For a limited time, AgFed Credit Union (AgFed) is offering an 18-month Certificate Special that earns 5.50% APY, or as AgFed put it, “A Rate to Celebrate!” The opening minimum deposit is $250 of new money (funds not held in existing AgFed accounts), with a maximum deposit of $250k per Social Security number.
|5.50%||$250||$250k||AgFed Credit Union||18 Month Certificate Special - New Money|
In the past, AgFed’s limited-time certificates have been available for approximately a month, but as stated in the fine print on the landing page,
AgFed reserves the right to change or withdraw this offer at any time without notice.
The landing page also includes the the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP), which reads as follows:
The certificate funds must be on deposit for 30 days [before a withdrawal].
If the qualifying period is greater than 11 months but less than 60 months, the member shall forfeit an amount equal to the lesser of:
(A) All dividends for 180 days on the amount withdrawn, or
(B) All dividends on the amount withdrawn since the date of issuance or renewal.
Penalties may reduce earnings on the account.
Asset Builder Certificates
In the past two years, AgFed has steadily increased the rates offered on its three add-on CDs, the Asset Builder Certificates (ABC). An ABC can be opened with a minimum $25 deposit and unlimited additional deposits can be made throughout the term.
Once your certificate is open, deposits can be made at any time and in any amount by payroll deduction, mail or in person. Dividends are paid quarterly.
CSR stated that funds from an AgFed savings account can also be transferred into an ABC. The ABCs are also subject to to the EWP stated above.
In the past month, a total of 75 bps has been added to the 12-month ABC, which currently earns 5.00% APY. While not as competitive as the 12-month ABC, the 18-month ABC (4.85% APY) and the 24-month ABC (4.65% APY) rates are still good.
|4.75%||$25||-||AgFed Credit Union||12 Month Asset Builder Certificate|
|4.65%||$25||-||AgFed Credit Union||18 Month Asset Builder Certificate|
|4.40%||$25||-||AgFed Credit Union||24 Month Asset Builder Certificate|
Opening a 12-month ABC with a minimum $25 deposit has virtually no downside. Speaking hypothetically, if rates fall after the first of the year, you could always make add-on deposits into the 12-month ABC and benefit from the 5.00% APY for the remainder of the term. As one of my colleagues pointed out an ABC, “can be considered a low-cost insurance policy against future low rates.”
Investing a few dollars today guarantees you’ll have access to an account that earns 5.00% APY for the next year. Should rates happen to drop significantly, the 5.00% APY will be quite beneficial. If rates don't fall and you never add more funds to this CD, the loss on the $25 deposit will be insignificant.
There is no limit of the number of ABCs that can be opened by a single member. Should the 12-month ABC rate increase in the next few months, you can open another one with a $25 deposit.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, AgFed Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is wide and varied, with a way to join for almost anyone in the U.S. with a valid Social Security number.
Easy Membership: Members of The Friends of the National Arboretum (one-time $20 donation) are eligible for membership. Joining the association and applying for AgFed membership can be done simultaneously, using the Credit Union’s online application.
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the District of Columbia also qualify for membership.
Employment/Affiliation: Any current/retired employee or member of more than 60 Select Employee Groups and organizations are eligible to join.
Family Relationship: Any person related by blood, adoption, or marriage to an AgFed member (except relatives of members who have been expelled from AgFed) are welcome to apply.
Joining AgFed and/or opening a No Penalty Certificate Special can be done online, by phone (202.579.2270), by mail or fax, or at any of three full-service branches located in Washington, DC, Beltsville (MD), and Riverdale (MD). Note: The USDA Cafeteria (DC) continues to be temporarily closed.
You will also be asked to make a $5 deposit into your savings account to establish your membership. That deposit is yours to withdraw should you decide to cancel your AgFed membership.
As a member of the CO-OP Share Branch and ATM Networks, AgFed provides its members with access to more than 5,000 shared branches and more than 30,000 ATMs throughout the country.
Funding and Other Details
The following information was obtained from the landing page and a conversation with CSR.
- Funding – ACH, wire ($25 fee), or check (in-branch opening).
- Ownership – Individual, joint, or trust.
- CO-OP Shared Branch Participant – Yes.
- Interest – Compounded/credited quarterly and can be distributed by check or transferred to an AgFed checking or savings account.
- Maturing Funds – ACH, wire ($50 fee), cashier’s check, or internal transfer.
- Beneficiaries – Unlimited, percentages can be assigned, and Social Security numbers are required for beneficiaries.
- Grace Period – 10 calendar days before automatic renewal at a “comparable rate and term.”
- Credit Check – Soft pull.
Credit Union Overview
AgFed Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.04% (excellent) based on March 31, 2023 data. In the past year, AgFed has increased its non-brokered deposits by $5.89 million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.86%. Please refer to our financial overview of AgFed Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 16400) for more details.
Originally established in 1934 as the Agriculture Federal Credit Union by United States Department of Agriculture, the Credit Union had an initial membership of 20 people and assets of $59.75 within a month of opening its doors. Eighty-nine years later, AgFed Credit Union has more than 27,000 members and assets in excess of $357 million.
How the 18-Month Certificate Special Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, one bank and one credit union have higher rates than currently offered on the AgFed Credit Union 18-month Certificate Special. The following table compares the 18-month Certificate Special to the two highest-rate CDs from banks and the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions.
How the 12-Month Asset Builder Certificate Compares
When compared to the Add On CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which require a similar minimum deposit ($5k or less) and are not limited by a low balance cap, AgFed Credit Union’s 12-month Asset Builder Certificate APY currently ranks third.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 8/26/2023.
To look for the best CD rates, either nationwide or state-specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.