Every now and then a financial institution will offer a CD special that's actually more like a checking account bonus. That's the case at Chartway Federal Credit Union. It's offering a special called the GO Direct Promotional Certificate. It has an 11-month term and a 3.00% APY. Minimum deposit is $1,000. Here's the catch (there are actually two). Maximum deposit is $20,000, and it requires direct deposit for the duration of the CD. The details of this special CD are listed in this Chartway promotions page as of 2/22/2013. It's a limited time offer.
Update 2/27/13: A reader emailed me the following info on this CD:
The ad implies that the direct deposit must be a Federal payment of some sort (VA Benefit, Social Security, etc.). This is NOT so. Chartway will accept any monthly direct deposit so long as it is $500 or more. One other item: you are required to get both the Savings and Checking accounts (the direct deposit goes to Checking) with a minimum of a $5.00 initial deposit in Savings and a minimum of $1.00 in Checking. Both may be charged to a credit card.
Update #2 2/27/13: A reader reported being told during the account opening process that a "hard pull" would be done to open the accounts. The reader said they gave him his actual/real FICO score after they did the hard pull during the account opening process.
I consider this more like a checking account bonus due to the maximum deposit and the direct deposit requirement. The maximum deposit limits the interest that can be earned to $550 over 11 months. As a comparison, a $20K deposit in PenFed's 1-year CD (which has a 1.25% APY) will earn $250 over 12 months. So that's an extra $300 which is a nice bonus.
Membership into Chartway FCU used to be limited to certain geographic locations around the country and to certain employee groups. However, Chartway has added a foundation that anyone can join to its field of membership. According to Chartway's membership page:
You become a "Friend of We Promise" by making a $10 donation to Chartway's philanthropic arm, the We Promise Foundation. We can establish your membership through our We Promise Foundation when you make a low, one-time only payment of $10.00 (non-refundable membership fee). Membership is open to anyone.
You can apply for membership online. In the eligibility section, if you select "none of the above" and select "next", the application will take you to a page that will allow you to join the We Promise Foundation.
Note, the application does not include an option for the special CD. If you don't live near a branch, you'll need to call to open the special CD after you are a member.
Credit Union Overview
Chartway branches are located in Virginia, Georgia, Rhode Island, Texas, Florida, Arkansas and New Jersey. Most of its branches are located in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach metro area. Other cities with branches include Houston, Texas; Jacksonville and Saint Petersburg, Florida; Alpharetta, Georgia; and Wakefield, Rhode Island. It also has branches in Utah due to its recent acquisition of HeritageWest Credit Union.
Chartway is a large credit union with $1.9 billion in assets. The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 14.72% (above average) based on September 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Chartway Federal Credit Union for more details. Chartway is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 13242).
How the CD Rate Compares
The highest 1-year CD rate that's nationally available is 1.25% APY at Pentagon Federal Credit Union. This has no maximum deposit and no checking or direct deposit requirement.
Searching for the Best 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.