more favorable early withdrawal penalty than PenFed. Last year PenFed increased the EWP on new 5-year CDs from 6 months to 12 months of interest.
Membership & Online Application
Also like PenFed, AFCU makes it easy for anyone to qualify for membership. In addition, there's an online application in which you can join and open a CD.
You can see how to qualify for membership on the second page of the online application. A link to the online application is at AFCU's Join Here page. One of the qualification options is "Become Friends of CityDance Association member". When you select this option, a box opens up with additional details which includes the following:
CityDance has open membership to anyone that pays membership dues of $20.00. Please remember that when joining AFCU and CityDance Ensemble, the initial minimum deposit is $25.00 as $20.00 will be membership dues to CityDance Ensemble.
I joined AFCU back in 2006. You can read my experience in this 2006 blog post. It appears the online application has remained the same, but there is likely to be some changes after 5 years.
Watch Out for Fees
Last year AFCU added a fee for paper statements. You can select e-statements in the online application.
Updated: A reader has reported being informed by AFCU that there is a revised fee schedule (dated 1/1/2012), and the fees for share account balances under $100 and for account inactivity are no longer in effect.
The credit union is located in Washington, DC. It's part of the shared branch network, the CU Service Centers, which allows you to perform many banking transactions at branches of other credit unions across the nation that are part of the network.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 11.77% (above average) based on December 2011. Please refer to our financial overview of Agriculture Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 16400).
How This CD Rate Compares
The highest 5-year CD rate that's nationally available is 2.35% APY ($100K minimum) at Justice Federal Credit Union. This credit union's 5-year CD rates may be higher, but the credit union can be difficult to join (see review).
Searching for Top CD Rates
To search for nationwide CD rates and CD rates in your state, please refer to the best CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.