AgFed Credit Union 30-Month No Penalty CD Returns

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UPDATE 9/20/17: The 30-Month No Penalty CD has ended and is no longer available effective 9/20/17.

Deal Summary: No-Penalty 30-month Certificate, 1.85% APY, one penalty-free withdrawal during the term, $1k minimum deposit, new money.

Availability: Easy membership requirement.

In March 2017, AgFed Credit Union (AgFed) brought back its 30-month No Penalty Certificate for a limited time. AgFed is again offering the No Penalty Certificate (1.85% APY), with a rate 30 bps higher than the March offering. As before, this is a limited-time offer that requires new money. The minimum opening deposit is $1k, with no stated balance cap. According to the promotion page, dividends will be paid quarterly.

The 30-month No Penalty Certificate offers a one-time withdrawal (partial or complete) without incurring a penalty. According to Truth-in-Savings disclosure:

One withdrawal may be made during the original term of the certificate with no penalty imposed. Subsequent early withdrawals may be subject to a penalty as outlined in the Early Withdrawal Penalties disclosure.

If subsequent withdrawals are made, the following applies:

If the certificate term 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than 60 months, the member shall forfeit an amount equal to the lesser of: (A) All dividends for 180 days on the amount withdrawn, or (B) All dividends on the amount withdrawn since the date of issuance or renewal.

Thanks to DA reader, zz, for a Forum post about the No Penalty Certificate.

Also thanks to DA reader, rhutnik, who provided the information in the Forum post about opening and closing the No Penalty Certificate. Below are excerpts:

In terms of opening the CDs or other products, once the first membership/product is opened, a member can open up "99 total accounts" in the life of the membership. Each product opening will be processed separately and must have a separate application through the website.

In terms of closing the CDs (especially for the single No-Penalty withdrawal of either part or all of balance), they need a request in writing either mailed to their PO Box address or sent through their secure online messaging system. The balance plus accrued interest can be sent either to your savings/checking account with them or to another external bank account.

I’ve also talked with an AgFed representative, and the above information is consistent with what I’ve been told.

Availability

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AgFed Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is wide, allowing almost anyone legally residing in the U.S. to join:

Easy Membership: Members of The Friends of the National Zoo or The Friends of the National Arboretum (one-time $20 donation) are eligible for membership. Joining either 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 or retired employee or member of more than 65 Select Employee Groups and organizations are eligible to join.

Family Relationship: Any person related by blood, adoption, or marriage to a member (except relatives of members who have been expelled from the Credit Union) are membership eligible.

Joining AgFed and opening a No Penalty Certificate can be done online, by phone (800.368.3552), or at any of five full-service branches located in Washington, D.C. (3), Riverdale (MD) and Alexandria (VA).

Credit Union Overview

AgFed Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 6.48% (excellent) based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, AgFed has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $13.36 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 5.62%. Please refer to our financial overview of AgFed Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 16400) for more details.

Originally established as the Agriculture Federal Credit Union in 1934 by United States Department of Agriculture, AgFed Credit Union currently has more than 24,100 members and assets in excess of $286 million. In January 2017, the NARC Federal Credit Union membership approved a merger with AgFed; that merger will be completed on October 1, 2017.

How the No Penalty Certificate Compares

When compared to CDs with similar terms, the No Penalty CD’s APY isn’t anything to get excited about. In fact, the 1.85% APY is 20 bps lower than the current top nationally available 30-month term rate and 32 bps lower than the current top nationally available 36-month term rate. The appeal of the Certificate is the no-penalty feature, making the No Penalty Certificate more like a Savings or Money Market account. It can serve as a convenient place to hold funds while you wait for those 3% CDs.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many No Penalty CDs. Two internet banks do offer No Penalty CDs, but their terms are only 11 months. Due to the no-penalty feature, a longer term is only a benefit. If rates go down, you can decide to keep the CD. Below is a comparison of AgFed’s No Penalty Certificate with the No Penalty CDs from the two internet banks.

Interest RateAccount NameCredit Union/Bank
1.85% APY30-Month No Penalty Certificate ($1k min)AgFed Credit Union
1.50% APY11-Month No Penalty CD ($25k min)Ally Bank
1.45% APY11-Month No Penalty CD ($1k min)CIT Bank

The above rates are accurate as of 9/13/2017.

Related Pages: Washington CD rates, 5-year CD rates, nationwide deals

Comments
???
???   |     |   Comment #1
GO to the FORUM Post for information and Up To Date post activity
recklessmax
recklessmax   |     |   Comment #2
is this going to be a hardpull or softpull ??

