Justice Federal Credit Union Celebrates 80 Years With High Rate CD


UPDATE 8/18/2015: As of the end of business August 14, 2015, this CD is no longer available.

Availability: Easy membership requirements (but please note comment #1).

Justice Federal Credit Union (Justice FCU) is celebrating 80 years of service with a rather unique, blended-rate Special Anniversary Share Certificate (CD). The first 80 days of the Special Anniversary CD earn 8.00% APY; starting on Day 81, and for the following 24 months, the APY is 1.35%.

The blended rate works out to approximately 2.00% APY for a 27-month Special Anniversary CD (minus about a week).

The minimum opening deposit is $500, with a maximum deposit of $25K per member. The Special Anniversary CD requires new money, and is also available as an IRA (Traditional and Roth) at the same rate, with the same funding requirements. Unlike many of Justice FCU’s other CDs, no relationship rate bumps are allowed on the Special Anniversary CD.

Even though the total length of term is almost 27 months, the fine print surprisingly reads,

Certificate is subject to 12-month dividend early withdrawal penalty

As stated on Justice FCU’s Certificate page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

A certificate with a term of 12 months or less will lose 90 days of dividends for early withdrawal; a certificate with a term of 13 months or more will lose 180 days of dividends for early withdrawal.

Many thanks to the DA reader who informed me about this interesting deal.


Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, Justice FCU bills itself as the "premier provider of financial services to the Justice, Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Community." Employees of the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, State and Federal Courts, and the Georgia Department of Public Safety are the largest groups eligible for membership.

Members of certain Law Enforcement Associations, and Retirees and Contractors of specific government organizations are also eligible.

For a complete list of membership qualifications, please refer to Justice FCU’s membership page.

While the field of membership appears to be somewhat narrowly defined, membership eligibility is open to the general public through the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and the National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA).

The NSA has a "Citizens Sustaining Membership" ($15) that is open to anyone, regardless of employment status. According to NNALEA’s website,

Membership is open to both Native and Non-Native Americans. Members do not have to be law enforcement officers. The National membership fee is $15.

Joining Justice FCU and/or opening a CD can be done online, or at any of 26 branches located in California (2), Georgia (2), Illinois, New York (2), Texas (2), Virginia (5), West Virginia (4), and the District of Columbia (8). The membership application can also be downloaded to facilitate joining.

Credit Union Overview

Justice Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 3.03% (excellent) based on March 31, 2015 data. In the past year, Justice FCU increased its total deposits by $9.65 Million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.87%. Please refer to our financial overview of Justice Federal Credit Union for more details.

The history of Justice FCU (NCUA Charter # 151) is a classic example of a successful workplace credit union that began with a group of employees trying to help each other financially.

MARCH 2, 1935 – Twelve Department of Justice employees organize to form a credit union offering employee access to low cost loans and savings accounts. With only $137 in assets and 41 charter members, The Department of Justice Federal Credit Union (DOJFCU) is founded.

Fast forward to today’s Justice FCU, which has become the 102nd largest credit union in the nation, with almost 55,000 members, branch locations in seven state and the District of Columbia, a diverse field of membership, and assets in excess of $654 Million. For a more detailed historical timeline, please refer to Justice FCU’s "About Us" page.

How the CD Compares

When compared to other similar length of term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, requiring a similar minimum deposit and available nationally, the blended APY on Justice Federal Credit Union’s Special Anniversary Share Certificate is a standout.

The above rates are accurate as of 6/4/2015.

To search for nationwide CD rates and CD rates in your state, please refer to the CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.

me1004   |     |   Comment #1
I note, this place might be "easy" membership, but you will find it is not very easy at all. You will have to join one of those two groups on you own in advance, and the CU will not accept any proof of membership other than a formal membership letter, which you won't get for weeks. They won't even accept a special letter from the organization  in the meantime saying that yes, you are a member, your formal membership letter will be coming later. During that wait, you might very well lose the promo rate, and so your dues to join the qualifying organization will be wasted. 

I note, at the level of EWP on this CD, you will have to go the full term or be at a loss over what you otherwise could have had. That level of penalty makes early withdrawal something only for a dire emergency. So, you will be stuck at the average of 2% for 27 months -- a long time in a climate that certainly will be seeing continually rising interest rates.

