Stanford Federal Credit Union has competitive rates on its 4-year and 5-year certificates. There's one important catch, however. These are the "Premium Certificate Rates" which require that the members either have a current loan or a checking account with a monthly direct deposit of $500. If the member meets this qualification, the 5-year CD has a 2.12% APY and the 4-year CD has a 1.66% APY. This requires a $100K minimum deposit. Lower rates are available for smaller balances. These rates are listed in the credit union's certificates page as of 10/24/2012.
I noticed Stanford FCU has increased the early withdrawal penalty on its long-term CDs. According to the small print at the bottom of the certificates page:
The penalty for Certificate of initial term less than one year will be equal to ninety (90) days of dividends. The penalty for Certificates of one year or greater will be equal to one hundred eighty (180) days of dividends. The penalty for Certificates of four years or greater will be equal to three hundred sixty five (365) days of dividends.
The penalty for terms of 4 years and above used to be just 180 days of dividends. It's now 365 days of dividends.
In addition to the Premium certificate rates, a member can qualify for the Premier Health Savings Account with the checking account and direct deposit. The Premier HSA has a 1.51% APY as of 10/24/2012.
Stanford FCU does have some nice checking account features which can make it easier to maintain the Premium rates. This Stanford checking comparison page summarizes the checking account features. The eChecking has no monthly service fee. Credit union members have access to surcharge-free ATMs at CO-OP and Allpoint Networks. Also, they have access to the shared branch network.
You can also earn more money with Stanford's refer-a-friend bonus. I have more details in my Stanford FCU bonus review.
Anyone can join Stanford FCU. According to the credit union's page Who Can Bank at Stanford:
If you do not fall within our regular field of membership, you can join the Museum of American Heritage (MOAH) or Friends of Palo Alto Libraries (FOPAL) in order to become a member of Stanford Federal Credit Union.
Credit union membership requires a minimum $50 balance in an account. Accounts can be opened online, but they require that you mail in your check and copies of your ID. Please refer to this Stanford FCU page for more details.
Credit Union Overview
Stanford Federal Credit Union branches are located in Stanford and Palo Alto, California. The credit union is also a member of CU Service Centers which allows you to perform many transactions at branches of other credit unions which are part of the network.
The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 3.21% (excellent) based on June 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Stanford FCU for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 13392).
How This CD Rate Compares
The highest 5-year CD rate that's nationally available is 2.00% APY. This is available from a few all-access credit unions and one small bank. You can see these credit unions at the top of the 5-year CD rates table (Use "filter accounts" button to select "nationwide").
BBVA Compass continues to offer its 2.00% APY 5-year CD. These Compass CDs aren't nationally available, but they are available to many people in market areas where Compass has branches (AZ, CA, CO, NM, AL, FL and TX).
The above rates are accurate as of 10/24/2012.
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.