Also how many no fee penalty CDs can be opened up ?
sid
sid   |     |   Comment #3
I don't get it after reading the write up on this CD. If you can get 1.85% and you can pull all of your funds at any point in the future without any EPW...how is this not the best place to park money until the next great CD comes along?
Kaight
Kaight   |     |   Comment #8
Agreed. This is by far the best CD deal out there right now. Nothing else even comes close.
Bozo
Bozo   |     |   Comment #9
Kaight, not exactly. You need to look at both the rate and term. As much as I hate the way we were treated at MorganStanley, the 11 month 1.9% stated rate is competitive, even after factoring fees and costs.
CD Angel
CD Angel   |     |   Comment #10
If Morgan Stanley's 11-month 1.9% CD features no-penalty withdrawal, then it would be more attractive than AgFed's. Otherwise, AgFed's CD allow closure of the account at any time if rates rise above 1.9%, whereas you're locked for 11 months at MS.
Kaight
Kaight   |     |   Comment #14
Even with a 1.9% APY and no penalty, the Morgan Stanley product would be grossly inferior to this AgFed deal. Why? Because, as Ken points out, with no penalty CDs a longer term is a huge POSITIVE. Why? Because with no-penalty CDs a longer term locks in the financial institution, not us!  Could this be any more obvious?  I don't think so.  It is intuitively obvious even to a casual observer.
Zemo999
Zemo999   |     |   Comment #4
I called AgFed today (9/13) to get details of their policies regarding the 30 month no-penalty CD. Couple of things that might be of interest:
1. Their phone hold times can be relatively long.
2. The rep that answered really didn't know the answers to some of the important questions I had. She said a specialist would call me back in 24-48 hrs.
3. According to that rep, the dividends from the CD are:
a. Not able to be paid out of the CD account itself. Not sure if that's the same as Ken's note that interest is not compounded. In any case, if she's right (and she may not be, based on her knowledge level) the interest you earn sits in the account doing nothing until withdrawal.
b. Interest is paid out quarterly - asked her what was the case if the cd was closed prior to maturity - and in the middle of a quarter - did one give up the interest post the prior quarter, or was it proportionally paid? She didn't know, hence part of the reason for her deferral to a specialist.

Despite all that, I'm still interested. As Ken pointed out, a nice way to get a good yield while waiting for that '3%' cd to be issued, God willing.
Crooked H>
Crooked H>   |     |   Comment #5
Same as it ever was ... its real ...it's not a Nigerian investment scam ...it's just agfed
rhutnik
rhutnik   |     |   Comment #6
Please let us know what they say about withdrawing the money earned and interested in the middle of a quarter. Also where exactly does the interest deposit? Into the Share savings account?
RickZ
RickZ   |     |   Comment #13
Per AgFed in-branch representative (not call center rep), if you close the CD in the middle of a quarter you will receive all interest up to the date of closure. You can also withdraw all but $1,000 and leave the CD open for the full term to avoid this issue. The interest is compounded into the CD. I believe you can elect to have it go into the share account if you wish.
Zemo999
Zemo999   |     |   Comment #16
Rick,
Thanks for the info. Excuse my 'denseness', but I'm puzzled (nope, not being snarky - just puzzled) - if they're willing to give you interest up to the date of closure, even if it's in the midst of a quarter, what is it being avoided by leaving $1k in the account? Thanks in advance.
RickZ
RickZ   |     |   Comment #17
Zemo999, I was just pointing out a fallback option if you're not 100% convinced that the information given by the representative is correct given that we've all had experience with representatives providing incorrect information.
Crooked H>
Crooked H>   |     |   Comment #7
disbusements
dasave
dasave   |     |   Comment #11
i noticed on agfed's website, it says you should open a 2nd share account to deposit the funds intended for the 30 month np cd. did anyone already ask why a 2nd share account is needed for this? kind of a strange requirement?
Crooked H>
Crooked H>   |     |   Comment #12
Because the 30 month no penalty selection doesn't work . After establishing 2nd share call them and they will convert to 30 month no penalty
mqt4n6
mqt4n6   |     |   Comment #15
This offer may be appealing for those who have close to 50k or more to "park". Otherwise, one could make close to the same return by opening a high yield reward checking account plus a high yield saving account or another reward checking account elsewhere. This would require splitting the investment between two banks, because of the dollar limits in reward checking accounts. Also there is the hassle of meeting the reward checking requirements, but one gains unlimited access to the money. For those "parking" smaller amounts closer to 15k, I would definitely use reward checking accounts.
matthewgast
matthewgast   |     |   Comment #18
Ask for the operations team when you call. The online application system is down, so you need to open by phone.

To my surprise, after I failed with the online app, somebody called me to tell me how to open by phone, I guess because my account number is in the application. I called back the next business day, and I was quickly transferred to the operations team to open the CDs. Eight minutes later, I had four new no-penalty CDs. (I opened four because that lets me have access to 1/4 of the money independently, rather than just one withdrawl opportunity.)
???
???   |     |   Comment #20
Agriculture FCU closes 30m CD TODAY 9/20/17
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #21
Thanks for the comment. Sorry to see it end so quickly. I've updated the post with the news.
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