In addition, when I tried to join a few  years ago, I had such a horrible experience and  treatment from them that I will never do any business  with them no matter what rate they offer, and I'd recommend no one else do business with them either. A number of others also reported serious problems with dealing with this CU. I dealt with them at a branch; others reported problems even in dealing with them online or by phone.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
No justice!
Ken Tumin
Ken Tumin   |     |   Comment #4
Thanks me1004 for sharing your experience about how difficult they made it. I added a note at the top of the post.
gregk   |     |   Comment #3
Apart from any potential membership issues, what a silly gimmick.  To truly be cute with it I would think the rate on this certificate for the first 80 days in celebration of 80 years of service should be 80%.  Triple 80's, 80's all the way around, - get it (hahahahahahahaha)?  Merely 8% just ruins the fun with its incongruity.
Sylvia   |     |   Comment #5
Only three branches are listed as "public access."  They're in Washington, DC; Chantilly, VA; and Los Angeles, CA.  The rest are either "restricted" or "limited" access, https://www.jfcu.org/locations_JFCUBranches.asp, which might effectively constrain our interactions to online and phone.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
I'm a little surprised to read the comment from me1004, and I'm sorry he/she had such a difficult time joining JFCU.  I am a member, of course, but I've not had the same experience.  I joined JFCU by first joining the NSA.  It was a little more expensive, but it was not all that time consuming because the NSA is staffed by full-time staff.

JFCU itself I have found to be a good organization, with helpful reps.  JFCU is not at the top of the heap, but they are surely far from the bottom.  This particular deal, though, is not one in which I shall participate.  I don't like the terms of the deal.  But there have been other JFCU deals, in the past, in which I did participate and which turned out just fine.
Justice Federal Credit Union Leads With 36-Month CD Special

Justice Federal Credit Union (Justice FCU) is promoting a new, limited time 36-month CD Special (1.50% APY). The minimum opening deposit is $500 and there is no maximum balance cap.

This promotional 36-month CD requires new money to open and is also available as an IRA (Traditional and Roth) at the same APY, with the same funding requirements. According to CSR, the Early Withdrawal Penalty is 12 months’ dividends.

Justice FCU’s website describes the 36-month CD Special this way:

Additional Basis Points

Opening a Justice National Checking Account can add an additional...

Continue Reading
Competitive CD Rates at Justice Federal Credit Union

It has been over a year since my last post of Justice Federal Credit Union. Over the years I have done several posts on this credit union due to its competitive rates and a field of membership that allows many people to qualify. Even though many may be able to qualify for JFCU membership, it doesn't mean it's easy as a reader described in this review. Because of this problem, I haven't mentioned this credit union for the last year. However, it continues to offer some top CD rates. Also,...

Continue Reading
Hot 1-Year CD Rate at Justice Federal Credit Union - Easy Membership

Update 3/2/2011: The 1-year CD rate has fallen. If they offer deals in the future, this reader's review may change your mind about trying to join.

Justice Federal Credit Union is offering two very competitive rates on its 1-year CDs and IRA CDs: 2.00% APY for a $500 minimum and 2.10% APY for a $100,000 minimum. These rates are listed in the credit union's deposit rates page as of 2/13/2011.

As a comparison to internet banks on 2/13/2011, the best 1-year CD rate is 1.45% APY at Incredible Bank. For other easy-to-join...

Continue Reading
Hot 75-Day CD Special at Justice Federal Credit Union - Easy Membership

Justice Federal Credit Union is offering a special CD for its 75th anniversary. It's a 75-day CD with a 7.50% APY. Maximum deposit is $25,000. Minimum is $500. New money is required. Offer is available to new and existing members. It's a limited time special that began on December 1st. It's listed on the credit union's front page as of 12/22/2010. Details are listed in the credit union's promo page.

If a member deposits $25K, he'll make around $385 from this CD. As a comparison, if he deposited $25K in SmartyPig...

Continue Reading
5.00% 60-Month CD at Justice FCU - Easy Membership
Update 2/1/08: Rates have fallen. The new 60-month CD has a yield of 4.50% APY. Please check the credit union's website for the latest rates.

Justice Federal Credit Union is offering a 5.00% APY 60-month share certificate. The minimum deposit is $1,000. The rate table also lists other competitive rates including a 4.75% APY for the 48 and 36 month terms. An extra 10 basis points is available for a Jumbo certificate with a $100K minimum deposit. These same terms and rates are also available as IRA certificates.

Since the date on...

Continue Reading

More Past Offers