Just two months ago, Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union (DOCFCU) CDs sprang to the head of the rates peloton with APYs ranging from 1.35% (6-11 month) to 3.03% (60-84 month). These rates lasted for about two weeks before a series of three rate drops began. After the rate decreases, DOCFCU CDs were no longer competitive enough to appear in DA’s bi-weekly CD Rates Summary.
DOCFCU had a surprisingly large rate increase this week: the 6-11 month CD added 108 bps and now earns 2.22% APY. The minimum opening deposit is $500, but initial deposits of $25k or more receive an additional 10 bps; there is no stated balance cap.
Unlike the rest of the CDs in the DOCFCU product line, the 6-11 month CD is not available as an IRA CD.
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 6-11 month CD with at least $25k, the applicable rate would be an impressive 2.57% APY.
As stated in the fine print on the Relationship Rewards 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 CDs & Savings page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows,
If you withdraw funds from the CD prior to its maturity date, you will incur a penalty. CDs with maturities between 6 and 11 months will incur a 90-day interest penalty. The interest penalty for certificates of deposit with maturities between 12 and 84 months is 180 days.
CSR confirmed that only an early closure is possible, with no partial withdrawals allowed.
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 or transferred to a DOCFCU savings or checking account. 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.
DOCFCU’s rewards checking account, Performance Checking, has been offering 2.01% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k for more than two years. More details about Performance Checking can be found in my May 2020 blog post.
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.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) includes an easy membership requirement for all U.S. citizens and residents aliens (regardless of where they live) by joining the American Consumer Council (ACC).
In addition, 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 ACC 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 & Silver Spring Branches are0 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 White House Branch remains closed until further notice
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 a 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 0.92% (excellent) based on March 31, 2022 data. In the past year, DOCFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $20.45 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 4.35%. 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 recent change to a “easy membership” charter has the power to increase the membership exponentially. Currently the District’s third largest credit union, DOCFCU has more than 19,300 members and assets in excess of $666 million.
How the 6-11 month CD 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, no bank or credit union has a higher rate than currently offered on the Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union 6-11 month CD. The following table compares the DOCFCU 6-11 month CD to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.
|APY||CD Term (Early Withdrawal Penalty)||Credit Union/Bank|
|2.22%||6-11 Month CD (EWP=90 days)||Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union|
|1.60%||9-Month Share Certificate Special (EWP=182 days)||NASA Federal Credit Union|
|1.55%||9-Month CD (EWP=90 days)||TAB Bank|
|1.50%||9-Month CD (EWP=50% of all future dividends)||Pima Federal Credit Union|
|1.30%||9-Month CD (EWP=68 days)||TIAA Bank|
The above information and rates are accurate as of 6/23/2022.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.