I have discovered a nationally available credit union I thought worth mentioning: The Credit Union of New Jersey. It has a long list of employers that can qualify you for membership, as well as qualifying by where you live. But in the end, if nothing else applies, anyone can join by becoming a member-contributor of the Ewing Public Education Foundation for $10. I was told you can join that foundation as part of the CU application process. Membership requires maintaining at least $5 in the share savings account.
It appears that DepositAccounts.com had believed membership in this CU was local only.
(I note, I was told you can join the Foundation as part of the application process via the CU. The materials don't say anything about that, so you might want to double check in a call to the CU first. They definitely said you do not have to go on your own to the foundation and get a membership, then come back with that in order to join. I would prefer to see the application say, "Would you like to join the Ewing Public Education Foundaion?," but it doesn't.)
The membership page is at: http://www.cunj.org/site/membership/eligibility.html
The membership application can be downloaded, but you will have to mail it in with your two checks: one for the $5 for the share savings, and the second the $10 check to join the Foundation. You will need to include a copy of your driver's license or other ID. I was told to expect it to take two to three business days to open -- not clear whether they were accounting for time in the mail or if that was after they receive it.
Rates are not generally outstanding, but there are several that are competitive. If you are a business, they have a special 2-year CD that is outstanding, offering 1.60% APY for $100,000 and above. Among the rates for individuals are 1.30% APY for a 2-year CD at $100,000 and above; 1.70 APY for a 3-year CD at $100,000 or above; 1.95% for a 4-year CD at $100,000 and above; and 2.20% for a 5-year CD at $100,000 and above.
The rates page is at: http://www.cunj.org/prodserv/rates.html
Early withdrawal penalty seems to be 90 days of interest for accounts longer than 1 year. From the disclosure: Early Withdrawal Penalty.
We may impose a penalty if you withdraw any of the principal before the maturity date. Amount of Penalty.
For all accounts, the amount of the early withdrawal penalty is based on the term of your account. The penalty schedule is as follows: Terms of 1 year or less-30 days dividends, Terms of over 1 year-90 days dividends. How the Penalty Works.
The penalty is calculated as a forfeiture of part of the dividends that have been or would be earned on the account. The penalty is calculated on the principal withdrawn. It applies whether or not the dividends have been earned. In other words, if the account has not yet earned enough dividends or if the dividend has already been paid, the penalty will be deducted from the principal.
They are part of the shared branch system. So, once your membership account is opened, you could open a CD by going to a shared branch near you and depositing the money to your share savings account, then contacting the CU to open the CD with the money from your savings, thus accomplishing that same day you get hold of those funds rather than via the mail.
They have a checking account with a small interest rate that is fee-free as long as you keep a minimum of $1,000 in it. But you will have to buy your supply of checks.