Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) changed its certificate rates for December. PenFed had been offering a very competitive 1-year CD rate in November. Unfortunately, that has ended. However, its 2-year and 3-year certificate rates went up and have become even more competitive. Below is the list of the new PenFed CD rates for terms of 1 to 7 years with the noteworthy rates highlighted. I've also listed the old rates in parentheses. These new rates are listed in PenFed's Money Market Certificates page as of 12/3/2012.
- 2.00% APY 7-year (was 2.02%)
- 1.80% APY 5-year (was 1.71%)
- 1.75% APY 4-year (was 1.61%)
- 1.75% APY 3-year (was 1.61%)
- 1.50% APY 2-year (was 1.36%)
- 1.00% APY 1-year (was 1.26%)
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.
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.
To join PenFed, click on the "Join PenFed" link at the top of any PenFed page. This will take you to the start of the online application. That first page asks about eligibility. If you don't qualify via any of the listed options, click "None of the above". A popup informs users that "We can establish your membership eligibility through either National Military Family Association or Voices for America's Troops." When you close the popup, you are then asked to select one of these two organizations.
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 York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Puerto Rico 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 3.55% (excellent) based on September 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of PenFed for more details. It's federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 227).
How These New CD Rates Compare
PenFed's new 2-year and 3-year CD rates are now the rate leaders for these terms. The next highest 2-year CD rate that's nationally available is 1.36% APY at Citizens State Bank. This requires a $100K minimum deposit. Another credit union is offering 1.75% APY for a 3-year CD, but this requires an active checking account. This is available at Connexus Credit Union. The best deal with a similar term from an internet bank is a 1.50% APY 30-month CD from Salem Five Direct.
The above rates are accurate as of 12/3/2012.
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: