Dept of Commerce Federal Credit Union Boosts CD Rates

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Deal Summary: CDs – 24-35 month (1.05% APY), 36-47 month (1.27% APY), 48-59 month (1.42% APY), 60-84 month (1.54% APY), $500 min deposit. Deposits of $25k+ earn 10 bps more.

Availability: Easy membership requirement for residents of DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV.

For the fourth time in seven months, Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (DOCFCU) has raised its long-term CDs rates, with APYs which are rate (or near-rate) leaders. Any of these CDs can be opened with a minimum $500 deposit, but initial deposits of $25k or more receive an additional 10 bps; there is no stated balance cap.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.54%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union60-84 Month CD
1.42%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union48-59 Month CD
1.27%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union36-47 Month CD
1.05%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union24-35 Month CD
Rates as of January 28, 2022.

The CDs are also available as IRA CDs (Traditional, Roth, CESA), earning the same APYs with the same deposit requirements.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.54%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union60-84 Month Fixed IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)
1.42%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union48-59 Month Fixed IRA (Traditional, CESA, Roth)
1.27%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union36-47 Month Fixed IRA (Traditional, CESA, Roth)
1.05%$500-Department Of Commerce Federal Credit Union24-35 Month Fixed IRA (Traditional, CESA, Roth)
Rates as of January 28, 2022.

DOCFCU’s Relationship Rewards program awards points for services and balance levels. The points add up to free benefits like higher yields on certificates, with Bronze Members receiving an additional 5 bps, Silver Members receiving an additional 10 bps, and Gold Members receiving an additional 25 bps. In addition to the Relationship Rewards levels, initial deposits of $25k or more receive an additional 10 bps.

For example, if you are Gold Member who opens a 60-84 month CD with at least $25k, the applicable rate would be an excellent 1.89% APY.

As stated in the fine print on the Members Perk page,

All benefits and reward levels are subject to change. Member points will automatically be evaluated monthly for upgrades to higher levels. Once a member has established a reward level, they qualify for that level until the end of the year. New reward levels will be classified November 30th of each year and effective the beginning of the year. All transactions are per month unless otherwise stated.

According to the CD FAQs, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows,

You can close your CD at any time; however, you will be subject to the following penalties if you are outside of the 10 days of opening of the CD or renewal/maturity date:

  • 12-84 months: The penalty is the first 180 days of dividends.

CSR confirmed that only an early closure is possible, with no partial withdrawals allowed.

As I pointed out in the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union blog post at the beginning of the week, a mild EWP increases the competitiveness of a long-term CD, particularly in the short term. If (or when) rates begin to rise in the near future, a 180-day EWP would be beneficial should an excellent rate opportunity arise. Using DA’s Early Withdrawal Penalty Calculator, you can see what the effective yields would be on a month-by-month basis, showing that closing a 60-84 month CD wouldn’t spell financial disaster. For example,

  • 0.51% APY ($500), 0.56% APY ($25k) – closed at 9 months
  • 0.77% APY ($500), 0.83% APY ($25k) – closed at 1 year
  • 1.03% APY ($500), 1.11% APY ($25k) – closed at 18 months

An early withdrawal after nine months would result in effective APYs of 0.51% and 0.56%, which are slightly above the current APY of many online savings accounts (OSA). Should rates go up later this year, the EWP won't result in a worse situation than if you had kept the money in an online savings account. However, if rates don't go up, you'll earn a lot more than if your money had been in an OSA.

The comparison to an OSA assumes that OSA rates won’t rise much (if any) in the next nine months. If OSA rates rise substantially in the next nine months, an OSA would be a better choice. However, you should compare the estimated average OSA rate in the next nine months with the yield from an early withdrawal from the 60-84 month CD. Assuming OSA rates rise from 0.50% to 1.00% in the next nine months, the average APY for an OSA over nine months would be around 0.75%. That’s not much better than the early withdrawal.

Funding and Maturing Funds

CSR stated the easiest way to fund a CD is through an internal transfer of funds. DOCFCU participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, enabling a relatively easy transfer of outside funds into a DOCFCU savings account. The “Share Certification Application” form for existing members asks where the funds are to come from.

Withdrawal [of funds] From: Savings, Checking, Money Market

Earned dividends can be added to the CD principal, transferred to a DOCFCU savings or checking account, or distributed by check and mailed to the address on file. Maturing funds will be distributed by check or transferred to a DOCFCU savings or checking account. There is a ten day grace period before a CD automatically renews.

Excess Share Insurance

DOCFCU offers its members the protection provided by the Excess Share Insurance, the nation’s largest provider of excess share insurance since 1993.

To further protect our members’ deposits, we provide the highest combination of federal/private share savings deposit insurance available: $500,000, which includes savings accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

Availability

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) changed in early 2020, with membership now available to all U.S. citizens and residents aliens who live in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia, through joining the Maryland Consumer Council (MCC), which is part of the American Consumer Council.

Individuals who live, work, attend school, or worship in the District of Columbia are also eligible to join.

Employees of the U.S. Department of Commerce or NOAA (and affiliates) also qualify for membership, as do the employees of the White House Management and Administration Office, and the Executive Office of the President.

Family members of current DOCFCU members are also welcome to apply.

Joining DOCFCU can be done online, with an option to join MCC as part of the DOCFCU membership application. (Note: there’s a “Become a Member” on the upper right-hand corner of every page of DOCFCU’s website).

Joining DOCFCU and/or opening a CD can also be done in-branch. As stated on the COVID-19 & DOCFCU page,

HCHB Branch is open Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM – Effective August 30, 2021 all Visitors must complete a Vaccine Attestation form for entry in Commerce faculties. Forms are available at the guards desks.

Our Silver Spring Branch is temporarily closed due to onsite construction, and our White House branch is also temporarily closed. The credit union is fully functioning and our staff is ready to help you remotely.

As stated in the FAQ section on the CDs & Savings page,

Click here to request a CD or give us a call at 202.808.3600.

The Share Certificate Application is more of a “Contact Me” form than an actual application and can only be used by existing members.

Opening a Regular Share Savings with a minimum $5 deposit establishes DOCFCU membership.

DOCFCU participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, as well as the MoneyPass and Allpoint ATM networks.

Credit Union Overview

Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.02% (excellent) based on September 30, 2021 data. In the past year, DOCFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $28 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 6.26%. Please refer to our financial overview of Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 16410) for more details.

Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union was established in 1932 for the benefit of the employees of the Department of Commerce. In 2005, DOCFCU expanded its FOM to “adopt” the city of Washington, D.C., giving its more than 571,000 residents the opportunity to join. The 2015 merger with the White House Federal Credit Union instantly increased the number of members, but the fairly recent change to a limited “easy membership” charter has the power to increase the membership exponentially. Currently the District’s third largest credit union, DOCFCU has more than 18,600 members and assets in excess of $591 million.

How the CDs Compare

When compared to the similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum opening deposit and are available within the FOM, Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union's long-term CD APYs currently rank in the top three of their respective categories.

Interest RateCD Length of TermCredit Union/Bank
1.64% APY60-84 Month CD ($25k min) (EWP=180 days)Department of Commerce Credit Union
1.54% APY60-84 Month CD ($500 min) (EWP=180 days)Department of Commerce Credit Union
1.30% APY5-Year Money Market Certificate ($1k min) (EWP=30% or all dividends earned)PenFed Credit Union

Interest RateCD Length of TermCredit Union/Bank
1.70% APY49-Month Share Certificate Special ($10k min) (EWP=365 days)NASA Federal Credit Union
1.52% APY48-59 Month CD ($25k min) (EWP=180 days)Department of Commerce Credit Union
1.42% APY48-59 Month CD ($500 min) (EWP=180 days)Department of Commerce Credit Union

Interest RateCD Length of TermCredit Union/Bank
1.37% APY36-47 Month CD ($25k min) (EWP=180 days)Department of Commerce Credit Union
1.27% APY36-47 Month CD ($500 min) (EWP=180 days)Department of Commerce Credit Union
1.21% APY36-Month CD ($99k min) (EWP=180 days)Hughes Federal Credit Union

Interest RateCD Length of TermCredit Union/Bank
1.19% APY29-Month CD Special ($500 min)Western Vista Federal Credit Union
1.15% APY24-35 Month CD ($25k min)Department of Commerce Credit Union
1.05% APY24-35 Month CD ($500 min)Department of Commerce Credit Union

The above information and rates are accurate as of 1/12/2022.

To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.

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

Comments
Dept of Commerce Federal Credit Union Has Rate Leading Long-Term CDs
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Availability: Easy membership for residents of DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV.

In the past five months, Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (DOCFCU) long-term CD rates have been on an upward trajectory. Following a 14 bps increase this week (and 65 bps since May), the 48-59 month CD currently earns a very competitive 1.31% APY.

While not having dramatic rate increases like the 48-59 month CD, the 36-47 month CD (1.12%...

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Dept of Commerce Federal Credit Union Ups Long-Term CD Rates Again
Deal Summary: CDs – 60-84 Month CD (1.36% APY), 48-59 month (1.27% APY), and 36-47 month (1.02% APY), $500 minimum deposit.

Availability: Easy membership for residents of DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV.

Just two weeks ago, I wrote about the significant rate increases on Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union’s (DOCFCU) 36-47, 48-59, and 60-84 month CDs. These substantial gains (totaling 45, 46, and 51 bps, respectively) occurred in May and June.

As of yesterday, the rates on the 48-59 and 60-84 month CDs were raised...

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Dept of Commerce Federal Credit Union Raises Long-Term CD Rates
Deal Summary: CDs – 36-47 month (1.02% APY), 48-59 month (1.17% APY), and 60-84 Month CD (1.27% APY), $500 minimum deposit

Availability: Easy membership for residents of DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV

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Availability: UPDATE - Easy membership for residents of DE, MD, PA, VA, and WV

In the last year, a few credit union rewards checking accounts have joined the list of nationally available accounts after the credit union added a membership option that makes it possible for people in any state to join, what we call “easy membership requirement.” The Performance Checking offered by Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (DOCFCU) is the latest one. The...

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Department of Commerce FCU Adds New Performance Checking
Deal Summary: Performance Checking, 2.73% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k.

Availability: Individuals who live, work, attend school, or worship in the District of Columbia; employees of the Department of Commerce or NOAA.

Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union’s (DOCFCU) new rewards checking account, Performance Checking, earns 2.73% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k. Qualifying balances over $20k and non-qualifying balances do not earn any interest.

Qualifying Requirements

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