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Northwest FCU Offering 2-Year CD At 1.51%, Various Other Competitive Terms -- Nationally Available, Easy Membership

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 9:57 PMNorthwest Federal Credit Union - Details
Northwest Federal Credit Union in Virginia is offering some very competitive rates that are nationally available, with easy membership for anyone.

Deposit Accounts seemed to have this credit union categorized as local only, but it is nationally available.

The rate might not look outstanding at first glance, but by simply being a Heritage Club member, which basically means you are 62 or older and have deposits and loans with the CU totaling $50,000, or by simply opening a Premiere Checking account (includes first order of checks free), you get .25% added onto your CD rate. The Premiere Checking is free if you have a combined balance of $50,000 in all your savings and loan accounts; otherwise, there is a $10 a month fee. (If your CD alone is $50,000 or more, then Premiere Checking is free.) There is no minimum deposit required in the Premiere Checking; you can have it as low as zero if you want.

I found the 2-year CD particularly interesting, offering an APY of 1.51% for deposits of $100,000 or more if you also have the Premiere Checking. (Base APY of 1.26%.) For the tier from $25,000 to $99,999, the bonus is .10% making the APY 1.25 on a base APY of 1.15%. 

But other terms also are competitive, such as:

•3 year CD at $100,000 and up: base APY of 1.50%, making for an APY of 1.75 with Premiere Checking or Heritage Club.

•4 year CD at $100,000 and up: base APY of 1.76%, making for an APY of 2.01 with Premiere Checking or Heritage Club. 

•5 year CD at $100,000 and up: base APY of 1.86%, making for an APY of 2.11 with Premiere Checking or Heritage Club.

Their rates page is at:

Various companies, government agencies, and organizations are in the field of membership. But if nothing else applies, you can become eligible for membership in the CU by joining the Financial Awareness Network for $10. You can join that group in conjunction with filing your application for membership. A $5 deposit in the share savings account is required for membership. You can use a credit card to fund both the $10 to join the Financial Awareness Network and to make the initial $5 deposit into your share savings account. (I note, they will consider your account funded right away, but the $5 you deposit via credit card will not actually post for maybe a week! But you can do whatever you want in the meantime, such as add funds to the share account to open a CD.) Or if you prefer, since Northwest is part of the shared branch system, you can set up the membership first, then go to a shared branch near you and deposit into the share savings. Or you can use other more routine methods, such as mail in a check or ACH. The membership eligibility page is at:

You will need to provide a copy of your driver's license or other appropriate identification. They will generally allow you to sign application forms, etc., and return to them via fax or even via e-mail. You also can send them via postal mail if you prefer. If you want to e-mail, they can set you up to use a secure e-mail service called Zixmail for that. 

Accounts, including CDs, can be opened online, or simply via e-mail or fax. Just talk with them. You can fund by mail, ACH, or go to a shared branch near you and deposit to your share savings account and open the CD from that.

I will say, I liked their attitude. They seem straight forward about everything. No gimmicks, no games, no hurdles, no smoke and mirrors, no squeeze play they just give you a decent deal -- what you see seems to be what you get with this place. I will say, they really seek depositors who want to have a relationship, some longer term loyalty, someone who will use a service or two. That is, they prefer that to rate chasers (which many of us on this Website are, of course). I note this because I was impressed with how straight forward they were about their offerings. It struck me as the kind of place to actually stick around if you care about  getting a straight deal. If they see you taking fuller advantage of their offerings, they might be willing to do even better by you because you will be marking yourself as the kind of customer they want to keep around.  

In contrast to that, many people on this Website want to know the Early Withdrawal Penalty. From their CD disclosures:

" ... For Certificates having a term greater than six (6) months, the penalty will be equal to the lesser of 180 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn or all dividends on the amount withdrawn since the date of issuance or renewal.  All Certificates are subject to a minimum early withdrawal penalty equal to seven (7) days dividends applied to amounts withdrawn within the first six (6) calendar days after issuance, deposit (including deposits of dividends) or last partial withdrawal.  If a withdrawal of the principal amount reduces the balance below the minimum amount required for the Certificate, the account will be cancelled and the applicable penalty imposed."
me1004me1004373 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,596
1. Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 1:12 AM
There is another eligibility requirement for the heritage club that you did not indicate:

Eligibility Requirements
  • Age 62 and older
  • Combined Northwest Federal savings and loan balance of $50,000 or more
MrFrugalityMrFrugality8 posts since
Oct 6, 2011
Rep Points: 21
2. Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 4:23 AM
Thanks me1004 for the post and for noting NWFCU was not showing for nationally available institutions. I've updated our database so it now shows.
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,471 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,600
3. Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 5:25 PM
For IRA CDs (age 59 1/2+), partial withdrawals are permitted with no penalty for early withdrawal. NWFCU is one of three institutions (of which I am aware) that offer this perk (PenFed and StateFarmBank being the other two).
BozoBozo137 posts since
Feb 14, 2011
Rep Points: 944
4. Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 9:00 PM
You  posted:  "For the tier from $25,000 to $99,999, the bonus is .10% making the APY 1.40 on a base APY of 1.15%."

That statement is incorrect.

Actually the rate APY would be 1.25%    (1.15%  base APY + .10% bonus = 1.25%) 
MrFrugalityMrFrugality8 posts since
Oct 6, 2011
Rep Points: 21
5. Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 9:31 PM
Mr.Frugality: you're right. I fixed both of those. Thanks.
me1004me1004373 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,596